Jacquelyn Yepa Selected as the 2022 IAIA Student of the Year

Feb 24, 2022

I am pleased to inform you that Jacquelyn Yepa (Diné/Jemez Pueblo) has been selected as the Institute of American Indian Arts’ (IAIA) 2022 Student of the Year, an award sponsored by the American Indian College Fund (AICF). Yepa is a responsible, diligent, and accomplished student with excellent writing and speaking skills. She participates enthusiastically in course-related activities, as reflected in her 3.74 cumulative grade point average. In December 2022, she will graduate with honors, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Arts.

In addition to her Studio Arts studies, she is also enrolled in Business and Entrepreneurship courses. Upon graduation, she plans to open her own art store that will support the efforts of other Indigenous artists. Yepa maintains deep connections to her Pueblo and Navajo cultures. During her time at IAIA, she has participated and served in a leadership role in the Keeping Indigenous Values Alive (KIVA) club. She was instrumental in organizing a traditional Pueblo Feast Day on campus with singers, traditional foods, and dances.

In the essay she submitted to AICF, Yepa says, “I want to work with young Indigenous artists and put together an organization that will provide support services for Native youth. The organization will provide them with a platform to express their voice—all while being paid to do creative work. I want to lead by example and prove to the youth that they can succeed as artists. This work will have a positive effect on Indigenous youth and their communities.”

IAIA is pleased to have Jacquelyn Yepa enrolled as a student in the Studio Arts Program and represent the college as our student of the year. She is an excellent student leader, artist, and businesswoman who can make a tremendous difference at the local, tribal, and national levels.

—IAIA President Dr. Robert Martin (Cherokee)

“I want to work with young Indigenous artists and put together an organization that will provide support services for Native youth. The organization will provide them with a platform to express their voice—all while being paid to do creative work. I want to lead by example and prove to the youth that they can succeed as artists. This work will have a positive effect on Indigenous youth and their communities.”
Jacquelyn Yepa (Diné/Jemez Pueblo)

2022 IAIA Student of the Year

Closed July 4 in Observance of Independence Day