2017 Scholarship Recipients

Johnny Buck, Mark (Marco) Holman, Jocelyn Brown

Announcing the 2017 recipients of the JoAnn Jeter Memorial Diversity Scholarship

This is the sixth year that the JoAnn Jeter Memorial Diversity scholarship has been offered.  Established by the Jeter Family in 2012, the scholarship honors the memory of JoAnn Jeter, Bonneville Power Administration’s dedicated Diversity Program Manager who died in 2012.  The scholarship keeps alive the essence of Jo’s work – to support and encourage students who may face unique challenges to higher education.  Perhaps they are the first in their family to attend college, have limited family financial support and/or cultural/ethnic background.  The JoAnn Jeter Memorial Diversity Scholarship is administered by the Associates Foundation and as a 501(c)3 organization, the scholarship fund is an ongoing avenue for charitable donations.  Donations can be made directly at the Pacific Northwest Federal Credit Union, account #131978 and the Jeter Family matches private donations annually up to $500.  A point of contact for the scholarship is Karen Graves Pyrch (503-230-3194).

The independent panel of area educators evaluated 9 applications this year.  JoAnn Jeter’s scholarship calls for the minimum distribution of one $1,000 scholarship, or alternatively, two awards of $500 each.  However, the Jeter Family has extended again its generosity to three students.  Below are the very deserving students receiving scholarship support for the 2017-2018 school year:

  • $900 JoAnn Jeter Memorial Diversity Scholarship – Johnny Buck
  • $800 JoAnn Jeter Memorial Diversity Scholarship – Marco Holman
  • $600 JoAnn Jeter Memorial Diversity Scholarship – Jocelyn Brown

Johnny Buck


Thank you for believing in me and investing in my higher education goals.  I am proud to be a recipient of the JoAnn Jeter Memorial Diversity Scholarship and am grateful for the donors and supporters to make this financial support possible.  I am committed to carry forward Ms. Jeter’s values and vision for education, academic excellence and community leadership.  Kwthlanute (Thank you)

I am a proud father of a beautiful and intelligent daughter, Tatiwyat Buck.  I from the Wanapum (River People) Community, located next to Priest Rapids Dam on the mid-Columbia River and also an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation in Washington State.  Archaeological evidence dates our history back 14,000+ years, or 700 generations.  We are deeply rooted in our homelands and our spiritual, emotional and physical lives are intimately intertwined with our environment.

The foundation of my life and leadership is with my Ichiskeen language.  Our way of life, culture and identity are encoded in our language - the way we communicate, relate to each other and our world.  When our language is lost, we are lost as a culture and a people.  I was raised with my indigenous language, and my community only has 5 elders left as fluent speakers.  I created our language program to connect elders to our youth to keep our endangered language alive and to ensure our way of life carries forward.  I am also trained as an archaeologist protecting and preserving our traditional cultural properties including our ancestral cemeteries, sacred sites and artifacts, the repatriation (return) of sacred remains and protecting our traditional food gathering areas.  

For many years, I thought my academic goals were out of reach with my responsibilities to address my daughter’s health and wellness and the many day-to-day needs of my tight-knit community.  In order for me to beat the odds as a Native American man to achieve my academic goals, I knew I would need to make some bold moves that my immediate family would not immediately understand or value the long-term benefits for our community.  My mentor, Patricia Whitefoot, is an amazing trailblazing leader who models the values of being deeply rooted in her culture and home community in the Yakama Nation.  In addition to her local leadership roles, she leads on regional and national levels for educational access and excellence for Native communities.  I turn to Patricia for guidance through the challenges of navigating pursuing higher education and having a long-term vision for my career and community leadership.

As a first generation college student, I am passionate to lead and model to my community and Native communities across the country, that higher education is a powerful resource in the health and wellness for our communities.  I chose to complete my undergraduate degree at Northwest Indian College because I am able to blend the best of both worlds of my traditional ecological knowledge and the technical components and practical skills of modern science as the foundation for policies and practices that best support the protection of our environment and precious natural resources.   

As a Native scientist, engineer and attorney, I will be well equipped to preserve and protect our Treaty Rights for our children and generations yet unborn.  I believe our indigenous traditional ecological knowledge holds the keys to addressing the impacts of climate change and restoring our environment.  As a Native leader, scientist, environmental engineer and attorney, I can connect my traditional ecological knowledge with the technical expertise as a scientist and engineer and better support the restoration of our environment.

My long-term educational goal is to obtain my PhD in Environmental Engineering and JD in Environmental Law from the University of Washington.  My long-term career goal is to strengthen communities’ resilience to climate change through scientific research and engineering design integrated with Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge. 

As a Native American scientist, engineer, researcher and attorney, I will be able to make decisions that best support the future of all of our communities and our world.  I chose these diverse disciplines to be able to comprehensively address our planet’s unique needs in the coming decades and for our future generations.  As a scientist, I will be able to connect my traditional ecological knowledge with the technical expertise of Western science in the best interest of how we manage our cultural and natural resources.  As an engineer, I will have the knowledge to help us build our communities in a sustainable way and also protect, preserve and enhance our natural resources.  As an attorney, I will be able to advocate for policies that support the wellbeing of our environment and communities.  As a leader, I will combine all these areas of expertise to develop and sustain strategic partnerships with diverse communities and stakeholders to move us to a more sustainable future. 

