Diné College Awards First Summer Seed Funding to Advance Research, Innovation & Practice

Shaina Nez-Senior Lecturer, Professor Miranda Haskie, Professor Shazia Tabassum Hakim. Not pictured: Dr. Suzanne Russ

Diné College Awards First Summer Seed Funding to Advance Research, Innovation & Practice

19 May 2023

TSAILE, AZ — Diné College has announced the recipients of its first Summer Seed Funding Awards, providing $5,000 each to advance research projects across the institution. The awards come as part of Diné College’s ongoing efforts to build research capacity and support research activity among faculty.

The recipients were selected based on their proposal’s alignment with the College mission and Strategic Design initiatives, as well as their potential for future funding and collaboration. The award-winning projects span a range of disciplines, including education philosophy, addiction recovery, and agricultural technology.

The recipients of the Summer Seed Funding Awards are:

  • Shazia Hakim, School of STEM, for her project titled “Anti-Fruit & Vegetables Ripening Chamber”
  • Miranda Haskie, School of Business and Social Science (SBSS) At Large, for her project titled “Sa’ąh Naagháí Bik’eh Hózhóón: The Educational Philosophy of Diné College”
  • Shaina Nez, School of Arts and Humanities, for her project titled “Saad Baa Hashni’ Words from Our Stories: A Case Study Exploring Diné and Indigenous Identity through Creative Writing Students,”
  • Suzanne Russ, SBSS, for her project titled “Sober: The Role of Surrender in Recovery from Alcohol Addiction”

Each recipient will receive $5,000 to support their projects, as well as focused support from Na’al Kaah Bee Honít’i’ – Research, Innovation & Practice. The funding will help bring their innovative ideas to life, and we are confident that their projects have the potential for further funding and collaboration. “We are thrilled to award our first Summer Seed Funding to these four exceptional recipients,” said Diné College’s Vice Provost for Research, Andrea Christelle. “Their proposals represent how our institution’s research capacity can be leveraged to benefit the Navajo Nation.” Dr. Miranda Haskied added “These are exciting times as we advance Diné College’s research agenda!”

“Removal of a 6% tax on water, fruits, and vegetables alone cannot really impact the health of Diné communities, until we do not have a regular supply and availability of fresh fruits and vegetables, distance from grocery stores in many locations also matters.” Professor Hakim stated. “This summer seed grant will help to develop a detailed study to find a way to increase the shelf life of fresh produce, prevent over-ripening and spoilage by germs, and boost the health and economic status of the Navajo country”.

Faculty, Shaina Nez states “This research opportunity potentially seeks inclusive spaces for all creative writers to explore their Diné and Native American identities. The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program is accountable to meet the writing goals of our future storytellers.”

“We know much about the thinking processes that indicate cognitive readiness to end alcohol addiction, but less about the subtle emotional states that predict a successful recovery. Preliminary evidence suggests that this humble, yielding state in which one releases resistance and fully accepts reality as it is—the state of surrender—smooths and strengthens the recovery process and enhances therapeutic effectiveness. If we can further improve our understanding of this emotional aspect of treatment response, we can better tailor the timing and processes of supportive services to the benefit of alcohol-troubled individuals, their families, and their communities.” stated Suzanne Russ

This Summer Seed Funding Awards are part of Diné College’s continued commitment to promoting research, innovation & practice across our institution. We look forward to the positive impact that these research initiatives will have.

As a postsecondary educational institution, Diné College awards associate degrees, bachelor degrees, a master degree and certificates in areas important to the economic and social development of the Navajo Nation. To comply with the College mission, personalized instruction is guaranteed to each student because of the low student-faculty ratio. All are welcome to apply.


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