Awards Program

AISES Professional Awards Program

In recognition of the significant contributions American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) have made to the STEM disciplines, AISES conducts the Professional Awards Program. 2018 will be the 15th year recognizing the accomplishments of these individuals as leaders, innovators, and role models. AISES is currently seeking nominees for its Professional Awards in the following categories: Executive Excellence, Technical Excellence, Most Promising Engineer or Scientist and Blazing Flame. 



For more information or to submit a nomination vist:

Nominations must be submitted by May 25 at 11:59 pm MDT. The 2018 awards ceremony takes place during the AISES National Conference. 

2017 Awardees:

Executive Excellence:  Gary Burnette 

The nominee must be an experienced upper-level manager or a well-established engineer, scientist, professional, or academician who has significant department and budget responsibilities.

View More...

Technical Excellence: Ginger Hernandez

The nominee must have made a significant contribution to science, engineering or technology by having designed, developed, managed or assisted in the development of a product, service, system or intellectual property.

View More...

Most Promising Engineer or Scientist: Thomas Reed

The nominee must be a professional engineer or scientist with less than five years experience after earning his/her last degree. The candidate’s early technical contributions should already indicate a promising career.

View More...

Blazing Flame: Brandon Polingyumptewa

As embedded in the AISES logo, the Blazing Flame Award is presented to an individual who blazes a path for Native Americans in STEM careers.  This award recognizes individuals with 10+ years of professional experience with significant accomplishments in advancing STEM education and careers. The nominee may or may not have a technical background.

View More...

AISES Professional of the Year: William Tiger

The AISES Professional of the Year Award is presented for overall leadership and technical achievement.  This individual is selected from among the top candidates submitted in all categories; therefore, individual nominations are not accepted for this award.

View More...

Blazing Flame

2016: Marie Capitan

The Professional of the Year:

2016: Karletta Chief, PhD
2015: Pat Gwin
2014: Dr. A. D. Cropper, Kalinago Carib
2013: Randall McKee, Cherokee
2012: Jeff Kinneeveauk, Inupiat Eskimo
2011: Jerry R. Roberson, D.V.M., Ph.D., Cherokee 
2010: David Daniel, Cherokee
2009: Kimberley Oldham, Musgogee Nation
2008: Jason Cummings, Ph.D., Lumbee/Coharie 
2007: Lorena Hegdal, Inupiaq Eskimo
2006: Frank Martinez, Navajo
2005: Nancy Jackson, Ph.D., Seneca Nation of New York
2004: Richard Kevin “Savik” Glenn, Inupiaq Eskimo

Executive Excellence:

2016: Richard Johnson
2015: Mel Yawakie
2014: Mike Laverdure, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa
2013: Robbie E. Hood, Cherokee
2012: Linda Benson Kusumoto, Tsimshian Nation, Annette Island, Metlakatla
2011: Terry-Lee Braun, Seneca Nation
2010: Not awarded
2009: Olav Kjono, Mohawk
2008: CAPT. Jeffrey Trussler, Cherokee
2007: Gary Bishop, White Earth Ojibway
2006: Ray Hanes, Ph.D., Cherokee
2005: Johnpaul Jones, Choctaw/Cherokee
2004: Richard Stephens, Pala Band of Mission Indians

Technical Excellence:

2016: Tara Astigarraga
2015: Sarah Lauff 
2014: Joe Connolly, Haudenosaunee of the Onondaga Nation-Wolf Clan from Six Nations Reserve of the Grand River
2013: Lawrence Short Bull, Rosebud Sioux
2012: Christopher "Scott" Nordahl Ph.D., Doyon Limited, Alleut Alaskan Native
2011: Tony Ferguson, Citizen Band of Potowatomi
2010: Karen McDaniel, Navajo
2009: Robert Harper, Ph.D., Mississippi Choctaw
2008: Jacklin Adams, Wyandot
2007: Stanley Atcitty, Ph.D., Navajo
2006: Chris J. Cornelius, Ph.D., Oneida
2005: Mark Hakey, Abanaki tribe, St. Francis-Sokoki Band
2004: Not awarded

Most Promising Engineer or Scientist:

2016: Michael Dockry,PhD
2015: Franklin Dollar 
2014: Mitchell Martin, Cherokee
2013: Kristina Halona, Navajo
2012: Lauren M. Wolf, Choctaw Tribe of Oklahoma
2011: Benjamin Mar, Cherokee
2010: Karletta Chief, Ph.D., Navajo
2009: Not awarded
2008: Nathaniel Todea, Navajo
2007: Tara Astigarraga, Choctaw
2006: Bevan Baas, Ph.D., Navajo
2005: John DeBassige, Ojibwe
2004: Aaron Thomas, Ph.D., Navajo