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Lauren Rowland named director of Native American Institute

July 28, 2020

DURANT, Okla. – A familiar face has returned to lead the Native American Institute at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Lauren Rowland is now serving as director of the Institute, a position she held previously from 2017 to 2018.

“I  am very pleased to have Lauren back on our team,’’ said Dr. Brad Ludrick, associate vice president for tribal relations and academic affairs. “She has tremendous background knowledge and experience in working with the tribes and  our students, faculty, and staff. Lauren will be instrumental in Native American programming on our campus, including facilitating the launch of the Semple Family Museum of Native American Art, overseeing advisement and retention of our Native American students, and developing strategic partnerships and initiatives with Tribal partners in our service region.’’

The Native American Institute is under the umbrella of The Center for Student Success, supervised by Dr. Marlin Blankenship, and is the administrative division responsible for undergraduate professional advising and student success at Southeastern. The Center  includes the Academic Advising and Outreach Center, the Learning Center, the Online and Distance Advising Center, the Native American Institute, the Native American Excellence in Education grant program, and Freshman Programs.

Rowland holds a master’s degree in educational policy and leadership studies from the University of Iowa, and a bachelor’s in mathematics education from the University of Oklahoma.

She has nine years of experience in education, serving as a math instructor and professor at the public school and college level. Rowland was also the director of College and Career Resources at the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

In her previous stint at Southeastern, Rowland served as the project director for the $1.4 million grant for teacher preparation from the U.S. Department of Education. She also was instrumental in the securing a portion of a scholarship grant from the O.J. and Mary Christine Harvey Foundation.

Approximately 30 percent of Southeastern’s enrollment is composed of Native American students. The Institute serves students in a variety of ways, providing services such as academic programs, tutoring, and cultural events.