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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA grad becomes a member of National Council on the Humanities


Photo Courtesy of Shelly Lowe.

President Barack Obama has appointed two-time UA graduate and doctoral candidate Shelly Lowe to the National Council on the Humanities, which advises the chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Founded in 1965, NEH is an independent federal agency that is considered one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the U.S.

Lowe is currently the executive director of the Harvard University Native American Program. Lowe explained that she missed a phone call and received a voicemail to her office phone from a woman at the White House.

The voicemail explained the woman was trying to get in touch with Lowe to discuss a position that Obama wanted to extend to her.

“My first thought was that this was a scam,” Lowe said. “I searched the phone number on Google to see if it was real.”

Upon realizing the reality of her new position, Lowe said that she was very excited for this opportunity. Lowe is looking forward to her position and said the UA did a very good job preparing her for it.

Lowe completed her bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in American Indian studies at the UA in 1997. She returned for her master’s degree in American Indian studies and graduated in 2005.

Because of her academic achievements in high school, Lowe was awarded the Flinn Scholarship to the UA.

Flinn scholars are assigned a faculty member as a mentor who remains with them throughout their college career. Lowe described this experience as something that helped improve her leadership skills and her ability to understand how to achieve goals and help fix the issues of the state.

Two others, Francine Berman and Patricia Limerick, were also appointed to the council.

Berman is a Hamilton distinguished professor in computer science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Limerick is the faculty director and chair of the board of the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado, according to a press release by the NEH.

In a press release, chairman of the NEH William Adams said that the newly appointed women will be able to better the world of humanities.

“Francine Berman, Patricia Limerick and Shelly Lowe are distinguished, prominent leaders in their respective fields of study and I look forward to their insights and contributions,” Adams said. “Their expertise will help NEH strengthen and promote excellence in the humanities for all Americans.”

Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences John Paul Jones III, said that although Lowe graduated before he became dean, it is clear that she had an accomplished career. She is currently pursuing her doctorate at the UA in Higher Education.

“This honor reflects well on the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, as well as the UA, to be sure,” Jones said. “But it mostly reflects the intelligence, hard work, and dedication of Shelly herself.”

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