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Doctoral Students Do Education Internships


Sixteen doctoral students from New Mexico State University’s American Indian Educational Executive Doctorate (AIEED) program recently completed two-week internships with the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED), officials there announced.

Among them was Colleen W. Bowman, a Navajo working with PED Educator quality Division said, “My internship experience has broadened my understanding of effective educational leadership skills. The connections to theory and real-world application must be woven together to create a learning environment that is meaningful to indigenous communities.” Bowman is the Human Resources Coordinator at the Central Consolidated School District in the Four Corners.

Eulalia Gonzales, identified as Navajo/Mexican, works with teachers in the Services for Exceptional Students department in the Gallup McKinley County School District. At the PED, she worked with the Charter Schools Bureau. “I have an increased awareness of the state level system, and I am very thankful for the experience,” said Gonzales. She said she has dreams of opening her own charter school some time in the future.

Secretary of Education Veronica C. Garcia said she and her staff welcomed the scholars.

“I am delighted to host these 16 American Indian scholars who are preparing to address unique education issues for students in their tribal communities,” said Secretary Garcia.  “So many of the interns are already leaders in their public schools, and this NMSU program offers them the opportunity to broaden their understanding of the state education system.”

The NMSU AIEED program was started in 2006 to prepare American Indian educational leaders to serve American Indian students. AIEED is offered by the Department of Educational Management and Development in the NMSU College of Education, to provide a comprehensive and collaborative technique for earning a doctoral degree in educational administration, the department said.

It said applicants for the program had to be residents of New Mexico, have a master’s degree from an accredited institution and be a member of a federal- or state-recognized American Indian tribe or pueblo. In addition, they had to have five years of educational experience in a public, private or federal PreK-12 educational organization, be committed to completing a four-year program of study and to serving American Indian students in PreK-12 education.  The program’s incentives include active support from academic coaches and the ability to earn the degree through weekend, summer, distance-delivered and online courses.

This year’s participants worked in various capacities at schools and tribal colleges in New Mexico, Utah, and with the Bureau of Indian education. The participants were assigned to various departments/bureaus, including: Indian education, quality assurance, public information, and special education.

The rest of the NMSU doctoral students include:

Brian Dixon (Navajo), assistant principal, Whitehorse HS, San Juan School District in Utah

Carmen Moffett (Navajo/Mexican), Indian education director, Gallup McKinley County School District

Darryl Benally (Navajo), school psychologist, Bureau of Indian Education, Crownpoint, NM

Glenn Haven (Navajo), principal, Newcomb High School, Central Consolidated School District

Jerald Bidtah (Navajo), educator

Keri Jojola (Navajo), counselor, Tohajiilee Community School, Bureau of Indian Education

Nadine Chatto (Navajo), teacher, Dzilth-na-o-dith-le Community School, Bureau of Indian Education

Olivia Kien (Navajo), teacher, Fort Wingate HS, Bureau of Indian Education

Patricia Sandoval (Laguna), administrator, Santa Fe Indian School, Bureau of Indian Education

Paulette White (Navajo), principal, Navajo Pine High School, Gallup McKinley County School District

Phyllis Pine (Navajo), school psychologist, Central Consolidated School District

Wilma Martinez (Navajo/San Juan Pueblo); education administrator, Charter Schools Bureau, PED

Arrow Wilkensen (Arikara/Hidatsa-Muscogee), education administrator, Walatowa Charter High School

For more information on the AIEED program, contact Dana Christman, associate professor, Department of Educational Management & Development, NMSU, (505)646-7330. For information on the AIEED internship at the PED, contact Lori Bachman, Special Assistant to the Secretary, PED, at (505) 827-6788.

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