AISES National Conference Call for Session Proposals


The mission of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) is to substantially increase the representation of American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, First Nations and other indigenous peoples of North America in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies and careers.

Since 1977, AISES, the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, has worked to remove barriers to fuller representation and participation in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines among Native people – as students, professionals, mentors, and leaders.

About the National Conference

Within a cultural framework, the AISES National Conference showcases opportunities and best practices in STEM, academic and professional achievement, and research by AI/ANs.  It provides opportunities in career and leadership development, as well as networking opportunities to increase national and regional recognition serving all of AISES’ constituencies.

The 2015 National Conference will be held in Phoenix, Arizona, November 19th-21st. Please see our website for more information:

About This Year’s Theme:  Strive. Rise. Thrive.

Strive: to try very hard to achieve something
Rise: to attain a higher level
Thrive: to develop successfully

What does it take to make it in STEM?  How do we define and meet our goals in STEM as Native students, professionals and practitioners? How do we plan for and measure success?  What yardstick to we use to measure success as family, educators, friends, colleagues and organizations?  How do we do so while staying true to our Native culture/identity? Can we have it all?

Some possible session topics:
  • Best and promising practices to ensure AISES members Strive, Rise, and Thrive:
    • How can employers help their employees Rise and Thrive? 
    • How can educators encourage students to Strive and to study STEM? 
    • How can mentors help students stay and Thrive in STEM? 
    • How can organizations and government ensure Natives Rise in STEM?
  • Professional and Personal development skills needed to Rise to the next level.
  • New technologies that will increase or change output, work performance, health conditions, etc.
  • Your vision of what Strive, Rise, and/or Thrive means to you in the context of the AISES’ mission.
  • Tours of facilities or schools, highlighting new or innovative ways to conduct business/education.

AISES encourages and wants an interactive experience for conference attendees, and we prefer sessions which engage and include the participants.  PREFERENCE WILL BE GIVEN TO INTERACIVE SESSIONS.  Please consider learning more about the new formats which encourage and support learning and fun!

Interactive Session Concepts and Formats
  • Sound Bites (mini sessions): Brief, impactful, motivational and inspirational bites of information paired with multi-media technology.  Session length: 10-30 minutes
  • Ignite:  Enlighten us, but make it quick!  Session length: 5 minutes, 20 slides shown for exactly 15 seconds each
  • World Café Method:  Drawing on seven integrated design principles, the World Café methodology is a simple, effective, and flexible format for hosting large group dialogue.   Session length: Typically, 30-60 minutes

Tracks, Target Audiences, and Interest Groups

Traditionally, the AISES National Conference has divided sessions into tracks, however, this year, we will try a new method of defining tracks.  Please let us know the member categories and the interest groups that best defines your audience, as well as whether your topic is designed to help people strive, rise, or thrive.  It is fine to select as many from each area as are appropriate to your subject matter.

Focus:  Pre-college students interested in college, and pre-college students seeking support to transition to college [in pursuit of a post-secondary STEM education].

Focus:  New college students, transitioning college students, and students pursuing graduate and post-graduate work and beginning successful careers in STEM fields.

Focus:  Develop effective leadership skills for the workplace, targeted to STEM professionals and educators.

Focus:  Develop effective leadership skills for the workplace, targeted to STEM educators.

Interest Groups
Aeronautical Sciences Consumer Goods Manufacturing
Agricultural Sciences Defense  Power/Energy
Automotive Engineering Environment/Natural Resources Research
Career Skills Health/Medical Sciences Teaching/Education
Communications/Technology  Intelligence  
Construction/Architecture Leadership Development   

Thursday:  Planned Activities:  Pre-Conference Workshops, Student Research Oral Presentations, Tours, Meetings, Professional Members’ Expo, Early Registration, Opening Ceremony and Networking Suites.  (These are already scheduled).

Friday:  Needed Sessions: Ignite Sessions, Sound Bites, and World Café Sessions (mini sessions).
Planned Activities:  Registration continues, Pre-College, Undergrad and Graduate Poster Presentations, Career Fair, Native Artisan Marketplace, General Members’ Meeting, Meetings/Caucuses, Talking Circles, and several social events.

