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Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College finds its new director

Dr. Shelby Tisdale
Dr. Shelby Tisdale

Dr. Shelby Tisdale will be the new director of the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College. Her official first day is February 1, 2016.

Dr. Tisdale’s expertise is in anthropology and archeology, particularly of the Southwest, as well as repatriation and museum direction. She holds degrees from the University of Colorado, the University of Washington, and the University of Arizona.

“What sparked my interest in this position is that I see the Center of Southwest Studies as being at the crossroads where the interpretation of human history and historic preservation are debated and discussed in an environment that is respectful to both ideological and cultural differences,” Dr. Tisdale explains.

She comes to Fort Lewis College with a great deal of museum experience in the Southwest. She served as executive director of the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos, New Mexico before heading to Santa Fe to lead the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology. Most recently, she was Vice President for Curatorial and Exhibitions at the Autry National Center of Los Angeles.

“We are so pleased to have Dr. Tisdale join the Fort Lewis College family,” says FLC President Dene Thomas. “The Center of Southwest Studies has always been a wonderful partnership between the College, Durango, and many other communities and organizations across the Southwest. Dr. Tisdale’s job will be to build on the good foundation that past directors have already laid.”

“My vision for the Center of Southwest Studies is a community that knows and celebrates the cultural heritage of the Southwest through a deeper understanding of and respect for its diverse peoples and cultures through scholarly research, stewardship of the collections, exhibitions, programs and public outreach,” Dr. Tisdale says. “I envision the Center as a safe place where multiple voices and opinions can be shared openly that will lead to a common ground and the creation of potential solutions to some of the most pressing issues we are facing today as they relate to the environment, society and heritage preservation.”

More information on the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College can be found at https://swcenter.fortlewis.edu

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