NAS Advisory Board
Ms. Tami Buffalohead-McGill (firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Kelly Gould (KellyGould@creighton.edu)
Ms. Regina Grass
Dr. Faith Kurtyka, Ph. D. (FaithKurtyka@creighton.edu)
Department of English: Faith Kurtyka received her BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her MA in Creative Writing from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and her PhD in Rhetoric and Composition from the University of Arizona. She researches college students’ everyday activities—from note-taking in lecture halls to participation in Greek life—and devises strategies to build what they already know from the non-academic aspects of their lives into academic learning, specifically learning to write. Her previous research, a year-long ethnographic study of first-year college students, presented ways that teachers could use students’ existing knowledge to teach new content, like using text-messaging to teach research writing or using students’ low-status position as college freshmen to teach about how social injustices work. She is currently investigating university student organizations to understand how students are motivated to learn and become members of these communities and how teachers can create similar circumstances conducive to academic learning. Faith's foster brother and sister are Lake Superior Ojibwe and first-year college students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Wisconsin-Stout, and she hopes to work with the NAS Board to foster support for Native American students on Creighton's campus.
Dr. Jennifer Ladino, Ph.D. (email@example.com)
Department of English: Originally from Virginia, Jennifer Ladino received a BA in English from the University of Virginia, then headed west to earn a PhD at the University of Washington. Her teaching and research focus on 20th century American literature and culture. In summers, she has worked for the National Park Service, a job that sparked her interest in representations of nature – understood as landscape, symbol, everyday environment, or simply “space.” Dr. Ladino’s research grapples with literary and cultural nostalgia, explores what it means to “get back to nature,” and considers how nostalgia might promote socially and environmentally just ends. Native American literature has been central to this project. Her article, “Longing for Wonderland: Nostalgia for Nature in Post-Frontier America,” argues that Zitkala-Ša’s American Indian Stories revises dominant nostalgic discourse of the time and imagines equitable human societies. She is looking forward to teaching Native American literature at Creighton.
Dr. Tracy Leavelle, Ph.D. ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Department of History: Tracy Neal Leavelle joined the Department of History as an assistant professor in 2003. He came to Creighton University from Smith College, where he was the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities for 2001-2003. There, he taught in the American Studies Program and participated in the Kahn Liberal Arts Institute project on "Religious Tolerance and Intolerance in Ancient and Modern Worlds." He completed his undergraduate degree in cultural anthropology and Native American studies at Dartmouth College and attended Arizona State University, where he earned his Ph.D. in history. His teaching and research interests include early American, American Indian, and religious history. His current research examines the nature of spiritual encounters between Catholic missionaries and American Indians in colonial North America, exploring such issues as the translation and reception of religious concepts, the impact of gender and generational differences on Native responses to Christianity, and the role of religion in shaping colonial geographies. The working title of his book is Encounters of Spirit: Religion, Culture, and Community in French and Indian North America. Other works in progress include a study of conflicts over Native American cultural landscapes and sacred sites and an interview with a Cree ceremonial
Dr. Rudi Mitchell, Ed.D. ( RudiMitchell@creighton.edu )
Department of Sociology/Anthropology: Rudi Mitchell is a member of the Omaha Nation and is originally from Macy, Nebraska, on the Omaha Indian Reservation. He received his Bachelor of General Studies and his Master of Social Work degrees from the University of Nebraska. His Doctoral of Education, Educational Psychology and Counseling is from the University of South Dakota. Dr. Mitchell brings many years of experience in working with the 3 Indian reservations in Nebraska. He is a past chairman of the Omaha Nation of Nebraska and Iowa. He has worked extensively in the areas of human services, mental health, education, and community services.
Dr. Richard Witmer, Ph.D. ( email@example.com )
Department of Political Science: Richard Witmer is an assistant professor of Political Science where he teaches courses on American Indian politics, policy and tribal governments as well as courses in American Politics. His current research projects include the political participation of American Indians tribes and tribal leaders in non-tribal elections and politics. A second area of research includes the tribal-state compacting process. His recent publications include an examination of the U.S. Governments approach to Indian Environmental policy entitled “Federal Indian Law and Environmental Policy: A Social Continuity of Violence” with Peter Jacques and Sharon Ridgeway, and an examination of the spread of Indian gaming from state to state entitled “Disentangling Diffusion: The Effect of Social Learning and Economic Competition on State Policy Innovation and Expansion” with Fred Boehmke.