Center for Diné Teacher Education

Meet Our Faculty

Photo of Daniel McLaughlin

Daniel McLaughlin

Ph.D., University of New Mexico

Daniel McLaughlin is the CDTE's Faculty Chair. He grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. He has four children: Tim, Molly, Kelly, and Dylan, and four grandchildren. He is married to Maggie George.

McLaughlin served as Program Specialist at the CDTE from 1994-2003. Prior to that, he was assistant professor at the University of Utah, a teacher and school principal at Rock Point Community School, ESL teacher in Honduras, and Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco. He has taught on an adjunct basis at the University of Arizona, the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, Northern Arizona University, and the University of New Mexico. He has written widely on Navajo education, participated in a wide range of research projects, edited the Journal of Navajo Education from 1987-1997, and been a consultant-evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission since 2003.

McLaughlin has a Ph.D. in Educational Foundations from the University of New Mexico, an M.A.T. in Teaching English as a Second Language from the School for International Training, and a Bachelor's in English from Tufts University. He enjoys fly-fishing, long distance running, baseball, hanging out with family and friends, and “the blues.”

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Amelia Black

M.Ed., Arizona State University

Professor Amelia I. Black has taught Early Childhood and Elementary Education courses at Diné College since the inception of the AA Early Childhood Education program and the change to four-year status for Diné College. Throughout her time at Diné College, she's taught all sequences of Early Childhood Education, Human Development, Special Education, Introduction and Theory courses. In addition to her teaching responsibilities at Diné College, Professor Black serves on the First Things First Navajo Nation Regional Board as an “at large member” and has held the position as Chair for Center for Dine Teacher Education in previous years. She has been a member of the College wide Academic Standards and the Assessment Committee. Outside of Diné College, Professor Black holds an Arizona Department of Education Certificate with endorsements in English as a Second Language, Special Education and Early Childhood Education. She has served as a teacher in the pre-kindergarten to 8th grade environments for over 10 years.

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Barsine Barney Benally

M.Ed., Arizona State University

Barsine Barney Benally (Diné) is an instructor of Early Childhood Education with the Center for Diné Teacher Education Program at Diné College. Two thousand-twelve will embark her first year at Diné College as a full time faculty member. She has earned her Associates of Arts Degree in Elementary Education and Navajo Language with Diné College. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education with emphasis on Multi-lingual and Multicultural Elementary Education with Arizona State University. She received her Masters of Education Degree in Educational Leadership with Doane College and is currently working on her Graduates Degree in Educational Leadership with Arizona State University.

She has worked eight years as a K-8th instructor for Tsehootsooi Diné Bi’olta’, an immersion school in Fort Defiance, Arizona. Professional endeavors include serving on the Yale National Teacher Initiative, Certified Teacher K-8th and Navajo Bilingually Endorsed K-12th.

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Henry Fowler

Ed.D., Northern Arizona University

Henry H Fowler, Ed.D. is a math teacher and faculty in the Center for Diné Teacher Education and Math Department. He has been teaching math for over 14 years. His Navajo traditional clans are born for Bitter-water and born into Zuni-Edgewater. His maternal grandparents are the Many Goats and his paternal grandparents are the Red-running-into-the-Water. He is from Tonalea, Arizona. He started his formal education at age four at Kaibeto Boarding School in Kaibeto, Arizona. He received his mathematics education degree from Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona and holds an Ed. D. in Educational Leadership and Change. His passion is promoting math literacy. He advocates social justice through mathematics. He also supports cultural relevant materials to guide math instruction. His quest is to combine indigenous epistemologies and social science perspectives to make the teaching of mathematics more relevant, effective, and useful for Navajo students. He has published Navajo Cultural Component Math Curriculum, Weaving Numbers, and wrote a chapter in the Voices of Native American Educators; Collapsing the Fear of Mathematics: A Study of the Effects of Navajo Culture on Navajo Student Performance in Mathematics.

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Johnson Dennison

M.Ed., University of New Mexico

Mr. Dennison is a retired teacher, principal, and Coordinator of the Office of Native Medicine at a Chinle Comprehensive Health Care Facility. He has thirty years of experience in education: Three years teaching in classrooms, ten years as Elementary School Principal, ten years as a High School Principal, seven years as a Dean of Instruction at Diné College. He is alumni at the University of New Mexico with under graduate and graduate degrees in educational leadership.

He is a Navajo traditional medicine man practitioner for almost forty years. As a cultural specialist, he has been a motivational speaker at various conferences and meetings on such topics as Navajo Culture, Navajo History, Native Medicine, Navajo Language, Native American Education and is a Native Storyteller.

Photo of Gerry Himmelreich

Gerry Himmelreich

M.A., Hollins University

Gerry Himmelreich is Norwegian (Saami), born for English Diné‘é. His cheii is Ojibwe (Bois Forte/Nett Lake), and his nali is Beeshbicha’i. Growing up, Gerry spent his school years in Colorado and summers in California and still exhibits a pleasant blend of traits from both areas.

He enjoys the study of language and writing, and takes even greater pleasure in sharing stories. His earliest memories of story are of his grandfather relating experiences as a young boy in eastern Wyoming and as a young man stationed in North Africa during World War II. Of story he says, “Whether we are from different cultures, genders, or age groups, story is one of the few commonalities among us. Story is one of the many shapes we use to relate our varying experiences, and is a great way to break to the ice.”

Gerry writes, reads, runs, hunts, and mini-farms. His family currently raises sheep and chickens. He is an educator by profession and holds an M.A. in Children’s Literature from Hollins University. He currently supervises teacher candidates and teaches the Children’s Literature and Technology in Education courses for the College. His particular research interests are “ways to utilize emerging technologies to cultivate language and the stories of culture.”

Gerry has taught for Diné College since Spring 2008 and has been with CDTE since Fall 2009. He is now from Beclabito, NM, where he lives with his wife and two daughters.