The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Portland State University is pleased to announce that Judy Bluehorse Skelton, a Senior Instructor in the Indigenous Nations Studies Program and alumna of PSU, was named the 2014 recipient of the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award by the Oregon Indian Education Association at their annual conference in Warm Springs, OR on April 11, 2014. Bluehorse Skelton is Nez Perce and Cherokee.
Bluehorse Skelton joined the Indigenous Nations Studies Program in 2013, and from 2010–2013 she taught capstone courses in University Studies at PSU. Bluehorse Skelton has created innovative courses that demonstrate the cultural relevance of indigenous ways of knowing to a broad audience, including undergraduates, high school teachers and post-bachelor scholars. She developed a variety of memorable demonstrations, stories and songs to help students understand and remember the concepts and ideas she teaches.
In addition to her award-winning role as an outstanding teacher, Bluehorse Skelton spends much of her time in the local community. She has a strong interest in university-community research linkages, service learning, and boundary organizations between the university and tribal communities and sovereign governments. She is also a member of the Community Engagement Committee for the School of Gender, Race and Nations.
Judy Bluehorse Skelton earned her B.A. and M.A. from Portland State University.
The mission of the Oregon Indian Education Association is to promote quality educational services for Indian people in the state of Oregon. The OIEA Outstanding Teacher of the Year is selected after a voting process at the annual statewide conference. Nominees from schools throughout Oregon submitted packets of information that included testimonials and letters of support from their students and colleagues. From the written material, nomination applicants were judged by their contribution to American Indian education in Oregon. As part of her recognition, Bluehorse Skelton will receive an inscription plaque award sponsored by the OIEA.