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Miyaxwa -

When the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) was founded 39 years ago by American Indian scientists: Manhattan Project scientist and Mohawk, Arnold Anderson, Al Qöyawayma (Hopi), Carol Gardipe (Penobscot), George Thomas (Cherokee), Jerry Elliott (Cherokee/Osage), Alex Labadie (Osage) and Jim Shorty (Navajo), their intent, passion and commitment was clear…substantially increase representation of indigenous peoples of North America in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies and careers. Over 25,000 individuals have been benefited as members of AISES. Today, AISES is now over 4,000 strong, with 189 college chapters, 15 professional chapters and 158 affiliated schools that enroll more than 55,000 K-12 Native students.

On behalf of the AISES Board of Directors, I am honored to thank you for your commitment of time, energy and resources toward fulfilling not only the vision of our founders, but that same commitment of encouragement, support, and mentorship we each share with Native Americans on their STEM journey.

As you read the AISES annual report, I hope you are as excited as I am about not only accomplishments this past year, but also about the future of AISES. In just 24 short months, Sarah Echohawk and the AISES staff, with support and guidance from the AISES Board and Council of Elders has increased membership by over 30%, established a solid financial footing, and helped AISES regain its rightful leadership role when it comes to supporting Native Americans in STEM. 

We are also forever grateful of the individuals, organizations, tribes, universities, companies and government entities that demonstrate their commitment everyday by donating their time, and providing vital resources that enable the programs AISES offers and employment opportunities that so many of our students are able to pursue.

As Mulu’wetam (first people) we have a core belief that we are on a journey in this world that enables us to help and guide others as we have been guided by our Mukat and those before us.

While the vision remains strong, and the commitments solid, we have much work to do and we invite you to be engaged even more. One of our key objectives over this next year is to strengthen the services and support we provide to our professional members. Whether you pursue an AISES board position, volunteer as a member of an AISES board committee, or as part of the important advisory committees, get engaged. With the new effort to focus on professionals, as a Sequoyah Fellow, as a mentor, or with financial support, please know that your engagement is so appreciated.

Traditional Knowledge – New Ideas – A Better World – AISES

Why STEM for Native Americans?

Many individual Native Americans as well as tribal communities are not provided resources for, or access to, STEM education. Too often when we address workforce develop and economic development for Native Americans, STEM is left out of the conversation and yet 80% of the fastest growing occupations in the United States depend on some mastery of mathematics and scientific knowledge and skills. Native American mastery of STEM is fundamental to proactive management of tribal land and resources and overall economic success and yet all too often the educational pipeline used does not ensure Native American students are academically prepared to successfully undertake STEM studies when they enter college. The AISES mission is focused on closing these gaps.

STEM is where the jobs are

  • STEM employment is expected to grow 17% between 2008 and 2018, far faster than the 10% growth projected for overall employment.

STEM workers earn higher salaries

  • College graduates overall make 84 percent more over a lifetime than those with only high school diplomas.
  • The average wage for all STEM occupations is $85,570, nearly double the average for all occupations ($47,230).

STEM workers earn higher salaries

  • Sixty percent of the new jobs that will open in the 21st century will require skills possessed by only 20 percent of the current workforce.
  • The U.S. may be short as many as three million high-skilled workers by 2018.5 Worldwide, the United States ranks 17th in the number of science degrees it awards.

The U.S. is losing its competitive edge

  • The U.S. is ranked sixth among 40 countries and regions, based on 16 indicators of innovation and competitiveness.
  • The prestigious World Economic Forum ranks the U.S. as No. 48 in quality of math and science education.

The Business of AISES

Vision, Mission, Values, Strategies, Goals, and Programmatic Focus


The vision of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) is for the next seven generations of Native people to be successful, respected, influential and contributing members of our vast and ever changing global community.


Founded in 1977, The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) is a national, nonprofit organization focused on substantially increasing the representation of American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, First Nations and other indigenous peoples of North America in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies and careers.



We are committed to the pursuit of knowledge and continuous growth in learning and teaching.


We anticipate and embrace change and strive to learn and improve by trying new approaches and forward thinking solutions.


We actively build and continually steward transparent, honest and ethical relationships with our partners, members and all who are part of our AISES family.


