Lori St. Pierre of Havre, a graduate of Montana State University’s online addiction counseling graduate certificate program, was one of two people in the United States honored with the Outstanding Continuing Education Student Award by the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA).
St. Pierre and a Kansas State University student received the award from UPCEA, a professional, continuing and online education organization, at its national conference on April 7. Last fall, St. Pierre was named Outstanding Continuing Education Student in the western region.
Born in 1960 and raised on Rocky Boy Reservation, St. Pierre studied at Stone Child College in Box Elder, then completed a bachelor’s degree in community leadership with a minor in Native American studies from MSU Northern in fall 2013 and an addiction counseling graduate certificate from MSU in Bozeman in spring 2014.
Health issues, disability and myriad family commitments hampered her from pursuing her education on many occasions. But, according to the faculty and staff who have worked alongside her, St. Pierre’s commitment to education, in spite of the challenges, provides inspiration for others who wish to achieve their goals.
In her acceptance speech for the western region award, St. Pierre emphasized that the award was not about personal recognition but rather about the benefit it would bring to the entire community on the Rocky Boy Reservation in rural Montana. She also credited instructors at Stone Child College and MSU Northern for going above and beyond their jobs to support her educational journey.
St. Pierre completed her MSU graduate certificate with a 4.0 grade point average.
“My cultural upbringing and beliefs indicate that one shouldn’t be recognized for individual achievements unless it will benefit the whole tribe, which I believe this award will do,” St. Pierre wrote. “I hope this recognition will be a model to others in that having patience, perseverance, faith in yourself and support from others will help make your dreams come true. This award means, to me, that people of any age can reach for and attain their dreams and goals in spite of obstacles that may come one's way.”
Contact: Sarah Hendrikx, MSU Extended University, (406) 994-6683 or firstname.lastname@example.org