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Jessica Solyom

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  •  jsolyom@asu.edu
  •  Arizona State University School of Social Transformation P.O. Box 871108 Tempe
Asst Research Professor (FSC)
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4308
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Post Doctoral Scholars, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4308
Biography: 

Jessica Solyom is an Assistant Research Professor in the School of Social Transformation. She is Affiliate Faculty at the Center for Indian Education where she has helped co-direct and co-design culturally relevant, respectful, and responsive education programs and research for Indigenous communities. Dr. Solyom brings with her a wealth of knowledge about Indigenous education, sovereignty and self-determination, culturally respectful research practices, critical culturally responsive education, and team building. Her research focuses on equity, belonging, and education justice particularly for Indigenous, Latino, and other historically underserved student populations and has been featured in various academic journal outlets including the Journal of American Indian Education, Theory into Practice, the American Journal of Education. She is the co-author of Postsecondary Education for American Indian and Alaska Natives: Higher Education for Nation Building and Self-Determination (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass).

Dr. Solyom’s research is generally inspired by a focus on Critical Race Theory, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, and Critical Indigenous Research Methodologies with an emphasis on intersectionality and learning. She has taught courses on these topics at various universities. Her courses and pedagogy highlight culturally responsive education, learner-centered education, social movements, and culturally relevant research practices as a tool to promote social equity and enhance the mental, social, and intellectual wellbeing of diverse communities.

With over 20 years’ experience working in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) serving programs and initiatives. She is co-creator of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion education series To Be Welcoming, created in partnership with Starbucks Global Academy. This series introduces learners to current discussions about bias, empathy, and dialogue as it relates to DEIB in professional and personal environments. Since launching in 2020, this public learning series’ has been engaged by over 94,000 learners across the US, Puerto Rico, Canada, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific.

Previously Dr. Solyom served as Associate Director of the Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology (CGEST) where she helped direct and design culturally responsive research and programming to increase DEIB in STEM for girls of color - particularly Indigenous learners in the US. Currently, she serves as Assistant Research Professor in the School of Social Transformation where she teaches doctoral-level courses for the Women & Gender Studies program and Master in Indigenous Education Program. She is the co‐creator of CGEST’s CompuGirls: Cybersecurity Warriors program which prepares Indigenous girls in the U.S. and Hawaii to become thought leaders in STEM. Dr. Solyom earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees in Interpersonal Communication and Critical Cultural Studies from the University of Utah.

Education: 

Doctor of Philosophy, Justice & Social Inquiry, Arizona State University    

Dissertation: The (in)visibility paradox: A case study of American Indian iconography and student resistance in higher education

Master of Arts, Communication (Interpersonal & Critical Cultural Studies), University of Utah.    

Bachelor of Science, Communication (Interpersonal), University of Utah     

Research Interests: 

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (in the workplace and in higher education)

Student activism, media, & education justice

Race, Law, and Justice (Critical Race Theory, Latino/a Critical Race Theory, Tribal Critical Race Theory)  

Qualitative Research Methods, Critical Indigenous Research Methodologies, Ethnography

Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Doctoral Writing and Proposal Development

Publications: 

Books

Brayboy, B. McK. J., Fann, A., Castagno, A.E. and Solyom, J.A. (2012). Postsecondary Education for American Indian and Alaska Natives: Higher Education for Nation Building and Self-Determination.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

Chin, J.A., Bustamante, N., Solyom, J.A., & Brayboy, B.McK.J. (2016). Exodus amnesia: Tribal citizenship, sovereignty, and education. Theory into Practice, 55(1), 28-38.

Brayboy, B.McK.J., Solyom, J.A., & Castagno, A.E. (2015). Indigenous peoples in higher education. Journal of American Indian Education, 54(1), 154-186.

Brayboy, B.McK.J., Castagno, A.E., & Solyom, J.A. (2014). Looking into the hearts of Native peoples: Nation building as an institutional orientation for higher education. American Journal of Education 120, 575-596.

Solyom, J.A. (2012). Tearing at the seams of (in)visibility: Anti-counterfeiting, Harper’s Bazaar, and the project of neocolonization. Kaleidoscope, 11, 59-86.

Solyom, J.A. & Brayboy, B. McK. J. (2012). Memento Mori: Policing the minds and bodies of Indigenous Latinas/os in Arizona. California Western International Law Journal, 42(2), 473-507.

