Forrest Cox: From the Reservation to the Classroom

Marlene Lacasse/Daily
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BY ANNA ROZENBERG
Daily Staff Reporter
Published March 20, 2012

Public Policy junior Forrest Cox is an active member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi tribe, which led him to become the external co-chair of the University’s Native American Student Association.

Cox considers himself a cultural ambassador for NASA, and this year he was a key organizer of the 40th annual Ann Arbor Dance for Mother Earth Powwow held at Pioneer High School on Saturday. Cox also won the MLK Spirit Award — an award given to University students who show excellence and potential relating to leadership and civil rights.

Despite his achievements Cox remains humble and avoids bragging.

“I was totally blown away by who I was standing next to. Everybody there was just like, ‘This is what I do,’ ” Cox said

As external co-chair of NASA, Cox helped bring in speakers for Native Heritage Month last November and said he is currently working with the University's admissions office to reach out to prospective Native American students.

“It’s inspiring them to go to higher education. That’s what I want (NASA’s) goal to be, really just inspiring higher education — hopefully at Michigan,” he said.

Cox said that after graduating with a Public Policy degree and a minor in Native American Studies, he hopes to bring infrastructure policy back to reservations like the one he visits in Kansas.

“Going back to the res ... It’s hard to retain (culture) when you come to a campus,” Cox said. “Being able to make those trips yearly and make them mean a lot, I think that’s really important.”