Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute Students Visit HU

Photo of student and professor in geology lab

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute student Letisha Mailboy, left, of the Diné Nation, participates in the environmental geology laboratory run by Highlands geology professor Jennifer Lindline, right, March 26. Photo: Margaret McKinney/University Relations

Las Vegas, N.M. – Students from the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) got a taste of being Highlands University students March 26 during a visit coordinated by the Highlands Office of Recruitment and Undergraduate Admissions.

The Indigenous students were welcomed by recruitment and other staff, took a campus tour, met with natural resources management faculty, and more.

“Highlands takes great pride in historically serving Native American students from approximately 19 tribes from within New Mexico,” said Jane Clark, campus visits specialist at Highlands. “We centered the visit around providing the Southwestern Polytechnic Institute students with insight into campus life, different academic disciplines, and the services we provide Native American students here at Highlands.”

Highlands University has a Native American Center, a Community Center for Indigeneity, and a Native American Club for students.

According to SIPI, in 1960 the All Indian Pueblo Council envisioned a school that would serve the Native American community and in 1971, SIPI opened as a two-year community college serving Indigenous students from across the country.

During the visit to Highlands, SIPI students participated in Highlands geology professor Jennifer Lindline’s environmental geology laboratory.

“The geology lab with Dr. Lindline about earthquakes was the most interesting part of my day at Highlands,” said Carla Gachupin of Jemez Pueblo. “I enjoyed the hands-on learning.”

“We hope the day’s activities will inspire these Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute students to join our Highlands family in the coming fall semester,” Clark said. “We want potential transfer students like these from SIPI to know how convenient it is to transfer to Highlands.”

To transfer to Highlands, contact New Mexico Highlands University transfer admissions specialist Kristen Olds at 505-224-3192 or

For more information about Highlands’ various initiatives for Native American students, including scholarships, visit