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From Chinle High to the University of Washington
Katrina Claw, Ph.D., talks Genomics, Higher Ed
TSAILE, Ariz. — On many school nights while a college student, after working shifts at a department store, Katrina Claw studied long and hard.

The Many Farms, Ariz., native graduated salutatorian of Chinle High School in 2001. Claw, Ph.D., is now a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Washington in Seattle in the Department of Pharmaceutics, having received a doctoral degree from UW in 2013.

Claw spoke June 11 at Diné College as part of the College’s 2018 Speaker Series. The series highlights past and present people who have direct connections with Diné College.

“I hope from giving this presentation that I give you more motivation for learning,” Claw told the 60-plus mostly students and staffers attending the two-hour talk. Claw’s presentation was entitled, “Taking the Educational Ladder: From the Reservation to a Ph.D., and Beyond.”

Claw said, “There have been a lot of challenges that I have had to face over the years.”

Claw is an alumnae of Diné College’s Summer Research Enhancement Program which is overseen by science professor Mark Bauer, Ph.D. She is a biology and anthropology graduate of Arizona State University.

SREP is an annual program at Diné College, which utilizes classroom and experiential curricula designed to introduce predominantly Navajo undergraduates and paraprofessionals to health research. SREP influenced Claw’s decision to study science. She said after the talk that as a young student with Diné College’s SREP, she learned new aspects of science and valued the one-on-one approach with Bauer — who has overseen SREP for almost 20 years. “It’s funny how (Bauer) and I started out and now we’re colleagues.”

Claw said she started out at ASU as an engineering major, but later changed to the more research-oriented field of genome sciences.

“My brother and I were engineering majors and lived together while students at one point,” Claw said.

Claw’s talk centered upon how she chose her undergraduate and graduate majors and the road blocks she encountered along the way. “I wanted to do something that would impact my community,” Claw said of her career path.

Claw said emotional distress, financial uncertainties and language and cultural traditions are par the course for Navajos navigating the world of higher education at big universities. She said she got her share of rejection letters for programs she sought while going through graduate school.

“Don’t settle for the dirty jobs,” she said her father used to tell her.

As a post-doctoral Navajo researcher at the University of Washington, Claw’s interests include human genetics and genomics, pharmacogenomics, and the ethical, social and legal implications of genomic research with American Indian/Alaska Native and other indigenous populations around the world.

Claws aid she’d like to have an impact on the number of indigenous people pursuing science as a career. She said she and Bauer correspond on various subjects.

“We need mentors to who can provide support and guide us through the system, and help us find funding.” she said.

Miranda Haskie, a sociology professor at Diné College and an organizer of the Speaker Series, lauded Claw’s engagement with Native populations with respect to genomic medicine research.

“I think we all learned a lot about genetics and genomics,” Haskie said.

Former NN Chairman Peter MacDonald Talks Treaty of 1868, Education MacDonald: ‘…Our Kids Should Know Where They Come From’

TSAILE, Ariz. — As the 150th anniversary of the Long Walk nears, Navajos are forging the outlines of a new future.

It’s OK to slow down and recognize the successes of the past — successes that go back centuries. But don’t slow down so much that progress, particularly regarding education, is put on the backburner.

That was the gist of a near three-hour speech — interrupted a few times with applause — June 5 by former Navajo Nation Chairman and Navajo Code Talker Peter MacDonald.

The speech was part of Diné College’s 50th anniversary commemoration and was attended by more than 60 people. MacDonald served a record four terms as Navajo Nation Chairman between 1970 and 1986.

“All of our kids should know where they come from,” MacDonald said. “Go back to before the Treaty of 1868 and before the 1940s — and then you’ll know what is (technically) Navajo and what belongs to Navajo.”

MacDonald, 90, spoke about the ramifications of the treaty, saying that the Navajo leaders who negotiated the signing of the document were not formally educated, but secured something that passed multiple tests of time. Modern day officials must use the same zeal employed by their predecessors — “all they had was their language, they didn’t have law or doctoral degrees” — to secure water and land rights, MacDonald suggested.

“When they got back from Fort Sumner, N.M. (involuntarily taken and held by the U.S. Army), they had nothing, but they knew they were coming back to live within the Four Sacred Mountains,” MacDonald said. (In Navajo lore, the Four Sacred Mountains include Mt. Taylor, Mt. Hesperus, the San Francisco Peaks and Mt. Blanco). “They knew there would be no more suffering like what had occurred at (Fort Sumner).”