We do what we what we say we are going to do and conduct our business with the highest standards of professional behavior and ethics.


We embrace the power of our people by encouraging them to take initiative, lead and make decisions.


We honor our ancestors by carrying forward our cultural traditions and values in all that we do.


Advancing Educational and Career Knowledge While Embracing Native Culture and Tradition

Empowering Native People through Relationships and Innovative Resources

Creating and Sustaining the AISES Family through a Full Circle of Support Services


Build Awareness

Increase awareness among Native people about STEM educational and career opportunities.

Foster Partnerships

Develop and strengthen diverse partnerships with key STEM stakeholders.

Provide Support Services

Design and deliver comprehensive and effective programmatic and financial STEM support services.

Maintain Effective Organizational Structure

Support the staff, board, mission and membership through effective infrastructure and systems.

Four Programmatic Focus Areas

Pre-College: Awareness
& Retention

AISES creates and administers programs and events to provide Native K-12 students and educators exposure to quality curriculum and opportunities to interest and engage them in STEM.

College: Access & Success

AISES provides opportunities and financial support to Native college students to increase access to and boost success in STEM studies in higher education.

Professional: Leadership
& Change

AISES supports a network of Native STEM professionals through professional chapters, awards, career development resources; and research and mentoring opportunities.

Strategic Partnerships
& Research

AISES identifies and engages in
strategic partnerships and conducts research to further our mission of substantially increasing the representation of Natives in STEM studies and careers.

The Structure of AISES

Organization, Chapters and Programming

AISES by the Numbers

  • Over 4,000 Members
  • $10.3 Million in Academic Scholarships to Over 5,000 Students Since Inception
  • 15 Professional Chapters
  • 189 Chartered College and University Chapters 
  • 158 Affiliated Schools That Enroll More Than 55,000 K-12 Native Students

  • Membership: 3,727
  • Academic and Travel Scholarships and Support: $589,962
  • Annual Revenue: $3,189,2151
  • Total Program Support Provided: $2,465,831

How we spent our funding in 2015:

   Administration and Development = 25%
   Programmatic Support = 75%

  •  Membership: 3,289
  • Academic and Travel Scholarships and Support: $391,901
  • Annual Revenue: $2,740,432
  • Total Program Support Provided: $2,072,690

How we spent our funding in 2014:
   Administration and Development = 27%
   Programmatic Support = 73%

  • Membership: 2,819
  • Academic and Travel Scholarships and Support: $349,947
  • Annual Revenue: $2,581,298
  • Total Pogram Support Provided: $1,948,056
How we spent our funding in 2013:
   Administration and Development = 31%
   Programmatic Support = 69%

Council of Elders and Board of Directors

Council of Elders

Mary Kahn (Navajo)

Phil Lane, Jr. (Yankton Dakota and Chickasaw)

Henrietta Mann, Ph.D. (Southern Cheyenne)

Faith Spotted Eagle (Ihanktonwan Band of the Dakota/Nakota/Lakota Nation of South Dakota)

Stan & Cecelia Lucero (Laguna and Acoma Pueblo)

Bret Benally Thompson (White Earth Band of Ojibwe)

Antoinelle Benally Thompson (Navajo)

Andrea Axtell (Nez Perce), Emeriti

Horace Axtell (Nez Perce), In Memoriam

Eddie Box Sr. (Red Ute), In Memoriam

Franklin Kahn (Navajo), In Memoriam

Phil Lane, Sr. (Yankton Sioux), In Memoriam

Bow Lane (Chickasaw), In Memoriam

Lee Piper, Ph.D. (Cherokee), In Memoriam

2015 Board of Directors

Rick Stephens, Chair (Pala Band of Mission Indians)

Dr. Twyla Baker-Demaray, Vice-Chair (Three Affiliated Tribes MHA)

Dr. Jim May, Treasurer (United Keetowah Band)

Marlene Watson, Secretary (Navajo)

Dr. Mark Bellcourt (White Earth Ojibwe)

Dr. Iona Black (Cherokee)

Paul Kabotie (Hopi)

Lisa Lone Fight (Mandan, Hidatsa, Sahnish)

Sheila Lopez (Navajo)

Crystal Tulley-Cordova, Senior National Student Representative (Navajo)

