Faculty Member Biographies
Devery Fairbanks, M.A.
Devery Fairbanks earned his B.A. in American Indian Studies with an emphasis in Education from the University of Minnesota in 1988 and his M.A. in American Indian Studies with an emphasis in Education from University of Arizona.
Devery has extensive work experience and has served as a faculty member at Iowa State University, Des Moines Area Community College, Leech Lake Tribal College, and Red Lake Nation College. Devery has extensive teaching experience in the areas of Native American Studies (literature, art, higher education, contemporary issues, and leadership), American History, sociology, art, and physical education.
William Stephani, M.S./M.Ed.
Bill earned his B.A. in Journalism and Social Studies (double major) and his M.A. in Teaching from St. Thomas. He also earned an additional B.A. in English from Bemidji State University.
Bill has more than 25 years of teaching experience as a high school teacher in Minnesota and Illinois. He also has 10 years of experience in publishing and editing several national magazines. Currently, Bill works as a full-time faculty member at RLNC where he teaches social studies, behavioral sciences, and communications courses.
Julia Stephani, B.S.
Julia earned her B.S. in English/Speech and Theater from Bemidji State University and is currently working on her M.A. in Communications from Walden University. Julia has work experience as a teacher in Bagley Public Schools and Anoka/Hennepin District in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, where she taught English courses for 9 years. Additionally, she has extensive experience as an editor of national magazines and as a television host on PBS. Julia has also authored more than 20 books during her career. Julia currently teaches general education and developmental courses for RLNC.
Tami Nendick, M.S.
Tami earned her B.S. in Education and her M.S. in Science Education from Bemidji State University. She has also completed graduate coursework at University of Nebraska-Kearney.
Tami has accumulated 18 years of work experience as a high school science teacher in the Blackduck and Red Lake School Districts. She has extensive teaching experience in the areas of biology, anatomy and physiology, and environmental science.
Nathaniel Taylor, B.A.
Nathaniel Taylor is a proud member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians from Northern Minnesota. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in American Indian Studies from Haskell Indian Nations University in 2009.
He was the Coordinator Assistant for the 1st Annual Language Revitalization Symposium in May 2010 in Lawrence, KS. He worked with the Kansas City Indian Center in Kansas City, Missouri from 2011-2013 and served as the Language and Culture Preservation Mentor for the youth and community. He was also a board member at Four Winds Native Center in Lawrence Kansas from 2012-2013.
He currently works with the Economic Development and Planning Department for the Red Lake Nation and as the Language and Culture Project Coordinator. He played an instrumental part in developing the Red Lake Advisory Committee and Red Lake Head Start Immersion Classroom, which began in fall 2014. He is a member of the Red Lake Advisory Committee, which is used as guidance in language and culture initiatives in Red Lake. He assists as an Ojibwe Language teacher aid for the Red Lake Head Start Immersion classroom and is the Ojibwe 1 Instructor for the Red Lake College.
He is very active in the Red Lake community and is known for his devotion and commitment towards Ojibwe Language and Culture revitalization and preservation initiatives. He was nominated as a Community Leader and completed the Blandin Community Leadership Program for Northern Minnesota in 2014.
Lucy Barrett, B.A.
Lucy Barrett retired in 2005 from Indian Health Services in Red Lake, where she worked in Medical Records for 41 years. At the age of 66, Lucy then returned to school and graduated from Red Lake Nation College (FDLTCC) in 2007. She transferred her credits to Bemidji State University and graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Indian Studies. Lucy has been teaching the Introduction to Anishinaabe Studies course for Red Lake Nation College since 2011.
Linda Bedeau, M.B.A.
Linda Bedeau earned her M.B.A. in Health Care Administration from the University of Mary, her B.S. in Health/Physical Education with a minor in Accounting from the University of Minnesota, and her A.A. in Health and Business Education from Bemidji State University. Linda is a member of Red Lake Band of Chippewa. She serviced six years in the Naval Reserve and one year in the National Guard. Linda is currently employed as the Administrative Officer for the Department of Health and Humans Services - Indian Health Services - Red Lake Hospital. She has also worked as a Health Systems Specialist for the Indian Health Service specializing in Self-Governance and 638 Contract negotiations and administration.
Michelle Paquin, J.D.
Michelle earned her B.A. in Political Science (Minor: French) from the University of Minnesota in 1998. Additionally, she earned her Juris Doctor from William Mitchell College of Law in 1992.
Michelle has work experience as the Chief Tribal Prosecutor for the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians. Additionally, her experience includes serving as a Judicial Clerk for Honorable Phillip Bush, Hennepin County Juvenile Court and as a Consultant for Mending the Sacred Hoop. She worked as a Program Manager for the Battered Women’s Shelter. In addition to teaching treaty law and tribal sovereignty courses as an Adjunct Instructor at RLNC, Michelle currently works for the Red lake Band of Chippewa Indians as a Tribal Legal Advisor.
Charles Dolson, J.D.
Jeffrey Jones, M.A.
