Dr. Felina Cordova-Marks, a second-year post-doctoral fellow at the University of Arizona Cancer Center focusing on health disparities, was named the 40 Under 40 Woman of the Year for 2020. Last spring she pivoted her research from cancer to the coronavirus. She founded and led the Southern Arizona Urban, Native, and Indigenous COVID-19 Relief effort and organized mask drives for the Hopi Tribe and Gallup Indian Medical Center.
Council of Elders emerita member Dr. Henrietta Mann has been included in the book Native Women Changing Their Worlds
by Patricia Cutright. The book, which is part of the Native
Trailblazers series for secondary students, includes biographies of 12
women who are creating positive change in their communities.
A four-year, $2 million NSF grant has gone to Dr. Steven Crossley
to research polymer recycling technologies. An associate professor at
the University of Oklahoma School of Chemical, Biological, and Materials
Engineering, he is the faculty advisor for the school’s AISES College
Melanie Howard, advisor for the College Chapter at
Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, is the recipient of the
inaugural Principal’s Teaching Award for Indigenous Education. She
directs the Aboriginal Access to Engineering Initiative in the school’s
Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.
Brielle Chanae Thorsen has been named the 2020
recipient of the Order of the White Rose Scholarship. The award was
instituted on the 25th anniversary of a 1989 mass shooting at the
Polytechnique Montréal, one of Canada’s largest engineering schools,
where the gunman targeted only women. The White Rose Scholarship goes
to a female graduate engineering student in remembrance of the 14 women
killed and 11 injured. Thorsen, who is the first Indigenous woman chosen
for the $30,000 scholarship, earned her BASc at Queen’s University in
Ontario, where she is pursuing a master’s in mechanical engineering. She
served as the first AISES Canadian National Student Representative. For
more on Thorsen, see the 2018 Special College Issue of Winds of Change.
In December Tristan Picotte became the 50th graduate
of the NSF-funded Tiospaye Scholar Program at the South Dakota School
of Mines and Technology. Picotte, who earned his BS in electrical
engineering and served as president of the school’s AISES College
Chapter, interned at IBM, where he accepted a job offer.
Bianca Hanly of Scottsdale, Ariz., was named to the
2020 All Native American High School Academic Team. The honor is
bestowed annually on 10 high school seniors by the American Indian
Graduate Center. Now a freshman at MIT, Hanly is studying electrical
Matthew Dunn was honored with the 2020 McCannel
Award, which recognizes service to the Association of Professional
Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan and to the professions as a
whole. He is the indigenization and reconciliation coordinator at the
University of Saskatchewan and co-president of the Saskatchewan
The MIT College Chapter has worked with MLK Visiting
Scholar Patricia Saulis to raise awareness of the challenges facing
Indigenous students. The chapter also led the campus campaign to change
the school’s Columbus Day observance to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. MIT’s
president announced the change last fall, in time for the holiday. The
MIT College Chapter also participated with other student groups in the
school’s inaugural Get Out the Vote (GOTV) festival last October, where
all speakers and performers were people of color.
Marking Native American Heritage Month, the North Dakota State University publication The Spectrum cited campus resources for Indigenous students, notably the NDSU College Chapter. Chapter president Isnala Roan Eagle was quoted explaining the AISES mission.
The Lake Erie Professional Chapter was mentioned in coverage by local and national news outlets, including Sports Illustrated,
for its role as part of the Cleveland Indigenous Coalition in working
with the city’s Major League Baseball franchise to change the team’s
name. The intention to begin the process to rebrand the team with a
“non–Native American based name” was announced in December.
The generosity of our Full Circle of Support (FCS) Partners and Circle of Support Partners is integral to the AISES mission. FCS Partners are organizations that have established a multiprogram partnership with AISES for three or more years, while Circle of Support Partners assist in funding a diverse range of programs and events in the STEM fields. We wish to thank each for their continued effort to serve AISES student and professional members.