The Board of Trustees of the Leech Lake Tribal College (LLTC) has named Dr. Helen Zaikina-Montgomery to serve as president of LLTC. She took office on April 26, 2022.
President Zaikina-Montgomery is a wonderful choice to lead our college. She has a genuine appreciation and understanding of our Ojibwe culture and community. President Zaikina-Montgomery has had an incredible track record as the interim President, including leading the college through the COVID pandemic, developing and implementing the college’s strategic plan, promoting the college at the local and national levels, and building the college’s infrastructure. In addition, president Zaikina-Montgomery’s commitment to our college will help create more opportunities for students, faculty, and staff through her tireless advocation for support and funding for the college. The Leech Lake Tribal College is very lucky that she will continue as our President. Let us all support the incoming President for her and the college’s success!” said Jennifer Cross, Leech Lake Tribal College Board of Trustees Chairperson.
Dr. Zaikina-Montgomery came to the college in 2019 as the Director of Assessment & Institutional Research. Then she served as the Interim President beginning in May 2021. In this role, her responsibilities include a wide range of tasks, from setting and refining the strategic vision for the college to supporting staff, faculty, and students at the institution. Dr. Zaikina-Montgomery earned her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology in 2011 from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has worked in higher education for almost 20 years, first as a faculty member and then as an administrator. She also has considerable experience working in the private sector.
“Dr. Montgomery creates an educational climate of goodwill, transparency, and approachability. She demonstrates this through positive internal and external communication. Dr. Montgomery has a sound understanding of tribal college financial viability, has developed a strategic direction incorporating the Anishinaabe cultural values, and aligns those values with the educational programming. Her leadership skills are exceptional when communicating with staff, students, and the Leech Lake community members,” said Vicki White, Leech Lake Tribal College Board of Trustee member.
President Zaikina-Montgomery said, “I am honored to have been selected to serve in the role of President at the Leech Lake Tribal College. In my time here as Director of Assessment for two years and Interim President over the past year, I learned that this college is an innovative, pioneering, and spiritual institution deeply grounded in Anishinaabe values. We have the best students and tremendously talented faculty and staff. I am fortunate to be a part of the LLTC family. I am looking forward to continuing to nurture the growth of this institution for our students, staff, faculty, and most importantly, this community.”
The Leech Lake Tribal College invites you to the LLTC Presidential inauguration on Thursday, June 9, 2022, from 6pm to 8pm at the Cedar Lakes Event Center in Cass Lake MN. Please join us in the celebration of the new Leech Lake Tribal College President!
The Leech Lake Tribal College is a two-year degree-granting institution open to the public, which serves Native Americans and non-Native students throughout the area. Degree programs include Business Management, Early Childhood Education, Indigenous Leadership, Liberal Education, Law Enforcement, Integrated Residential Builder, and Indigenous Science. Students can choose Indigenous Science with an emphasis in Forest Ecology, Human Health, or Information Technology. To learn more about the Leech Lake Tribal College and its mission to provide accredited education grounded in Anishinaabe values, please visit our website at www.lltc.edu.