Saturday:  Needed Sessions: Plenary and Breakout sessions.  We will assign breakout sessions to one of the three “theme” tracks:  Strive, Rise, and Thrive; and will further code by interest group and/or target audience.  AISES will use color-coded symbols for these three classifications to help guide attendees to sessions that are of interest to them.

For example, a proposed session could be designated as a “Thrive” track session targeting Professionals and Educators, in the interest groups of Teaching/Education, Research, and Career Skills.  Another example could be a session geared for the “Rise” track session targeting just students in the interest group, Aeronautical Sciences.  And lastly, a proposed session could be a plenary session that targets all and addresses an issue of interest to all, e.g., a session on maintaining cultural identity as a STEM practitioner in corporate America.

Planned Activities: Registration continues, Wellness Activity, Sequoyah Breakfast, Native Artisan Marketplace, Caucuses, Closing Circle, Honors Banquet, and Pow-Wow.                

Proposal Review Process

All proposals are evaluated by a cultural and scientific volunteer review committee. Please be advised that the committee reserves the right to decline or accept your proposal in full, or in part, in the interest of providing a balanced program. Your flexibility and willingness to work with individuals with similar and/or related experiences/topics are appreciated.

NOTE:  In order to accomplish its learning objectives, AISES WILL NOT accept sessions which serve as recruitment activities or solely contain information on organization specific programs, experiences, or products.  We thank you for your cooperation maintaining the integrity of this conference.

Criteria for Proposal Submission Review & Selection
  • Proposals for sessions will be reviewed for:
  • Connection to AISES mission, conference theme, and AISES program initiatives.
  • Timeliness of topic and that the topic advances the knowledge base.
  • Interactivity- Potential to engage participants during presentation.
  • Appeal to professional, bridge, and student attendees.
  • Usefulness to participants and culturally relevant.
  • Clarity of proposal topic, goal and objectives.

 Only Complete Proposals Will Be Reviewed:
 Complete Proposals Must Include:

  • A Completed Packet (Attached).
  • A Brief Presenter Bio for all presenters– 80 words or less, third person.
  • Final Copies of ALL Handouts.
  • A List of Audio/Visual and Technology Needs.
  • A resume or abbreviated CV with your proposal (Please include your Speaking/Presenting experience).
  • Based on prior conference evaluations and time constraints, ALL panels are limited to 4 individuals including the moderator/facilitator.
 Timeline and General Information
  • Deadline for submission of proposals:  August 21, 2015
  • Notification of acceptance: September 8, 2015.
  • Presenters are invited to submit multiple proposals.
  • Sessions may be developed as speaker presentations, panel discussions, or interactive workshops.  Interactive sessions will be given preference. Please consider using a format that engages the audience.
Conference Logistics for Presenters
  • Conference presenters are responsible for their own travel, lodging, and related conference expenses.
  • Presenters may choose to have their session materials available online (AISES website) in lieu of providing printed copies; please help save a tree and opt for online materials.
  • Each session accepted will receive one (1) complimentary conference registration, regardless of how many presenters the proposal may have.
  • Registration staff will provide presenters with instructions for speaker registrations.

Audio-Visual Assistance
AISES will provide standard media support for presenters as needed. All requests must be made prior to the conference.   We do not have the ability to add equipment on site. 
Standard support includes:  

  • LCD projector
  • Screen    
  • Laptop       
  • Microphone                                                                                                                        

Please let us know if you need anything outside of this standard package, and we will do our best to provide it. Presenters may bring their own equipment, however they are responsible for the setup and proper function.


Online submission forms need to be completed and all supporting documentation in by 5:00 PM MDT Friday, August 21, 2015, to be considered.

Proposal Requirements
  • Please e-mail all supplemental paperwork to by Friday, August 21, 2015.                                                 
For More Information
  • Check out our website at:
  • Contact Kristi Audette by phone at (802) 396-0076 or email for assistance with selecting an interactive format, and with any other questions or concerns. 
Thank you for your submission!