Megan Red Shirt-Shaw
BA '11, University of Pennsylvania
Vermillion, South Dakota
Megan Red Shirt-Shaw (Oglala Lakota) is an educator, writer, higher education expert, and a Harvard Forward candidate. She’s an advocate for greater Indigenous presence and commitment to Native student success in higher education.
“As a Lakota educator studying higher education, I’ve challenged the institutions I've attended and worked for to think about their impact environmentally, academically, and racially on both a local and national level. Harvard has the power to set the standard for other institutions, and I hope to challenge them to restructure and rethink their priorities.”
At Harvard, Red Shirt-Shaw received a master’s degree in higher education from the Graduate School of Education, earned her cohort’s Intellectual Contribution Award, and was selected as Convocation Student Speaker. Additionally, she was a HGSE Equity & Inclusion Fellow, served on the Dean’s Advisory Committee on Equity and Diversity, and co-chaired FIERCE: Future Indigenous Educators Resisting Colonial Education. Red Shirt-Shaw is currently pursuing a PhD in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development with a focus in higher education and a minor in American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota.
She has worked in undergraduate admissions, college access, and college counseling at the University of Pennsylvania, QuestBridge, Albuquerque Academy, the 7th Gen Summer Program, and Santa Clara University. Currently, she is the Director of Native Student Services at the University of South Dakota.
Red Shirt-Shaw is also the founder of Natives In America, an online literary publication that empowers Native youth to use their voices to fight for change.