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Spring 2012

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Louie the Lumberjack

Outstanding Alums!

We wondered what NAU graduate alumni were up to. So we asked the faculty to let us know who was doing splendid work that was making a difference for people, for disciplines, or for communities or country.

Here's what they told us.

History: Jennifer Nez Denetdale

Jennifer Nez Denetdale

Jennifer Nez Denetdale (PhD History 1999) is an associate professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico. Her twenty-plus years of teaching and research focus in Navajo history and culture; Native American women, gender, and feminisms; and Indigenous nations, colonialism, and decolonization. She is the author of Reclaiming Diné History: The Legacies of Navajo Chief Manuelito and Juanita and two books for young adults, The Long Walk: The Forced Navajo Exile and The Navajo.

Denetdale sits on the Navajo Studies Conference Board, University of Arizona Press and American Indian Quarterly editorial boards, and the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission. She has been awarded numerous fellowships including a John Topham and Susan Redd Butler Faculty Fellowship, a Ford Foundation Fellowship, and a Tufts University Multicultural Teaching Fellowship. In 2010, she was awarded the UNM Faculty of Color Award for her achievements in scholarship, teaching, and service.

"I have a fondness for NAU because it did what no one else had done before: award a PhD in history to a Navajo for the first time ever,” Denetdale says. “I will always be appreciative for the mentoring and education I received at NAU. Henry Hooper, then associate provost for academic affairs, made sure that I had adequate funding and received professional training. My professors were top-notch: Susan Deeds, Karen Powers, and George Lubick are a few among many who made sure I received a quality education that has allowed me to take my research and publications to new areas of inquiry."