Cruz Collin
Student, Class of 2027

Extracurricular Activities

Kectil Youth Leadership Program Board Member, Inventor, Designer, Traditional Ceremonial Practitioner, Amateur Archaeologist, Paleontologist, and Geologist

A Little Bit About Me

My diverse family, ethnic and cultural backgrounds have provided me with a unique life experience. I am primarily Lakota and Mayan on my mother's side and primarily mixed European, Native American, North African and Central Asian on my father's side. This has blessed me with many different cultural perspectives and teaching bases from which to draw. My great-grandfather and grandmother have also dedicated their time to train me in our Lakota traditions, sciences, and ceremonies since I was a child. I regularly go into our Lakota world, and then come out of it and go into the Western world. I have also had the opportunity over the past two years to live and attend an IB program in France. This experience has given me a strong ability to work cross-culturally.

Why I Chose Oregon Tech and My Major

I am very impressed with Oregon Tech's commitment to renewable energy education at the undergraduate level, its applied curriculum, as well as its statement acknowledging support for Indigenous students. I chose this major because I believe it is the most constructive way to use my natural talents and knowledge to create a better future.

My Greatest Learning Experience At Oregon Tech

My academic experience over the past two years combined with my traditional Lakota science training has shown me that I have a passion for designing, constructing and deploying sustainable alternative energy solutions. If we are to turn the tide that has stimulated today's environmental climate change challenges, then the best technology and scientific systems that Western and Indigenous sciences have need to be brought forward to ensure a cleaner and more sustainable future for all life.

My Plans After Graduation

I plan to start my own hybrid renewable energy company on my Native reservation of Pine Ridge in South Dakota to help provide high-paying jobs in the clean energy sector.