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Yakama Nation and Heritage University sign memorandum of understanding to strengthen and formalize ties

Yakama Nation Tribal Council Chairman JoDe Goudy and Heritage University President Andrew Sund shake hands during memorandum of understanding signing ceremony

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Yakama Nation and Heritage University sign memorandum of understanding to strengthen and formalize ties

Toppenish, Wash. – Yakama Nation Tribal Council Chairman, JoDe L. Goudy and Heritage University President, Dr. Andrew Sund have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which formalizes their working relationship and mutual goals to provide high-quality college education to Yakama tribal members.

The MOU, Dr. Sund says, reaffirms Heritage’s origins and mission to provide college education to underrepresented populations, “We strive always to stay true to the vision of the two Yakama women, Violet Lumley Rau and Martha Yallup who, along with Sister Kathleen Ross, were instrumental in starting Heritage,” said Dr. Sund. “This MOU sets forth terms for Heritage and the tribe to strengthen our relationship and formalizes the processes by which we work together on an ongoing basis to ensure we create academic programming that is culturally competent and a campus climate that meets the cultural needs of Yakama students.”

Chairman Goudy welcomed Heritage University officials and faculty to council chambers as part of the signing of the MOU. “We are very humbled in today’s time to take an action that aligns with the vision that our elders have had for the benefit of our members seeking higher education,” said Goudy. “This MOU represents a step taken in the right direction to position our membership for success and we thank Heritage University for the collaboration and commitment to the education of Yakama members.”

The MOU is the result of Heritage University board member and Yakama Nation  Human Services Deputy Director Arlen Washines searching for such a document and coming up empty. “We have a long history of working together informally, but it was time to get a formal document created in which both the Nation and Heritage could outline their commitments to each other,” said Washines. “Today marks a significant milestone in our long relationship.”

Dr. Maxine Janis, the President’s Liaison for Native American Affairs at Heritage, watched Chairman Goudy and Dr. Sund sign the agreement in tribal council chambers. “It was my esteemed honor to witness the signing of the MOU. Heritage University now more closely aligns with the Yakama Nation Treaty of 1855 honoring the land, lifeways, and culture of the people whose homelands our institution is situated.”

For more information, contact Elese Washines at (509) 865-5121 ext. 4530 or elese_washines@yakama.com, or David Mance, Heritage University media relations coordinator, at (509) 969-6084 or Mance_D@Heritage.edu.

Social Scene: El Grito de Independencia at Heritage University, Yakima Herald-Republic, September 19, 2018

Heritage University in Toppenish hosted an El Grito de Independencia celebration on Saturday, September 15th, 2018.  (Leann Jones / Contributed)

View the gallery at yakimaherald.com.

Heritage University names new provost

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Heritage University names new provost

Toppenish, Wash. – After an extensive national search for a new provost, today Heritage University President Dr. Andrew Sund formally named interim provost Dr. Kazuhiro Sonoda as the permanent provost and VP of Academic Affairs at Heritage University. Dr. Sonoda began serving as interim provost in February of this year while continuing in his role as the dean of the College of Arts and Science at Heritage.

“We searched the entire country for the best candidate to fill the provost position at Heritage, and we realized the best person for the task was already in our midst, said Dr. Sund. “During his years here, Dr. Sonoda has proven himself to be a crusader for the Heritage mission and a strong advocate for its programs and students. I am excited to promote Dr. Sonoda to provost.”

Dr. Kazuhiro Sonoda began at Heritage University in 2007 as the associate dean of Arts and Sciences. In 2008 he was named the chair of the science department, a position he held until 2012. Also in 2008, Dr. Sonoda became the dean of Arts and Sciences, a role he continued to serve until chosen as provost.

“I am humbled and honored to be chosen to serve the students, faculty, and staff of Heritage University as their provost,” said Sonoda. “I look forward to collaborating with Dr. Sund to shape academic policies that best serve our students and community, and providing the faculty and staff the means to carry out those strategies.”

Dr. Sonoda earned his Ph.D. in environmental sciences from Portland State University. He obtained his M.B.A. and M.S. in biology from the University of Guam. He also earned a B.S. in biological science, with a minor in biochemistry and business finance from San Jose State University.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Dr. Sonoda, contact David Mance at (509) 969-6084 or Mance_D@Heritage.edu.

Students share research through ‘elevator speeches’ during symposium

Summer Internship Research Symposium at Heritage University, September 14, 2018

Several Heritage students shared what they learned during their summer internships with the Heritage campus last Friday. During the “Summer Internship Research Symposium,” students presented posters detailing their work. They also summarized their work by delivering “elevator speeches” which focused on the most important aspect of their internship.

Great job everyone!

Heritage University campus and community celebrate El Grito de Independencia

The Heritage University campus was festive this weekend as student clubs and organizations held the first ever “El Grito de Independencia” in observance of Mexican Independence Day. El Grito commemorates the “Cry of Dolores,” a historical event that set off the Mexican War of Independence from Spain. 

Diana Maria Oliveros Martinez delivering the El Grito at the El Grito de Independencia event at Heritage University, September 15, 2018

Close to 500 people attended the Heritage festival which featured fun for the entire family. The cultural event included Folklorico dancers, piñata breaking, games for kids, and performances by Banda Parla Azteca and the CWU Mariachi Club. Families were treated to a free movie and popcorn. 
The highlight of the night was the reenactment of the “El Grito” as delivered by special guest Diana Maria Oliveros Martinez of the Consulate of Mexico office in Seattle. We wish to thank everyone who made the event possible and those who attended.
Click below to see videos and pictures from the event.

