Adrienne Keene is 2014 EdD graduate in Culture, Communities and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and is now a postdoctoral fellow in Native American studies at Brown University, affiliated with the department of Anthropology and the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (CSREA). Her research focuses on college access for Native (American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian) students and the role of precollege access programs in student success. For the past ten years, she has worked closely with a non-profit called College Horizons, which assists Native students in the college application process--as a participant, alumna, faculty member, and now researcher.
Her dissertation, entitled "College Pride, Native Pride" and Education for Nation Building: Portraits of Native Students Navigating Freshman Year, is a portraiture study (Lawrence-Lightfoot & Davis, 1998) that follows four alumni of College Horizons in their college transition, through their freshman year, and into the Fall of their sophomore year. The dissertation presents four individual portraits of the students, who come from diverse tribal/cultural, geographic, and socio-economic backgrounds, and explore how the students navigate the college transition and the ways their differing and complex Native identities interact with their college experiences. Her dissertation was selected for the 2013-2014 National Academy of Education (NAEd)/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship.
As a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Adrienne has a deep personal commitment to exploring research methodologies that empower Native communities and privilege Native voices and perspectives, with the ultimate goal of increasing educational outcomes for Native students. She is also dedicated to pushing back against stereotypes and misrepresentations of Native peoples on her blog, Native Appropriations (nativeappropriations.com), which has received national and international attention as a voice on contemporary Indigenous issues.