As we move further into the spring change of season, our faculty is critically conscious that we are servants of the Native community whose responsibility is to bring balance to our professional lives and to our many wonderful students and colleagues. In our culturally responsive pedagogy, we try to help our students develop this holistic balance through designing course experiences that engage in both the natural and spiritual world while at the same time trying to bring individuals into harmony with multiple worldviews.
A brief summary of your awards below reflect your dedication and support for the Indigenous Nations Studies Program:
Grace Dillon: Going through a year-long process, Grace is on the eve of being official recognized as a full professor of Indigenous Nations Studies. As you know, the tenure and promotion process takes most of a calendar year to happen. Dr. Cynthia Coleman was the chair of the Grace's promotion and tenure committee (a process moving from Associate Professor to Full Professor). So a wonderful "shout-out" to Professor Cynthia Coleman for supporting our faculty throughout this important personnel process. Grace's most recent recognition was being named the President's 2014 Diversity Award winner in the category of Distinguished Faculty. This campus-wide award echoed her academic skill-set in helping to diversifying PSU by being on many committees to write curriculum that empowers diversity and focuses on Indigeniety. Way to go Professor Grace Dillon!
Judy Bluehorse Skelton: This past Friday, Judy was recognized for her second classroom teaching award this year. She was named the John Elliot CLAS Teaching Award as nominated by students across the campus. One of her students (Lourdes Markley) brought her balloons to the podium to highlight her love for her teacher. Earlier this spring, Judy was voted the Outstanding Teacher of the Year by the Oregon Indian Education Association at their annual conference in Warm Springs. Judy has also been active in grant writing having high probability to bring innovative projects to INST this next academic year. Working within the local Native and non-Native community, Judy is helping to secure outside funding to strengthen our unit profile.
Kelly Gonzales: Kelly is affiliated faculty with INST. Two weeks ago, she received the Excellence in Teaching and Sustainability Award by the Institute for Sustainable Solutions on campus. This award highlighted Kelly's work on health disparities among Native Americans helping her students to understand the linkages among social equity, economic opportunity, and access to environmental assetsOne of Kelly's classes on Indian health was full of students from OHSU as PSU and OHSU merged this year some of their courses together in a joint agreement. Because her class was next door to my Thursday evening course (Indigenous Ways of Knowing) in the NASCC, our classes were able to exchange course discussions this spring term 2014. Thank you for a wonderful year, one that was packed with learning excitement and growth in program innovation. You demonstrate daily what small (yet dynamic) programs on campus can accomplish when we collaborate and share our resources within the University and local Native community. You also provide the leadership campus-wide as teachers and mentors not only to our students but to our allies of all colors. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about our website. We are proud of our faculty, students and alumni, and we invite you to join the Indigenous Nations Studies family of learners and storytellers. You’ll learn, as so many have before you that PSU is a great place to learn and study.
Have a great Summer, see you in the Fall!