Dr. Staikidis holds a Doctor of Education Degree in Art and Art Education from Teachers College Columbia University in New York City, a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Hunter College in New York City, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology and Art History from Columbia University in New York City.
Her research interests are in the areas of indigenous pedagogy, art studio practice as a site for research, and visual culture/critical pedagogy in the classroom. In 2005, 2007, and 2011, Dr. Staikidis was awarded three Faculty Development Grants to further her research with Maya artists in Guatemala. Dr. Staikidis has twenty publications in journals such as Studies in Art Education; The Journal of Art Education; Qualitative Inquiry; Visual Culture and Gende;, The Journal of Social Theory in Art Education; and multiple book chapters about Maya painting pedagogy; decolonizing methodologies; Maya paintings as teachers of justice; and art studio practice as a site for research.
Since studying with two contemporary Guatemalan Maya painters, Pedro Rafael González Chavajay and Paula Nicho Cúmez, Staikidis relies on narratives, both personal and cultural, as the driving forces for her work. Most recently, Staikidis has painted a series that examines her own cultural hybridity and the memories and oral histories told to her by relatives who remember crossing continents from Russia escaping pogroms, and first trips to the United States from Greece. The paintings in this series are about her dog, who acts as a guide through their small Midwestern odyssey.