College Horizons is thrilled to welcome Mikaela Crank Thinn to our team this month! A veteran CH faculty member and site coordinator, Mikaela is a citizen of the Navajo Nation. Originally from Dennehotso, Arizona, she is of the Towering House and Folded Arms clans and her grandfather's clans are Salt and Red House. Mikaela is also a 2002 College Horizons and 2007 Graduate Horizons alumna who has received her B.A. in Communication with a minor in American Indian Studies from Arizona State University as well as an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In her previous position, Mikaela worked at Stanford University's Office of Undergraduate Admission and specialized in undergraduate admissions, college access, Native outreach, advocacy and student support.
"Mikaela is ideal for this position – from her upbringing in a rural Native context, to her excellence in work and education, as well as being a College Horizons and Graduate Horizons alumna, all means that she understands exactly where many of our students are coming from and where they can go," reflected Carmen Lopez, Executive Director of College Horizons. "As one who has navigated this path and has devoted her career to understanding and supporting the needs of Native students in both secondary and higher education, we couldn't be more excited to have her in the lead with this new initiative."
In her new role with College Horizons, Mikaela will direct and oversee all aspects of the inaugural College Horizons Scholars Program, our new 3-week summer bridge program for graduated high school seniors as they make their transition into the first year of college. She will work to see that students of the Scholars Program receive a culturally relevant and rigorous writing program that bolsters student skills in three key areas – writing, reading and discussion typical of a college environment. As part of this program, Mikaela will also develop and implement ongoing college advising for our students and conduct program evaluation while leveraging the expertise of the College Horizons network to help ensure a strong vision for the program. This work also furthers College Horizons' overall goal to ensure that our students are not only admitted but succeed in college and beyond.
"This role brings me full circle and I am honored to have this opportunity to work for an incredible organization. College Horizons changed my trajectory and now I am able to provide that experience for other Native students who are starting their college journeys. The Scholars Program is an innovative and empowering way to support our Native students in the undergraduate-to-graduate degree pipeline," offered Director of Scholars Program, Mikaela Crank Thinn.