Collette Yellow Robe: From academic probation to Ph.D

Colette is currently a professor of Indigenous Studies at Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.

Dr. Colette Yellow Robe faced several intersecting challenges and barriers as a young Northern Cheyenne student from the Winnebago Reservation in Nebraska. At the midpoint of her undergraduate degree, she became overburdened by past traumas’ emotional and social ramifications. She became pregnant when she started pursuing her teacher education program.

Due to a lack of social and academic support, she ended up on academic probation and took a receptionist job at the local Indian Center. These setbacks did not deter her. She took challenges head-on and navigated difficult life circumstances while parenting as an unwed Nahko (Mother). Motivated by her desire to help foster equal educational access for all groups, she found support in TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) program. They offered her free tutoring, which allowed her to complete coursework and finish her degree.

Meanwhile, the summer she spent with the McNair program helped her establish a solid foundation to pursue a career in research and obtain her Ph.D. Dr. Yellow Robe feels the support from TRIO assisted her with a positive re-negotiation of her role within the institution of higher education. TRIO SSS and McNair provided a solid background for her to take her career to an international scale. She currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Education in Canada.”

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