Meet our Faculty

Karen Willeto: Photography and Drawing Instructor

Degrees: MA Eastern Michigan University Photography, BFA Eastern Michigan University Teaching Areas: Fine Arts (Photography, Digital Photography, Image Editing, Art History, iPhone, Drawing) Yrs. at DC: 1981 to Present.

My passion for Photography stems from curiosity and response to inspiration around me. Photographs can show strong emotions and feelings that characterize periods in your life. It can be an expression or reflection of your ideas. My concept…. Be spontaneous and open to opportunities around you. Look for good light and always be ready to shoot.


Matthew Bollinger: Digital Arts Instructor

Degrees: M.F.A San Francisco Art Institute, M. Arch University of New Mexico

Matthew Bollinger is an artist and design professional. His work range includes painting, drawing, printmaking, and architectural public art.

Born in Germany and raised in Colorado and New Mexico, he received his M.F.A. in painting from San Francisco Art Institute in 2012 and his M.Arch from the University of New Mexico in 2010. His studio process stems from the intersection of art and architecture.

In the studio, Matthew’s works are conditioned by the architectural filters of site, section, and plan in a conceptual exploration of materials, place and technology.


Don Whitesinger: Painting and Design Instructor

Degrees: MAT- Rhode Island
School of Design Bachelors of Art (Studio Art)- ASU AA 2/D ART (Painting and Photography)- IAIA

My art epitomizes my strength, control, and personality. As a contemporary abstract artist, I spontaneously create art for the sake of art. My work represents both the energy and life of
my endeavors at Canyon de Chelly near Wild Cherry Canyon on the Navajo Nation. I think of the past of the Diné people and the modern art movements in the art world. I try to encourage students to think about the relationship of art, ecology, and their community. Art awareness of interdisciplinary connections, action oriented, and hopefully based on Diné social values. Living Art, tasting art, doing art is my life. I just have the credentials to teach Art. Art is your inner creative thought, that breath of life, that feeling that has not been seen, the search of essences and to make something tangible so to have a real presence.

It’s that grasp for that feeling of self worth. The scent of wet sage the earth moisture after she- rain has passed.


Paul Willeto: Dean of the School of Arts, Humanities and English

Degrees: Ed.D University of New Mexico, M.F.A University of Michigan Teaching Areas: General Humanities, Education and Fine Arts
Years at DC: 1981 to Present: Faculty, Department Chair, Dean of Instruction, and Branch Director Contact:

Personal Interests/ Pursuits: Music/or Musician/ Drawing/ Literature on Red Power Political Activism Personal Website:


Haesong Kwon: English Instructor

Degrees: Ph.D., Oklahoma State University

Haesong Kwon teaches courses in literature, film, creative writing and composition.

“The Teacher teaches, without words and without action simplicity, patience, and compassion.” – Marilyn Nelson, “The Tao of the Trial”


Karla Cavarra Britton

Degrees: PhD Harvard University, Architecture and Urban Planning; MA Columbia University, Comparative Literature; BA University of Colorado, Boulder, Intellectual History. Taught: Yale School of Architecture, 2003-2018; Columbia University School of Architecture & Planning (New York/Paris Program), 1996-2003; University of New Mexico, summers 2015-18. New to Diné College for 2018-19.

My enthusiasm for teaching art history at Diné College is inspired by my work with students whose energies and visions bring them to a pursuit of art and design. It is grounded in my research and writing on regional identities, art and architectural culture, and sacred buildings and landscapes. I believe that the study and practice of art and architecture offers a more capacious vision of the multiple worlds we inhabit, and helps us to see and understand ourselves more clearly.

Art History

The interdisciplinary nature of the study of art history at Diné College stresses the relationships of art and design with the lived experiences of the Diné people today in their cultural, political, spiritual, and social milieus. Supported by a collaborative dialogue with practitioners of a variety of artistic media, as well as faculty from other academic disciplines, the art history curriculum offers a comprehensive approach to the theory and practice of the arts broadly conceived. Within a context of collective research, students (especially in their senior year) interact with their peers and faculty to nurture individual research projects.

Students engage in both coursework and independent study as part of survey courses which present a general introduction to the histories, geographies and significant figures of Native American art in North America. In addition, broad survey courses in World Art present a valuable counterpoint and background for the department’s primary focus on Diné arts and architecture. Advanced 400 level seminars focus on Contemporary American Indian Masters and engage in debates regarding the culture of native arts since 1968, including issues of colonialism, the concept of home and homeland, displacement, political sovereignty, gender, and the environment.

Learning Goals:

–Investigate the role of the artist as a communicator for society and culture

–Explore the relationship between technology, cultural values, and a sense of place

–Reflect on the role of curiosity, appreciation, and different ways of perceiving

–Embrace the interrelatedness of spiritual, performance, and artistic practices

–Develop an understanding of art and architecture expanded beyond the usual boundaries

–Evaluate the effect of commercialization and the Native American art market