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Native American Costume

Kathy Smart, EdD

Co-Principal Investigator/Instructional Design

Kathy Smart, EdD

Dr. Smart, an Associate Professor in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of North Dakota, teaches in the Teaching, Leadership, and Professional Practice doctoral program. With over thirty years in higher education, she brings a wealth of experience as an administrator, faculty member, and graphic and instructional designer. Her professional background includes designing educational materials for a medical school and teaching graphic communications. She has also served as an administrator for a campus media center and led the development of a faculty center for technology integration and support.

As part of the NIEJI team, Dr. Smart was the design and production lead for the development of the Online Educational Modules (OEM) for the Native American Elder Justice Initiative (NIEJI) from 2016 to 2022. The interdisciplinary team developed an Indigenous pedagogical approach that encouraged learners to reflect on the four dimensions of knowledge: emotional, spiritual, cognitive, and physical. Each OEM incorporated Indigenous ways of knowing, honoring relationships, and connections to Mother Earth, and the future and past generations. Under the leadership of the former NIEJI PI Dr. Jacque Gray, the OEMs have gained increased use and recognition as valuable culturally appropriate resources for individuals and organizations seeking information and training on elder abuse in Indian country.

Dr. Smart also serves as Co-PI on a National Science Foundation grant in collaboration with Turtle Mountain Community College (TMCC) titled "Using Integrated, Place-based Watershed Curriculum to Increase Teacher Self-efficacy with Culturally Relevant STEM." This project addresses the critical need for increasing the participation of indigenous groups in STEM and improving teacher training in effectively implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) through "bundling" standards, integrating disciplines, and incorporating culturally relevant practices.

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