Staff

 

Pamela E. Iron : Executive Director American Indian Resource Center, Inc. and the Institute for Native Justice

Pamela E. Iron

Executive Director American Indian Resource Center, Inc. and the Institute for Native Justice

Pamela Iron, Cherokee, Laguna Pueblo, has forty (40) years of experience working in Indian country developing programs and assisting communities in discovering their needs and facilitating problem solving through guided community planning. She has served as Executive Director for two non-profits, one urban and one rural and was the Health Director and the Chief of Staff for the former Cherokee Chief Wilma Mankiller. During her tenure with these organizations she was able to develop cultural competency programs and co-author a book on cultural competency.

Pamela has served on local, regional and national boards and committees. She was appointed by the Attorney General of the United States to sit on the National Advisory Committee on Violence against Women, 2006. Other committees and boards include the National Indian Women’s Health Steering Committee for the Indian Health Service Director, and a founding board member of the National Indian Youth Leadership Project and the American Indian Theatre Company of Tulsa. She served as the Vice-President of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority when it was founded to assume Medicaid.

Audra Conner : Director of Educational Talent Search

Audra Conner

Director of Educational Talent Search

Audra Conner is originally from Spavinaw, Oklahoma. She is 1/2 Cherokee and is a graduate of Ketchum High School where she was active in basketball, track, and cheerleading. She was a class officer and held officer's position in student council. She served as a Senate Page for the Oklahoma State Senate, was the first Girls’ State participant from Ketchum High, received the Masonic Award at graduation, and was selected Miss KHS her senior year by her teachers and peers.

Audra attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah where she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications. During her college years she represented Cherokee Nation as Miss Cherokee 1988-89. In the spring of 1989 she represented Oklahoma as Cherry Blossom Princess at the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. She was also named First Runner-Up for Miss Indian Oklahoma in 1989. In May 2000 she received a Master of Science Degree with emphasis in College Teaching from NSU. She served as District 1 Cherokee Nation Tribal Council Representative from 2003-2007, and currently serves on the school board for Peggs School.

Audra lives in the Peggs community, with husband D.J. Conner and children, Trey, Lynsey, and Macey. She enjoys spending time with her family, attending her kids’ sporting events, coaching youth basketball, fishing with her husband, and playing bingo. She has been a counselor for Talent Search for 23 years and has been the program director for 11 years. She enjoys working with students, opening their eyes to opportunities, and providing encouragement and motivation.

Marcella Morton : Guidance Specialist

Marcella Morton

Guidance Specialist

Marcella Morton retired from the Westville Public School system after a total of 28 years. She spent those years teaching various subjects in grades four through eight. She served as chairperson of the Social Studies Department for 10 of her 28 years, 12 years as Student Council sponsor, four years as the GEAR UP Director and was a two-time recipient of Westville’s Teacher of the Year award.

Marcella, who grew up as low-income, first generation, minority, from a one parent household, says, "I have much in common with the students I interact with. As a person who has always loved kids, my background allows me to share personal experience and knowledge to encourage students to work hard, set goals, and achieve to their fullest potential."

After losing a dear friend to breast cancer, Ms. Morton committed to a complete lifestyle change that included running, yoga, strength training and joining Weight Watchers. Setting personal goals and working hard to achieve them became a driving force in her life and she shares those experiences with her students. She has found that her story motivates and encourages many students to work harder to achieve, both in the classroom and in their personal lives. In turn, the motivation of her students led her to move from being an overweight runner to qualifying for and running in the Boston Marathon in 2003.

Marcella lives in Westville with her husband Leon, has two daughters, Shawna and Desi, and one grandson, Brodie

Becky Scott : Guidance Specialist

Becky Scott

Guidance Specialist

Becky Scott graduated from Northeastern State University with her Master’s degree in College Teaching with an emphasis in Student Services, and her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology.  An Associate’s degree was earned in radio broadcasting from Rogers State College.  She attended Hulbert High School.

Becky is owner of Safety Fire Extinguishers in Muskogee, where she currently resides.  Becky has taught college classes at Bacone College, where she also worked in academic support to coordinate tutoring, monitor attendance, probation, worked in the library, admissions, and was director of health science recruiting and admissions.  She also worked for four years at NSU in financial aid.   At the Cherokee Nation, Becky worked in several departments, including higher education as their higher education specialist, youth fair chance, tribal interns, summer youth employment, LIHEAP, and welfare to work.  She also worked with individuals with developmental disabilities as a program coordinator with Independent Opportunities.

