A veteran leadership trainer, a fluent speaker of the Chickasaw language, and several talented Southeastern artists and authors were among those recognized during the Chickasaw Nation Arts and Culture Awards ceremony Thursday, October 2, at the Chickasaw Cultural Center, in Sulphur, Oklahoma.
Dr. Karen Goodnight was named the 2014 Dynamic Woman of the Year by Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby.
Dr. Goodnight’s distinguished career has been dedicated to improving educational opportunities for Chickasaw citizens. She has also spent many years training tribal leaders in an effort to enhance economic opportunities for the Chickasaw Nation.
“We are blessed to have many talented women in the Chickasaw Nation. That is really what has helped us to be strong, and I am proud to recognize one of those women for her contributions,” Anoatubby said.
“Like so many past recipients of this award, Dr. Goodnight is incredibly driven. She has served her tribe by using her talents to motivate and educate Chickasaw Nation employees and youth. She remains a leader but also shares her expertise with others so they, in turn, can become effective leaders.”
As a Chickasaw citizen with decades of experience working to help improve education and training for Chickasaw citizens, Dr. Goodnight is owner and manager of Goodnight and Associates, LLC. The firm specializes in high-level executive performance coaching, strategic planning and leadership and organization development.
Dr. Goodnight accepted the award, thanking Governor Anoatubby and her family, and saying she was deeply honored to be nominated for the prestigious award.
“I am so proud to be Chickasaw, I am proud of my culture and I am proud to be a part of the dynamic Chickasaw Nation,” she said.
Dr. Goodnight has more than 17 years of experience in executive leadership and management experience. She is particularly skilled at helping individuals identify and develop their unique leadership strengths and talents.
During her career Dr. Goodnight also served as Chickasaw Nation Director of Head Start and Early Childhood programs and as Chief Training Officer for the Department of Commerce.
Dr. Goodnight, a resident of Goldsby, Oklahoma, earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and a master’s degree in administration from East Central University, Ada. She completed her Ph.D. in instructional leadership and academic curriculum at the University of Oklahoma May 2012.
While at the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Goodnight taught college-level courses while working as a graduate assistant and a graduate research assistant.
Dr. Goodnight is a member of the national Social Studies Organization and the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.
In 2012, Dr. Goodnight won the Chickasaw Nation Research and Publication Award for Best Doctoral Dissertation for her essay “Chikashsha Poya Tingba: Coping with the Devaluing of Diversity in America: A Study of the Perspectives of the Chickasaw Tribe.”
A native Adan, Dr. Goodnight and her husband, Stan, have three children, son Kyle and daughters Madie and Katie.
Established in 2006, the Dynamic Woman of the Year Award honors Chickasaw women who have made significant contributions to the Nation, serve as role-models and who have made a difference in the lives others, enriching their communities and society at large.
Past winners include: Dr. Judy Oliva, Lisa Johnson-Billy, Dr. Tina Marie Cooper, Dr. Teresa M. Shavney, Mildred Blackmon, Steffani Cochran, Ellen Brooker and Dr. Shannon Speed.