Best Friends Animal Society and SUU Partner in Offering Scholarships to Navajo Nation Community Members

Published: December 22, 2022 | Author: Temma Martin | Category: Academics

(left to right) Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources Executive Director Bidtah Becker, Vice President Myron Lizer, President Jonathan Nez, First Lady Phefelia Nez, Senior Legislative Attorney for Best Friends Animal Society Ledy VanKavage, Senior Manager of Learning Advancement for Best Friends Animal Society Aimee CharltonA ceremonial signing of a scholarship agreement took place on Tuesday, December 20th, 2022 at Twin Arrows Navajo Casino and Resort, in Flagstaff. The agreement for the ‘Phefelia H. Nez Best Friends Scholarships’ was signed by Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer and Aimee Charlton, Senior Manager of Learning Advancement for Best Friends Animal Society.

“During our time in office, First Lady Nez remained committed to working together with animal rescue and caregivers who offer services and support for pets and animals in our Navajo communities. Pets and animals are a key part of many lives and as Navajo people, we have a unique responsibility to care for them. I congratulate my wife, Phefelia, and thank Best Friends Animal Society and Southern Utah University for recognizing her work and compassion,” said President Nez. 

Best Friends Animal Society is offering a scholarship for a Southern Utah University (SUU) Online General Studies Bachelor’s degree with a focus in Animal Services, as well as four seats for professional development certificate courses specifically curated with Best Friends Animal Society and SUU scholarships will be offered for five years.

“We are honored to be working closely with the Navajo Nation and Southern Utah University in making these learning and development opportunities available. Animal Services has evolved into a profession that’s connected to community wellbeing and celebrating companion animals in our lives.” said Julie Castle, CEO for Best Friends Animal Society. “Because these certificates and degree are online and have a focus in animal services, the goal is that the recipients of the scholarships will bring this knowledge back to their respective communities to lead the way in the creation of programs and services to help the community members and the animals.” Julie Castle herself graduated with honors from SUU in 1994.

The Memorandum of Understanding with Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS) Navajo Nation states certain programs supported by BFAS are being offered to benefit individuals who work or volunteer for the Navajo Nation’s Division of Natural Resources to support its employees’ professional development. Post-secondary educational opportunities for its members are very important to tribal governments, to students from the Nation, and to the Division of Natural Resources.

“We are pleased to be working with Best Friends to further extend animal services educational opportunities,” said Melynda Thorpe, SUU Community and Professional Development executive director. “This partnership builds careers, builds degrees and benefits our communities.”

The Animal Services Professional Development Coursework Scholarships include:

Four scholarships each year for Principles of Contemporary Animal Services Certificate - offered twice a year and upon completion award 3 CEU credits applicable to SUU degrees.

Four scholarships each year to the following micro-credential animal services courses – offered twice a year and upon completion, the trio of courses award to 3 CEU credits applicable to SUU degrees. These include: Dog Lifesaving Course, Cat Lifesaving Course and Studies in Contemporary Animal Services.

A total of five scholarships for Southern Utah University Animal Services Focused Online General Studies bachelor’s degree with a focus in Animal Services, offered annually.

At the time of the award of the scholarship, the recipient must either work for Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources, Navajo Nation Department of Agriculture, or work/volunteer for an animal welfare nonprofit that works on Navajo Nation. The grand total value of the scholarships is $78,640.

Apply for a scholarship at this webpage. The application deadline is January 4, 2023 and the scholarship recipient announcement will be January 9, 2023.

About Best Friends Animal Society 

Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to around 355,000. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 4,000 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. For more information, visit bestfriends.org. 

About Southern Utah University

Located in the world’s best backyard, Southern Utah University is known as University of the Parks thanks to its close proximity to several national monuments, outdoor recreational areas and educational partnerships with the National Park Service. SUU’s Community and Professional Development department offers opportunities for adult and working learners to elevate their careers, stay competitive in the workforce and develop as professionals and leaders. For more information, visit suu.edu/keeplearning.

Photo Caption:

PHOTO: (left to right) Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources Executive Director Bidtah Becker, Vice President Myron Lizer, President Jonathan Nez, First Lady Phefelia Nez, Senior Legislative Attorney for Best Friends Animal Society Ledy VanKavage, Senior Manager of Learning Advancement for Best Friends Animal Society Aimee Charlton


Tags: Community and Professional Development Online

Contact Information:

Temma Martin
801-953-8876
temmam@bestfriends.org