Joe Starita is a professor at the University of Nebraska College of Journalism and Mass Communications. A Nebraska native, he went to college on a baseball scholarship, played professional basketball in Turkey and had a stint herding cattle on an Israeli kibbutz. Eventually, he spent 14 years at The Miami Herald - including four years as the newspaper’s New York Bureau Chief and four years on its Investigations Team. Interested in Native Americans since childhood, he has written three critically acclaimed books examining their vital roles in American history. Three years ago, he started a college scholarship fund for Native American high school graduates.