This academic year, we welcomed two Visiting Instructors / Mellon Fellows to Fort Lewis College.
Dr. Twenter is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Native American & Indigenous Studies and Mellon Scholar for the 2020-2021 Academic Year at Fort Lewis College. He received his Ph.D. in English at the University of South Dakota. His areas of expertise are Indigenous Literatures, Indigenous Popular Culture, Television, and Film, Lakota Landscapes and Languages, Trans-Indigenous Literature, Contemporary American Literature, and Environmental Studies.
Dr. Two Bears is Diné (Navajo) originally from Birdsprings, Arizona. Her maternal clan is Tódích’íi’nii, Bitter Water, and she was born for Táchii’nii, Red Running into the Water Clan. Before deciding to go back to school, Dr. Two Bears worked for the Navajo Nation Archaeology Department for 14 years as a tribal archaeologist and program manager. In 2019 Dr. Two Bears completed her dissertation and received her doctoral degree from Indiana University in Anthropology with an emphasis in Archaeology, and a PhD Minor in Native American and Indigenous Studies. Davina's dissertation focuses on the history of the Old Leupp Boarding School (OLBS), an early twentieth century Federal Indian Boarding School on the southwestern Navajo Reservation in Leupp, Arizona. She enjoys teaching, spending time with her children and family, attending Navajo & Native American cultural events, and listening to Native American contemporary music.
Aside from teaching courses in their areas of expertise, they will also be holding talks and workshops related to the goals of our Mellon grant.
We plan to host 3-4 Native American / Indigenous scholars on campus for multi-day events geared toward student engagement and/or faculty development.
Dr. Deanne Grant earned a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in Ethnic Studies. She also holds a Master's degree in Tribal Governance. Ms. Grant is Pawnee from Oklahoma.
Dr. Bridgette Groat holds a Ph.D. in History from Arizona State University. Dr. Groat is Alaska Native and did her doctoral research on the history of salmon fishing in her community.
Campus Visits 2019-2020
In February 2020, the Mellon Grant supported a campus visit by Dr. Anna Lee Walters, author and faculty member at Diné College in Arizona. Their presentation helped spark conversations related to museums, artifacts, and sovereignty relevant to many of our students.
In March 2020, we used Mellon funds to support a visit by Levi Romero, Poet Laureate of New Mexico and faculty member at the University of New Mexico. His gave a reading and fielded questions at two events. There were also opportunities for students to meet with him informally, and he stressed the importance of stories and the power of language.
In March 2019, we used Mellon funds to support a visit by Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network. His talk was entitled "Earth Jurisprudence: Protecting the Rights of Nature." There were also opportunities for students to meet with him informally.
In November 2018, the Mellon Grant supported a campus visit by Dr. Herman Cody and Mr. Avery Denny. Both are faculty at Diné College in Arizona. Their presentation was titled "Integrating Diné Epistomologies and Perspectives Into Higher Education-Teaching." Since we have a very high number of Navajo students, this presentation helped spark conversations and new teaching strategies immediately relevant to many of our students.