New Ed.D. Program Director Announced

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Dr. Robin Starr Zape-tah-hol-ah Minthorn starts August 16, 2019.

Dr. Robin Starr Zape-tah-hol-ah Minthorn (Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, Apache, Nez Perce, Umatilla and Assiniboine) will join the School of Education as Director of the Ed.D. Program and Associate Professor of Educational Leadership. “She is exceptionally well-qualified to lead UW Tacoma’s first and only doctoral program into new levels of excellence,” said Dean of the School of Education Rachel Endo. “Her deep commitment to equity fits into the mission and values of the Ed.D. Program, the School of Education, and UW Tacoma’s dynamic mission.”

Dr. Robin Starr Zape-tah-hol-ah MinthornDr. Minthorn comes to UW Tacoma from the University of New Mexico, where she was an Associate Professor in Educational Leadership and Native American Studies. She also served as the Ed.D. Program Coordinator of the Native American Leadership in Education (NALE) cohort. 

Prior to becoming a faculty member, Dr. Minthorn served as Coordinator of Native American Affairs at Oklahoma State University and an adjunct faculty at Pawnee Nation College. Preceding that, as an academic advisor at Comanche Nation College, which is Oklahoma’s first tribal college. Dr. Minthorn also co-founded Gamma Delta Pi, American Indian Sisterhood and RAIN (Retaining American Indians Now) as an undergraduate at the University of Oklahoma. As an academic professional, she co-founded ONASHE (the Oklahoma Native American Students in Higher Education) Conference.

Dr. Minthorn’s primary research interests include Indigenous leadership in higher education, inter-generational leadership perspectives in tribal communities, supporting Native American college students and campus climate for Native American college students. Dr. Minthorn earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Oklahoma State University.  

Dr. Minthorn replaces Professor Emerita Dr. Ginger MacDonald who served as Ed.D. Program Director from 2015-2019.

Members of the search committee included: co-chairs Chris Knaus and Rob MacGregor (School of Education faculty), Ashley Walker (School of Education advisor), James McShay (Assistant Chancellor, Center for Equity and Inclusion), and Jim Hager (School of Education part-time lecturer). 

Written by: 
Rachel Endo / July 31, 2019
Photos by: 
Dr. Robin Starr Zape-tah-hol-ah Minthorn
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or