Commencement
Commencement
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Keynote Speakers

Commencement Speakers

Dr. Steven Bourquin

Dr. Steven BourquinDr. Steven Bourquin is chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Dr. Bourquin is the recipient of the 2016 UNC Board of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence. The award is presented annually to a faculty member at each of the UNC system’s 17 universities.

He has more than 25 years of teaching experience in higher education. He joined the Brave faculty in 2003 and has served as department chair since 2007. 

A native of Louisville, Ohio, Bourquin excelled in sports as a youth. A standout on the football team at Louisville High School, Bourquin was selected as a second team all-Ohio defensive back. 

He attended Edinboro University of Pennsylvania on a football scholarship. After two seasons, he transferred to Ohio University to pursue a degree in Engineering. Bourquin earned a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Ohio University. He also obtained a master’s degree in Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Administration in Higher Education, both, from Ohio University.

He worked as an assistant professor in the Math Department for five years and was named Teacher of the Year in 1997 and 2003. That same year, he accepted a faculty position at UNC Pembroke.

He received the UNCP Outstanding Teaching Award in 2006 and again in 2011. He is a former interim dean of the Esther G. Maynor Honors College. He served on the Athletic Advisory Committee which helped revitalize the football program at UNC Pembroke.

Bourquin’s teaching philosophy aims at awakening what he believes is a natural desire for the “mathematical perspective” in all students.  This philosophy is demonstrated in a natural ability to stimulate interest in math especially statistics in the classroom. 

His successes, therefore, are heightened by the fact that a large majority of his students are among the first in their families to attend college. 

All of the concepts taught in his courses center on the idea that “mathematics is a participation sport.” Therefore, Dr. Bourquin encourages generous interaction and discussion among students, and he uses the entire class when teaching. 

Dr. Bryan Brayboy

Dr. Bryan McKinley Jones BrayboyDr. Bryan McKinley Jones Brayboy serves as the President’s Professor and Borderlands Professor of Indigenous Education and Justice in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University. 

At ASU, he is senior advisor to the President for American Indian Affairs, director of the Center for Indian Education, associate director of the School of Social Transformation, and co-editor of the Journal of American Indian Education.  From 2007 to 2012, he was Visiting President’s Professor of Indigenous Education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  

Dr. Brayboy is an affiliate faculty in American Indian Studies, English, Learning Sciences Institute, and Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at ASU. 

He is the author and editor of eight volumes, dozens of articles and book chapters, and has written multiple policy briefs for the U.S. Department of Education, National Science Foundation, and the National Academy of Sciences.  

His research focuses on the role of race and diversity in higher education, and the experiences of Indigenous students, staff, and faculty in institutions of higher education.   

He is a nationally and internationally recognized academic and speaker on the topic of Indigenous education, having been a visiting and noted scholar in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Norway.   

His work has been supported by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, the Ford, Mellon, Kellogg, and Spencer Foundations, and several other private and public foundations and organizations.  He and his team have, over the past 15 years, prepared over 150 Native teachers to work in American Indian communities. 

Brayboy joined the ASU faculty in 2007. Prior to that, he taught for several years at the University of Utah. He also served as the principal investigator of the University of Utah American Indian Teacher Training Program. He also was the executive director for the Center for the Study of Race and Diversity in Higher Education at the University of Utah. 

Dr. Brayboy earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He holds a master’s degree in Intercultural Communication from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in Secondary Social Studies from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. 

Brayboy completed his Ph.D., with highest distinction, from the University of Pennsylvania. He currently serves on the Editorial Board for the American Educational Research Journal. He is a founding member of, both, the Center for Native American Studies and the Association of Native Alumni at the University of Pennsylvania.  

He has received numerous academic awards and honors from various universities and institutions and served on numerous committees at ASU, UNC Chapel Hill, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University and UCLA. 

A North Carolina native and enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe, Brayboy’s families are from the Prospect and Pembroke communities. He is the son of Dr. Bobby Brayboy of Lumberton and the late Dr. Mary E. Jones Brayboy, both UNC Pembroke alumni.