AISES E-Newsletter December 2015

From the CEO:


I can’t believe how much we packed in to just a few days at the Phoenix Conference! I’m exhausted and exhilarated, all at the same time. I’m thrilled that so many of you were able to come. This was the largest Conference ever, with over 1,800 attendees!

And that’s not the only record we set. We presented 61 new Sequoyahs, and 28 students, including college and pre-college were sponsors! What an incredible show of support for AISES.

There were so many highlights, I can’t list them all. A few stand out for me, including Billy Mills’ wonderful opening and the honoring of Horace Axtell, one of our elders who recently passed. It was so moving.

All of the tours were fabulous—of Boeing, the Intel activity at the Science Center, and the great universities. The sessions were excellent, as usual. Again, I’ll bet you’re wondering how you managed to pack it all in. Of course, our Conference App, making its appearance for the second year helped with the scheduling. There were also some great posts about the Career Fair and Hospitality Suites.

Gaining a new Professional Chapter in Hawaii was fabulous, as was the wonderful representation of students from Hawaii. And, we can’t forget how they swept the Pre-College Research Competition, taking 1st, 2nd, and 3rd!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Bunky EchoHawk’s live art installation, which was simply amazing. Thank you, Bunky!  I also want to thank each and every one of you—the AISES family—for making this Conference/family reunion a huge success. My only question is—how will we top it next year? Believe it or not, we’re already working on it!

Meanwhile have a peaceful and lovely holiday season.

Ta’Tura Tsiksu (With Much Respect),

Sarah EchoHawk


Winds of Change:

Don’t miss the Fall 2015 issue of Winds of Change, with updates from around the AISES family, profiles of members, feature articles, and listings of summer opportunities. It’s available now in print and online at And watch for the digital winter 2015 National Conference Wrap-Up, coming soon exclusively at Packed with colorful photos and stories, it’s guaranteed to capture the spirit of the record-breaking 2015 National Conference in Phoenix.


Say Aloha to the Newest Professional Chapter!

Hawaii has a lot to brag about. Gorgeous sun-kissed beaches, stunning mountain vistas, lush vegetation, and a beautiful ohana spirit (loving and caring for each other is the glue that holds families together and becomes the social fabric for the islands). Now, the 50th state has one more thing to boast about—it was just approved as the site of the newest AISES Professional Chapter!

Organizing a Professional Chapter is never easy. According to new Chapter President, Isaiah T.K. Sato, who graduated with a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from University of Hawaii at Manoa, “Yes, it is difficult to have the Chapter completely “organized” as it is still in the developmental process.  We have yet to work out many kinks in our Chapter.  I am lucky to work with a great team of friends who have a passion and work ethic that is similar to mine. The talent of each of our founding five members was essential in getting the Chapter on its feet.”

Sato, a Native Hawaiian, said he started thinking about forming a Chapter several months prior to his graduation in May of 2015. “I have been given many opportunities through AISES as a student, and I knew that as a graduate I would like to help give opportunities to others,” he related. Now employed by R.M. Towill Corporation as a Junior Engineer, he was in a position to pay it forward.


Changing Faces on Board of Directors

This time of year brings many endings and also new beginnings. Nowhere is this more evident than on the AISES Board of Directors. We regretfully bid farewell to Dr. Iona Black and Marlene Watson, whose terms expired. They both generously shared their time and expertise while on the Board, helping to improve AISES in a multitude of ways. You will be missed!

Of course, we are very happy that current Board Member, Dr. Twyla Baker-Demaray, was re-elected. We’re so fortunate to continue to call on her experience, wisdom, and guidance. We are also thrilled to welcome Amber Finley to the Board. We are looking forward to Amber sharing her expertise and ideas. A huge thank you to all of our Board Members, past and present, for sharing their time and talents to continue helping AISES to succeed.

New Junior National Student Rep Elected

In the recent student elections, college students selected Kory Morris Francis Joe as the new National Junior Representative. Kory is a Yupik Eskimo – Asa’carsarmiut Tribe, currently in his third year at Northern Arizona University. He’s studying Mechanical Engineering.

Kory has been a member of AISES since his first week in college, which was in September, 2013 at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. He says, “It was at my first meeting that I knew I wasn’t just joining a club, I was becoming a member of a family.”

Despite the many pressures of college, Kory decided he wanted to run for the Student Representative position. “I decided to run to become the Junior National Student Representative, because the challenge presented itself, and I’m not the type of man to shy away from such a wonderful opportunity. Furthermore, I believe that we all get more out of AISES than we put into it, and I’d like to demonstrate that this is true.”


Hawaii's Pre-College Students Make Waves at the National Conference

The first ever High School Energy Challenge was held this year! The winning students/teams, and one chaperone per project, were awarded travel scholarships to attend the AISES 2015 National Conference in Phoenix, where they presented their projects during the Pre-College Research Poster Competition.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA) Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED), Division of Energy and Mineral Development (DEMD) has partnered with AISES to develop the national Energy Challenge (EC) for American Indian/Alaskan Native youth in grades 9-12. The EC is an energy-specific science fair designed to engage and encourage high school students to participate in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education through a creative, hands-on, problem solving and engineering process in an environment similar to a science fair.  



WOC House


Donate to AISES

Make a tax- deductible End of the Year Donation to AISES. Your support has helped make AISES the leader in providing STEM education and career support to American Indians across the nation. We are so grateful to you for helping to create and support our family. You are helping us touch the lives of American Indian youth by inspiring them to dream, hope and succeed.

Make a Note!

AISES is no longer using a PO Box.  The mailing address for the Albuquerque Headquarters office is:
2305 Renard Place, Suite 200
Albuquerque, NM 87106.

The mailing address for the Colorado Field office is:
1225 Ken Pratt Blvd, Suite 206
Longmont, CO 80501.
Please update these addresses.