Published May 23, 2017
TAHLEQUAH — Miss Cherokee Sky Wildcat was recently inducted into the Northeastern State University Hall of Fame after bringing state and national recognition to the university in her role as a tribal ambassador.
NSU recognizes students annually who have brought special recognition to the university or who have made unique contributions to the school. Wildcat, of Muskogee, was one of three 2017 NSU Hall of Fame inductees recognized at this year’s Hall of Fame Ovation Awards Ceremony in April.
Wildcat, whose platform as Miss Cherokee is environmental preservation, was nominated by Associate Professor of Geography Dr. Christine Hallman. Her nomination was then reviewed by a Hall of Fame Selection Committee, which recommended Wildcat’s selection to NSU President Dr. Steve Turner.
“The nomination was humbling,” Wildcat said. “To be selected to NSU’s Hall of Fame, I never would have expected that. When I went into NSU, I got to know more of my community and I got to know more about my identity, and that really pushed me. My experiences at NSU led me to mentors and advisers and friends to depend on. I learned that we can’t do it all on our own.”
Wildcat double-majored in geography and psychology at Northeastern State and is now enrolled in a master’s degree program at NSU, which she’ll begin in the fall. She plans to work in higher education and hopes to one day obtain a doctorate.
As Miss Cherokee, Wildcat has traveled to Washington, D.C., to represent the Cherokee Nation during Cherokee Days at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and has acted as an ambassador for the tribe at community meetings, at-large gatherings and during legislative events.
She has also been involved in the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, where she served as vice president and secretary. She was a member of Alpha Pi Omega sorority and is a RiverHawks Initiating Service and Engagement scholar, a former Miss Native American Student Association and a former Cherokee Nation Tribal Youth councilor.
Wildcat will travel to Denver for the United National Indian Tribal Youth Conference in July.
“I’ve watched Sky grow as a person and she always had these great qualities, but those qualities blossomed over the time I’ve known her,” Dr. Hallman said. “She’s definitely a leader and she’s strong. She has shared in class that we have unity through diversity and that we can all come together, whatever the cause, to find common ground. She has a way of pulling people together and she has these incredibly insightful moments. Her journey is incredible. She’s taught me a lot of things – like a role reversal.”
Dr. Hallman said Wildcat is dedicated to environmental issues, especially water and how it relates to the Cherokee Nation. Wildcat has advocated for land preservation, recycling, and awareness of environmental footprints both in her college studies and as Miss Cherokee.
Wildcat’s photo will be included among other NSU Hall of Fame inductees inside the University Center on the Tahlequah campus.
She was also honored this year as an NSU outstanding senior and graduated Summa Cum Laude.
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