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Justice studies doctoral student awarded Cotutelle PhD scholarship


ASU student Nicholet Deschine Parkhurst posing in front of large letters that read "SYD" in Sydney, Australia.

ASU justice studies doctoral student Nicholet Deschine Parkhurst in Sydney, Australia. Photo courtesy Nicholet Deschine Parkhurst

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July 26, 2023

As a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Nicholet Deschine ParkhurstNicholet Deschine Parkhurst is also a member of the Navajo Nation. took the 2016 No Dakota Access Pipeline (NoDAPL) protests personally.

Recently, the Arizona State University justice studies doctoral student was awarded a two-year Cotutelle PhD scholarship to simultaneously attend Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, where she will research Indigenous peoples' use of social media during the NoDAPL protests as well as the Stand with Standing Rock social justice movements around rights to water, land and sacred sites.

The Cotutelle program strengthens collaborative research agendas across two international research universities. The two respective universities must agree to allow a student enrolled primarily at one university to complete a second doctoral thesis at another international university, simultaneously.

Sydney is a place broadly acknowledged as the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. Deschine Parkhurst’s research will also examine global Indigenous collaborations with the Gadigal and others, such as the Maori of New Zealand, who traveled to North Dakota to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

Thanks to the Cotutelle program, Deschine Parkhurst said, “I have the opportunity to bring additional perspectives from Indigenous peoples in Australia and New Zealand on how social media bridged their connection to the NoDAPL protests.”

The Cotutelle scholarship is the first ever to be negotiated through ASU.

While studying at Macquarie University, Deschine Parkhurst, who already has a master's degree in social work and in public policy, will continue to uphold her responsibilities at ASU, which include serving as the director of travel for the Graduate and Professional Student Association and as a delegate for the Women’s Council of Indigenous Doctoral Scholars.

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