Register for Fall 2021 and Be Immersed in “Many Nations, One Family”

Jul 30, 2021

7 Reasons to Success

7 Reasons to Success

Students and graduates know first-hand that it is hard work staying in school—semester after semester, year after year. In this short series, Many Nations, One Family, students and graduates share reasons why they decided to stay in school at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA). Aside from earning a degree, additional benefits include access to studios and supplies, professional equipment, Library and Counseling resources, and peer-to-peer engagement. IAIA students are part of a unique Indigenous legacy formed by resilience and unity, and together they are Many Nations, One Family.

If you’re a student who has taken time away from IAIA or you know one who has, now is a great time to re-enroll. Contact Dean of Students Nena Martinez Anaya at [email protected] to enroll. Need financial aid assistance? IAIA provides an extensive listing of over 50 scholarship opportunities on the Financial Aid page—plus, financial aid advisors are available to help. To assist IAIA with planning and student’s needs with laptops and Internet, students are encouraged to fill out the IAIA Returning Student Preparedness Survey.

Students who register for Fall 2021 are entered in a sweepstakes lottery for a $50 Visa gift card. A live-stream broadcast will be held on the first day of the Fall semester, Monday, August 16. Five winners will be chosen randomly and announced on IAIA’s Facebook page during the live stream.

Nami Okuzono (Japan) ’17

Nami Okuzono (Japan) ’17

IAIA Alumna Nami Okuzono (Japanese) ’17 said she wouldn’t be where she is today without the help and support from faculty, staff, peers, and Learning Lab tutors.

“The IAIA Community—faculty, staff, peers—were really supportive. But I have to say that the Learning Lab tutors were instrumental. The tutors were good listeners, and they helped me—daily. That’s what kept me going.

Because I was an International student, I wasn’t able to take a semester off, otherwise I would not be able to stay in the US. Even so, I was focused on meeting the requirements to pursue my education.

Engaging with classmates in the studio, working towards projects with peers, and supporting each other, was equally important. It’s true that I am from Japan, and nearly all of my classmates were from other places too, and that resonated with me. I looked forward to the times when I could share ideas with my peers, my friends, you know.

One of the most significant benefits was being a work-study student, where I worked for the Online Learning and Facilities departments. I learned so much on the job, and it also provided a sort of financial aid.”

—IAIA Alumni Nami Okuzono (Japan) ’17

Nami, who is an IAIA Alpha Chi National College Honor Society member, recently accepted a position at Automattic, Inc. Her position title is “Happiness Engineer,” which is funny, because IAIA staff and faculty couldn’t be “happier” for Nami!

Monika Guerra adding fine details to her work in the IAIA Painting Studio

Monika Guerra adding fine details to her work in the IAIA Painting Studio

IAIA Student Monika Guerra (Mexican-American) ’22 said that she debated taking time off during the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, but the more she thought about it, the more she knew that the choice was easy—stay in school.

“I was thinking about taking time off from my studies, but I was like, you know what, I like what the school has to offer—studio-wise, all the equipment, and supplies—I mean, being in Roswell, New Mexico, I don’t have access to any of that. Without the equipment, I’d limit myself and the art I was producing, specifically the quality of my art. If I took a semester off, I know that I would stagnate and not push myself as much, plus I work better in a studio environment, which keeps me focused. By staying in school, I decided to take whatever classes were available, and I was happy that I did because I discovered other mediums like ceramics, printmaking, and photography. I was like, oh, I kinda like these new mediums. I have learned to be more flexible and have learned how to do more than one thing, like painting. I wouldn’t know what I was missing if I didn’t push myself to stay in school.

The main reason I decided to stay in school is to finish my degree as soon as possible. IAIA provides a lot, and there is no limit to what you can achieve. Sometimes I surprise myself with the quality of work that I put out. And, having close relations with my instructors has helped to take my art further and has provided more opportunities outside of school. In fact, during COVID, I’ve had more opportunities in 2020 than any other year.

I am not the type of person to go out of my way to make new friends (I spent a lot of time in the studio). I’ve made new friends along the way, and they’ve been a huge part of accelerating my art because, you know, we challenge each other. I’ve found that peer connections are indispensable at IAIA.”

—IAIA Student Monika Guerra (Mexican American) ’22