While attending a student debate in June 2006, Lacey Logsdon listened as political science major Adam Recvlohe, a Yuchi and Mvskoke who heads the indigenous student group 500 Nations, discussed the need for a course of study at the University of Florida centered on the history and culture of American Indians.
As a Student Government senator of Creek heritage, Logsdon decided it was time to take action.
She researched other universities with Native American minors, finding some even offered majors in the subject. She then met with faculty members in English, political science, anthropology, history, religion and music to garner support.
Her vision is now a reality.
In April 2007, the American Indian and Indigenous Studies minor got final approval from the University Curriculum Committee and officially became a part of UF’s academic programs.
‘It was a long road,” Logsdon said,’but with a rewarding result.”
Housed in the department of anthropology, the minor is a compilation of courses already offered at the university and is expected to serve as a focal point for indigenous students, providing them with a sense of identity and community on campus, while also educating the general student body about American Indian history and culture.
The new minor joins several other undergraduate courses of study in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences dedicated to exploring the perspectives of groups often marginalized in American society, including African American Studies, Asian Studies, Jewish Studies, and Women’s Studies and Gender Research.
‘I hope the program will foster a new respect for Native American culture in UF students,” Logsdon said.
Her partner on the project, Recvlohe, agrees.
‘This is a great starting point for the university, particularly students, to appreciate a greater diversity of all racial groups on campus.”
Her experience with the new minor led Logsdon to seek a student seat on the UF Curriculum Committee. She has also been elected as a Student Government Senator since 2005 and serves as vice president of external affairs for volunteers for International Student Affairs,, director of fundraising for Delta Gamma Sorority, executive at large of the Board of College Councils, and is a member of the Greek Judicial Board.
Logsdon is slated to graduate from UF in May 2008 and is applying to law school. She hopes to live in Washington, D.C., and pursue a career in international law.
- Photo credit: Ray Carson — University Photography