Miss Native American NMSU values culture, leadership

LaToya Johnson, a freshman from Crownpoint, N.M., who is majoring in both kinesiology and athletic training, won the Miss Native American New Mexico State University competition in April.

Johnson impressed the judges in part due to her demonstration of cultural competency. During the competition Johnson discussed the different elements of the traditional Navajo cradle board, sang a lullaby in Navajo and recited a poem in Navajo.

After completing her undergraduate coursework she plans to attend graduate school to become a physical therapist. Johnson said she wants to set a good academic and cultural example for other students and credits her parents and traditional upbringing with giving her the inspiration to take on the challenge.

“I’m so appreciative and thankful for my parents and family support,” Johnson said. “Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish anything.”

She will help support the events, recruitment and outreach efforts of the Native American student organizations at NMSU and its American Indian Program.

Written by Melisa P. Danho, University Communications

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