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Rhiannon Sorrell. Courtesy photo
Diné College Assistant Professor wins prestigious fellowship and partners with NAU on NEH grant
Friday, June 4, 2021
Diné College

The following is the text of a June 4, 2021, press release from Diné College.

TSAILE, Arizona — Rhiannon Sorrell, an Assistant Professor in the Diné College School of Arts, Humanities & English (SAHE), has been selected as one of 15 fellows for the Rare Books School’s second cohort of the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Heritage. Ms. Sorrell is also the school’s Instruction and Digital Services Librarian.

“The Fellows will participate in a three-year program which includes an orientation, Rare Book School (RBS) coursework, community symposia, and other activities relating to multicultural collections and trainings,” said Dr. Herman Peterson, Director of Libraries at Diné College. “With just three cohorts to be selected overall, this prestigious and highly competitive fellowship ‘aims to advance multicultural collections through innovative and inclusive curatorial practice and leadership.”

Ms. Sorrell, along with other fellows who represent institutions ranging from the University of California to the Smithsonian, “will build connections with diverse communities and publics through a combination of strategic programming, outreach, and advocacy” as stated in the RBS press release.

Ms. Sorrell also represents Diné College Library in a partnership with Northern Arizona University Cline Library’s Special Collections and Archives that was recently awarded $349,526 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize a portion of the moving image collection as a part of the project known as “Digitizing the Moving Images of the Colorado Plateau and the American Southwest.”

The Kinyaa’áanii Library in Tsaile, Arizona, is in possession of approximately 500 canisters of 16mm film – a significant portion of those films have Diné and Indigenous subject matter, which will be the priority for digitization and preservation. She closely collaborated with the NAU team on preparation of this recently funded proposal and her work will be critical to the success of the project said Dr. Peterson.

Ms. Sorrell has been with college since 2014. She is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and holds master’s degrees in English and Library Science.