Solyom, J., Chin, J., & Ryujin, K. (2007). “Be careful what you ask for: Educación para todos/as, the perils and the power.” Nevada Law Journal, 7(3), 862-882.

Book Chapters

Ben, C. & Solyom, J. (In press – expected publication date May 2022). How unique ways of knowing, being, and learning contribute to persistence factors among underrepresented graduate students. Handbook for Supporting Today’s Graduate Students. Stylus Publishing.

Solyom, J.A., Singer, S.H., Kline, K., McInnes, L., & Smith, M.L. (2021). Chapter 1.4 Survivance through Digital Storytelling: How Indigenous girls used a virtual camp to explore the Covid-19 pandemic (pp. 17-24)Ward, M. F., Sandlin, J., Vlahoulis, M. M. and Holman, C. (editors). The Pandemic Reader: Pedagogies of social (in)justice through the COVID-19 pandemic. New York: DIO Press, Inc.

Madkins, T.C., Thomas, J.O., Solyom, J., Goode, J. & McAlear, F. (2020). Learner-centered and culturally relevant pedagogy. In S. Grover (ed.), Computer science in K-12: An A-Z handbook on teaching programming. Edfinity.

Bustamante, N. & Solyom, J. (2019). Niceness and student erasure: The historical implications of performative niceness. In A. Castagno (ed.), The price of nice: How niceness perpetuates educational inequity. University of Minnesota Press.

Solyom, J.A., Brayboy, B.McK.J., Chin, J.A., Poleviyuma, A. (2019). Systems of support: What institutions of higher education can do for Indigenous communities. In E. A. McKinley & L. Tuhiwai Smith (Eds.), Handbook of Indigenous Education. New York: Springer.

Castagno, A.E., Solyom, J.A., & Brayboy, B. McK. J. (2018). Indigenous youth, colonization, and whiteness: The imperative for culturally responsive schooling. In Critical Pedagogies Handbook.

Solyom, J.A. (2016). In defense of education justice: Postsecondary institutional decision-making for American Indian programs and services. In J. Conner and S.M. Rosen (Eds.) Contemporary Youth Activism: Advancing Social Justice in the United States. Praeger.

Brayboy, B. McK. J., Gough, H.R., Leonard, B., Roehl, R.F. & Solyom, J.A. (2012). Reclaiming scholarship: Critical Indigenous research methodologies. In S.D. Lapan, ML.T Quartoli & F.J. Riemer (Eds.), Qualitative Inquiry. San Franscisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Scott, K.A. & Solyom, J.  (2011). Teaching urban education versus conducting research in urban schools. In K.A.  Scott & W.J. Blanchett (Eds.), Research in urban educational settings: Lessons learned and implications for future practice.  Charlotte, NC: IAP.

Professional Reports

Brayboy, B.M.J & Solyom, J. (co-leads), Chin, J., Tachine, A., Bang, M., Bustamante, N., Ben, C., Myles, C., & Poleviyuma, A. (2016). RISE: A study of Indigenous men and boys. Report prepared for The Center for the Study of Race & Equity in Education, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania.

Solyom, J., & Bustamante, N. (2013). In-state or tuition waiver incentives for American Indian students offered by U.S. colleges or universities. Report prepared for the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the Center for Indian Education, Arizona State University.**

**This report was used by Regent LuAnn Leonard in 2013 to successfully argue for a change in policy to grant in-state tuition to students who are enrolled members of one of Arizona’s federally recognized Native American tribes.

Works in Progress

Brayboy, B.McK. J., Solyom, J., Bustamante, N. & Chin, J.A. Connecting race, culture, power and schooling for American Indian students.

Solyom, J.A. & Ben. C. Culturally relevant schooling for Indigenous students at the secondary and postsecondary level: Recommendations and implications for practice during the time of Covid

Ben, C. & Solyom, J.A. Nation-building through education: Implications for capacity-building in Indian country.

Ben, C. & Solyom, J.A. Indigenous futures and cybersecurity: Considerations for a five-year pathway to building capacity in STEM in higher education. 

