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Diana Canku, Tribal College President Earns Doctorate Degree

April 14, 2010

Canku4658.jpgDenver, Colorado – April 14, 2010.— Diana Canku (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate), president of Sisseton Wahpeton College and a 2009-10 academic year fellow in the American Indian College Fund’s Andrew W. Mellon Career Enhancement Program, has successfully defended her dissertation and completed her doctorate degree.

Under the program, fellows receive a $30,000 sabbatical fellowship with additional funding for research-related travel, with the purpose of increasing the intellectual capital, job satisfaction and retention among faculty at the 33 accredited tribal colleges and universities. The fellowship allows for release time from fellows’ usual duties to complete their dissertation for the doctorate. The program, which has been in existence since 2004, has funded 18 tribal college faculty Ph.D. candidates to date. Including Dr. Canku’s achievement, 15 have completed their degrees.


Prior to becoming president of Sisseton Wahpeton College, Dr. Canku served as the college’s chief administrative officer and vocational education program director. She earned a bachelor’s degree in management from the University of Minnesota, a master’s degree in organizational management from the University of Phoenix, and was earning her Ph.D. in organization and management from Capella University. Dr. Canku serves on the board of the North Dakota Association of Tribal Colleges, QEM, and the American Indian Higher Education Consortium. Her dissertation is titled “The Impact of Earning a Degree at Sisseton Wahpeton College.”

Richard B. Williams, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said, “All of us at the American Indian College Fund would like to congratulate Dr. Canku on her achievement. She has worked hard, and her dedication to her education serves as an example to the students at her institution, her community, and all of Indian Country that American Indians can and do achieve at the highest level. As American Indian educators earn their terminal degrees, they are increasing the intellectual capacity across Indian Country and in our nation’s tribal colleges.”