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Michrina Lecture Series brings national policy leader and youth advocate to CMU

The SBS Michrina Memorial Committee , LLMC, the CMU Foundation and Civic Forum welcome Mary Kim Titla

Mary Kim Titla will visit CMU on Wednesday, March 11, advancing a legacy of the late Professor of Anthropology Barry Michrina. In addition to awarding a scholarship each spring to a student with Native American ancestry, the Barry Michrina Memorial Fund brings a guest speaker to Colorado Mesa University each year who focuses on topics related to Michrina's diverse interests. Titla's visit is the seventh annual in the Michrina series.

"Native people have been living in western Colorado since long before the founding of the country, and they are still a vital part of our community and the landscape of the west," said the Michrina Lecture Series Chair and CMU Professor Tim Casey, PhD. "Dr. Michrina dedicated his life to better understanding their role in the area, so we are pleased that we can bring a national native leader like Mary Kim Titla to CMU to continue that legacy." 

The event will occur in the University Center South Meyer Ball room at 6:30pm and will include a public talk and reception. 

Titla, a member of the San Carlos Apache tribe, is a 30-year youth advocate and spent 20 years in broadcast news. In 1987, she became the first Native American television journalist in Arizona and was a 2008 candidate for Arizona’s First Congressional District. During her expansive career, Titla has focused on issues of leadership, mentoring, rapport building, social media and mental health issues for Native American youth. She has also focused on student communication camps, multi-media applications and cultural awareness campaigns that cover cultural values, beliefs, perceptions, sensitivity, attitudes, diversity and the Apache female coming of age ceremony. 

The title of her campus presentation is “Your Story Matters, Because You Matter.” The theme will draw from the storytelling and oral history traditions of Native American cultures. Titla will share her insights about the power of storytelling and how effective storytelling can help others, build confidence and bring about change.       

“Humans are a storytelling species,” says CMU archaeology professor John Seebach. “We discover so much about the world, our communities, and ourselves by listening to each other’s stories. Titla’s visit is a remarkable opportunity for the CMU community to learn from the rich storytelling traditions of Native American peoples. Her message of strength and positive change will resonate with our students and CMU at large.”

Jasmine Tellez is director of the CMU Cultural Inclusion Council and also believes Titla will bring to campus an important message. 

“This is a great opportunity for students to explore Native American heritage and culture,” said Tellez. “Mary Kim Titla has extensive knowledge and experience and we feel honored to welcome Titla to campus.”

Contributions to the Michrina Memorial Fund can be made by contacting the CMU Foundation.


Written by David Ludlam