President Begaye announces new appointments to Dine’ College Board of Regents


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz.— Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye made two new appointments to the Diné College Board of Regents June 29.

According to the Diné College website, the eight-member board is the college’s guiding light, helping to establish a direction for the future and directing the college in the process of establishing educational programs and institutional goals.

“They help us to strengthen our personal foundations for responsible learning and living consistent with Sa’ah Naagháí Bik’eh Hózhóón,” the website states.

President Begaye said the selection of two new board members was a deliberate and thoughtful process, allowing the administration to take the necessary time to select qualified applicants to guide the college with a positive direction for the future.

“We want to be clear: Our selections were made to restore stability, student enrollment and focus on the educational credibility of Diné College’s accreditation rating,” said President Begaye.

Johnson Dennison was selected to serve on the Diné College Board of Regents for the Chinle Agency and Greg Bigman was also selected to the board to serve the Northern Agency.

Dennison has a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of New Mexico, which was obtained in 1978. In 1973, he obtained his bachelor’s degree in education from UNM.

Since 1999, he has served as an adjunct faculty at Diné College, instructing Diné educational philosophy for the teacher education program. He also taught school law for college seniors.

“I believe that I am well qualified. I have more than two decades of experience in higher education as a dean of instruction, cultural consultant and instructor,” Dennison said. “I have more than three decades experience in K-12 schools as a principal and teacher.”

He said most importantly, he is diligent, patient, balanced and honest.

“I believe that these skills are much needed at Diné College and that I can make a difference for that institution’s stakeholders and for the Navajo Nation,” Dennison said.

Bigman, 34, is also an educator who served four years as a high school teacher.

“In any educational institution, the teachers and faculty provide a direct service and are instrumental in improving the organization,” Bigman said. “I want to be a part of making Diné College an even greater institution for Navajo.”

He added that he has proven ability to build relationships, identify objectives and needs, including creation of strategies to solve problems with decisiveness and integrity.

He previously served as a senior executive analyst with a Navajo Nation owned company. Prior to that, Bigman was the sole proprietor of Impressions, LLC.

“The Vice President and I vowed to bring young, educated Navajo professionals back to help make us an even greater Nation,” said President Begaye. “Mr. Bigman would bring the needs, thinking and the voice of the younger generation to the table.”

In 2004, Bigman obtained his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from UNM. In 2010, he completed the alternative teacher licensure program at San Juan College