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The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) announced today that it has received support from the Comcast Foundation to produce Public Service Announcements (PSAs) highlighting the importance of its mission to “increase the representation of American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, First Nations, Pacific Islanders and indigenous peoples of North America in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies and careers.” AISES will produce two short PSAs that will begin airing in the spring of 2016. The Comcast Foundation has also committed to providing $1.5 million in airtime in 2016 to run the PSAs. Filming of the two PSAs will take place this week in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the organization’s main office is located.
“We are truly indebted to the Comcast Foundation for this most generous contribution. Comcast is an excellent example of how corporate America can support American Indians toward brighter futures that will benefit not just American Indians but our nation as whole,” said Sarah EchoHawk, AISES CEO.
One of the PSAs will feature Dr. John B. Herrington, the world’s first Native astronaut, who has enthusiastically agreed to take part in AISES video shoot on Thursday, Feb. 4. Dr. Herrington’s historic STS-113 mission in 2002 lasted 14 days. “The STS-113 crew and the Expedition Six crew combined to install the new P1 truss to the International Space Station, perform[ed] three spacewalks to outfit and activate the truss, and transfer[ed] supplies and equipment between the two spacecraft. Endeavour brought more than 2,500 pounds of material to the station.”
“Dr. Herrington’s remarkable story demonstrates what is possible for American Indian Students if they are provided much needed resources and support,” said EchoHawk. “We are honored by his continued to commitment to inspiring AISES students to reach for and achieve their dreams. Upon meeting Dr. Herrington, students truly believe that anything is possible.”
“AISES is a key component,” says Herrington “in the effort to motivate and encourage Native American students to pursue their dreams in the STEM fields. It is my honor to support AISES in their public outreach.”
The other PSA highlights the possibilities and opportunities available to American Indian students interested in pursuing careers in the health/medical fields. One of AISES newest partners, Boston Scientific, is providing in-kind support during the filming.
“It is very exciting to have a new corporate partner with a focus on health/medicine given that we know there are number of career opportunities in those fields for AISES students,” noted EchoHawk.
The majority of the filming will take place at the University of New Mexico (UNM), Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) and the Hyatt Tamaya Resort at Santa Ana Pueblo. AISES is fortunate to have the cooperation and support of these locations. We are especially indebted to Pam Agoyo, Director of American Indian Student Services and Special Assistant to the President for American Indian Affairs at UNM; Dr. Nader Vadiee, Engineering Faculty and Director of the I-C-MARS ROSE STEMS Laboratory at SIPI; and Dr. Sherry Allison, President of SIPI.