The American Indian College Fund announced on Thursday it has launched a post-baccalaureate fellowship program within its Research and Evaluation Department to explore the impact of its programming, research, and work enhancing the capacities of tribal colleges and universities (TCUs).

Taylor Lucero (Laguna Pueblo) was selected to serve as the College Fund’s first Post-Baccalaureate Fellow in the program.

Lucero graduated from the University of Denver (DU) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminology. During her studies, Lucero presented qualitative and quantitative data on topics including the Native student experience in predominantly white institutions, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives, the harmful implications of Native-themed mascots, and advocated for Native and Indigenous students at DU.

The new program is consistent with its mission to positively impact the lives of American Indians by supporting their higher education and career goals and to support Native-led research, according to a press release. 

The two-year fellowship is a paid, full-time position that is awarded to a recent college graduate who will work to contribute to the College Fund’s efforts to serve American Indian and Alaska Native students (AIAN).

The program goal, in addition to gathering research on the College Fund’s impact, is to provide new research professionals with a wide range of professional skills in research, communication, evaluation, group facilitation, teamwork, project management, writing, and leadership. 

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The fellow will also receive broad exposure to the College Fund’s current work, including education research and evaluation, AIAN college student experiences, and the TCU context.

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