Noah Collins of Verdigris, Oklahoma, a University of Oklahoma student majoring in anthropology, is the recipient of the 2019 Carl Albert Award, presented each year to the outstanding senior in the OU College of Arts and Sciences.
He will graduate summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and a master’s degree in medical anthropology during OU’s Commencement ceremonies on May 10. Collins is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and White Mountain Apache Tribe. He has been awarded a Fulbright research fellowship to New Zealand, which he plans to pursue before obtaining his doctorate in biological anthropology. Collins ultimately plans to become an elected leader of his tribe, where he aspires to increase the quality of life, provide new opportunities and bridge gaps between nations.
During his college career, Collins has received numerous scholarships, honors and awards, including selection to the OU Pe-Et Society and being named the Joe C. and Carole Kerr McClendon Honors College Outstanding Senior, a Fulbright Fellowship Semifinalist, Mr. Native OU (2017-18) and an OU McNair Scholar.
His research focuses on the native health disparities and the bioethics of conducting genomics research in indigenous communities. Since 2015, he had been a research assistant at the OU Center for Applied Social Research and Center for the Ethics of Indigenous Genomics Research. He also spent the summer of 2018 working at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and the Center for Disease Control Artic Investigations Program.
Collins volunteers his time and talents to various community organizations. He is the chapter co-founder of the Society for Chicanos and Native Americans in Science and serves as the National Board secretary for the Sigma Nu Alpha Gamma Native Fraternity. He has also served in several leadership roles with the American Indian Student Association and works in the OU Office of Admissions and Recruitment as a Diversity Enrichment Program intern.
The Carl Albert Award, the most prestigious honor given to a student by the OU College of Arts and Sciences, is based on academics, moral force of character and promise of future service to the state and nation. First presented in 1966, the award was established to honor Carl Albert, the late OU alumnus and U.S. Speaker of the House, for his distinguished undergraduate career and national service. Julian Rothbaum, former state regent and longtime friend of Albert, endowed the award in 1965.