Heritage University hosts festival for Mexican Independence Day, Yakima Herald-Republic, September 5, 2018

TOPPENISH, Wash. — Heritage University will host a cultural festival in honor of Mexican Independence Day next week.

The festival, called “El Grito de Independencia,” will commemorate what’s known as the “The Cry of Dolores,” when a Roman Catholic priest in the Mexican city of Dolores Hidalgo rang the bell of his church and gave the call to arms that triggered the Mexican War of Independence in 1810.

Read more at yakimaherald.com.

Heritage University receives $1.5M scholarship endowment for Native American students, KIMA-TV, September 5, 2018

TOPPENISH, Wa. — Heritage University is helping Native American students reach their educational goals with a $1.5 million scholarship endowment.

Ida Moses-Hypeer is a Senior at Heritage University and she is majoring in business with the help of several scholarships from the school.

“Blessing and also really helpful because, including myself, when you’re having these many scholarships all I want to think about right now is to learn,” said Moses-Hypeer.

Watch the story at kimatv.com.

Fall Convocation to recognize Dean’s List students

Please join the faculty, staff and students of Heritage University for the Fall Student Convocation as we welcome in the new academic year. Special recognition will be given to the students who made the Dean’s List for the spring 2018 semester.
Toppenish School District Superintendent John Cerna will deliver the keynote address. Fall Student Convocation will be held Thursday, September 13, 2018 in Smith Family Hall from 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Heritage University to host Mexican cultural festival in honor of Mexican Independence Day

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Heritage University to host a Mexican cultural festival in honor of Mexican Independence Day

Toppenish, Wash. – Heritage University will host a Mexican cultural festival in honor of Mexican Independence Day.  El Grito de Independencia, will take place on the Heritage campus, Saturday, September 15, 2018 beginning at 5:30 p.m.  El Grito de Independencia commemorates the “Cry of Dolores,” a historical event in Mexico that set off the Mexican War of Independence from Spain.

The festival will feature fun for the entire family. From 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., there will be games for kids, jumpers, food and beverages, folklorico dancers and piñata smashing for all ages. Then at 8:00 p.m., a family movie will be played with free popcorn and sodas served and a “Banda Street Dance” with music performed by Banda Perla Azteca.  Earlier in the evening the CWU Mariachi Club will also perform as a part of the festivities. There will be free door prizes for the first 100 people to arrive at the event.

For more information, contact Melissa Hill at (509) 865-0411 or Hill_M@Heritage.edu.

Major gift allows Heritage University to create $1.5 mil scholarship endowment for Native American students

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$650,000 donation completes Heritage University effort to create a $1.5 million scholarship endowment for Native American students

Toppenish, Wash. – A major gift to Heritage University has allowed it to reach its goal of creating a $1.5 million endowment for Native American student scholarships. The university has received a $650,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; it will be combined with matching funds from the Johnson Scholarship Foundation (JSF) and other private donors to create the endowment which supports scholarships for Indigenous students studying business or entrepreneurship.

Alden Andy, Heritage University graduate (business administration, 2017) and Johnson Scholarship Foundation scholarship recipient (GORDON KING/Gordon King Photography)

In 2016, Heritage and JSF set the endowment fundraising effort in motion when Heritage committed to raising $1 million over three years and JSF pledging matching funds of $500,000.

“This generous gift means so much to us at Heritage University,” said Dr. Andrew Sund, president of Heritage. “This new scholarship program will change the lives and narratives of so many deserving Native students for years to come.”

“I am so grateful for this wonderful show of support,” said Dr. Maxine Janis, president’s liaison for Native American Affairs at Heritage University. “This support, coupled with the contributions from the Johnson Scholarship Foundation, as well as gifts from many, many donors in the community will help us provide a pathway for our Native American students to achieve their educational and career goals.”

Kip Ramsey, Yakama Nation tribal member, entrepreneur and Heritage University board member, says Native Americans are underrepresented in nearly every sector of the American economy, and JSF scholarships will increase the numbers of Native Americans in the business world. “Education is the great equalizer and this scholarship endowment will allow more Native American students to earn their business degrees and thrive.”

The strategic intent of the Johnson Scholarship Foundation is to provide scholarship funding to Native Americans studying business and/or entrepreneurship under the theory that those men and women will then draw from their education to start business enterprises that will in turn impact their communities for future generations.

“We are so thrilled to have the Gates Foundation join us in this endeavor to support the education of Native Americans at Heritage University,” said Malcolm Macleod, president of JSF. ”This endowed scholarship will help hundreds of students earn their college degrees and enhance the lives of many thousands of people whom these students will touch over the arc of their lives and careers.”

 

About the Johnson Scholarship Foundation

The Johnson Scholarship Foundation was founded by Theodore R. and Vivian M. Johnson to serve disadvantaged people by assisting them to obtain education and employment. For more than 25 years, JSF has awarded close to $125 million in education-related grants. JSF gives to economically disadvantaged students, people with disabilities, and Indigenous Peoples. For more information, please visit jsf.bz.

About Heritage University

Heritage University empowers a multi-cultural and inclusive student body to overcome the social, cultural, economic and geographic barriers that limit access to higher education. Rooted in the homeland of the Yakama Nation, we embrace transformational student-centered education that cultivates leadership and a commitment to the promotion of a more just society.

To find out more about this scholarship endowment, please call David Wise, Vice President of University Advancement at (509) 865-0717 or Wise_D@Heritage.edu.

For more information, contact David Mance at (509) 865-0731 or Mance_D@Heritage.edu, or Lady Hereford at (561) 659-2005 ext. 6 or Hereford@jsf.bz.

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