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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Miss Native American NMSU crowned

New Mexico State University student Savannah Lee was crowned Miss Native American NMSU 2014-2015 during the university’s celebration of American Indian Week in April.

Savannah Lee dons her grandmother’s jewelry in her native Navajo dress.
Student Savannah Lee proudly shows off her grandmother’s handmade jewelry in her native Navajo dress. (NMSU photo by Jocelyn Apodaca)

“The Miss Native American NMSU title has a positive impact on the NMSU community and the greater community of New Mexico in that Miss Native American NMSU serves as a cultural goodwill ambassador,” Justin McHorse, director of the American Indian Programs, said.

The Miss Native American NMSU pageant differs from the traditional pageants, adding an emphasis on cultural and academic aspects. McHorse said the students must also demonstrate knowledge of their culture.

“As the ambassador of the Amerian Indian Program, I am able to work with others, let students know the benefits of college and be a role model to the younger students,” Lee said.

Lee is president of the United Native American Organization and involved with the Native American Business Student Association and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.

“Savannah will have the opportunity to support the American Indian Program on campus and create an outreach to the native communities of New Mexico and the surrounding states,” McHorse said. “She will serve as a liaison and a contact to inform and interact with the community on campus, helping educate on American Indian culture and language.”

American Indian Week was organized by the NMSU AISES, UNAO and the NABSA with support from the American Indian Program. American Indian Week was also sponsored by ASNMSU.

Lee is pursing a bachelor’s degree, majoring in kinesiology. She is from Mexican Springs, N.M., and represents the Navajo nation.