PHOTO COURTESY OF SHAYAI LUCERO
Shayai Lucero reached the U.S. 2021 semifinals of the Pow Wow Pitch, a competition for emerging Indigenous entrepreneurs and business owners. Daughter of longtime Council of Elders members Cecelia and the late Stanley Lucero, Shayai is the owner of Earth & Sky Floral Designs and Gallery. As one of the top 25 competitors, semifinalists have the chance to compete for $25,000 in seed money.
Assistant Professor Dr. Josiah Hester received the Daniel I. Linzer Award for Faculty Excellence in Diversity and Equity at Northwestern University, where he teaches electrical and computer engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering. The award recognized Dr. Hester for his work in creating a more welcoming and inclusive climate in a field where women and people of color have long been underrepresented. Dr. Hester is the recipient of the 2021 AISES Professional Award for Most Promising Engineer or Scientist.
Dr. Kai Two Feathers Orton has been appointed a Fellow in Residence at AnitaB.org, a global nonprofit focused on gender parity in tech fields. She will be leading initiatives focused on advancing the education and career paths of women from communities of color.
Sequoyah Fellow Dr. Joseph Connolly was honored by the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers as a Community “DIFF” Maker of the Game, an individual recognized for working to improve social good in their organization and wider community. Dr. Connolly is a technical lead at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland and a member of the Lake Erie Native American Council and the Winds of Change Editorial Advisory Council.
AISES Director of Research Dr. Tiffany D. Smith won the 2021 Melvene D. Hardee Dissertation of the Year Award from the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) Foundation. The award recognizes outstanding research conducted by doctoral students on college student services administration and student affairs. Dr. Smith’s dissertation title is “Indigenizing the Academy: A Story-telling Journey to Determine Pathways for Native Student Success in Engineering.”
For her work with diabetes and her commitment to increasing cultural awareness in technology, Anna Quinlan was recognized last December by both the Apple Scholars Program and Re-writing the Code, a national nonprofit focused on helping women complete degree programs. A member of the Stanford University class of 2023, she is majoring in computer science. For more on Quinlan, see the fall 2018 issue of Winds of Change.
Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer was honored with the 2021 Thoreau Prize at the Concord Festival of Authors in Massachusetts. Dr. Kimmerer, who wrote the bestseller Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, among other titles, was especially cited for her focus on an “ethical relationship between people and plants.” Recipient of the 2016 Ely S. Parker Award, Dr. Kimmerer is a distinguished teaching professor and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
Sequoyah Fellow Dr. Thomas Lane is the recipient of the inaugural President Award bestowed by the Rotary Club of Midland, Texas, in recognition of his years of community service. Dr. Lane spent his career at Dow Corning Corporation and is a president emeritus of the American Chemical Society.
John Lowery has become the seventh chair of the Lumbee Tribe. He will be leading the tribe’s 60,000 members in the next phase of their 134-year struggle to achieve federal recognition. Among his other goals are modernizing tribal government, fostering leadership in tribal youth, and working with the University of North Carolina at Pembroke to capture traditional knowledge among tribal elders.
Chris Soap was among those recognized at the annual AARP Oklahoma Indian Elders Honors event in November. He created a career in manufacturing while remaining active in local schools, promoting cultural programs and advocating for parent and student engagement. He also served on the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council.
Dr. Wendy F. Todd was awarded a Dr. Howard Higholt Endowed Professorship at the Swenson College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Dr. Todd, who teaches American Indian Studies and Earth Sciences, is a member of the AISES Board of Directors and the winner of the 2019 Professional of the Year Award.
In February the College Chapter at the University of Arkansas participated in observations of Engineers Week, hosting an Ice Cream with the Deans event at the College of Engineering.
The role of the AISES College Chapter at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the school’s official recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, as well as the creation of an Indigenous peoples center, was acknowledged in an article titled “An Expanded Commitment to Indigenous Scholarship and Community at MIT” published in MIT News.
The AISES Circle of Support Program acknowledges the generous investment of partners whose support is integral to the AISES mission. Circle Partners are organizations that established a multiprogram partnership with AISES in 2020. We wish to thank each of our Circle Partners for their continued efforts to serve AISES student and professional members.