About Faculty and Staff

Program Director: Dr. Valerie Shirley

Valerie Shirley (Diné) is an Associate Professor of Indigenous Education in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies and Dean’s Fellow for Indigenous Education in the College of Education at the University of Arizona (UArizona). She is also a co-founding Director of the Indigenous Teacher Education Program (ITEP) which prepares Indigenous teachers to critically examine western schooling structures and to be intentional in infusing Indigenous knowledges, philosophies, and languages into learning spaces. As an Indigenous Diné woman and scholar, Dr. Shirley has worked to center Diné principles and practices within every aspect of her personal and professional roles and responsibilities She is co-editor of the book, Indigenizing Education: Transformative Theories, Research, & Praxis.

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Program Co-Director: Dr. Jeremy Garcia

Jeremy Garcia (Hopi/Tewa) is Associate Professor of Indigenous Education in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies in the College of Education at the University of Arizona. He is of the Hospoawungwa (Roadrunner) clan. Prior to joining UArizona, he was an Assistant Professor in the School of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction and an Endowed Professor of the Electa Quinney Institute for American Indian Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). He is co-founding Director of the Indigenous Teacher Education Program (ITEP) at the University of Arizona,

His research focuses on decolonization, critical Indigenous curriculum and pedagogy, Indigenous teacher education, and critical and culturally sustaining family and community engagement. His recent publication includes a co-edited book, Indigenizing Education: Transformative Research, Theories, and Praxis (2022).

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Program Coordinator: IngriQue Salt

IngriQue Salt, Lók’aad Dine’é, is from Black Mesa, AZ. Raised with a strong focus on traditional stories, prayer, and lifeways in her family, she also accompanied her father in the mobilization of traditional healing practices. IngriQue received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Cognitive Science, with a minor in American Indian Studies at the UA in 2015. She thrives on bringing community members together to identify issues and create community-based solutions as Tribal Liaison for the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center (SWEHSC) at the UA College of Pharmacy, and focused on environmental health education, literacy, outreach and community-based projects in tribal communities of Arizona.

Program Coordinator: Dana Wilcox-Frago

Dana Wilcox-Frago, is from the Diné and Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo People. She grew up on the Navajo Nation and visits frequently to see her family and extended relatives. Dana received a Bachelor of Science degree in Family Studies and Human Development from the University of Arizona in 2002 with a Minor in American Indian Studies. Upon completion of receiving her degree, she has worked in the areas of education, counseling, public health, and social services. She has gained over 20 years of experience working with Indigenous high school and college students, as a counselor, teacher, mentor, and administrator. An advocate for students, she enjoys hearing their success stories. She believes that education is vital in strengthening our Indigenous communities. Currently, she is working towards obtaining her master's degree in the field of Higher Education. 

Program Coordinator: Breann Clarkson

Breann Clarkson, (White Mountain Apache) grew up in a tight knit community of Whiteriver, AZ on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. She received a Bachelor of Science in Public Health and a minor in Indigenous Health Studies at Northern Arizona University in 2017. Breann has since been working with Indigenous youth as a health educator, mentor and teacher. Her passion is working with Indigenous communities in various areas such as education, community building, health, and wellness.