Scholar talk

Scholar talk
Nicole Been gives her presentation ‘Physical Activity and Depression in Domestic Violence Survivors’ at the first annual Muscogee Nation Festival Scholars Forum. (K. Barnett/Reporter)

“The Creek Nation makes a big investment into our scholars and it was great to see them come full circle and contribute back.”— MCN Higher Education Manager Pete Coser Jr.

Muscogee scholars hold forum during festival

Kevin Barnett/Reporter

OKMULGEE, Oklahoma— Each passing year sees new growth for the annual Muscogee Nation Festival.

This year was no different.

But rather than adding to the already popular attractions like the main stage or the fun fair, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Higher Education held their inaugural Scholars Forum at the Mound Building in Okmulgee on opening day.

“We wanted to go beyond being simply a funding source,” Higher Education Manager Pete Coser Jr. said.

The forum, from inception and planning to the first speaker taking the podium took nine months and covered a wide range of academic disciplines.

The presentations were modeled after the popular ‘Ignite Talks,’ in which the speaker is given five minutes and 20 slides, which are automatically advanced, making for a bombardment of information, statistics and commentary.

Topics ranged from education and adolescent obesity to diversity training and business startup factors.

Coser said the panel was chosen to highlight the wide range of scholarly pursuits along with the research being conducted by Muscogee (Creek) people.

“The Creek Nation makes a big investment into our scholars and it was great to see them come full circle and contribute back,” said Coser.

College of the Muscogee Nation Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Monte Randall opened the forum with his presentation titled ‘Life Skills and Problem Solving,’ which focused on the correlation between these skills and academic success.

“Research is important because it produces data to be used as information to drive decision-making…  [and] we need to make data driven decisions to improve our programs and services,” Randall said.

Coser added that now having a successful “blueprint” to work from, a stronger promotional effort would be made in order to make the Scholars Forum a more visible part of next years Festival.

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