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Washington State University
College of Education

Ti’tooqan Cuukweneewit — Our Faculty

Dedicated to our students having success

Our faculty have all been successful in large part because of help from others. They, in turn, have as a primary goal is to assist their students and have dedicated themselves to the Indigenous communities where these students live and work.

renée holt

renee holt

Dine and enrolled Nimiipuu with Lenape descent

As a mother, my children attend Washington state public schools and my interests can be found in helping local public schools with in-service and pre-service teacher education and professional development in an effort to address racialized stereotypes and misconceptions. To help create spaces of change, I can be found working with local public school districts creating education and awareness, and connecting them with tribal educators. As a researcher, I have come to learn through Indigenous education research (and my lived experience) that erasure and systemic oppression will continue to effect Indigenous communities and ultimately, Native student learners, in the classroom when voices of Indigenous people are not included. (Battiste, 2013 & 2002; Kanu, 2005) While centering Indigenous epistemologies (and ancestral knowledge) my research interests can also be found in Indigenous Women’s studies, land based education, anti-blackness in Indigenous communities, reclaiming both my languages, and decolonization through cultural practices. A few of my favorite things are being out on the land, relearning my languages, practicing culture, and making my home on the Palouse, which is on traditional homelands where my ancestors would graze the famous Nez Perce Apaaloosa.

Susan Banks

Arapahoe and German ancestry

Dr. Susan Rae Banks-Joseph is a mother of four, auntie, and grand-auntie. She enjoys basket weaving, beading, painting, to name a few; as well as, horseback riding, fiddling, and cooking. A graduate and alumni of the Pennsylvania State University’s American Indian Leadership in Special Education program, she worked under mentorship of Dr. Grayson Noley and Dr. John Tippeconic. She is an Associate Professor of Special Education and published research in Indigenous education, special education and early childhood special education. Her cognate area is Educational Psychology (assessment [tests and measurements]). She has a passion for research, teaching, mentoring, and educating to empower families/communities and works to share by volunteering to help children and their families as they navigate through the maze of educational systems and support services in pursuit of quality service provision. In addition, she presents on special education processes and laws in tribal and non-tribal communities, conferences, and gatherings at local, state, national and international levels. Susan has worked with individuals across the life stages (Birth through 58 years old) with extensive experience working with children with various special needs including those who are medically fragile and those with intense needs. She feels honored, having opportunities to learn from so many people whose passions are to work together to improve education in ways that support student success, which in turn, supports community health and wellness.

Francene Watson

English and Irish ancestry

Fran’s teaching, service, and scholarship are interdisciplinary and explore the inherent, critical complexities of sustainability and place-based learning in K-12, pre-service teacher education and professional development. She engages in purpose-driven, participatory action research, relationship building with local schools and Indigenous communities especially aligned with WSU’s land-grant service mission and explicit MOU with regional Tribal Nations. As a mother and member of a community, a priority in her scholarship works to engage in statewide Education for Sustainability initiatives centering love, joy, relationship building, dialogue, allyship and social justice.

As a pre-service teacher educator and in-service professional development projects, her work stems from the critical need to establish culturally responsive, socially just, and enlivened learning spaces in regional schools from a community-based approach. Using participatory and community-based action research models, current project foci works to connect food, land, water (namely the Snake and Columbia Rivers) and people, bringing these intersections into a P-16 curricular platform.