Alumna Judy Bluehorse Skelton, MA ’08, is the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year award from the Oregon Indian Education Association (OIEA). She is a graduate of the Leadership for Sustainability Education (LSE) program and has a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from PSU. She received the honor at the group’s annual conference in Warm Springs on April 11, 2014.
Ms. Skelton is an instructor in PSU’s Native American Studies program and is affiliated with the Nez Perce and Cherokee People. She is a true advocate for cultural and indigenous learning and has taught PSU capstone courses to undergraduates. She is very active in supporting Native American youth in Multnomah County.
“Judy has also created innovative courses that demonstrate her cultural responsiveness to Indigenous ways of knowing for a broad audience, including undergraduates, high school teachers and post-bachelor scholars,” says her colleague, Cornel Pewewardy, professor in the Native American Studies program. “Moreover, she has a strong interest in university-community research linkages, service learning and boundary organizations between the university and tribal communities and sovereign governments.”
“One has to experience Judy’s teaching to realize what an exceptional teacher and human being she is,” says Professor Dilafruz Williams, who works with the LSE program. “A versatile permaculturist, herbalist, and ethnobotanist, Judy embodies the beauty and wonder of plants as she calmly embraces one and all that interact with her.”
The OIEA is a nonprofit organization that promotes quality education for Native Americans in Oregon. The award is granted annually to individuals who demonstrate a deep commitment to Indian Education in the state.