She is married to Scott Bynum and they live with their two rescue dogs, Bailey and Griffin Bynum.  As a first generation college student, she is excited to work with students to realize their dream of continuing their education past high school.

Georgia Dick : Four Directions Director

Georgia Dick

Four Directions Director

Georgia Dick, Cherokee Nation citizen, earned her Bachelors of Art in Political Science from Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma. She has nearly 27 years’ experience in Grant Writing and has spent the last 23 administering federal programs including grant compliance. Her experience includes several federally funded programs achieving national recognition while working in the school setting administrating programs for American Indians. Georgia has been instrumental in closing out Audit findings to the agencies satisfaction while working for the United Keetoowah Band of Indians in Oklahoma

Wyman Kirk : Cultural Specialist

Wyman Kirk

Cultural Specialist

Wyman Kirk, Cherokee Nation citizen, received his Bachelors of Art in English from Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma and then his Masters of Art in Cultural Anthropology from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.  Wyman has worked for the Cherokee Nation as a research scientist under the title of “Coordinator of Strategic Intelligence” and has spent the last ten years working the Cherokee Language Program at Northeastern State University teaching Cherokee language and culture while also serving as the program’s accreditation and content supervisor.  He is currently under contract for the Cherokee Nation developing a set of standards based lessons for an online curriculum to be made available to public schools both locally and nationally.

Gwen Shunatona : NETSTAR Program Director

Gwen Shunatona

NETSTAR Program Director

MS Educational Administration/American Indian Studies
Enrolled Prairie Band Potawatomi
Pawnee and Otoe-Missouria descendent

“Taking care of each other” is what Gwen sees is the defining essence of a tribe. With a Masters degree in Educational Administration from the University of Minnesota and long experience in education and training with ORBIS Associates and other organizations, Gwen puts hope in change through knowledge gain.

As a tribal person, “taking care of each other” has been the basis for Gwen’s career choices as a teacher in public and BIA schools; as a higher education administrator for the Indian program at Stanford University and as an educational planner at the Institute of American Indian Arts (a national tribal college); and, as a manager for the USDE Office of Indian Education (from K-12 programs to higher education programs and fellowships as well as adult education programs) and for the Administration for Native Americans (SEDS Program Specialist and Director of Research, Demonstration and Evaluation). Developing the Professional Development Plan for the Pawnee Nation, conducting planning and coordinating grant writing for the Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Oklahoma, volunteering as a Trustee on the Board of the Pawnee Nation College, serving as the Interim President of the Pawnee Nation College, and directing the NETSTAR teacher training project for the American Indian Resource Center in Tahlequah, OK have most recently kept Gwen focused on taking care of others.  Community engagement and participation in tribal ceremonies, dancing at tribal events and powwows, and studying tribal languages also keep Gwen focused on taking care of her “self.”

Pam Moore : Institute for Native Justice Consultant

Pam Moore

Institute for Native Justice Consultant

Pam Moore served more than 10 years as the founding Executive Director of Help In Crisis, Inc. She has devoted her career to assisting victims of crime in the rural and tribal community of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, which is the capital of the Cherokee Nation.

Ms. Moore has 32 years' experience with program planning and proposal writing, nonprofit administration, community organizing, and special events fundraising. She served on the Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, where she worked on the first protective order legislation. The Coalition awarded her their highest honor, ''The Everywoman Award,'' in 2002, and in 2007, she was again honored with the ''Bright and Shining Star'' award for ''going above and beyond'' for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

In 1995, Ms. Moore was selected to establish the Victim Services Unit for the four-county prosecutorial District 27of northeastern Oklahoma. During her 8 years in this position, she was responsible for the creation of the Homicide Response Team and implemented the Crime Victims Clinic for responding to multiple victimization incidents. Ms. Moore also consulted for the Oklahoma Regional Community Policing Institute to offer training on domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking crimes to law enforcement and advocate personnel throughout the state.

She provided consultation and training for Unified Solutions, which is the training and technical assistance provider for OVC's Tribal Victim Assistance program. In addition to her B.A. degree, Ms. Moore is certified as a domestic violence professional in Oklahoma and is a FLETC (Federal Law Enforcement Training Center) certified trainer in domestic violence and sexual assault response for law enforcement and advocates.

Heather Hale : Publications/Web Director

Heather Hale

Publications/Web Director

Heather has worked for AIRC for over 25 years and earned her bachelor's degree in graphic arts with an emphasis in web design. Our “go to” IT person, Heather brings a wealth of knowledge and skill in computer technology to the staff.