NIEA Honors Karen Gayton Swisher

Nov 15th, 1997 | By | Category: 9-3: Responsible Welfare Reform, Tribal College News

Karen Gayton Swisher, NIEA Educator of the Year. Photo by Scott R. Indermaur

At its annual convention in November, the National Indian Education Association named Dr. Karen Gayton Swisher as Indian Educator of the Year. NIEA gives its highest award annually to recognize commitment to excellence in learning and outstanding service to Indian education. Swisher (Standing Rock Sioux) chairs the teacher education department at Haskell Indian Nations University (Lawrence, Kan.) and has over 30 years experience in Indian education.

Swisher has written and co-authored groundbreaking articles on Indian education in many journals. Most recently she has involved the Gila River Indian Community tribal council in research on children at risk there. She is known nationally for her efforts to encourage Indian scholars, including organizing the annual Association of American Indian and Alaska Native Professors Conference and annual research forums at NIEA conventions. She received her doctorate in educational administration in 1981. For seven years, she has edited the Journal of American Indian Education.

NIEA also honored three students for their outstanding academic achievements. One of them was a tribal college student, Shannon Hopkins, a student at Fort Peck Community College and the vice president of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium Student Congress.

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