My work is premised on Cherokee ethics of reciprocity, civic responsibility and perseverance: I am a Cherokee Nation citizen and have served as a Cherokee Nation Sequoyah Commissioner.
In my capacity as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities at Northeastern University, I facilitate the hiring, retention, mentoring, and promotion of colleagues and provide leadership in the college through initiatives designed to promote and sustain a diverse, inclusive, and civil campus.
As Dean's Professor of Civic Sustainability, my research explores the types of agency and change made possible with everyday rhetorical strategies and literacy practices. I'm currently co-leading a team that is developing a digital archive to support the translation of American Indian manuscripts housed in museums and archives around the country in an effort to advance language perseverance and preservation efforts. This project has been generously supported with an Institute for Museums and Library Services Sparks! Ignition Grant and Northeastern University Tier 1 Grant.
My current research also includes two edited collections: Landmark Essays on Rhetorics of Difference, with co-editors Damián Baca and Jonathan Osborne (Routledge 2019) and Literacies: A Critical Sourcebook, 2nd edition, with co-editors Christina Haas and Mike Rose (forthcoming with Macmillan). My sole-authored books, The Cherokee Syllabary: Writing the People’s Perseverance (Oklahoma UP 2011) and The Struggle and the Tools: Oral and Literate Strategies in an Inner City Community (SUNY UP 1998), were based on activist qualitative research with my tribe and urban community members in upstate New York.
My early work in literacy studies earned both the 1997 National Council of Teachers of English CCCC James Berlin Outstanding Dissertation of the Year Award and the 1997 Richard Braddock Award. Mary Juzwik and I served as Co-Editors of Research in the Teaching of English, the premiere research journal of the National Council of Teachers of English, from 2012-2017. I have published over 60 articles, book chapters, and essays — a number of them co-authored with students and early career scholars. In 2017, I received the Distinguished Engaged Scholar Award from the Conference on Community Writing. I was elected Chair of the Coalition for Community Writing (2019-2021) by the Coalition for Community Writing Advisory Board.