FINAL NOTICE: Nominations Due for HEEF Members

Nominations Due for HEEF Members

The Hopi Education Endowment Fund (HEEF) is still accepting nominations for members to the Board through this Thursday, June 30, 2011. With a capacity of up to 30 members, the HEEF is seeking to fill 14 seats. Once elected, Members serve three-year terms and are provided opportunities to actively engage with the HEEF in a variety of capacities that include committee work, volunteerism, networking and support of special events.

Sahmie Wytewa, HEEF’s Nomination Committee Chairperson stated, “I see the Hopi Education Endowment Fund constantly developing and diversifying its membership to meet the needs of our community. 20 years from now, I expect that we are going to be looked at and called upon as a valid and sustainable model for financing education infinitely. If you can imagine being a part of that vision, we want you on Our team!”

Any Hopi tribal member or current HEEF Member may nominate a person for election to the HEEF Board. Nominations are accepted until 5:00 p.m. (MST) June 30, 2011. To submit a nomination, fill out the attached Nomination Form or for more information contact Sam Tenakhongva at or call 928-734-2275. The HEEF is a non-profit entity of the Hopi Tribe, for more information on the HEEF visit our website at

To read more on the 2011 Member Nomination and Recruitment Process click here

Hopi Education Endowment Fund
PO Box 605
Kykotsmovi, AZ 86039Phone: (928) 734-2275
Fax: (928) 734-2273Copyright (C) 2011 Hopi Education Endowment Fund All rights reserved.

CQ Field Day

WA7AZ, Field Day 2011

Not many people who read this blog know that one of my hobbies is amateur (“ham”) radio.  I’ve been a ham radio operator for almost 19 years.  My interest in ham radio began when I was a kid.

In 1986, a couple named Marvin and Regina Goodfellow stayed a week with us in our home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. During the 1st night of their stay, Marvin asked me and my siblings if we would help him put up a large antenna in our backyard.

Later that night, Marvin (WA2FMD) set up a transceiver radio on our dining room table. He showed us how the radio worked. We listened to him talk to friends across the United States.  He even let us talk on the radio. I remember having a conversation with someone from Los Angeles who worked at Disneyland.

When Marvin turned the dial on the radio, sounds became distorted and new sounds emerged.  I heard people talking in Spanish and English, and I listened in wonder about the “dit” and “dah” sounds coming from the radio.  Marvin told us that the sounds were called Morse code.

He showed us how to say our names in this new language, and we practiced that night on his Morse code key.

I was fascinated with everything having to do with amateur radio.

Six years later in the summer of 1992, I took the Federal Communication Commission written exam and 5 words per-minute Morse code competency test to receive the Novice class Amateur radio license.  My first call sign was KB7QAW. After I upgraded my radio license, I chose the call sign WA7AZ.

Throughout my sophomore, junior, and senior year in high school, I spent hundreds of hours talking and “pounding brass” (sending Morse code) on my radio, which was a Kenwood TS-511s.

While many of my peers spent their free time playing video games, I was on the radio talking to people in the U.S., or places such as Hawaii, Colombia, New Zealand, Sweden, Mexico, and the Island of Aruba.

Today, I dusted off (literally) my Morse code key and brought out the radios to participate in the Amateur Radio Relay League Field Day event.  Field Day is an annual contest where people operate their equipment from batteries charged by a solar panel or a gas generator. Some people simply use the power that comes from the outlets in their homes.

The idea behind the contest is to make contact and exchange information with as many operators within a specified 24 hour period.

At about 2:00 this afternoon, I “fired up” the radio on our backyard patio, pressed down on the mic, and called “CQ Field Day, CQ Field Day, CQ Field Day, this is Whiskey, Alpha, Seven, Alpha Zulu, Whiskey, Alpha, Seven, Alpha, Zulu, Field Day”

I waited a few seconds and then I heard a strong signal reply saying: “WA7AZ, this is Whiskey, Zero, Romeo, Romeo, Whiskey, Zero, Romeo, Romeo (W0RR).”  The station was from Missouri, and within a matter of minutes I had made contact with people in Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Maine, Colorado, and Ohio.

The above picture is of me talking to KT5J in Austin, Texas. My wife, Kylene, took this photograph for the blog. Nearly 10 years ago, I convinced her to get the Technician class amateur radio license.

Marvin passed away in 1998 at the age of 91.  Just prior to his passing, I had my only QSO (radio conversation) with him. The QSO took place as I drove to Albuquerque from Flagstaff, Arizona. I don’t recall specific details about the conversation, but I know he was glad that I continued my interest in ham radio.

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert, WA7AZ

Running through exhaust

Illinois cornfield and rural road - Photograph by Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

On Friday of last week I went on a run that brought me to the middle of corn fields outside the city of Champaign, Illinois. As I plugged away on a country road, a large truck drove by and I got a mouth full of exhaust. This is one of my least favorite parts about running on rural roads.

But it reminded me of Hopis during the 1910s and 1920s who “ate exhaust” in many marathons that they competed in. It was not uncommon for newspaper reporters or race officials to drive their automobiles 10 or 15 feet in front of the lead runners.  Some runners were so overcome with exhaust that they quit.

Back out at Hopi, runners did not have to contend with automobile exhaust, but when they competed in events beyond the mesas, it became a serious issue for them to manage.

It’s difficult enough to run long distances with high heat and humidity, and sore legs and feet, but adding the heavy exhaust element to running must have seemed unbearable.

And yet the vast majority of Hopi runners pressed on to complete (and sometimes win) the marathons that they started.

For the runners, the exhaust was simply another obstacle for them to overcome. It was one more hurdle for them to navigate through when they ran beyond their homelands in northeastern Arizona.

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

Outrunning Chief Illiniwek

Photo courtesy of Action Sports International

I’ve been meaning to write a brief post about a 5K event that my wife, Kylene, and I ran in April. The race was part of the 2011 Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon held in Champaign/Urbana. The course started on the southwest side of the University of Illinois and proceeded north to “campus town” on Green Street. It eventually made its way back south to the school’s Memorial Stadium.  The race ended inside the stadium.  The picture on the left is of me sprinting the last 100 yards to the finish. My time was 28:27, and Kylene completed the course in 27:46. We both did better than we expected. Some of my students came out to cheer me on. One student even made a sign that read “Go Professor Gilbert!” He received extra credit. You can read about his observations of the race on his blog.  He writes about seeing a runner dressed up as the former University of Illinois mascot Chief Illiniwek. I also saw this individual before the beginning of the race. A lot of people wanted to take their photograph with him. He was decked out in feathers and a war bonnet.  He liked the attention, but he wasn’t much of a runner. I never saw him again after the first 30 yards.