Bacone College has announced Dr. Beverly Jean Smith, enrolled member of the Navajo Nation from Grandfalls, Arizona, has been selected to fill the role of vice president of academic affairs for Bacone College.
Smith, whose Navajo clans are Naakaii Dine’e, Kinlich’iinii, Todich’iinii and Tsenjinkini, is the maternal great-granddaughter of Hastiin Alchini Lani (Muchachos Muchos), one of the markers of the Navajo Treaty of 1868.
Smith attended public schools and residential Indian boarding schools, before earning her Bachelor of Arts in American Indian Studies from Haskell Indian Nations University in 2001. She then earned a master’s degree in education counseling with a student affairs emphasis in 2011, and in 2017 she earned her doctoral degree in education organization and leadership with a concentration in higher education and a graduate minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“Dr. Smith brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in American Indian higher education that will benefit and inspire our faculty and students,” said Bacone College President Dr. Ferlin Clark. “We welcome her to our Medicine Wheel circle of learning at our historic college.”
Smith credits her parents for raising her in a deeply traditional and cultural environment and credits her son and network of scholars who mentor and inform her leadership and administrative work.
“My philosophy reflects my grandparents’ cornfield teachings, ‘as long as you have a way, we are happy for you,’ tending and harvesting in good thought and purpose,” Smith said. “I embrace diversity and support President Clark’s vision for Bacone College. I humble myself to be appointed in an administrative leadership position with levels of agendas with and toward student success.”