MacDonald, who is from Teec Nos Pos, Ariz., said Diné College offers educational stability, saying that it was he who developed the formal proposal for an institution of higher learning on Navajo. He praised the College’s founding fathers, pointing out that Bob Roessel, Raymond Nakai, Ned Hatathli and Allen Yazzie carried forth a vision and stuck with it. A former U.S. Marine, he said he secured the “first big funding” for Diné College during his tenure as Navajo Nation Chairman.

“Diné College was designed to teach language and culture, the things that Navajos need because the early leaders believed in education,” he said. MacDonald’s daughter Hope MacDonald lone tree was in the audience. She is running for Navajo Nation president this year.

“I think the speech was very uplifting,” Miranda Haskie, Ed.D, a sociology instructor at Diné College and organizer of the 2018 Speaker Series, said.

Some Background

The current president of the Navajo Code Talkers Association, MacDonald enrolled in the Marines at the age of 15. He served in the South Pacific as a Code Talker and North China with the Sixth Marine Division. The Navajo language was the undetectable code that enabled the U.S. to win World War II.

MacDonald holds an electrical engineering degree from the University of Oklahoma and was featured in Time magazine in 1974 as one of 200 “Rising Leaders in America.”

MacDonald’s time in tribal government wasn’t always positive. He was suspended by the Navajo Nation Council in 1989 on suspicion of bribery. A riot in Window Rock ensued, which led to two deaths. MacDonald served federal prison time on fraud and racketeering convictions, among other federal convictions, but was pardoned in 2001 by then-President Bill Clinton.

Associate Professor Chengde Wang

COURSES:

MTH 110: College Algebra, MTH 365: Modern Geometry, MTH 106: Survey on College Mathematics, MTH 191: Calculus I, MTH 221: Ordinary Differential Equation

CREDENTIALS:

Doctorate in Ph.D.: Arizona State University

Major: Mathematics

Master of Science: Beijing Biss International School

Major: Mathematics

Bachelor of Arts: Beijing Biss International School

Major: Mathematics

Willis Tsosie

COURSES:

CIS 111: Intro to Computers, CIS 210: Systems Analysis and Design, CSC 150: Programming Fundamentals, MTH 096: Basic Mathematics, MTH 100: Intermediate Algebra

CREDENTIALS:

Master of Science: Montana State University

Major: Information Processing & Communication

Bachelor of Science: Montana State University

Major: Computer Science

Associate Professor Donald Robinson

COURSES:

CHM 130: Fundamental Chemistry

CREDENTIALS:

Doctorate in Ph.D.: Maharishi University of Management

Major: Physiology

Master of Arts: Maharishi International University

Major: Science of Creative Intelligence

Master of Scienece: The University of Akron

Major: Biology

Bachelor of Scienece: Northern Arizona University

Major: Biology

Dennis Price

COURSES:

Credentialed to teach MTH 096: Basic Mathematics, MTH 100: Intermediate Algebra, MTH 110: College Algebra

CREDENTIALS:

Bachelor of Science: Northern Arizona University

Major: Agriculture

Associate Professor John Murray

COURSES:

MTH 100: Intermediate Algebra, PHY 111: Algebra based Physics II, PHY 131: Calculus based Physics II

CREDENTIALS:

Doctorate in Ph.D.: Clemson University

Major: Engineering

Master of Science: Clemson University

Major: Engineering

Bachelor of Scienece in Engineering: University of South Florida

Major: Engineering

Bachelor of Scienece: University of South Florida

Major: Engineering

Associate Professor Oleksandr Makeyev

COURSES:

Credentialed to in all MTH courses and Engineering.

CREDENTIALS:

Doctorate in Ph.D.: Clarkson University

Major: Engineering Science

Master of Science: Kyiv Taras Shevchenko National University

Major: Statistics

Bachelor of Scienece: Kyiv Taras Shevchenko National University

Major: Mathematics

Barbara Klein

COURSES:

BIO 205: Microbiology, CHM 152: General Chemistry II, CHM 230: Fundamental Organic Chemistry, CHM 236: General Organic Chemistry II
*Credentialed in CHM 100-300, BIO 100-400, HEE 100 and PUH 100-300. PUH is contingent based on official transcript.

