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Q&A with Cassandra Cline

Q&A with OU Admissions Counselor & Coordinator of Native American Student Recruitment Cassandra Cline


Cassandra Cline, the OU Admissions Counselor & Coordinator of Native American Student Recruitment, came to OU as a transfer student after attending two colleges. As a first-generation student, Cline wasn’t sure of how to take advantage of all the resources offered, but now as an admissions counselor, she helps students find their path at OU, collaborates and works closely with many indigenous tribes, and is the person she wishes she had during her undergrad and grad school experience.

What do you think sets OU apart from other universities?
The University of Oklahoma is one of the most responsive to our Native student body. It is reflected in the Native Nations Center, and the resources that have been made available to our native students. Our efforts are year-round. When walking on campus, our presence is everywhere, whether it be in the art on the wall, the bronze statues, or our large native student body. We are very present on campus in our clubs and organizations. You will find native educators across the board, not only in our Native American Studies Department, but in education, engineering, and business classes as well, just to name a few.

What are your favorite resources on campus for students?
Some of my favorite resources on campus are the academic resources. The Writing Center, which you can even schedule virtual appointments. Action Tutoring is great for all students! Then, of course, American Indian Programs and Services, please utilize this resource. It is a way to help connect with student organizations that you should really consider being a part of.

What is your favorite event that is hosted for indigenous students and why?
My favorite event has to be Indigenous Preview Day. I attended as a high school student. Now as a staff member, I have the honor of creating a day for Native American high school seniors to get to experience OU with other Native students. It is a day to show all the resources, connections, and the family we have here at OU.

How does the Native OU family help build community among students?
: Something as simple as a homecooked meal can bring people together. Every Monday night, Native alum, faculty, and staff all work together to help serve Native students a homecooked meal. It is a great time to come together and meet other Native students, faculty, and staff and stay connected. Even for staff, many of us are away from our tribal communities, and taking care of the students in a family setting is closely related to how we have spent time without our families.

How can indigenous students celebrate their heritage while on campus?
Even if you do not have a complete connection to your own heritage, you are given so many on-campus opportunities to connect with others and learn as well. There is a large tribal community that comes together for events that are significant to Indian Country. They embrace the student body here at OU with a shared cultural exchange such as the Kiowa Gourd Dance, stomp dance, stickball, language bowl, and our Annual Spring Pow Wow, which is the oldest standing college powwow.

What is your favorite place on campus?
My favorite place on campus is the breezeway between Ellison Hall and the library. When I was a student here, Native American Studies was in Ellison Hall, so I spent a lot of time in this breezeway. It is a great place to do homework, relax, and meet up with friends.

Interested in the Department of Native American Studies?