Students, professor present at National Indian Education conference


DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University students Michael Noah and Baleigh Hudman joined Dr. Shannon McCraw, associate professor of communication, in presenting a workshop at the 44th annual National Indian Education Association Conference.

The conference was held Oct. 30-Nov. 2 at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City, South Dakota.

The workshop was entitled “Preparing Highly Competent Native American Communicators: The Cooperative Argumentation Project.” It explored ways of introducing the study of argument through narratives or telling stories.

McCraw said, “It is exciting to work with students as talented as Michael and Baleigh. Both of these students exhibit the best qualities of highly engaged students at Southeastern.”

Noah is a sophomore communication major from Battiest, and Hudman is a freshman from Howe, Texas, who is undecided on a major.

“Learning how to build arguments is an important life skill,” said Hudman. “Too many people view argument as negative, though. Stories can lead to productive dialogue. This can lead to better understanding and better decision-making.”

Noah said, “It was truly gratifying to hear other Native Americans across Indian Country, especially elders, tell us we did a wonderful job on our speeches. I was proud of what we accomplished.”

Both students are members of The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, active with the Native American Student Association, and members of the President’s Leadership Class.

Presenting to 70 people from across the United States, Noah and Hudman introduced the audience to narrative structure and explained how to build a story as a form of argument.

“Michael did an exceptional job introducing the audience to the idea of argument as a story,” McCraw said.

McCraw partners with the Native American Center for Student Success on a public speaking initiative designed to build critical thinking and presentation skills.

Students from the program will present speeches at 3 p.m. Nov. 21 in the Glen D. Johnson Student Union auditorium as part of Native November activities at Southeastern.

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