Diné College’s Sorrell wins prestigious fellowship


Rhiannon Sorrell

Rhiannon Sorrell, an assistant professor in the Diné College School of Arts, Humanities & English, was 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.

Sorrell is also instruction and digital services librarian at Diné College.

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.
Sorrell and the members of the cohort represent institutions ranging from the University of California to the Smithsonian.

They “will build connections with diverse communities and publics through a combination of strategic programming, outreach, and advocacy” as stated in the RBS press release.

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

Herman Peterson, director of libraries at Diné College, said, “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.”

The Kinyaa’áanii Library in Tsaile, Arizona, possesses approximately 500 canisters of 16mm film of Diné and Indigenous subject matter, which will be the priority for digitization and preservation.

Sorrell 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 Peterson.


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