Choctaw Nation’s Burrage thrives at Harvard

first_imgThis is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates. Arriving at Harvard from a small city of 15,000 in southern Oklahoma, Truman Burrage experienced a shock of sorts, socially and culturally. Not only was college football not the thing here, but, more significantly, there were few students hailing from rural America with whom to relate.But Burrage, a member of the Choctaw Nation, soon found a home away from home in the Harvard University Native American Program (HUNAP). It was there that he regained his confidence, built a community, and discovered a mission for himself.“Native students have a hard time succeeding at Harvard because of our small numbers,” said Burrage, on a sunny chilly morning at the Kennedy School. “The community we build here provides a support system that is integral to native students’ success.”Without HUNAP, Burrage said, it would be harder for Native American students to find each other. They make up only 2 percent of the student body and they tend to be the only Native Americans in many classrooms, which can often lead to feelings of isolation.While the program offers activities, such as the annual powwow, for students to connect with each other and celebrate their Indigenous cultures, it also provides a physical place where they can meet and study, get to know each other, and support each other. Burrage spent many days studying at its headquarters on Story Street and hanging out with other Native students; and in that supportive environment, he blossomed.The reinforcement he found at HUNAP and the Native Americans at Harvard College (NAHC) is the foundation of his Harvard experience, said Burrage. In his junior year, he became president of NAHC, which was very active despite the fact it was made up of just 15 members. The group created a petition for the University to change the name of Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. In addition, they held weekly meetings to discuss Indigenous issues and plan check-ins on the well being of its members. “Harvard does a good job in knocking you down and bringing you back up. All the challenges help you figure out who you are and where you fit in … because how can you grow and transform if everything is easy?” – Truman Burrage The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. “We strive to better the college experience of all members in a completely selfless manner; there is no leveraging of connections or anything of that nature,” said Burrage, a senior concentrating in economics. “We do some activism, but we’re much more focused on building a community and supporting each other.”As president of NAHC, Burrage spearheaded the planning and organization of the 2017 All Ivy Native Council Summit on Harvard’s campus, which brought more than 100 native and indigenous students to the University from across the Ivy League, said Shelly Lowe, HUNAP executive director. “Truman’s leadership at the time pulled the native students at Harvard together to host the event,” she recalled.Burrage’s membership with the Choctaw Nation is a family affair. His grandfather, Michael Burrage, is general counsel for the Choctaw Nation and was the first Native American appointed to the federal bench.Hailing originally from the Deep South, including Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida, the Choctaws were forced to move to Oklahoma during the notorious Trail of Tears from 1831 to 1833.Many members of the Choctaw Nation have fair complexions and can pass for white. Such is the case with Burrage, who finds it strange that people often ask him how native he is. “Native Americans are one of the few people, if not the only people, who get asked that question,” said Burrage. “The Choctaws don’t have a reservation. And a great percentage of Native Americans live in cities, not in reservations. Our phenotype varies greatly.”Throughout his years at Harvard, Burrage remained loyal to his Oklahoma roots, wearing his cowboy boots and signature jeans almost all of the time. It was an affirmation of his enduring attachment to his hometown, Durant, the headquarters of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.On the eve of his graduation, Burrage finds himself more comfortable in his own skin. There were times during his freshman year when he thought he might have erred in trading the rural Southwest for the Northeast. During his ups and downs, he turned to his mentor, Brendan Kelly, senior preceptor in mathematics, whose support was key to getting through Harvard “relatively unscathed,” in Burrage’s words.For Kelly, Burrage’s ambition and hard work paid off. “Truman took advantages of tutoring and all the different support systems,” he said. “He came into his own and flourished.”Burrage has been admitted to Harvard Law School, but has deferred his entrance until 2021. He plans to work at a consulting group in Boston for the next two years.Of his time at Harvard, Burrage has a candid and sensible view that shows how much he has grown and matured.“Harvard does a good job in knocking you down and bringing you back up,” he said. “All the challenges help you figure out who you are and where you fit in … because how can you grow and transform if everything is easy?”last_img read more

Snowmobile safety tips after man falls through local frozen pond

first_imgAnd make sure to stick to the buddy system and when it comes to trails, stick to the ones with proper signage, saying, “you never know what’s going to be coming up.” “Be familiar with your area that you’re going to be riding in, have the proper equipment and clothing to stay warm,” said Zevotek. If you find an obstacle on a trail, like a fallen tree, or come across a trail that doesn’t have signage, report it to your local club members. President of the Broome County Sno-riders Dennis J. Zevotek has been riding snowmobiles for decades. He recommends keeping the following tips in mind when hitting the trails. When you do decide to take a spin, Zevotek says, “don’t ride over your head that’s the biggest problem I see these days is people get on it and they want to go as fast as they can, there’s no sense in it, enjoy the scenery and be careful.”center_img Clubs in our area include: AFTON (WBNG) — 12 News is taking a look at snowmobile safety after a man in Walton fell through the ice to his death December 6. If you’re a first time rider, he says before you hit the powder, take a snowmobile safety course. BC Sno-ridersRidge Riders Snowmobile ClubTioga Ridge Runnerslast_img read more

