Jennifer Glee Buntz
OrganizationCentral New Mexico Community College
Addressaddress1: 8311 Connecticut St NE
Hi all. I have been reading your biographies and am really looking forward to meeting you all soon.
I found HHMI resources some time ago, and use the Pocket Mouse video in the Intro bio class I currently teach at Dine College. In that class, and the two semester A&P sequence I also teach, I have students calculate the mean and standard deviation of data they have collected. The opportunity to be part of this Faculty Mentoring Network and improve those units was really exciting to me because I don't feel that the units are as successful as they could be in helping students understand the importance of data analysis and interpretation. I also hope to develop data analysis units that can be incorporated into several courses at all Dine College campuses that will support our student assessment goals.
To tell you about the college where I work, there are going to be a lot of place names you probably won't be familiar with, but that is OK, since most people aren't. I am a Science Faculty at Dine College in Tuba City, Arizona. Dine College is a Tribal College on the Navajo Nation. The main campus is in Tsaile, AZ. Other branch campuses are located in Shiprock & Crownpoint, New Mexico and Window Rock & Chinle, AZ, all located within the Navajo Nation. Chinle, AZ is the town of Canyon de Chelly, which you might know of. It is Arizona's other canyon!
I taught high school biology in Chinle, AZ in the 90s. In the 2000s I went back to school and earned a MS in Biology. After that I did some additional graduate work, and then became adjunct faculty at Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque, NM. In January 2016 I moved to Tuba City and my job with Dine College. My teaching load alternates between intro bio for majors and non-majors, a class I call A&P lite (one semester survey class) and a 2 semester A&P class that is part of the health career AS degree tract.
The Navajo Nation is the largest in terms of tribal land area (27,425 square miles) and in terms of enrolled members (>300,000 people). The Navajo and Cherokee Nations have similar population sizes, and some sources give the nod to the Cherokee Nation for most enrolled members. Not quite half of Navajos live on the Rez (Reservation) where they struggle with many different issues. Tuba City borders Moenkopi, one of 12 villages located on the Hopi Rez. The Hopi Rez (2,531 square miles) is completely surrounded by Navajo land. There are about 19,500 Hopi tribal members. This means that my classroom has both Navajo and Hopi students, with an occasional member of another ethnic group.
I am from Albuquerque, NM, where I have a home, and where I am spending most of my summer. In Tuba City, I live in housing provided by my employer, as it is not possible for a non-Navajo to acquire housing on the Navajo Nation otherwise. I live in a mobile home on campus. Other faculty live in Flagstaff, AZ and commute three to four days per week.
When not teaching (or driving between Albuquerque and Tuba City) I love to get outdoors; cycling, hiking, backpacking, and kayaking all vie for spots on my days off. In Albuquerque, I also get to spend time with my partner, Steve and our friends, plus our dog, cats and chickens. It is a bit of a strange set of circumstances, but I like my job and have tried to make the most out of my new location in Arizona, exploring new places, cultures and meeting new people.