Felisia Tagaban Gaskin, former graduate assistant for Native SOAR, recently transitioned from the Native SOAR team to a full-time Student Relations Coordinator and Recruiter for The University of Arizona Office of Admissions, College of Education and Sunnyside Unified School District.
This new position emerged from Tagaban Gaskin’s advocacy and the support of Assistant Professor Karina Salazar, SUSD Superintendent Steve Holmes, VP of Enrollment Management Kasey Urquidez, Dean Bruce Johnson, and EPSP Department Head Regina Deil-Amen. She approached leaders at both The University of Arizona and SUSD after seeing the need for these institutions to establish educational pathways for Indigenous youth. And this is exactly what her work in this new position will entail.
Both the College and Native SOAR are thrilled for Tagaban Gaskin. Native SOAR wrote the following to reflect on the impact she has had on the College, University, and tribal communities throughout Arizona through her work with the program over the past few years:
“When Felisia came to the College of Education in the 2017-18 school year, she served as a full-time SUSD Native American Education Program student advisor and as a part-time Native SOAR coordinator, where she and Dr. Amanda Cheromiah kept the program afloat. From 2018 to July 2021, Felisia served as a Native SOAR graduate assistant. During this time, Felisia was instrumental to the institutionalization of Native SOAR.
She and students from Voices of Indigenous Concerns in Education (VOICE) created campus-wide systemic change for Indigenous UArizona students. Through Felisia and VOICE's efforts, Native SOAR received funding for operations and a director position. Additionally, Felisia served as the primary content creator for Native SOAR’s social media. She was critical to increasing the digital presence of the program in the community. Felisia also organized and participated in mentoring and community events, and school programs, which strengthened relationships with tribal communities and local school district families. We look forward to partnering with Felisia as she works with the College of Education, Admissions, and SUSD to guide and prepare Indigenous students for their journeys into and through college!”