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LCOOU’s CFO Among First-Ever Group of Master of Science in Business Management Candidates

LCO Ojibwe University

Press Release


Born-and-raised LCO member Lydia DeNasha is our University’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Her accountants endearingly call her “Boss Lady.” If not at Executive Council Tuesdays or discussing budgets at departmental meetings, Lydia’s cracking jokes with the business office, alleviating workdays with laughter. And despite the job title and a love for numbers, Lydia’s office screams art. A warm-yellow light from the lamp behind her desk illuminates the Ojibwe art on her walls. Among the framed pieces is Lydia’s beaded teal graduation cap. However, she needed to bead a new one of this year’s black graduation caps for the 2024 commencement, because she’ll be walking the LCOOU commencement stage to celebrate her Master of Science in Business Management as one of our first-ever six candidates for the degree!


Lydia first walked through our doors in the fall of 2011. She started her associate degree while working as a cake decorator at the Hayward Marketplace, and by the end of her degree, she was a single mother managing Ojibwe Java.


“I missed out on AIHEC and other college programs as a non-trad single mother. I lived with my mom. Worked full time. I talked with my professors and organized things in a way so that I was taking all my classes on my two days off from work,” Lydia said. “At TRiO, Director Melissa Crow and Success Coach Edie Diller gave me all the help I needed.”


Following her associate degree graduation in 2015, Lydia continued with the University, as an employee. She interned with TRiO for the summer and became bookstore bursar before fall’s end of that same year.


Following the job shift, she attempted pursuing an online bachelor’s degree at another institution. Yet the impersonal, online nature of the program failed to appeal to Lydia in the end.


“It was impossible to learn on your own with that removed distance. I spent three semesters at that institution before giving up on them. By the time I did leave them, LCOOU was talking about a bachelor’s program here,” Lydia said. “Because of my circumstances at the time, if the University didn’t end up offering a bachelor’s program, I don’t think I would’ve gone on with another one. So, I am very thankful for that.”  


She walked the LCOOU commencement stage her second time in 2021 to celebrate her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.


And soon, she will be walking the stage a third time, for her master’s degree.


What’s next for Lydia, though? Surely more crunching of numbers, balancing budgets, and leading accountants. Her favorite time is summer, for more family time, dancing, and hiking as well. Moreover, her education does not conclude here.


Ever the life-long learner, the donor scholarships Lydia received as a student at LCOOU have set her up for considering a doctorate degree in leadership or management. For that, we are all cheering for her, and hoping we’ll have a Dr. Lydia among us before long.

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