Sheridan Evans, Junior National Student
Representative (Cherokee)

2014 Board of Directors

Dr. Melinda McClanahan, Chair (Choctaw)

Dr. Twyla Baker-Demaray, Vice-Chair (Three Affiliated Tribes MHA)

Dr. Jim May, Treasurer (United Keetowah Band)

Rick Stephens, Secretary (Pala Band of Mission Indians)

Dr. Mark Bellcourt (White Earth Ojibwe)

Ki Tecumseh (Winnebago)

Barbara Tenorio-Grimes (San Felipe Pueblo)

Marlene Watson (Navajo)

Dr. Iona Black (Cherokee)

Paul Kabotie (Hopi)

Lisa Lone Fight (Mandan, Hidatsa, Sahnish)

Sheila Lopez (Navajo)

Ciarra Greene, Senior National Student Representative (Nez Perce)

Jeffery Ross, Junior National Student Representative (Ojibway)

2014 – 2015 Advisory Council Chairs 

Corporate Advisory Council

Chuck Ross (Choctaw), Raytheon

Laurence Brown (Navajo), Sandia National Labs

Academic Advisory Committee

Dr. Mary Jo Ondrechen (Mohawk), Northeastern

Professional Chapter Council

Jonathan Clark (Apache), Casino Arizona

Government Relations Council

Marcellus Proctor (Piscataway-Conoy), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Noller Herbert (Navajo), USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS)

James Daugomah (Kiowa), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Amanda James (Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe), Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

AISES Student Representatives


Crystal Tulley-Cordova (Navajo)
Senior National Rep

Sheridan Evans (Cherokee)
Junior National Rep

Jason Slats (Chevak Native Village) - Region 1

Raquel Kamalu (Native Hawaiian) - Region 2

Nikki Tulley (Navajo) - Region 3

Ashleigh McIntosh (Caddo) - Region 4

Hannah Balderas (Three Affiliated Tribes) - Region 5

Ben Oster (Mohawk) - Region 6

Joi Owle (Eastern Band of Cherokee) - Region 7

2014 - 2015

Jeffrey Ross (First Nations)
Senior National Rep

Crystal Tulley-Cordova (Navajo)
Junior National Rep

Jennifer Brazeau (Timiskaming) - Region 1

Isaiah Sato (Native Hawaiian) - Region 2

Crystal Tulley-Cordova (Navajo) - Region 3

Sheridan Evans (Cherokee) - Region 4

Domingo Tamayo (Rosebud Sioux) - Region 5

Michael Charles (Navajo) - Region 6

Jeremy Evans (Haliwa-Saponi) - Region 7

2013 - 2014

Ciarra Greene (Nez Perce)
Senior National Rep

Jeffrey Ross (First Nations)
Junior National Rep

Jennifer Brazeau (Timiskaming) - Region 1

Isaiah Sato (Native Hawaiian) - Region 2

Althea Walker (Gila River, Hopi, Nez Perce) - Region 3

Sheridan Evans (Cherokee) - Region 4

Pearl Walker (Standing Rock Sioux) - Region 5

Michael Charles (Navajo) - Region 6

Jeremy Evans (Haliwa-Saponi) - Region 7


Sarah Echohawk (Pawnee)
Chief Executive Officer

Emerald Craig (Navajo)
Membership and Communications Manager

Katherine Cristiano
Events Officer

Kyle Coulon (Mohawk)
Program and Development Officer

Kathy DeerInWater (Cherokee)
Director of Special Projects & Research

Shayna Gutierrez (Oglala Lakota)
Business and Program Development Coordinator

Debbie Derryberry
Executive Assistant

Ruben Hernandez (Rosebud Sioux)
Chief Technology Officer

Kellie Jewett-Fernandez (Cheyenne River Sioux)
Director of Business and Program Development

Bill McIntyre
Chief Finance Officer

Elsie Montoya
Finance Assistant

Lisa Paz (Pawnee/Comanche)
Director of Membership and Communications

Angelika Silva

David Cournoyer (Lakota)
Visual Communications Consultant, Plain Depth Consulting

Brian Vermillion
Graphic Design Consultant, ver5design


2305 Renard Place, Suite 200
Albuquerque, NM 87106

Phone: (505) 765-1052
Fax: +1 (505) 765-5608