The University of Wyoming has hired a UW graduate as the first Native American Program adviser in the Dean of Student’s Office, UW says.

Reinette Redbird Tendore graduated from Wyoming Indian High School in 2000 and earned two degrees from the University of Wyoming – a bachelor’s in elementary educations and a minor in American Indian studies; as well as a master’s degree in social work.

As the first ever Native American Program adviser, Tendore will operate out of the new UW Native American Education, Research and Cultural Center on campus. Her responsibilities include working directly with Native American students and focusing on recruitment and retention of students, particularly those from Wyoming.

“It is important to acknowledge the culture and sense of community for Native American college students and to be able to recruit others from many different reservations,” Tendore says in a statement. “I would hope that my own personal story of being enrolled, coming from the Wind River reservation and graduating with both of my degrees at UW would encourage and inspire other students to work toward their higher education goals, also here at UW.”

Tendore will also be working with other programs and services across campus that focus on student success and achieving their personal goals, for example the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership.

Tendore will also have a hand in the NAERCC’s programs, such as the High Plains American Indian Research Institute and the student Keepers of the Fire organization.

The NAERCC opened early in the fall semester and was created to be a “living-learning community” that helps support the academic achievement of Native American students while promoting traditional culture.