Dr. Kent Smith received the Alice Timmons Founders Award, which is given to an outstanding person who has founded or co-founded an organization benefitting American Indians.
Smith is a citizen of the Comanche Nation and of Chickasaw descent. He is the co-founder of the Native Explorers program, which develops and supports educational programs and promotes partnerships that increase the number of Native Americans in science and medicine.
“It is a great honor the Oklahoma Federation of Indian Women recognized Native Explores as making major contributions toward bettering the lives of Native people,” Dr. Smith said. “Our goal is to improve the lives of Native people through introducing them to science and medicine as potential careers and enlightenment as part of their culture, because culture and tradition is part of Native Explorers, as well.”
Established in 2010, the Native Explorers educational programs include the Native Explorers Program at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, Tulsa, and the Native Explorers student organization at the University of Oklahoma, Norman. Partnerships include the Chickasaw Nation, the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, the USDA Forest Service and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
The Chickasaw Nation’s Department of Education has also developed a Junior Native Explorers club for Chickasaw youth ages 6-18 years old.
Smith is an Associate at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences and is an Affiliated Research Associate at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.
He received his bachelor’s degree in Biology/Chemistry from Cameron University, Lawton,a Master in Biology from Midwestern State University and a doctorate in Zoology from the University of Oklahoma.
Smith’s professional memberships include: American Association of Anatomists, American Society of Mammalogists, Oklahoma Academy of Science, Oklahoma Microscopy Society, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Southwestern Association of Naturalists, the Texas Academy of Science and Western North American Naturalists.
Smith resides near Stroud.