For my undergraduate research, I am developing an Indigenous phenology observation network to help strengthen communities’ resilience to climate change and natural disasters.  An indigenous phenology observation network would also support the revitalization of native languages, traditional ecological knowledge and traditional phonological knowledge by strengthening relationships indigenous communities have with the natural world.   

For my graduate and doctoral research, I will focus on environmental engineering design to protecting, preserving and enhance water resources.  With engineering design I can integrate traditional ecological knowledge and cultural values to develop sustainable infrastructures and energy for our communities.

Scientific research is at the heart of finding solutions to climate change.  Native American communities, women, communities of color, farmers and farm workers are the most impacted by hydroelectric dams, nuclear power, coal, natural gas and climate change.  With my enhanced capacity as an Indigenous Scientific Researcher and Environmental Engineer, I will be able to offer unique perspectives to our Nation as a whole and our global community.  These perspectives are founded on traditional ecological knowledge and cultural values that have sustained Native communities since time immemorial. 

Over the past ten years, I have worked to support my family and my daughter and have not had the funding to uproot my family to be in a full-time supportive learning environment.  I have successfully relocated my family to the Lummi Nation, achieved academic success on the main Northwest Indian College campus, and am on track with all my coursework for my Bachelors of Science in Native Environmental Science with my Academic Advisor Dr. Brian Compton.  This will prepare me for my PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering and JD in Environmental Law.  I will ultimately return home to serve my people in my Wanapum community, and serve all of our Tribal communities in the US. 

My community leadership grows from my passion to support our youth.  In 2012, I was asked by my mentor and President of the National Indian Education Association, Patricia Whitefoot, to Chair the team of leaders of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) Youth Committee.  A main focus of the ATNI Youth Committee is to better connect youth focused programs and organizations throughout the Northwest and to build a youth leadership pipeline to increase youth engagement in policy making for community development.   We also provide mentorship and support for students’ higher education goals.  

The continued support of the JoAnn Jeter Memorial Scholarship provides the resources I need to continue my path towards academic excellence and grow my community leadership, while enhancing my capacity to take care of my family needs and raise our next generation of leaders.  I rely solely on scholarship resources and financial aid and part-time work to support my family.  

I know how powerful my example is for my daughter, my nieces and nephews, and all the Native youth I mentor and serve as a role model for.  I am grateful for all the challenges I have overcome because they have helped me grow as a person and a leader, and ultimately empowered me with more skills to achieve my goals.   

Thank you for believing in me and investing in my higher education goals.

Marco Holman

I would like to express my gratitude to the Jeter Family and Scholarship Committee  for granting me the Joann Jeter Memorial Diversity Scholarship.  With this scholarship, I will be able to continue my study of various world histories and cultures as well as help me continue my goal of building diversity and cross-cultural connections in both in and outside of school as well as through non-profit organizations such as Cascade Festival of African Films and the Thrive Youth Refugee Program which I have previously worked with.  I am very grateful of all the help and support from the Jeter family and am looking forward to continuing my education and exploration of diversity and cultural studies  at Occidental College in Los Angeles this fall. 


-Marco Holman

Jocelyn Brown

Hello my name is Jocelyn Brown, and I would like to thank all members of the Jeter family and the scholarship panel for awarding me the Joann Jeter Memorial Diversity Scholarship and believing in my ability to reach success. These scholarships make it possible for students like me to pursue their goals and further their education without being preoccupied by the heavy burden of financial expenses. I understand that the quality of the competition was quite high, and therefore I am extremely honored to receive this scholarship.

I graduated from Silverton High this last June and eagerly await the start of my college adventure. I am attending Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, Oregon, and will be receiving my Minor in Spanish while completing my prerequisites for a Bachelors of Nursing Science. I then plan on working as a Registered Nurse in labor and delivery. One day I aspire to receive my Masters degree so that I can practice as a Nurse Midwife. I was very fortunate to attend a high school that offered a program for students interested in the medical field; Health Occupations was a dual enrollment program that allowed me to study Medical Terminology at the collegiate level and to shadow hospital sites twice a week. When I originally applied for the program in 2016 I had been hoping to enter into oncology and work on cancer research, but as the year progressed I was able to visit a women health clinic as well as a birth center and absolutely fell in love with obstetrics. 

My desire to work in the medical field actually sparked in 2012, after my father passed away from a heart attack shortly before my 13th birthday. This sudden loss impacted my world drastically in so many ways, as it would for anyone. One thing that helped me to deal with my grief was to be very attentive in school. I have always enjoyed challenging classes, and in high school I earned close to 50 college credit hours that have now been applied to my degree work. Doing well in school has always been important to me and it is encouraging to think of how proud my dad would be of his little girl.

My efforts in school have helped me feel prepared for my next steps in college, and because of these scholarships I have lowered my financial costs significantly. I am both excited and anxious for this next step in my life, but knowing that I have the support of all my family and friends as well as the organizations who have invested in my future makes me feel much more confident in myself and my aspirations. Thank you again to everyone who was apart of this decision, and I hope you continue to help students for many years to come. 


Jocelyn Rose Brown