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Education Briefs | NTU chef earns another award


Navajo Technical University’s Brian Tatsukawa, a chef with the Culinary and Professional Baking Program, on July 25 will be recognized by the American Culinary Federation 2022 awards luncheon in Las Vegas, Nevada.

A certified executive chef and evaluator, Tatsukawa recently received the Cutting-Edge Award from the ACF for his leadership and service.

His commitment to Native American chefs such as Sean Sherman, aka “the Sioux chef,” and Nephi Craig are being noticed.

Within the following year, he hopes to earn a bachelor’s in hotel and restaurant administration and become a certified educator.

Another of his goals is to be inducted into the American Academy of Chefs with colleague Robert Witte.

Tatsukawa and Witte started the ACF’s Four Corners Chapter.

“I have met some amazing chefs from around the world and built friendships that have gone beyond the federation,” Tatsukawa said. “I am hopeful that I can pass along the importance of joining the ACF to our students as it will give them an advantage in the culinary world.”

In 2018, he was also named the ACF’s chef educator of the year for the state of New Mexico.

Diné College receives $100K to study climate change

TSAILE, Ariz. — Diné College received a $100,000 gift from Enertron Company that will allow faculty and students to research climate impacts within the Navajo Nation.

The CSZ Environmental Simulation and Testing Chamber will be used in the School of STEM at the college.

This scientific equipment will open the door to undergraduate and faculty research projects in climate change, agriculture, material testing, and biomedical/veterinary science.

Scott Bender, science faculty, said, “This specialized environmental simulation testing chamber enables faculty and students to simulate all climates seen across the Navajo Nation.”

The chamber allows for duplicating climate conditions, including daily temperature changes, sunlight, monsoon humidity, winter conditions, and even pollution factors such as greenhouse gases.

The research includes documenting changes to culturally important crops due to climate change, effects on medicines and vaccines, the durability of materials under extreme conditions, and developing methods for environmental changes.

Benally earns doctor of optometry degree

Courtesy photo
Shane Benally

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Shane Benally of Albuquerque was among 134 students recently awarded the Doctor of Optometry degree from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis.

Benally graduated cum laude as a member of Beta Sigma Kappa, an honorary scholastic fraternity for students demonstrating exceptional academic achievement.

He also earned the Dr. Robert and Evelyn Henry Outstanding Clinician Award, a top 10 clinic award for students demonstrating outstanding clinical performance, which comes with $1,000.

A native of Albuquerque and the Navajo Nation, Benally is Táb??há, born for Tótsohnii.

He is the son of Eunice and Jack Benally and the grandson of Elizabeth Benally and Stella Ashley. His maternal grandfather is Dibé ?izhiní, and his paternal grandfather is Táchii’nii.

He is a graduate of Albuquerque Academy and the University of New Mexico.

FBI invites high school students to teen academy

ALBUQUERQUE—The Federal Bureau of Investigation invites New Mexico high school students to apply for a hands-on summer FBI program in Albuquerque.

The FBI invites high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors for the 2022-23 school year to apply for their hands-on summer program, the FBI Teen Academy.

The program will allow teen applicants to explore the world of the FBI with presentations including terrorism, cyber security, public corruption, and more.

According to FBI Public Affairs Officer Frank Fisher, “The FBI is constantly trying to recruit potential agents and professional staff from various backgrounds. We believe the FBI is stronger when we look like the communities we serve.”

Information: Samantha Kester,

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