The Lodge Approach


We transform lives through shared authentic, immersive, cultural experiences at Indigenous communities through partnership with Tsetsetas/So’taa’e (Northern Cheyenne) nations.


We are passionate about bringing communities together and letting everyone experience the beauty of Northern Cheyenne culture. Our team is committed to exploring the commonalities we all share.​

Sam Chestnut

President / Founder

Sam Chestnut has over 25 years of experience as an educational leader with expertise in cross cultural and experiential learning. His ground-breaking work with The Northern Cheyenne Nation has received significant national attention and has presented at national and international conferences. For over ten years he has developed programs for schools, adults and families to learn with The Northern Cheyenne Nation. In addition, Sam has developed partnerships with schools in China and facilitated learning experiences for students in China and Israel. Sam holds a B.A. from Kenyon College and a M.A. in Education from The University of Akron.


Rebecca Cohen

Chief Education Officer / Founder

Rebecca Cohen has over 20 years of experience as an educator with an expertise in building strong relationships with a diverse set of students and providing a framework that challenges them to reach their potential.  Her exposure to Northern Cheyenne culture began as a child and has helped shape her passion for sharing the similarities of  diverse cultures with students. Over 14 years as a Language Arts and Social Studies teacher in the Seattle Public Schools, Rebecca championed curriculum that exposed students to a breadth of cultures. Rebecca holds a B.A. from Western Washington University and a Masters in Teaching from Seattle University.

John Bennett

Founding Faculty Member

John Bennett has over 40 years of experience as a teacher.  After retiring from the Akron Public Schools, where he was the 2012 APS Teacher of the Year, he joined The Lippman School as an embedded technology specialist.  While at The Lippman School, John has been heavily involved in bringing student, faculty and community groups to the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. John is passionate about using technology to bring cross cultural learning into experiential education that targets a technologically savvy student base. John has presented at numerous local, state and national technology conferences. He was part of the working group of the National Education Technology Plan 2010 and is the creator of the problem based learning unit for John has a B.S. in Elementary Education and a Masters in Educational Administration from The University of Akron.

Burt Medicine Bull

Burt Medicine Bull

Founding Faculty Member

Burt Medicine Bull is an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe and the Montana native is one of the world’s leading experts in the Northern Cheyenne language. Burt’s Cheyenne name is Setovaatse which means Appears. Setovaatse is an instructor of Cheyenne language at Chief Dull Knife College.  Keeping his tribe’s traditional language alive is more than just his profession, but a personal passion.  Burt also teaches traditional Cheyenne beading and is himself an accomplished beading artist.  Burt has spent nearly ten years building youth programming to showcase cultural exchanges. Burt is a role model for Cheyenne youth showing how traditional Cheyenne practice and formal education can work together to provide economic opportunity.  Burt holds a B.S. from Montana State University and a M.A. in Educational Leadership from Oglala Lakota College.

Matt Russ

Matt Russ

Founding Faculty Member

Matt Russ has over 18 years of experience as an educator in both the middle school and college settings. Matt has spent his educational career developing innovative programs and projects involving cross-cultural studies, experiential learning, outdoor education and service. Developing curricula that intersects literature and writing with cultural studies through experiential learning opportunities is an area of professional focus and interest.  He currently serves as Curriculum Director and Middle School Humanities teacher at the Lippman School in Akron, Ohio. Additionally, he has been an adjunct instructor at Stark State College teaching developmental reading courses, writing and ethics for 15 years.  Matt is the educational program director for The Lippman School’s cross-cultural partnership with the Northern Cheyenne Nation and Chief Dull Knife College. In addition to this, he is also a lead teacher and co-coordinator of Lippman’s cross-cultural exchange with the Dali Experimental School in Guangdong Province, China. Matt holds a B.S. in Journalism from Appalachian State University and a M.A. in Religious Studies from John Carroll University.


Jennifer Chestnut

Operations & Risk Management / Founder

Jennifer Chestnut brings over 25 years of nationally-recognized non profit experience to support our Operations and Risk Management functions. Her work has primarily focused on organizational transitions and transformations with significant success in fundraising, board development, financial process development and systems-thinking. She received a BS from The Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University and a Masters of nonprofit organizations from Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations. Jennifer is also a 200RYT yoga instructor.