MCLA Head Men's Basketball Coach Takes On Position As Director Of Native Tribal Scholars Program


NORTH ADAMS, MA - Jamie Morrison, the head men's basketball coach at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), has begun work as the director of Native Tribal Scholars, a program of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, the Northern American Center of Boston and UMASS-Boston.

While the new position is full time, Morrison will continue as the men's head basketball coach for MCLA, working for the College on a part-time basis.

According to Morrison, the most intensive part of the Native Tribal Scholars Program takes place during the summer semester. A non-residential, year-round service component consists of workshops, tutoring and mentoring. The students' academic progress is tracked throughout the school year so they can get help if and where they need it.

"The year-round program gives me flexibility to handle some of my administrative work from anywhere," Morrison said. "I will have a presence with the program on a weekly basis, but the work allows the time I need to coach the MCLA Men's Basketball team.

Charlotte Degen, dean of student affairs, said "We are pleased that Jamie will be able to remain as our head basketball coach part time this year while taking on this exciting, new opportunity.  Jamie champions cultural diversity at MCLA and is a strong supporter and advocate of and for our students."

Run with a grant through the Office of Indian Education in Washington, D.C., Morrison said that the Native Tribal Scholars Program is similar to Upward Board and UMASS-Boston's Urban Scholars Program. It takes high school-aged youth who are Native American and prepares them for college.

The Native Tribal Scholars Program consists of a summer academy, hosted at Regis College. During the school year, it serves Native American youth from Mashpee, and others from the Nipmuc Nation near Webster, as well as additional Native American students who are in the Boston Public School System.

"We're charged with getting our cohort of youth to all graduate from high school, to enroll in college and to graduate from college," Morrison said.

Prior to coming to MCLA, Morrison worked at the Urban Indian Center in Boston, and for five years he was employed at an all-Native American institution, Haskell University in Lawrence, Kansas.