Summer 2022
Course NumberCourse Title
JUS 799Dissertation
Spring 2022
Course NumberCourse Title
IED 585Capstone
IED 592Research
SST 691Seminar
WST 701Resrch Design & Prop Dev
JUS 792Research
Fall 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
IED 585Capstone
IED 592Research
JUS 691Seminar
JUS 792Research
Spring 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
IED 585Capstone
IED 592Research
WST 690Reading and Conference
Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
JUS 799Dissertation
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
IED 585Capstone
IED 592Research
SST 691Seminar
WST 790Reading and Conference
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
JUS 432Racial Justice
SST 691Seminar
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
WST 701Resrch Design & Prop Dev
WST 790Reading and Conference
Presentations: 

 

Academic Conferences

Ben, C. & Solyom, J. (April 8-9, 2021). How Indigenous Communities Define Culturally Responsive Schooling, Session Code: 486. 2021 Native American Student Advocacy Institute (NASAI) virtual conference.

Ben, C. & Solyom, J. (June 4-5, 2020). How Indigenous communities’ define Culturally Responsive Schooling, Session Code: 486. Native American Student Advocacy Institute (NASAI). Phoenix, Arizona (Host: Gila River Indian Community). Conference cancelled due to Covid-19 global pandemic.

Dace, K., Ryujin, K., Solyom, J., Spotted Elk, G., Villareal, M. & Brayboy, B. (May 28, 2020). Frustration, Abandonment & Retaliation: Confronting the Aftermath of Multiple Diverse Leadership Departures. National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education. New York, NY. Conference cancelled due to Covid-19 global pandemic.

Richmond, A., Abuwandi, S., Tachine, A. & Solyom, J. (June 6, 2018). Nation-building through education: Implications for Native men and boys. Annual gathering of Native American Student Advocacy Institute (The College Board). Honolulu, HI.

Solyom, J.A., Ben, C., Tachine, A., Chin, J. & Brayboy, B. (April 14, 2018). Strengths based principles for improving educational outcomes for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian males. Co-presenter. Annual gathering of the American Education Research Association. New York, NY.

Solyom, J.A. (April 30, 2017). Presenter. Contemporary youth activism: Advancing social justice in the United States. Annual gathering of the American Education Research Association. Austin, TX.

Solyom, J.A. (September 21, 2012). Presenter. Tearing at the seams of (in)visibility: Anti- counterfeiting, Harper’s Bazaar, and the project of neocolonization. Critiquing Culture Conference. George Mason University, Fairfax, VA.

Solyom, J.A. (April 28, 2011). Co-Presenter. Knowing your place: Examining the academic, social, and political costs of student resistance. Women of Color Leadership Conference. University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO.

Solyom, J.A. (October 7, 2011). Presenter. Painting racism by numbers: Legislating memory and identity in Arizona through SB 1070 and HB 2281. Annual conference on Latina & Latino Critical Legal Theory. San Diego, CA.

Solyom, J.A. (October 6, 2006). Co-Presenter and Moderator. Protesting the academy: Social activism among Utah Latino/a & other student communities. Annual conference on Latina & Latino Critical Legal Theory. University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV.

Invited Lectures, Webinars, and Discussions

Solyom, J. (December 3, 2021). Keynote Address: Engaging in effective community partnerships: 20 principles to guide partnerships as shared by Indigenous community leaders. Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Fellows Learning Series. Virtual zoom event.

Solyom, J., Fitts-Ward, M., Brayboy, B.M.K., Hidalgo, E. & Symond, S. (April 9, 2021). What is DEI and why should it matter to non-profit organizations? Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Fellows Learning Series. Virtual zoom event.

Fitts-Ward, M. & Solyom, J. (April 20, 2020). “Points Of View: Why Minorities Are Hit Worst By Coronavirus,” Featured commentator, KJZZ 91.5 FM. Phoenix, AZ. Available at: https://theshow.kjzz.org/content/1536306/points-view-why- minorities-are-hit-worst-coronavirus.

Solyom. J.A., Ben, C., & Henderson Singer, S. (January 30, 2020). Power & Place: Finding strength in Indigenous knowledges and identity. RECHARGE conference. Arizona State University.

Solyom, J.A. & Fitts Ward, M. (May 1, 2020). To Be Welcoming Live session. Starbucks PA Partners gathering. Starbucks virtual zoom event.

Solyom, J.A. (October 17, 2019). Bias and empathy: The role of diversity and inclusion in promoting social change. Service fellows + ASU. Starbucks Headquarters.

Solyom, J.A. (September 2 – 7, 2019). Starbucks Leadership Experience. To Be Welcoming. Featured subject matter expert key presenter. Chicago, Illinois.

Solyom. J.A., Ben, C., & Henderson Singer, S. (Spring 2019). Power & Place: Finding strength in Indigenous knowledges and identity. INSPIRE conference. Arizona State University.

