Ely S. Parker Award Nominations


About the AISES Ely S. Parker Award

The Ely S. Parker Award is the highest honor bestowed by AISES, given in honor of a man who was the first recognized American Indian scientist/engineer.  Parker made many civil engineering contributions and was a Chief of the Seneca and a Union Army General.

The purpose of the award is to recognize those Indian leaders who most clearly embody AISES’ mission and goals through their achievements and contributions to science, technology, engineering, and math.  Members of the Board of Directors, officers, staff and corporate sponsors are not eligible.

Eligibility Criteria

The nominee must be an experienced American Indian or Alaska Native professional who has or has made significant contributions in STEM education or the STEM workforce.  AISES membership is not required.  The nominee will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • 1. Contribution to and impact on the American Indian/Alaska Native community STEM community;
  • 2. Contribution to and impact on the American Indian/Alaska Native community educational community;
  • 3. Uniqueness and innovativeness of his/her contributions;
  • 4. Scope and level of responsibilities;
  • 5. Ability to overcome obstacles facing minorities in his/her field;
  • 6. Potential as a role model; and
  • 7. Overall quality of the nomination package

Selection and Notification

The AISES Board of Directors will make a selection based upon the criteria listed above.
The awardee and nominating individual will be notified in early-August that the candidate has been chosen by AISES to receive the Ely S. Parker award.  The awardee will be invited to accept the award at the 2017 National AISES Conference, which will be held September 21-23, 2017, in Denver, CO. 

Submitting the Nomination Package

E-Mail the signed application form along with a nomination package to Debbie Derryberry at nominations@aises.org.
Faxed applications and nomination packages will not be accepted.

Nominations must be received by Midnight (MDT) on July 7, 2017.

Access the Nomination Form


1983 - A T (Andy) Anderson, Chemical Engineering (Seneca) - Awarded Posthumously
1984 - Phil Stevens, Engineering (Oglala Sioux)
1985 - Mary Ross, Mathematics & Aerospace Engineering (Cherokee)
1986 - Al Qöyawayma, Mechanical Engineering (Hopi)
1987 - Phil Lane Sr., Civil Engineering (Yankton Sioux)
1988 - Tom Dawson, Electrical Engineering (Cherokee)
1988 - Don Ridley, Aerospace Engineering (Shoshone)
1989 - Dr. Lois Steele, Medicine (Assiniboine)
1990 - Dr. George Blue Spruce, Dentist (Pueblo)
1992 - Fred Begay, Ph.D., Physics (Navajo)
1993 - Dr. Taylor MacKenzie, Medicine (Navajo)
1994 - Dwight Gourneau, Electrical Engineering & Physics (Chippewa)
1995 - Cliff Poodry, Ph.D., Biology (Seneca)
1996 - Fred Cooper, Ph.D., Civil Engineering (Shoalwater Bay)
1997 - Jane Mt. Pleasant, Ph.D., Agronomy & Soil Science (Tuscarora)
1998 - Dick French, Forestry (Yakama) - Awarded Posthumously
1999 - Robert Megginson, Ph.D., Mathematics (Lakota) 
2000 - Jim May, Ph.D., Engineering/Business/ Library Science (Cherokee) 
2001 - Carolyn Elgin, Ed.D., Educator (Choctaw) 
2002 - Dr. Judith Kaur, Medicine (Choctaw/ Cherokee) 
2003 - Carole Gardipe, Geology, (Penobscot) 
2004 - Jerry Elliott, Physics, (Osage/Cherokee) 
2005 - George Thomas, Engineering, (Cherokee) 
2007 - Governor Joseph Garcia (Ohkay Owingeh) 
2008 - Norbert S. Hill Jr. (Oneida) 
2009 - Sandra Begay-Campbell (Navajo) 
2010 - Dr. Robert Whitman (Navajo) 
2011 - Everett Chavez (Kewa Pueblo) 
2012 - Dr. Henrietta Mann (Cheyenne) 
2013 - Bessie Newman Spicer (Navajo) 
2014 - Dr. Jason Younker (Coquille) 
2015 - Dr. Bret Benally-Thompson (White Earth Band of Ojibwe)
2016 - Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer (Citizen Potawatomi Nation)