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Letter to the editor: Get to know the Interim Assistant Director of the OIEL

Many of you may not know me and for those of you who have met me, you may not know much about me or what I do here on campus. 

My documented name is Stephanie Snow, but my traditional clan name is Aditea (pronounced Ahh-shee-deh) of the Swan Clan of the Meskwaki people, who reside on the only Native American Settlement in this country. My background is multi-tribal, multicultural, multiracial and multilingual. I am an enrolled tribal member of the HoChunk Nation. I am Meskwaki and was raised with the language and customs of the Meskwaki. I am also Lakota. My great-grandfather was HoChunk, Omaha and Black (when the term “African American” didn’t exist, but the powerful interaction of cultural and spiritual identities grew between the two groups). My father’s grandmother was Dutch. French heritage exists on both sides of my family. I also have family in Mexico. I speak Meskwaki, Spanish, English and French—my first language being Meskwaki. 

As an embodiment of diversity in human, walking, talking form, I have been aware of differences and similarities from an early age, as I was practically ostracized from most communities for the way I look.

After graduation from Grinnell College in 2003 with a degree in anthropology, I have worked in the areas of career development, academic advising, diversity, tribal cultural resources and language preservation, resource coordination and provided interpretation services as well. In one position, I was able to assist individuals from over 100 countries. I have been a member of a multicultural dance troupe out of Des Moines and a major Native American Dance troupe out of Minneapolis for several years. I sing. I dance. I educate. I am not only a model for my two children, but I am someone my people look to as an educated Native woman with traditional cultural values.

Here at Grinnell, my beloved alma mater, I am the Interim Assistant Director for the Office of Intercultural Engagement and Leadership—an office that serves everyone. Some of the things that we have done, still do and will continue to build on as we move forward are listed below (this list is not in any particular order, nor should it be considered a complete list):

• Provide support to student organizations in the MLC

• PCPOP team building, mentor training, Scavenger Hunt and other activities

• Wellness Boosters 2-3X/semester

• Grill Hours Weekly

• OIEL Open House

• Jesus Negrete concert/presentation related to Latin Heritage Month

• Weekly Cultural Dance Hour: Aztec Dance, East Indian, Mexican Folklorico, African-Indian, Latin

• Sponsor Student Organizations’ cultural events and activities

• Native American Dance troupe performance

• Alumni Speaker Tarell Rodgers Presentation, small group sessions, luncheon and TEDX talk as part of Black Heritage Month

• Socials with varying themes such as Gamers Night

• “Rock Your Moccs” in solidarity with Native Americans national social media event

• Potlucks

• Staff Talent Show

• Partner with other offices to provide programming  such as 1st Gen Community, Alumni, Cross Connections, Real Talk, ISA, Athletics

–Stephanie Snow

Interim Assistant Director for the Office of Intercultural Engagement and Leadership

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