iSchoolers at the forefront of effort to engage Native students in research

Cheryl Metoyer
Cheryl Metoyer

The Information School’s leadership in engaging American Indian and Alaska Native students in research was on display at the UW’s recent Colloquium on Undergraduate Research.

The colloquium featured keynote speaker Cheryl Metoyer, associate professor emerita and former associate dean for research at the iSchool. Alumni Iisaaksiichaa Braine (MSIM, ’15) and Juan-Carlos Chavez (Ph.D., ’17) were among the organizers of the event, which took place April 23.

Staff and faculty research mentors discussed how to engage in meaningful recruitment, retention, promotion and graduation support for American Indian and Alaska Native students, and what sorts of barriers these students face.

Metoyer shared from her experience with the iSchool’s Indigenous Information Research Group (IIRG), which has successfully involved students in research endeavors.

“I think it went very well,” Metoyer said. “I was very happy to see good representation in the sciences, and I thought the questions were insightful. People listened.”

She noted that numerous iSchool faculty members and doctoral students took part in the event, including Dean Emeritus Harry Bruce, Assistant Professor Miranda Belarde-Lewis and Sandy Littletree, who completed her Ph.D. this week.

The event was co-sponsored by the UW Undergraduate Research Program, wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ (the Intellectual House), and the NASA Space Grant program.