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Heather Shotton

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Heather Shotton

Heather Shotton

Associate Professor

Copeland Hall Room 235/236


  • Ph.D., Adult & Higher Education, University of Oklahoma
  • MHR, Human Relations, University of Oklahoma
  • B.A., Native American Studies, University of Oklahoma

Personal Statement

Heather Shotton is a citizen of the Wichita & Affiliated Tribes, and is also of Kiowa and Cheyenne descent. She serves as an Associate Professor in Native American Studies at the University of Oklahoma. She received her doctorate in Adult and Higher Education from the University of Oklahoma in 2008. Dr. Shotton’s research focuses on Indigenous students in higher education and Indigenous women, particularly in the areas of leadership and Indigenous women in academia. She served as a co-editor for the book, Beyond the Asterisk: Understanding Native Students in Higher Education (Stylus), which addresses strategies for serving Native college students, and is a co-editor for the forthcoming book, Reclaiming Indigenous Research in Higher Education (Rutgers University Press).  She has been faculty at OU for nine years, prior to returning to OU she served as Assistant Director of Multicultural Student Affairs at Oklahoma City University. She has spent her career serving students both in and out of the classroom. Dr. Shotton is the past president for the National Indian Education Association and was recently named the NIEA Educator of the Year. She is a strong advocate for Native education and serves Native students and communities on a national and local level. She lives in Norman with her partner John Shotton, and their two daughters Sloan and Sophie.

Areas of Interest and Expertise

Indigenous Women, Indigenous Leadership, Indigenous Higher Education

Honors and Recognition

  • National Indian Education Association Educator of the Year (2016)
  • Oklahoma Council for Indian Education Indian Educator of the Year (2015)
  • NASPA Indigenous Peoples Knowledge Community, Outstanding Research Award (2015)
  • National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, Native American 40 Under 40 (2013)

Recent Courses Taught

  • NAS 4033/5033 – Research Methods in Native American Studies
  • NAS 4053 – Senior Capstone
  • NAS 4343/5343 – American Indian Education Policy and Development
  • NAS 4363/5363 – Tribal Governance & Leadership
  • NAS 4970/5970 – Special Topics – Indigenous Women

Selected Research and Creative Activity

Books and Edited Volumes

  • Minthorn, R. S. & Shotton, H. J. (Eds.). (Forthcoming Fall 2017). Reclaiming Indigenous Research in Higher Education. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
  • Waterman, S. J., Lowe, S. C., & Shotton, H. J (Eds.) (Forthcoming Fall 2017). Beyond College Access: Indigenizing Programs for Student Success. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.
  • Shotton, H.J., Lowe, S., & Waterman, S.J. (Eds.). (2013). Beyond the Asterisk: Understanding Native Students in Higher Education. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing

Selected Articles

  • Shotton, H. J. (2017). “I thought you’d call her White Feather: Racial microaggressions in Native doctoral education. Journal of American Indian Education 56(1), 32-54.
  • Williams, R.S., Wanger, S, & Shotton, H.J. (2013). Developing Native student leadership skills: The success of the Oklahoma Native American Students in Higher Education conference. American Indian Culture and Research Journal 37(3), 59-73.
  • Shotton, H.J., Oosahwe, E.S., & Cintrón, R. A. (2007). Stories of success: Experiences of American Indian students in a peer-mentoring retention program. Review of Higher Education 31(1), 81-107.

Book Chapters

  • Minthorn, R. S. & Shotton, H. J. (in press). Indigenous women’s approaches to educational leadership. In E.C. Reilly (Ed.). International Perspectives on Women in Educational Leadership. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield’s Publication.
  • Davidson, C., Shotton, H. J., Minthorn, R. S., & Waterman, S. J. (Forthcoming Fall 2017). The need for Indigenizing Research in Higher Education Scholarship. In R. S. Minthorn & H. J. Shotton (Eds.) Reclaiming Indigenous Research in Higher Education. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
  • Shotton, H. J. (2015). Being of service to our people. In R. S. Minthorn & A. F. Chavez (Eds.). Indigenous Leadership in Higher Education. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Minthorn, R. S. & Shotton, H. J. (2015). Native American Students in Higher Educationn. In P.A. Sasso & J.L. DeVitis (Eds.). Today’s College Students. NY: Peter Lang Publishing.
  • Shotton, H. J., Oosahwe, E. S., & Cintrón, R. A. (2010). Perspectives on American Indian cultural centers in higher education. In L. Patton (Ed.). Culture Centers in Higher Education: Perspectives on Identity, Theory & Practice, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Selected Conference Presentations

  • Invited Presentation: “Sister Scholars: Native Women Scholars Forming Community to Reclaim Space for New Scholarship in Higher Education”, Heather Shotton, Amanda Tachine, Robin Minthorn, Stephanie Waterman, Charlotte Davidson, Natalie Youngbull, National Conferenc on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education (NCORE), June 2017.
  • Invited Vice Presidential Session: “Multiple Layers of Empowerment and Tension: Indigenous Research in Higher Education”, Heather Shotton, Robin Minthorn, Amanda Tachine, Christine Nelson, Punihei Lipe, Adrienne Keene, Charlotte Davidson, & Natalie Youngbull, American Educational Research Association Conference, April 2017.
  • Shotton, H. J. “Through Their Own Eyes: Visual Narratives of Indigenous Women in the Academy”. He Manawa Whenua Indigenous Research Conference, Hamilton, New Zealand, March 2017.
  • “Reclaiming Indigenous Research in Higher Education”. Heather Shotton, Robin Minthorn, & Christine Nelson. Association for the Study of Higher Education, Columbus, OH, November 2016.
  • Shotton, H. J. “Through Their Own Eyes: Visual Narratives of Indigenous Female Scholars”. Native American and Indigenous Studies Association Annual Conference, Honolulu, HI, May 2016.

Current Projects

“Through Their Own Eyes: Visual Narratives of Indigenous Women Scholars”

This study explores the narratives of Indigenous women in academia. Utilizing a photovoice methodology, this project documents the stories of fifteen Indigenous (American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian) female scholars from across the United States. It combines the use of visual and oral narratives to tell their stories and broaden our understanding of Indigenous women and their experiences as scholars in colonized academic institutions.

Reclaiming Indigenous Research in Higher Education – Available Fall 2017

Indigenous students remain one of the least represented populations in higher education. They continue to account for only one percent of the total post-secondary student population, and this lack of representation is felt in multiple ways beyond enrollment. Less research money is spent studying Indigenous students, and their interests are often left out of projects that otherwise purport to address diversity in higher education. 

Recently, Native scholars have started to reclaim research through the development of their own research methodologies and paradigms that are based in tribal knowledge systems and values, and that allow inherent Indigenous knowledge and lived experiences to strengthen the research. Reclaiming Indigenous Research in Higher Education highlights the current scholarship emerging from these scholars of higher education. From understanding how Native American students make their way through school, to tracking tribal college and university transfer students, this book allows Native scholars to take center stage, and shines the light squarely on those least represented among us.