Epicurious taught that community equals happiness — so AISES must be happiness.
— Tyler Rust, PhD candidate
I’m in graduate school now in Hawaiian studies. It’s hard for all us
Native people to succeed as professionals. We hear that we aren’t good
enough, so hearing at AISES over and over from professionals who are
doing it that we should get those thoughts out of our head is so
— Jillian Kamakaila Paulino
While I personally did not go to college, I’ve found
opportunities at Amazon where they value experience as well as
education. It’s a growing company that is inclusive — they respect all
points of view. I also like that it’s collaborative with
cross-functional teams and you have the satisfaction of seeing what you
are building through to completion.
— John Brown, Amazon
I’m working for my master’s in education heading to a career in
educational policy and support services. I was a high school English
teacher so I was happy to have the opportunity to come here to STEM
Activity Day and volunteer to work with students on their resumes.
— Hannah Luber, graduate student, Marquette University
I’m studying finance at Arizona State. One of my goals is to
go back to my tribe and teach about how money works. I was one who got a
per cap payout from my tribe and just didn’t know how to manage it. I
want to help other kids not make that mistake. Volunteering with Native
Financial Cents seems perfect for me.
— Katherine Jacobs, Arizona State and Region 3 Representative
I had always wanted to be a doctor, but I never heard of a Native
doctor on our reservation. So I was an EMT, did mountain search and
rescue, and spent 10 years as a sheriff’s deputy. Then at age 40, I
finally had the confidence to go to medical school. Remember if you want
to do something, only two people can take it away from you: you and the
— Dr. Bret Benally Thompson, faculty, University of Wisconsin
School of Medicine and Public Health, family, palliative, and hospice
I was so pleased to see that the AISES rainbow pin this year shows
the black and brown ends of the spectrum to include LGBT people of
color. The most exciting thing about my Blazing Flame Award is that it
will raise awareness.
— Sheila Lopez, Intel Corporation
In Alaska, where I’m from, rural areas are adapting to a
changing climate. I’m involved in science camps for kids to relate to
their environment. We focus on sun, soil, and fish species in
experiments for the kids to conduct. But we don’t just focus on youth:
we incorporate the generational knowledge of older people and try to
address the generation gap where many adults spend their working life
away from the reservation and return in later years, so the kids have
limited exposure to what they know.
— Eve Dawn
I’m enjoying volunteering at STEM Activity Day. I’ve been in
Milwaukee three years now, and I believe in community service and giving
back. I’m a pharmacist, and I can talk to these high school students
and maybe spark some interest.
— Ehab Abourashed, American Chemical Society
I’m a mechanical engineer whose work involves collaborating
with a variety of other engineers. I’m always working on complex
problems with really smart people, and at the end of the day you know
you are making a difference in people’s lives, as in working on heart
pacemakers. Working on products just being prepared for market is so
challenging and rewarding.
— Jake Kaganovich, Boston Scientific
At the Department of Energy nuclear energy lab, we secure
critical national infrastructure like the power grid for Homeland
Security, as well as working on cybersecurity, the environment, and
energy (like biofuels and modular nuclear reactors for smaller
— Michelle Kidd, Idaho National Laboratory
Never be afraid to put yourself out there for opportunities that seem interesting. You never know where it may lead.
— Vanessa Benally, Booz Allen Hamilton
I applaud AISES for bringing students to the conference to
expose them to new ideas and explore career paths. I’m very interested
in the natural science presentations, and so glad to see the dynamism of
the presenters and their enthusiasm about their subjects. I’d encourage
even more natural science–related presentations.
— Mike Heim, professor of natural science and horticultural researcher, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College