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


While Begay was selected as NTU’s Student of the Year for the 2013-2014 academic year, her educational journey actually began when NTU was formerly known as the Crownpoint Institute of Technology. Begay earned her associate’s degree in environmental science in 2004, and then put her educational aspirations on hold for nearly nine years to raise a family. It wasn’t until the youngest of her two boys entered kindergarten that she decided to enroll back in school this past fall.

“Everything fell into place timing wise,” stated Begay, who returned a semester after NTU was approved by the Higher Learning Commission to begin offering a baccalaureate degree in environmental science. “If I had done this the first time, I’d be missing out on a lot with my boys. It’s been really challenging, but I’m glad it’s not easy.”

Malanie Begay, center, poses for a picture at the American Indian College Fund’s annual scholarship banquet at the Montana Convention Center on Sunday, March 16, 2014. NTU President Dr. Elmer J. Guy and Coca Cola First Generation scholarship recipient Michelle Becenti join Begay. (Navajo Technical University)

“It’s not only challenging academically, but morally,” Begay continued. “You become more aware of your environment and that makes you the kind of person who has strong ethics. It’s already established in me as a Navajo, but it makes me that much stronger. I’m trying to be a good example to my boys.”

This summer Begay plans on broadening her horizons by working in 3D modeling with NASA’s One-Stop Shop Initiative (OSSI), and interning with New Mexico EPSCoR in analyzing watersheds in geographic information systems (GIS).


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