CREDENTIALS:

Master of Arts, Master of Science: Iowa State University

Major: Microbiology

Master of Science: Clark College

Major: Computer Application

Bachelor of Arts: Mercyhurst College

Major: Chemistry

Carmella Kahn

COURSES:

PUH 100, 200, 300, 400

Professor Shazia Tabassum Hakim

COURSES:

Bio 100, 200, 300, 400

Associate Professor Fredrick Boyd

COURSES:

Needs credential form, BIO 160: Intro to Human Anatomy & Philosophy, BIO 201: Human Anatomy & Physiology, BIO 202: Human Anatomy & Physiology II
Credentialed for BIO 100-400, CHM 100-200 (300 level will be reviewed w/ faculty), HEE 100

CREDENTIALS:

Doctorate in PH.D.: University of Florida

Major: Medical Science and Physiology

Bachelor of Science: University of Wisconsin

Major: Zoology

Professor Michael Begaye

COURSES:

CHM 130: Fundamental Chemistry, CHM 152: General Chemistry II, CHM 230: Fundamental Organic Chemistry
CHM 100-300
*MTH 100-200 (300-400 level will be reviewed with Dean)

CREDENTIALS:

Doctorate in PH.D.: New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Major: Chemistry

Bachelor of Science: Fort Lewis College

Major: Chemistry

Professor Mark Bauer

COURSES:

PUH 200: Principles of Health Education, PUH 280: Implement &Evaluation of Public Health Intervention
*Anthropology 100, 200 level
Public Health 100-400 level

CREDENTIALS:

Doctorate in PH.D.: Northwestern University

Major: Anthropology

Bachelor of Arts: Ohio State University

Major: Anthropology

Associate Professor Don Whitesinger

COURSES:

FA227: Arts for Teachers, ARH 211: Survey of Native American Art, FA 106 Color Theory, FA112: 2D Design, FA 390: Painting III

CREDENTIALS:

Master Art of Teaching: Rhode Island School of Design

Bachelor of Arts: Arizona State University

Major: Studio Arts

Associate Professor Sheila White

COURSES:

HUM 152: Film Appreciation, HUM 131: Music Appreciation, ENG 101, 102

CREDENTIALS:

Master of Arts: Northern Arizona University

Major: English, Bilingual & Multicultural Education

Bachelor of Find Arts: University of Arizona

Major: Theatre Arts

Orlando White

COURSES:

ENG 101, 102: Freshman English II, ENG 212: Creative Writing: Poetry, ENG 233: Intro to Native American Literature

CREDENTIALS:

Master of Fine Arts: Brown University

Major: Literary Arts

Bachelor of Find Arts: Institute of American Indian Arts

Major: Creating Writing

Anna Walters

COURSES:

ENG 082, 085, ENG 101,102, 233

CREDENTIALS:

Master of Fine Arts: Goddard University

Bachelor of Arts

Professor Irvin Morris

COURSES:

ENG 082: Communication Workshop I, ENG 101, 102 Freshman English I&II, ENG 231 Intro to Literature

CREDENTIALS:

Master of Fine Arts: Cornell University

Major: Creative Writing

Jesse Maloney

COURSES:

ENG 233: Intro. to Native American Literature, ENG 075: Advanced Reading, ENG 082: Communication Workshop I, ENG 101: Freshman English I, ENG 102: Freshman English II,

Not Reading

CREDENTIALS:

Master of Fine Arts: Lindenwood University

Major: Writing

Bachelor of Arts: Northern Arizona University

Major:

Associate Professor Andrew Kwon

COURSES:

ENG 082: Communication Workshop I, ENG 101: Freshman English I, ENG 102: Freshman English II, ENG 212: Creative Writing: Poetry, ENG 238: Introduction to Indigenous Literacy

CREDENTIALS:

Doctorate of Philosophy: Oklahoma State University-College of Arts & Science

Major: English

Master of Fine Arts: University of Massachusetts

Major: English

Bachelor of Arts: Clark University

Major: History

Velma Hale

COURSES:

ENG 085: Communications Workshop II, ENG 072: Foundation of Reading, EDU 100, 200, 300, 400

CREDENTIALS:

Master of Arts: Northern Arizona University

Major: Bilingual-Multicultural Education

Bachelor of Science: Northern Arizona University

Major: Secondary Education in English

Emily Green

COURSES:

ENG 072: Foundation of Reading, ENG 082 Communication Workshop I, ENG 085 Communication Workshop II, ENG 101

CREDENTIALS:

Master of Arts: Old Dominquez University

Major: Applied Linguistic

Bachelor of Arts: Old Dominquez University

Major: English

Bachelor of Science

Associate Professor Robert Bollinger

COURSES:

DA 110: Introduction to Graphic Arts, DA 112: Computer Illustration I, DA 115: Web Design I, DA 212: Computer Illustration II, FA107: 3D design, FA Drawing II, FA 315: Drawing III

CREDENTIALS:

Master of Architecture: UNM

Major: Architectural design

Master of Fine Arts: San Francisco Art Institute

Major: Painting

Bachelor of Arts

Major: Fine Arts

Professor Karla Britton

COURSES:

ART 100, 200, 300, 400, FA 300, 400

CREDENTIALS:

Ph.D. Architecture