Initiative Honors Past 3 Haskell Presidents

May 15th, 2008 | By | Category: 19-4: Success by Accountability and Assessment, Tribal College News

Haskell Indian Nations University (Lawrence, KS) has announced Indigenous and American Indian Studies Professor Julia Goodfox as the first scholar of the Dr. Gerald E. Gipp Scholar Exchange Program. Goodfox is an enrolled member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma. She is active in her discipline, including sponsorship of the American Indian Studies Club, co-director of the Indigenous and African Experiences in the Americas Seminar, and development of the Haskell Writing Center. Goodfox has been teaching at Haskell since August of 2005.

The Gipp Scholar Exchange Program is one of three new initiatives designed by Haskell President Linda Sue Warner (Comanche) to honor Haskell’s former American Indian presidents. The new scholar program is a multi-faceted educational opportunity established to promote academia. In addition to academic exchanges between colleges and universities, the program provides professional development — Gipp Scholars are encouraged to pursue post-baccalaureate degrees through reduced teaching loads and sponsored sabbatical leave. As a Gipp Scholar, Goodfox will assume a full sabbatical leave for the 2008 calendar year to complete her dissertation in American Studies at the University of Kansas.

Gipp served as Haskell’s first American Indian president from 1981 through 1989. He is currently the executive director of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), a nonprofit organization of tribal colleges and universities (TCUs). The consortium is comprised of 37 higher education institutions located in 15 states and one Canadian province. Gipp has served as a program director at the National Science Foundation and executive director for the Intra-Departmental Council on Native American Affairs. He was also the first American Indian appointed as deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Indian Education, as well as the first American Indian director of the American Indian Leadership Program at Penn State University. He is an enrolled member of the Hunkpapa Lakota Nation from the Standing Rock Reservation in North and South Dakota.

The two other new Haskell initiatives are the Dr. Robert “Bob” Martin International Education Program and the Dr. Karen Gayton Swisher Instructional Mentorship Program. The Martin program was created to globalize Haskell Indian Nations University. It includes three elements: curricular exchange between tribal colleges and universities, study abroad, and service learning/field school outreach projects. Martin served as Haskell’s second American Indian president from 1989 through 1999. He is currently the president of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM, and is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

The Karen Gayton Swisher Instructional Mentorship Program is designed to provide practiced K-12 teachers with mentorship strategies to enhance the quality of experience for the first-year teacher. The Swisher Mentor will engage in training at Haskell during the summer months to assist in the transition of the first-year teacher to the K-12 setting. Swisher served as Haskell’s third American Indian president and Haskell’s first female president from 1999 until 2007. Swisher is an enrolled member of the Hunkpapa Dakota/Nakota/Lakota Nations from the Standing Rock Reservation in North and South Dakota.

The Haskell Presidential Honor Programs are directed by the newly formed Haskell Research Education Dissemination (RED) Center. The role of the RED Center is to become a centerpiece for research; a national repository and clearinghouse for Indigenous research by and about Indigenous people. Academic foci include business, education, environmental studies, Indigenous and American Indian studies, and health.

Additional information on the Haskell RED Center can be viewed on the Haskell Indian Nations University website (, or contact Judith Gipp, director, at (785) 749-8470.

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