Sheilah E Nicholas

Professor, Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies
Associate Professor, American Indian Studies-GIDP
Associate Professor, Second Language Acquisition / Teaching - GIDP
Tribal Affiliation
Hopi Tribe of Arizona

Sheilah E. Nicholas is a member of the Hopi Tribe located in Arizona.  She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies (TLSS) at the University of Arizona (UA). She teaches courses in Indigenous Culture-Based Education, Language and Culture, Oral Traditions, Language Minority Education, and Teacher Research.  She is also a Faculty Instructor for the American Indian Language Development Institute (AILDI) and Immersion Instructor-Consultant for the Indigenous Language Institute, Sante Fe, NM. Her scholarship and research focus includes:  Indigenous/Hopi language maintenance and reclamation, Indigenous language ideologies and epistemologies, the intersection of language, culture and identity, and Indigenous language teacher education.  Her publications draw on her dissertation, “Becoming ‘Fully’ Hopi:  The Role of the Hopi Language in the Contemporary Lives of Hopi Youth—A Hopi Case Study of Language Shift and Vitality” and her work with the Hopi Tribe’s Hopilavayi Summer Institute for Hopi language teachers (2004-2010).  Along with colleagues Dr. Teresa McCarty and Dr. Michael Seltzer at UCLA and Dr. Tiffany Lee at UNM, she is the UA Co-PI of a national study, “Indigenous-Language Immersion and Native American Student Achievement” funded by the Spencer Foundation. Her own upcoming research will engage a Hopi community school in a self-study regarding the role of schools in language reclamation efforts.




  • PhD