Black Cats dismayed by Colback move

first_imgSunderland have been left with a “bitter taste” after midfielder Jack Colback fulfilled a boyhood dream by crossing the Tyne-Wear divide to sign for Newcastle on a free transfer. Press Association The 24-year-old had been with the Wearside club since he was eight and despite head coach Gus Poyet’s desire to retain his services, an initial contract offer was dismissed and further talks ultimately came to nothing. And Colback, who was born on Tyneside and supported the Magpies as a boy, on Monday signed a long-term contract with the St James’ Park club – much to the dismay of the Black Cats. center_img A Sunderland statement on Monday evening read: “Jack is a player we have nurtured and developed through our academy system since he was eight years old. We gave him the opportunity to become a professional footballer and are therefore extremely disappointed in the events that have led to his departure from the club. “This wasn’t about money – the club agreed to all of the terms demanded of us during discussions and we were always led to believe that Jack wanted to stay with us. At his and his representatives’ request, final talks were put on hold until the club secured its top-flight status. To our dismay, however, we were subsequently never given the chance to negotiate with him to stay. “For him to then leave the club that has supported him throughout his formative years in such a manner, with no chance for Sunderland to recover any of the significant investment that it has made in him as a player, has left a bitter taste.” Colback, who won a Capital One Cup runners-up medal with the Black Cats in March, was thrilled with developments, however. “I’m absolutely delighted,” said the player, who scored for Sunderland in their second successive 3-0 victory over Newcastle at St James’ Park in February. “To come to the team I supported as a boy, my home-town team, will be really special for me. “It was an opportunity I couldn’t let slip. If you asked fans around the world the one thing they’d like to do before they die, it would be to play for the team they support and I’ve got the chance to do that. “I’ve only got good things to say about Sunderland. They gave me my chance and I want to thank the fans and the club for all their support. “I hope they can understand the chance I’ve had here to move to my boyhood club. Now I can’t wait to pull on the black and white shirt at St James’ Park for the first time.” Colback becomes Newcastle’s second summer signing following the capture of 20-year-old Tenerife striker Ayoze Perez. last_img read more

Badminton News Saina Nehwal, Sameer Verma to fight at Korea Open; Srikanth withdraws

first_imgSeoul: Saina Nehwal and Sameer Verma will look to put their best foot forward when they lead Indian challenge at the USD 600,000 Korea Open World Tour Super 500 tournament beginning here Tuesday. Saina, who had skipped the Japan Open earlier this month after winning a bronze at 18th Asian Games, will look to get over the disappointment of her first-round exit at China last week when she takes on Korean Kim Hyo Min.Fifth seeded Saina, ranked 10th in the world, has done well in the major events this year, grabbing a second gold at Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and a bronze at the Jakarta Asian Games. But the Indian has been inconsistent in the BWF events.Also read | J&K: Soldier martyred, three militants killed in anti-infiltration operation in KupwaraSaina, who had reached the finals at the USD 350,000 Indonesia Masters in January, was ousted by Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun last week at China and will have a tough task at hand as she is likely to face third seed Japanese Nozomi Okuhara in the quarterfinals.In men’s singles, Sameer Verma will carry the Indian flag after Kidambi Srikanth pulled out after playing back-to-back tournaments in Japan and China in the last two weeks.Sameer has been troubled by injuries but he has done well when he has been fit, winning titles at Swiss Open in February and Hyderabad Open early this month.The 23-year-old Dhar, who had finished runners-up at 2016 Hong Kong Open, will play Denmark’s Anders Antonsen in his opening match.He had beaten the Danish shuttler at India Open in January this year. If the Indian crosses the opening round, he is expected to meet reigning world champion Kento Momota of Japan.Also read | Bigg Boss 12: Shivashish Mishra is not just a businessmanYoung women’s shuttler Vaishnavi Reddy Jakka will also compete in the tournament, taking on formidable sixth seed Beiwen Zhang of USA in the opening round.Among others, Ajay Jayaram will take on China’s Zhao Junpeng in the qualifiers. Young Vaidehi Choudhari and Mugdha Agrey will also compete at the women’s singles qualifying round. For all the Latest Sports News News, Badminton News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more