Meet our staff!
Darold Harmon Joseph (he/him/his)
Director of the Institute for Native-serving Educators (INE)
Darold H. Joseph, PhD, is from the Village of Moenkopi of the Hopi Tribe matrilineally representing the Paa’Iswunga (Water-Coyote Clan) and patrillineally, the Nuvawungwa (Snow Clan) from the Village of Shongopavi. Dr. Joseph was raised on Hopi, graduated from Tuba City High School, then went on to pursue and complete his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Northern Arizona University. In 2019 he achieved a PhD in Special Education at the University of Arizona and has worked for NAU since 2013. In addition to his role as the Director for the Institute for Native-serving Educators, he is an Assistant Professor of Special Education in the Educational Specialties Department at the College of Education. His research is focused on the intersection of disability with sociocultural differences that inform educational inequities for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth. His work aims to advance opportunities for Indigenous youth with and without disabilities to persist in education, health and wellness, and cultural well-being. With his wife, they share five children and two beautiful grandchildren and remain committed to serving and giving back to Indigenous communities.
Denyse Candace Herder (she/her/hers)
Community Program Coordinator of the Institute for Native-serving Educators
Denyse is from Leupp, Arizona and is of the Diné and Paiute tribes. As the Community Program Coordinator, Sr. for the NAU Institute for Native-serving Educators, Denyse’s role is to provide a wide-range of support for INE programs which aim to strengthen schooling in tribal communities through culturally responsive professional development. Formerly, Denyse held positions with Indigenous-serving programs in the NAU in the College of Education and the Native American Cultural Center. Denyse holds a bachelor’s degree in Applied Indigenous Studies from NAU and she is currently pursuing a Counseling-Student Affairs master’s degree. She is a mother of three and currently resides in Winslow with her family.
Ashley Christina Johns (she/her/hers)
Graduate Assistant of the Institute for Native-serving Educators
Ashley is a first-year doctoral student in NAU’s Combined School/Counseling Psychology PhD program. Ashley is originally from Port Huron, Michigan and graduated from Michigan State University (MSU) with a bachelor’s degree in marketing with a minor in Spanish. While at MSU, Ashley served on the executive board of the Native American and Hispanic Business Students for two years. During that time, she was involved in several outreach initiatives that encouraged American Indian/Alaskan Native and Latinx youth to pursue higher education. Ashley is passionate about helping others reach their maximum potential and is interested in studying the effectiveness of different programs that promote mental-wellbeing.