The Indigenous Nations Library Program of University Libraries is excited to announce doctoral student, Nonabah Sam as the recipient of the Michael and Enokena Olson Memorial Scholarship.
Sam is currently in her third year of her doctoral degree in the Native American Leadership in Education (NALE) program within the College of Education at The University of New Mexico. Sam was encouraged to apply to the program by a current professor and was inspired by what the NALE program had to offer.
“Pursuing a doctorate, gives me the opportunity to be of service to my nation and the Indigenous communities, at large,” said Sam.
Sam is Navajo and Tesuque Pueblo and resides in Brimhall, N.M., making the two-and-a-half-hour drive to main campus regularly. On top of being a student, Sam is the museum curator for the Ned A. Hatathli Cultural Center Museum and educator at Diné College. She has been the curator for 10 years and is continually looking for new and exciting exhibits to bring to the community.
As an educator, she is passionate about working with students and being a mentor to many of them. She is proud to encourage their creativity and finding ways to bring their work into the museum space.
“For me, teaching in the language is really important,” said Sam. “It makes a world of difference because it broadens their capacity to learn and helps them make connections to their own heritage and story.”
Sam received her graduate degree from UNM and undergraduate degrees from the Institute of American Indian Arts, in Santa Fe, N.M. She has served in many levels of student leadership and was one of the first students to be inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
The Michael and Enokena Olson Memorial Scholarship was established to support undergraduate and graduate Native American Students at The University of New Mexico. The Indigenous Nations Library Program supports Indigenous learning, promotes Indigenous scholarship, and cultivates Indigenous creation. The goal is to cultivate and support Indigenous people to be active agents of change in their community by providing culturally safe learning environments, culturally relevant information services and developing a community of scholars that advance scholarship, teaching and intellectual discovery.