Brayboy, B. McK.J., Solyom, J.A., & Tachine, A.R. (September 13, 2017). National Webinar. Culturally responsive schooling. National Indian Education Association.

Solyom, J.A. (October 28, 2016). Presenter and workshop facilitator. Using Indigenous knowledges and research methodologies to serve the cultural and community needs around you. Indigenous Theories of Justice seminar. Arizona State University.

Solyom, J.A. (2016). Lecture. Engaging the research process with the goal of relevance and respect: One example. Advanced Qualitative Research Methods seminar. Arizona State University.

Solyom, J.A. (May 5, 2015). Presenter. The (in)visibility paradox: A case study of American Indian iconography and student resistance in higher education. Staff/Faculty Research Exchange. Te Pua Wānanga Ki Te Ao, The School of Māori and Pacific Development, The University of Waikato, New Zealand.

Solyom, J.A. (February 2, 2015). Lecture. Engaging the research process with the goal of relevance and respect: One example. Advanced Qualitative Research Methods seminar. Arizona State University.

Solyom, J.A. (September 10, 2014). Lecture. Engaging the research process with the goal of relevance and respect: One example. Advanced Qualitative Research Methods seminar. Arizona State University.

Solyom, J.A. (May 11, 2012). Moderator. The story of our lives: Myths, myths, and more myths about women of color. Women of Color Leadership Conference. University of Missouri- Kansas City, Kansas City, MO.

Solyom, J.A. (May 10, 2012). Discussant. Who Am I?: Debunking myths about women of color, co-presenter. Women of Color Leadership Conference. University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO.

Solyom, J.A. (April 28, 2011). Panelist. Post Graduation. Women of Color Leadership Conference. University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO.

Solyom, J.A. (July 18, 2008). Guest speaker. Loud & clear: Cult of celebrity, RadioActive! KRCL 90.0 FM. Salt Lake City, UT.

Solyom, J.A. (January 26, 2006). Panelist. Embodying Whiteness in the college classroom. Communicating Whiteness Symposium. University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT.

Solyom, J.A. (2006). Panelist. The Writing Center Manual: Creating and publishing a tutoring manual for the writing center—the writing center guide for new tutors. 12th Annual Rocky Mountain Peer Tutoring Conference. Rocky Mountain Writing Center Association, Utah Valley State University, Orem, Utah.

Honors / Awards: 

ASU Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, Outstanding Doctoral Mentor nominee, 2020

Ford Foundation Fellowship, Honorable Mention, 2013 & 2014

Graduate Completion Fellow, ASU

Pete Suazo Social Justice Award (awarded to the Center for the Study of Empowered Students of Color, directors and staff), College of Social Work, University of Utah, 2007

Utah Opportunity Scholar, University of Utah, 2001-2005

Professional Associations: 

American Anthropological Association

American Association of University Women

American Education Research Association

Center for Indian Education, Arizona State University, Affiliate Faculty

Center for Gender Equity in Science & Technology, Arizona State University, Affiliate Faculty

Native American Student Advocacy Institute, The College Board

National Indian Education Association

Graduate Faculties / Mentoring History: 

Academic Advisement activities (graduate and/or honors)

Lorenzo Chavez, Education Leadership & Policy, NAU, 2021-present; committee member

Lydia McInnes, Women & Gender Studies, ASU, 2020-2021; research mentor

Delores Greyeyes, Justice & Social Inquiry, ASU, 2016-2018; research advisor 

Annabell Bowen, Justice & Social Inquiry, ASU, 2016-present; dissertation committee co-chair

Sharon Henderson Singer, Justice & Social Inquiry, ASU, 2016-2019; dissertation committee co-chair

Lamont Yazzie, Justice & Social Inquiry, ASU, 2016-present; dissertation committee co-chair

Cheron Watchman, Justice & Social Inquiry, ASU, 2016-present; dissertation committee co-chair

Colin Ben, Education Leadership Studies, University of Utah, 2016; research mentor during pre-doctoral fellowship residency

Sarah Abuwandi, Justice & Social Inquiry, ASU, 2019; master's thesis committee member

Cecilia Marek, American Indian Studies, ASU, 2019; master's thesis co-chair

Kiara Weathersby, Master's in Indigenous Education, ASU, 2020; capstone committee chair

Heather Lopez, Master's in Indigenous Education, ASU, 2020; capstone committee chair

Emily Scissons, Master's in Indigenous Education, ASU, 2021; capstone committee chair

