Kendra is a rising 3L at the University of Oklahoma Law School, where she is getting her certificate in Indian law. A native Nebraskan, she received her BA in Education and MA in History from the University of Nebraska at Kearney before moving to Flagstaff, Arizona to attend Northern Arizona University.
She graduated with her Doctorate in History from NAU in 2011, where she wrote her dissertation on the use of the legal and justice systems as apparati for excluding ethnic-Mexican and minority men in Territorial Arizona from equal participation in the political process, leading to the disenfranchisement and systemic racism still seen today. It also focuses on the criminalization of ethnic-minority men and women to establish white supremacy and the disproportionate impact of this process on female offenders, who faced physical and sexual abuse while incarcerated. The main goal of her research was to humanize these female offenders through highlighting their lived experiences. She seeks change perceptions of these women today through bringing awareness the historical inequalities in the justice system that have led to their disproportionate sentencing and incarceration.
After sixteen years as a university professor and four years as a tribal liaison for the state and federal governments in Texas and New Mexico, she developed a passion for working with tribes to preserve tribal sovereignty, maintain traditional family systems, and advance human rights. This fueled her desire to return to school and obtain her JD to practice in Indian Country.
Prior to clerking at Rothstein Donatelli, she interned at Oklahoma Indian Legal Services and Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, where she will return for her final year of school. She currently volunteers with the United Nations as an Advisor to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and will be participating in OU's International Human Rights Clinic in the Fall of 2022. After spending fourteen years in the Southwest, she considers it her home and hopes to return to New Mexico to practice after graduation. She looks forward to working at the Firm to expand her knowledge of Indian law and gain practical experience.