Bush Fellows Have UND Ties

Katherine “Katie” Dachtler, ’19, ’22, Hillary (Davis) Kempenich, ’18, and Marie Zephier, a Ph.D. student, have been named 2023 Bush Fellows.

This annual award is given to 24 leaders from diverse backgrounds, communities and sectors in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share this geographic region. The Bush Foundation, based in St. Paul, provides grants of up to $100,000 to the Fellows, which they can use to strengthen and develop their leadership skills.

Katie, a Korean adoptee, aims to foster a more inclusive community in the Grand Forks area. A former member of the Grand Forks City Council and the Grand Forks School Board, Katherine plans to pursue a Ph.D. in change leadership for equity and inclusion. She will also return to South Korea to explore her story and better understand how identity shapes belonging and leadership. 

Katie Dachtler

Katie Dachtler, ’19, ’22

Hillary, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, is an Anishinaabe artist, storyteller and knowledge keeper. Having long advocated for the well-being and rights of Native youth in educational settings, Hillary’s objective is to enhance accessibility in places like libraries and museums. She is actively involved in creating a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) museum that incorporates reconciliation, repatriation and decolonization practices into its programming. Hillary plans to seek mentorship from fellow knowledge keepers and pursue further education in museum studies and STEAM. 

Hillary Kempenich

Hillary (Davis) Kempenich, ’18

Marie Zephier, a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation, is currently working on her Ph.D. in Indigenous health at UND. Her focus is to enhance the recognition and significance of traditional practices. Marie advocates for the integration of Indigenous culture into Western health systems’ research and practices to build trust, increase access to cultural healing methods and alleviate health inequities.


Marie Zephier