Navajo Technical University (NTU) conferred 211 degrees, certificates, and GEDs on Friday, May 12, 2017, including 18 baccalaureate degrees. NTU conferred its third Master of Arts degree in Diné culture, language, and leadership when Priscilla Pablo of Whiterock, New Mexico, was hooded before a standing room only crowd in NTU’s Comprehensive Wellness Center.
NTU issued its first baccalaureate degree in 2013 to information technology major Dody Begay, and has since been incrementally increasing the number of graduates with a four-year degree each year. This semester, NTU conferred 18 degrees across eight of its ten baccalaureate degree programs.
Students who earned baccalaureate degrees at NTU this spring include Sharon J. Nelson, B.A. in Diné culture, language, and leadership; Kelly Chiquito, Aaron Huber, and Erin Toadlena, B.A.S. in information technology; Clinton Desiderio, B.A.S. in IT-new media; Eric Baily and Dedrick Tolino, B.A.S. IT-digital manufacturing; Dexter Yazzie, B.S. industrial engineering; Derrick Lee, B.S. in environmental science and natural resources; Sandoval Begay, B.S. in electrical engineering; and Jennifer Cayatineto, Alyscia Etsitty, Rebecca Garcia, Kristy Mark, Autumn Martinez, Brandon Platero, Justina Yazzie, and Loretta Yazzie, B.S. in early childhood multicultural education.
In addition to the 18 baccalaureate degrees and one graduate degree, NTU also conferred 22 GED’s, 39 Associate of Applied Science degrees, four Associate of Science degrees, and 127 technical and vocational certificates, which included the first graduate of NTU’s counseling program—Royal R. Martin Jr. of Crownpoint, New Mexico.
Serving as the commencement speaker at the graduation was John Gritts of the U.S. Department of Education. Gritts is the management and program analyst for the Minority Serving and Small Under-Resourced Schools Division of the Department of Education. Also addressing the students was Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez, who provided the congratulatory remarks.