Adjunct Assistant Professor of History
ACADEMIC AREAS: The American West, Basque Immigration and Community Formation
- Ph.D., History, University of Oregon, 2003
- M.A., History, Utah State University, 1994
- B.A., History, University of Oregon, 1992
I serve as the Director of Academic Residential and Research Initiatives (DARRI)—a joint position with the Division of Undergraduate Studies and the Department of Residence Life. I primarily function as a culture-broker of sorts between academic affairs and student affairs. My work assumes an ambassadorial role that translates conventions, transfers knowledge, and fosters relationships across divisional boundaries and between academic faculty and student life professionals. By occupying a liminal institutional space that straddles traditionally bifurcated areas of higher education, I enjoy a unique opportunity to cultivate dynamic collaborations and partnerships.
Ultimately, the position articulates and amplifies the common goal of providing a transformative academic entry experience for all incoming students to a residential liberal arts and sciences research university by forging connections through Academic Residential Communities (ARCs), Faculty-in-Residence, Faculty Fellows, Advisor Fellows, the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, and academic support initiatives (e.g. tutoring, advising) in residential spaces. I convene the campus-wide Academic Residential Communities Council charged by the Vice Provost and Dean of Academic Affairs with strategic policy development positioning ARCs within undergraduate education at the UO.
I am also an NTTF faculty member with the Department of History and Robert D. Clark Honors College. I specialize in the history of the American West, environment, and immigration, with a particular emphasis on the intersections of race/ethnicity, property, and community in the Northern Great Basin. I have designed and instructed a body of courses ranging from First-Year Seminars and First-Year Interest Groups to introductory surveys and upper-division topics courses and capstone research seminars. I collaborate with Professor Ian McNeely to serve as the Coordinator of the Reacting to the Past (RTTP) curriculum at the University of Oregon—an immersive, game-based, role-playing pedagogy offered now as History 211 and History 411.
Between 2005 and 2013, I served as a co-project director and/or academic historian for three U.S. Department of Education “Teaching American History” (215X) Grant Programs in partnership with the High Desert Education Service District serving K-12 public schools in Deschutes, Jefferson, and Crook counties. These professional development grants cultivated communities of social studies and history educators from elementary through high school level and promoted connections between academic historians and participating teachers. The grant projects provided a platform for not only the enrichment of teacher content knowledge, but more importantly a venue for the critical analysis of pedagogical strategies. Teachers adapted lesson plans and developed curriculum that integrated state standards for content and cognitive skills with local and regional primary source materials to provide students with an inquiry-base and problem-posing approach to discovering historical connections between local, national, and global patterns, processes, and topics.
Research Interests & Current Projects
My research and scholarship focuses on the Bizkaian Basque community of eastern Oregon, Western Idaho, and northern Nevada; and the Northern Paiute communities of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and Burns Paiute Tribe, with publications in the Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, The Journal of the Society of Basque Studies in America, and American Historical Association.
I have also developed an undergraduate curriculum engaging students in decolonizing pedagogy and community-engaged research with indigenous and ethnic community course partners. For the past six years I have co-instructed an annual Clark Honors College research colloquium with Jennifer O’Neal, University Historian and Archivist titled, “Decolonizing Research: The Northern Paiute History Project.” The project has evolved into a formal collaboration between the Robert D. Clark Honors College and the Northern Paiute communities of The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and the Burns Paiute Tribe. The course instructors have partnered with tribal elders, spiritual leaders, language instructors, Museum and Culture and Heritage Department staff, and many other tribal community members and visiting scholars to develop a community-engaged project with shared research protocols and ethics centered on respect, reciprocity, and reconciliation.
The course annually visits the Warm Springs Reservation and students remain in continuous collaboration with tribal partners through individual and small group phone interviews and email correspondence, as well as course partner visits to UO for class and tutorial sessions. The overall body of work created by this course – 74 original research papers, a documentary film, language and art-based projects, five Clark Honors College theses with full UO and tribal IRB approval, and CHC student high school visits and conference presentations with tribal partners – exemplifies the community-based, intercultural, decolonizing philosophy of the course. The students’ original research combines oral history, archival materials, and secondary literature to contribute new knowledge to the field of Northern Paiute and Native American history.
This integral engagement with tribal community partners has propelled the students to signature achievements and recognition of their scholarship. Students have presented at national, regional, and local conferences with tribal community partners, including the American Historical Association, Western Social Science Association, Oregon Heritage Summit, Alternative Sovereignties Conference, Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples Conference, and the UO Undergraduate Research Symposium. Our students’ research has earned academic awards and scholarships, including the Udall Undergraduate Scholarship, Oregon Heritage Fellowship, Martin Luther King Jr. Student Essay Award, Vice President for Research & Innovation (VPRI) Fellowships and UO Libraries Undergraduate Research Awards. The VPRI funding has enabled students to expand the scope of their work with the tribal community significantly and financed their travel to the Warm Springs and Burns Reservations, as well as the National Archives. Student Clara Gorman VPRI enabled her to present her CHC thesis research prospectus to a gathering of Northern Paiutes from tribal communities throughout the Northern Great Basin, encompassing Oregon, Nevada, and California, hosted at the Confederated Tribes of Warms Spring Longhouse.