Samuels Named UI Native American Student Center Director

Friday, October 18 2013

MOSCOW, Idaho – Already a member of the Vandal family, alumna Sydel Samuels will be joining the University of Idaho in a new capacity. She was recently named the director of the University of Idaho Native American Student Center from a pool of highly qualified candidates.

“I am very excited that Sydel Samuels is joining — rejoining — our Vandal family and Division of Diversity and Human Rights,” said Carmen Suarez, UI’s chief diversity officer. “She brings years of experience, leadership and deep demonstrated commitment to the access, inclusion and advancement of Native American students in higher education.“

Samuels is an enrolled member of the Nez Perce Tribe and a descendant of the Cayuse and Walla Walla tribes in Oregon. She is the third person in her immediate family to graduate from the University of Idaho.

Samuels has worked with tribes and reservation communities for the past 13 years. Suarez said that her knowledge and familiarity with Northwest tribes, tribal infrastructure, and her experience with recruitment and retention of pre-secondary education students will help ensure University of Idaho Native American students find success and have a strong presence within the UI community.

“Her leadership of the Native American Student Center will further grow the University of Idaho’s legacy of leading as a multicultural organization in which every member learns from and grows with,” Suarez said.

Samuels also has an extensive work history in successful grant attainment and implementation, particularly with the Department of Education and the Department of Justice.

Samuels’s appointment will begin Oct. 21, 2013.
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About the U of I Native American Student Center

The Native American Student Center (NASC) at the University of Idaho empowers Native American students by meeting their academic, social and cultural needs as they navigate the college experience. The NASC serves as a supportive foundation for students to help ease the transition from home to campus life. The NASC fosters community and growth among Native American students through mentoring, uncovering leadership qualities and inspiring cultural values that are vital to our Native identity. The NASC delivers educational and cultural programming for all members of the university community in order to build more depth and breadth of knowledge regarding the history and current day dimensions of native peoples’ cultural values and contributions. For more information, call (208) 885-4237 or email, or visit

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho inspires students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Through the university’s $225 million Inspiring Futures capital campaign, private giving will enhance student learning, faculty research and innovation, and a spirit of enterprise. Learn more: