One of Bacone College’s own – an alumnus and a vice president – was named as a Native American 40 Under 40 by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development Center on Tuesday.
Dr. Nicole Been, a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation originally from Okemah, Oklahoma, is the college’s vice president of strategic initiatives and special projects. She is a graduate of Bacone College, Baylor University, and Oklahoma State University. Been is also the co-founder of the Been Foundation, a non-profit organization that targets youth with socioeconomic challenges.
Been joins two more Bacone College administrators who have been named as a Native American 40 Under 40: William Lowe and Mary Jo Pratt. Lowe is the college’s human resources director, also a Bacone College alumnus, who was honored in 2011. Pratt is the chief financial officer and vice president of finance who was honored in 2016.
“I’m humbled and honored to join a group of phenomenal Native American and Alaska Native leaders,” Been said, “and I am thankful to have this opportunity to represent my family, my tribal town, and the MCN.”
The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development Center says the 40 Under 40 winners “have exemplified leadership, initiative, and especially during COVID-19, resiliency, and dedication towards their communities and businesses.”*
Bacone College President Dr. Ferlin Clark says Been’s successes and contributions to Bacone College’s path toward becoming a tribal college are especially appreciated.
“Dr. Been has been instrumental in our tribal relations and special projects which move us closer to becoming recognized as a tribal college,” he said. “We congratulate her on this much-deserved award.”