Navajo Technical University
2013-2014 Navajo Technical University Student of the Year Malanie Begay of Crownpoint, New Mexico conducts dendrochronological research on Pinyon Pine and Douglas Fir DNA in NTU’s environmental science and natural resources classroom.

NTU Student of the Year Has the Formula to Success

ICTMN Staff
3/29/14

Malanie Begay of Crownpoint, New Mexico was recognized as the 2013-2014 Navajo Technical University (NTU) Student of the Year at the American Indian College Fund’s annual scholarship banquet at the Montana Convention Center on Sunday, March 16, 2014.

The recognition comes to Begay after she maintained a 3.95 GPA while enrolled in NTU’s Bachelor of Science degree program in environmental science and natural resources and juggling a course load that included classes such as engineering statistics and chemistry.

“I feel honored to be selected,” stated Begay, who is of the Towering House clan born for the Water’s Edge clan. Begay, who is also the first in her family to attend college added, “It feels good to be recognized for all the hard work I’ve been putting in.”

In addition to maintaining exemplary grades in one of NTU’s most rigorous programs, Begay also serves as a peer tutor in geographic information technology (GIT) at the university’s STEM lab and works as a teacher’s assistant to environmental science and natural resources instructor Dr. Bill Mader. It is under the direction of Dr. Mader that Begay also began an independent research project on radon gas where she is currently testing radon levels at various buildings in the Crownpoint area.

“So far I’ve only measured radon levels of the environmental science classroom, my house, and Dr. Mader’s, but I’d like to eventually measure (NTU’s) childcare center and other houses,” explained Begay.

The APA threshold for a safe radon level is 4.0, and through her research, Begay was able to detect levels as high as 3.8 picocuries—which she attributes to flooding that swept the Crownpoint area in September of last year.

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