Jeffrey Jones earned his A.A.S. in computer programming from Hennepin Technical College, his B.S. in mathematics from the University of New Mexico and his M.A. in Teaching from the University of St. Thomas.
Jeffrey taught for one year at the Minnesota School of Business in Brooklyn Center and has eleven years experience teaching high school math and computer science classes, including AP Statistics and College Algebra.
Mandy Schram, M.S.
Mandy Schram earned an M.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 2004, and a B.S. in Criminal Justice/Sociology from Bemidji State University in 1998. She has been teaching online and classroom-based courses for the past ten years, primarily at Lakeland College and Leech Lake Tribal College. From 2011-2014 she worked as the Director of Enrollment Services for Leech Lake Tribal College.
She also has work experience at the Moose Lake Correctional Facility where she worked on the sex offender unit as a Behavior Analyst 3 for two years. Prior to that, she served as a supervised release and conditional release case manager, where she monitored high-risk sex offenders who were under civil commitment and those deemed “not guilty by reason of mental disease.” Other work experience includes ten years, in multiple capacities, in children’s residential and day treatment programs in Wisconsin.
Tami Niswander, M.B.A.
Tami Niswander is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Red Lake Nation College. She earned a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) in 2013 from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and is working to become a licensed CPA in 2015. She earned her B.S. in Business Management from the University of Phoenix.
Tami has owned and operated a small retail business since 2009, along with providing private business and management consulting for the past eight years. Prior to her entrepreneurial endeavors, she worked in the private sector as a Business Analyst, Financial Analyst, and Credit Analyst.
Cassy Keyport, M.L.I.S.
Cassy Keyport, a descendant of the Grand Portage Band of Ojibwe, earned her BA in English/Creative Writing with a certificate in Gender and Women's studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013 and will be completing her Masters in Library and Information Studies (MLIS) from UW-Madison in August 2015.
She learned the foundation of what it means to be a great librarian during her time working at College Library at UW-Madison. While there, she worked in many areas of public service including reference, instruction, and circulation. As a member of the Tribal Libraries, Archives, and Museums (TLAM) student group Cassy was part of a team that worked with community members to reopen a library on the Red Cliff reservation in northern Wisconsin. She also has work experience at the Sequoyah National Research Center in Little Rock, Arkansas where she worked with archives collections surrounding Native American writers, artists, and professors.
Lea J. Perkins, M.T.A.G.
Lea earned a BA in Chemistry from Bemidji State University in 1989 and Masters in Tribal Administration and Governance (MTAG) from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2013. She is an enrolled member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians.
Lea worked as the Executive Administrator for the Red Lake Nation from 2004 to 2014 for Floyd Jourdain Jr. Previous to that appointment, she worked for 10 years at the Minnesota Department of Education, Office of Indian Education as a Grants Specialist. She has extensive experience in program management and development, scholarship programs and evaluation. She has taught Anatomy and Physiology as Adjunct faculty for Northwest Technical College. She has also taken graduate classes in Education at Bemidji State University.
Patrick Lee, M.L.I.S.
Patrick Lee earned his B.A. in English with a minor in Ethnic and Racial Studies from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2013. Most recently, he also earned his Masters of Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 2015.
Patrick is currently working at Bemidji State Univeristy as an Assistant Professor of Library and a Reference and Instruction Librarian.
M. Stephanie Morgan, M.B.A., M.S.W.
M. Stephanie Morgan is an enrolled member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians. In spring of 2001, Stephanie received a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management from Haskell Indian Nations University located in Lawrence, Kansas. In spring of 2004, she furthered her education and received a Master’s of Business Administration with an emphasis in Healthcare Administration from Avila University located in Kansas City, Missouri. In fall of 2009, Stephanie returned to college to further her education even more. She attended the University of North Dakota online for her Master’s in Social Work. She received her Master’s in Social Work in spring of 2012. In the future, Stephanie’s goal is to return to college and obtain her PhD.
From a young age she was told, “You need to get an education.” She was talked to about Haskell Indian Junior College (HIJC) in Lawrence, Kansas, before it became a university. For her, this was her opportunity to go to college. She began her college career in fall of 2009 and received her Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts degree from HIJC in the spring of 1994. This was the foundation of her collegiate career. She strongly believes in the power of education. She believes college is not easy, it isn’t supposed to be, but anyone can achieve their goals or dreams if they put their minds to it.
Stephanie currently works for Red Lake Comprehensive Health Services (RLCHS) diabetes prevention program, Balancing Our Lifestyles, as the Program Coordinator. She has been in this position for over 10 years. She enjoys her role at RLCHS. It is her honor to work with the Red Lake Nation community. She is also very excited about her opportunity to join the Red Lake Nation College staff as an Adjunct Instructor. She is willing and ready to help assist others in fulfilling their dreams by achieving their educational goals.
Wendy Greenberg, Ph.D.
Wendy Greenberg earned her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in soil science from Texas A&M University. She taught soil science and environmental science at Bemidji State University 1999-2015, and she taught for two semesters at University of Minnesota-Crookston. Wendy has also worked for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in New York, Texas, and Minnesota.