Nadine Whitecloud, Master's in Indigenous Education, ASU, 2021; capstone committee chair

Denise Neal, Master's in Indigenous Education, ASU, 2021; capstone committee chair

Desiree Aguilar, Master's in Indigenous Education, ASU, 2021; capstone committee chair

Elyssa Sierra Concha, Master's in Indigenous Education, ASU, 2021; capstone committee chair

Chamy Halliday, Master's in Indigenous Education, ASU, 2021; capstone committee chair

Kiliona Palauni, Master's in Indigenous Education, ASU, 2021; capstone committee chair

Alexis Syrette, Master's in Indigenous Education, ASU, 2021; capstone committee chair

Leo Thompson Christopherson, Master's in Indigenous Education, ASU, 2021; capstone committee chair

Shania Valentine, 2021; Master's in Indigenous Education, ASU, capstone committee chair

Barrett Honors (undergraduate)

Megan Tom; committee member and advisor

Professional Research Supervision 

Undergraduate

Hope Honani, 2021-present

Alexus Richmond, 2019-2020

Megan Tom, 2019-2020

Savannah Jacobs, 2019-2020

Mariah McGhee, 2019-2020

Ci’mone Rogers, 2020*

Xuan Nguyen, 2020*

Ruby Ramirez, 2020*

Graduate

Sarah Abuwandi, 2018-2019

Nicholas Bustamante, 2018-2020

Lydia McInnes, 2020

Kai Kline, 2020

Post-Doctoral

Colin Ben, 2018-2020

Jeremiah Chin, 2018-2020

Sharon Henderson Singer, 2020

Other

Hannah Duncan, 2018-2019

Nosizo Lukhele, Bennington College, 2019

Sierra Fales, Bennington College, 2019

Sophia Casten, Smith College, 2019

Work History: 

Assistant Research Professor   02/2017 – Present

School of Social Transformation, Arizona State University

Associate Director/Director of Operations   06/2019 – 11/2020

Center for Gender Equity in Science & Technology, Arizona State University                                                        

Adjunct Faculty & Senior Doctoral Chair   8/2015 – 3/2020

College of Doctoral Studies, Grand Canyon University                                     

Postdoctoral Research Fellow    8/2014 – 1/2017 

Center for Indian Education, Arizona State University

Senior Research Associate     6/2014 – 8/2014

Center for Indian Education, School of Social Transformation, Arizona State University

Program Coordinator     8/2013 – 12/2013

Project Mashchamtam, Center for Indian Education, Arizona State University

Senior Research Associate & Graduate Teaching Assistant    1/2011 – 8/2013

Center for Indian Education, School of Social Transformation, Arizona State University

Graduate Teaching Assistant    8/2010 – 12/2010

Justice & Social Inquiry, School of Social Transformation, Arizona State University

Academic Mentor & Graduate Research Assistant     6/2009 – 7/2010

Project Maschamtam, Center for Indian Education, Arizona State University

Program Liaison & Graduate Research Assistant    1/2009 – 5/2009

COMPUGIRLS, Fulton Institution and Graduate School of Education, Arizona State University

Academic Advisor    1/2008 – 12/2008

TRiO/Upward Bound, University of Utah  

Service: 

Navajo Nation Doctoral Cohort, Advisory Board & Selections Committee, member, 2016-present.

Master’s in Indigenous Education, Advisory Board, member, 2018-present.

Social Transformation Initiatives Ad Hoc Committee, committee member, 2020.

LEEDS School of Business Diversity & Ethics case competition, guest judge, University of Colorado – Boulder, 2016, 2018-2020.

Women of Color and Computing Conference - Wahine: Culturally responsive catalysts. Steering committee member, 2020.

Inclusive Mindset and DEI, subject matter expert for ASU’s ADVANCE project, 2019.

Arizona State University Doing Research in Indian Country Conference, Advisory Board, member, 2019.

Division J Vice Presidential Session: Power, People, and Place: Linking Indigenous place to belonging in education, Chair, American Education Research Association Annual Conference, 2018

Turning Points: A Guide to Native Student Success magazine, Copy Editor, 2016

Women Education Scholars and Their Children’s Schooling, Reviewer, 2015

Journal of American Indian Education, Reviewer, 2013

Journal of American Indian Education, Guest Managing Editor, 2011

Journal of American Indian Education, Reviewer, 2011

Journal of Research in Rural Education, Reviewer, 2010

National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education, National Advisory Committee (student appointment), 2007