Graduate students honored with AFW Founders awards

Quast and Akney.Two master’s students, Julian Ankney and Ashley Quant, were honored with the WSU Association for Faculty Women Founders Award for outstanding achievement in their fields. The Founders Award is part of the AFW’s annual recognition of academic excellence and professional potential by WSU’s graduate students.

Learn more about Ashley and Julian:

Ashley Quast.Ashley Quast
Fine Arts
Nominator: Squeak Meisel
Advisor: Reza Safavi

Ashley (Q) is preparing for her master’s Thesis Exhibition in April 2020. Q has a unique, innovative approach to her art practice and research. She is interested in community engagement, performance art, and conceptual themes of absurdity, humor, and futility. Her work has manifested as puppets, pop-up parades in public spaces, and as a traveling performance series to people’s homes. She is the first Fine Arts Graduate Fellow in the NextGen and Publicly Engaged Fellow Program, supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Q is a member of the gallery committee and has coordinated museum tours and assisted with visiting artist and scholar series. She has launched and curated Palouse Performance Showcase in 2018 and 2019, created Midwinter Parade in 2020. Nationally and internationally, she presented her performance entitled, The Story of Three Horses, at the 2020 College Art Association Conference in Chicago and participated in a performance art residency in Norway in 2019. Additionally, Q is known to practice transformational teaching, getting students to think outside the box, beyond their comfort zones.

Julian Ankney.Julian Ankney
Nominator and advisor: Debbie Lee

Julian will be completing her master’s Graduate Student Portfolio in May 2020. Julian is a Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) scholar and social justice activist, who studies Indigenous Feminism using the oral traditions of Nimiipuu. Her work has significance for Indigenous language reclamation, land revitalization, and bringing Indigenous narratives and culture into the mainstream. Concurrently, her research raises social justice awareness of gender inequality, decolonization, sovereignty, and human rights for Indigenous Peoples. Beyond traditional oral histories, Julian explores digital literary tools to tell Indigenous stories. Recently, she presented a paper on this topic, Decolonizing Digital Space Through Telling Stories, at the 2020 Modern Language Association Conference in Seattle. In her teaching, Julian engages students to translate Indigenous stories and investigate the differences in cultures as “language is the heartbeat of our people,” she says. Julian’s outreach activities are many and collaborative, involving storytelling, language revitalization, and protecting the environment and Indigenous people’s way of life. One such outreach activity is a restoration project that brings Nimiipuu, non-Native students, and community members together to plant milkweed along the creeks on the Nez Perce reservation to bring back monarch butterflies to Lapwai.

Top image: Quast (left) and Ankney

Originally posted at Association for Faculty Women