Navajo Technical University Confers 18 Baccalaureate Degrees at Its 2017 Spring Commencement

Priscilla Pablo of Whiterock, NM awaits the lineup to graduation in NTU’s Student Union Building. Pablo received her Master of Arts degree in Diné Culture, Language & Leadership.

Published May 17, 2017

CROWNPOINT, NEW MEXICO – Navajo Technical University (NTU) conferred 211 degrees, certificates, and GEDs on Friday, May 12, 2017, and among those conferred were 18 baccalaureate degrees and NTU’s third Master of Arts degree in Diné Culture, Language & Leadership when Priscilla Pablo of Whiterock, NM 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.

NTU conferred 18 baccalaureate degrees across eight different programs at its spring commencement.

Earning baccalaureate degrees at NTU on Friday included: Sharon J. Nelson, B.A. Diné Culture, Language & Leadership; Kelly Chiquito, Aaron Huber, and Erin Toadlena, B.A.S. Information Technology; Clinton Desiderio, B.A.S. IT-New Media; Eric Baily and Dedrick Tolino, B.A.S. IT-Digital Manufacturing; Dexter Yazzie, B.S. Industrial Engineering; Derrick Lee, B.S. Environmental Science and Natural Resources; Sandoval Begay, B.S. Electrical Engineering; and Jennifer Cayatineto, Alyscia Etsitty, Rebecca Garcia, Kristy Mark, Autumn Martinez, Brandon Platero, Justina Yazzie, and Loretta Yazzie, B.S. Early Childhood Multicultural Education.

In addition to the 18 baccalaureate degrees and one graduate degree, NTU also conferred 22 GEDs, 39 Associate of Applied Science degrees, 4 Associate of Science degrees, and 127 technical and vocational certificates – which included the first graduate in NTU’s Counseling program when Royal R. Martin, Jr. of Crownpoint, New Mexico received his certificate.

Among the 18 graduates who earned a four-year degree was Fruitland, NM resident Sandoval Begay. Begay earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.

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 DOE and he used his experience working at the Institute of American Indian Arts and the American Indian College Fund in speaking to the graduates. Also addressing the students on behalf of the Navajo Nation was Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez, who provided the congratulatory remarks.

For more information about NTU’s 2017 spring commencement please contact Dean Delores Becenti at

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