Tribal member receives University of Arizona Outstanding Graduate Student Award

(Fremont County, WY) – It was recently announced in a release that Amanda LeClair-Diaz (Eastern Shoshone/Northern Arapaho) has been awarded the University of Arizona’s College of Education’s Spring 2022 Outstanding Graduate Student Award and Graduate Student Convocation Speaker.

According to the University of Arizona’s Faculty and Staff Awards Committee, to be eligible to win this award, a graduate student needs to be a graduate in Spring 2022, have been a graduate student in the College of Education for at least two years, be in good academic standing, and meet at least one of the criteria:

• Have had major responsibility for providing support to a class or serving as the instructor of record in a lecture, discussion, or laboratory course; and/or

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• Have had major responsibility on an ongoing research project; and/or

• Have had broader impacts and involvement in activities outside of academic responsibilities that benefit the department, university, and the larger community. For example, this student may represent graduate student interests on councils or committees, organize graduate student events, assist departmental recruitment, participate in K-12 outreach, etc.

Amanda’s nominators, Dr. Buxner and Dr. Garcia, had this to say in their nomination letters.

Dr. Buxner said, “Amanda is an outstanding graduate student who has demonstrated leadership in supporting undergraduate education in the College of Education, in research, and in broader impacts through professional communities and in her home community. She has overcome many barriers to obtaining her PhD and has excelled in her journey both academically and personally graduating with a GPA of 4.0. She is an excellent speaker who is thoughtful and inclusive and is an excellent ambassador for the College of Education.”

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Dr. Garcia said, “Amanda understands the complexities of utilizing Critical Indigenous Research Methodologies that requires her work to be contextualized within the communities of which it evolves and to engage notions of accountability, reciprocity, and relationality.

Amanda is currently completing her dissertation, “It’s Just Opened My Eyes to How Important It Is”: An Analysis of Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Teachers’ Engagement with Critical Indigenous Theories.

Amanda will graduate this upcoming May. She will be receiving her PhD in Language, Reading, and Culture with a focus in Indigenous Education and a minor in Teaching and Teacher Education.

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