Welcome to the Spring 2021 issue of Winds of Change
— celebrating 35 years of publishing! For many of us, this season of
renewal is more welcome than usual. Similarly, months of isolation have
made the AISES family connection more important than ever. During spring
and beyond, we’ll be providing opportunities for you to strengthen that
connection and move forward on your own path.
In this issue you’ll meet a few of the members who make the AISES
family so special. Turn to “AISES People” to get to know
people like Tyler Rust, who describes his academic journey from a high
school experience cut short to a late start on college. “AISES helped me
in ways no other institution could ever hope to,” says Rust, now a PhD
candidate. “AISES is healing.”
Perhaps most of all — and this is what sets AISES apart — our wise
elders are generous with their guidance. As Council of Elders emerita
member Dr. Henrietta Mann puts it in our new column “Cultivating
Indigenous Resilience,” “Remember that you can call on Council
of Elders members for reminders on carrying your history and knowledge
into tomorrow. You are not alone.”
Perhaps most of all — and this is what sets AISES apart — our wise elders are generous with their guidance.
Every spring you’ll find our feature on the Top 50 Workplaces for
Indigenous STEM Professionals. These “diversity winners” have maintained
their investment in DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) throughout the
pandemic, and we are confident that they will be in a strong position —
with an engaged, innovative workforce — to meet post-pandemic
challenges. Take a look at the Top 50 and read a firsthand
account about what the workplace culture is like at some of them. At
Microsoft, for example, Senior Digital Program Manager Suzanne Senske
says her colleagues “want diversity, and they ask for my perspective —
it’s a place where you’re free to innovate.”
Another article takes a close look at what makes Native computer
science students persevere in a challenging field where they are
markedly underrepresented. Read about this interesting research project,
Native Women and Two-Spirit Individuals in Computing Higher Education.
Be sure to look at “AISES Notebook” for news of the
organization and our members. For opportunities to build your own future
in STEM, check out “Paths in Education” and “Career Builder.”
Turn to “Last Word” to read about North Dakota’s
innovative NATURE program that encourages young people to explore STEM.
Several participants have gone on to achieve graduate degrees and
returned to give back to their communities.
With NATURE and all our members, we share that mission of inspiring young people to achieve and give back.
Ta’ Tura Tsiksu (With Much Respect),
Sarah EchoHawkPawnee Nation of OklahomaAISES Chief Executive Officer