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The Judge Claudette White Memorial Award is given to applicants who are pursuing a law degree or a college degree with the goal of a career in Inidan child welfare. Each Judge Claudette White Memorial Award is given with a $500 honorarium.  

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Yá’át’ééh, Hello


Michelle Hovel is an enrolled member of the Diné Nation (Navajo Nation) and maternal linage extends into the White Mountain Apache Tribe.Tséńjíkiní nishłį́, Tł’ááshchí’í bashishchiin, Michelle is from the Honey Combed Rock People clan, born for the Red Cheek/Red Bottom clan. Originally from the Navajo reservation community of Greasewood Spring, AZ, Michelle currently reside in Phoenix, AZ. Michelle attended Phoenix College and graduated with honors in 2019 with an Associate of Arts Degree, an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Administration of Justice, an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Forensic Technology, and an Academic Certificate in American Indian Studies. Michelle transferred to Arizona State University (ASU) and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice in August 2020. Michelle is currently pursuing a Master of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice and will graduate in Fall 2022. Michelle is currently employed at Phoenix College as a Student Success Specialist. Michelle's eleven-year professional career as a Detention Officer with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office serves as the catalyst to compile meaningful research data, write professionally, and publish nationally in the critical domains of social justice in Indian Country, criminal jurisdictional reform in tribal communities, restorative justice among Indigenous families and kin, decolonization initiatives at the grassroots level in cities that border reservations, and unsolved cases of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. Michelle assisted in ASU’s Research on Violent Victimization (ROVV) Lab working in partnership with American Indian leaders across the state of Arizona to examine, evaluate, analyze, and develop strategies to address and minimize Missing Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) as part of the Senate Bill HB2570. ASU’s MMIWG report was published in November 2020. Michelle plans to continue to conduct research in MMIP (Missing Murdered Indigenous People) and continue to serve their community by volunteering.


Ahéhee’, thank you. 

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