American Indian Studies

Marcy LaFerr


USAO isn't a cookie cutter college. You learn to think differently and approach obstacles positively.

Marcy LaFerr had a plan...and then life intervened.

“I started college at USAO in 1992,” Marcy said, “and then, dropped out after 3 years because I received the ideal dream job and thought that was enough.”

“It was great for the first ten years, but then I started being overlooked for promotions because I didn't have my bachelor’s degree. It didn't matter if I was able to complete the job well.”

Marcy’s family had a history with the university, which made returning to school feel natural.

“My mother graduated from USAO while raising 10 children and multiple cousins,” Marcy said. “She taught us that furthering our education would be the greatest accomplishment we would ever achieve so, after some encouragement from friends and family, I returned to school, became involved and finished my degree.”

Marcy says that her degree in American Indian studies is a valuable tool that she uses every day in her job as aquatics director and program coordinator for the Iscani Community Pool & Aquatic Center.

“Professionally, without my degree, I would not have been able to think outside the box to develop programs that may have otherwise been overlooked,” Marcy says. “More importantly, I would not have been considered for the position I hold.”

Beyond her degree focus, Marcy feels like she got the full benefit of USAO’s unique interdisciplinary curriculum and team-teaching approach.

“A liberal arts education is like no other! Learning through the team teaching approach has affected my career because, as an instructor and project manager, I know that everyone learns differently and can offer insights if one is willing to listen,” Marcy said.