Resistance and Resilience: Navigating Patriarchy and Colonialism in Higher Education
Professor Dwanna Robertson and Judy Fisher ’20 are working together on research that is not only academically relevant, but also meaningful to them both on a personal level.
“Our research is so relevant, not just to Judy or me, but to all Native scholars,” says Robertson, assistant professor of race, ethnicity, and migration studies. As part of the Summer Collaborative Research program, they are examining the low rates of recruitment, retention, and tenure granted to Native women faculty in predominantly white higher ed institutions.
“There is scarce research available about Native women faculty and the stagnancy of their integration into academia,” Robertson says. “I plan to expand that to Native men faculty in the future. Judy’s also looking at retention rates for Native students in college and the tactics they employ to succeed in spaces that, originally, weren’t meant for them.”
“This research has allowed me to work on something that will directly benefit other Native scholars navigating higher education institutions,” says Fisher. “This is significant to me personally because, as a Native person, I pursued higher education to fight for marginalized people at an institutional level, particularly Native people. I want to give back to my people for all the love and support I receive through my tribe.”
Fisher says the summer research opportunity has helped grow confidence in her ability to do research, while working directly with afaculty member and expert in the field. Robertson says it’s easily a two-year project and she and Fisher will continue their work together.