Blog Post by: Dr. John L. Garland, PhD, Director of Research and Student Success – Indigenous Education, Inc.
For many graduate students the Summer season represents a time for catching up with family, friends, coursework, and research – and often in that order. In 2017, Indigenous Education, Inc., home of the Cobell Scholarship, initiated the Cobell Summer Graduate Research Fellowship to support five American Indian and Alaska Native graduate students each year with direct funding to help prioritize research projects throughout the summer months.
Although we are currently in the process of funding our 2018 Cobell Summer Fellows with $5,000 research stipends, last year’s Fellows were completing their Fellowship cycle this summer via national presentation opportunities. Two of our Fellows, Elese Washines (Yakama/Cree/Skokomish) a doctoral student at Oregon State University, and Justin Kaye (Navajo) a graduate pre-med student at the University of Arizona, recently presented summaries of their research projects at the College Board’s Native American Student Advocacy Institute (NASAI) held this June at Kapi’olani Community College in Honolulu, Hawaii. Elese’s research focuses on best practices for teaching secondary mathematics to Native Students and best practices for preparing teachers to teach in rural areas and Justin’s research identifies the effects of relevant Warfarin gene-drug pairs in Hispanic populations in order to improve dose estimations that will be effective and safe.
During my introduction of the Fellows at the Institute, I mentioned that attendees should consider hearing, watching, listening, experiencing, and interacting with our Fellows from a multidimensional perspective. These are Native researchers who are achieving extraordinary levels of personal and academic success. Likewise, the Fellows are conducting important research that supports improving the human condition for Native and non-Natives alike. It’s frequently been my experience that Native graduate student researchers get guided into focusing solely on Native issues. While our Fellows’ work certainly makes positive contributions to Native communities, their research has broader implications for positive societal change reaching across rural and racial boundaries – and this is what makes their journey even more extraordinary. Not only are our Fellows contributing to their community’s success, they are generating positive outcomes beyond our community and I couldn’t be more impressed, excited, or in awe of their journey and accomplishments. Their future is our future and I believe Elouise Cobell is with them every step of the way.
John L. Garland, PhD, CRC
Director, Research & Student Success