City native has
held variety of academic, tribal positions
State University has selected Stacy Leeds as NSUs third Sequoyah
Fellow, according to a media release.
A Muskogee native, Leeds was an all-state basketball player
for Muskogee High School. She attended Washington University in
St. Louis, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree and participated
as a student athlete, playing tennis and basketball. She then received
a masters degree in business administration from the University
of Tennessee and law degrees from the University of Tulsa and the
University of Wisconsin.
Leeds is the dean and a professor of law at the University of
Arkansas in Fayetteville. She began her teaching career as the University
of Wisconsin as a William H. Hastie Fellow, and then went on to
become the director of the Northern Plains Indian Law Center at
the University of North Dakota School of Law followed by positions
at the University of Kansas School of Law as the director of the
Tribal Law and Government Center and the interim associate dean
for academic affairs.
A Cherokee citizen, Leeds is the chairwoman of the Cherokee
Nation Gaming Commission. Prior to this position, Leeds was a justice
on the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court the first woman and
youngest person to hold the position.
She has served as a judge for seven tribal nations and been
a member of the Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform,
where she provided guidance for reform to the U.S. Department of
In 2013, both the National American Indian Court Judges Association
and the American Bar Association honored Leeds for her efforts and
public service to Indian country and for actively promoting diversity
in the legal profession.
NSU and the College of Liberal Arts are grateful Dean
Leeds has accepted our invitation to serve as our 2015 Sequoyah
Fellow. She has no equal as a leading pioneer in jurisprudence,
legal scholar, promoter of diversity, and lifting up others in their
pursuit of justice, said Dr. Phil Bridgmon, NSUs dean
of liberal arts.
The Sequoyah Fellow program provides an opportunity for the
university and College of Liberal Arts to recognize an outstanding
scholar in the field of Native American studies who will share their
expertise with the NSU community during the fellowship year. Sequoyah
Fellows are nationally and internationally renowned, have interest
in scholarship and service to Native communities, and have records
of distinction at the highest levels of professional accomplishment
in their fields.
Wilma Mankiller, a former principal chief of the Cherokee Nation,
was the inaugural fellow. Neil Morton, a senior policy adviser for
the Cherokee Nation, held the position last year.
I am deeply humbled and honored to step into the shoes
once filled by Chief Wilma Mankiller and Dr. Neil Morton,
Leeds said. I am grateful for the opportunity to interact
with NSU students, staff and faculty as this next phase of the Sequoyah
Fellowship legacy takes shape.