Alumni

The American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program (AIISP) is actively expanding its community of scholars every year. We would like to acknowledge all of our alumni, thus if you were affiliated with the former American Indian Program (AIP) or received a minor in American Indian Studies (AIS) we want to hear from you! Please contact us by emailing a headshot and brief bio of yourself so we can feature you on our website.

Featured Alumni

Barbara Abrams

Abrams is currently an Education Management Professional. Prior to this position she was the Associate Director of Financial Aid & Student Employment at Cornell University for 19 years from May 1985 – April 2004.

Gerald Taiaiake Alfred

Gerald Taiaiake Alfred

Gerald Taiaiake Alfred

Mohawk, Bear Clan

Alfred is a scholar, writer and outspoken activist on issues ranging from assimilation to the environmental destruction of Aboriginal lands. Currently he is a Professor of Indigenous Governance (IGOV) in the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria, where he specializes in studies of traditional governance, the restoration of land-based traditional practices, and decolonization strategies.

Lisa T. Brooks

Lisa is currently a Professor at Amherst College. She teaches courses in Native American studies, early American literature and comparative American Studies. Although deeply rooted in her Abenaki homeland, Professor Brooks’s work has been widely influential in a global network of scholars.

Miishen Carpentier

Miishen Carpentier

Miishen Carpentier

PhD, Department of Anthropology

Bahweting Anishinaabe, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
Language treatment and revitalization (specifically Anishinaabemowin, but with comparative work in other native languages); identity and cultural maintenance through language programs and curriculum development; orthography development; sovereignty, nationhood, and decolonization.

Jason Corwin

Jason Corwin

Natural Resources, MS/ PhD

Seneca
During his time at Cornell, Dr. Corwin did participatory action research with a multimedia narrative-based environmental and social justice program for teenagers who were at risk for criminalization and incarceration. Currently he is the Executive Director of the Seneca Media and Communications Center, a new department of the Seneca Nation that provides internal and external communications and media production services including graphic design, photography, and video production.

 

Andrew Curley

Andrew Curley

Andrew Curley

PhD, Development Sociology

Diné
​​Andrew Curley is a member of the Navajo Nation and received his Ph.D. in the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University. His primary research was coal development, climate change, and sovereignty in the Navajo Nation.
 

T’hohahoken Michael Doxtater

T’hohahoken Michael Doxtater

T’hohahoken Michael Doxtater

Member of the Six Nations

Doxtater is currently the Director of Indigenous Studies in Education Research and Teaching at McGill University, as well as an Associate Professor of Integrated Studies in Education. His research focuses specifically on organizational learning. He has taught and written about conflict resolution based on his expertise as a mediator at the Red Hill Valley, Tutelo Heights, and Eagles Nest.

Richard LaRose

Richard LaRose

MFA Poetry

Métis Nation of Alberta
Richard is a poet from Buffalo Lake/Stettler, Alberta, Canada. His work involves attachments to place and identity, as well as Métis and First Nations histories, fictions, politics and poetics. He has an MFA in poetry from the Department of English with a graduate minor in American Indian Studies. Currently, he is an MFA lecturer at Cornell teaching a Freshman Writing Seminar and Creative Writing. 

Alyssa Mt. Pleasant

Alyssa is currently an Assistant Professor of Transnational Studies at the University at Buffalo. She specializes in Native American and Indigenous Studies, with a focus on Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) history during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Jane Mt. Pleasant

Considered a national expert in Iroquois agriculture, Jane is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture at Cornell University. Her research focuses on Iroquois agriculture, knowledge, and the productivity of Indigenous cropping systems.

Alice Te Punga Somerville

Alice is currently teaching Pacific Literatures at the University of Hawai‘i- Mānoa. The heart of her research is about locating, contextualizing, and analyzing texts written by Māori, Pacific and Indigenous people. Her education focused on the written literatures of her Māori community.

Nadine Thornton

Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
As president of Cornell Law’s NALSA chapter for the 2014-2015 academic year, Nadine’s goals are to not only continue the tradition of professional, academic and admissions support to Native American students but to add more events highlighting major issues in the Native American community. One such event to look for next year is a Tribal Economic Development Panel. Growing up near the Pine Ridge and Eagle Butte reservations in South Dakota, Nadine saw the need for economic development on the reservation. Some larger tribes, like her own – Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, have been very successful with business investment funds. This panel will bring Cornell alumni and other experts from these funds and the legal entities working with them to discuss the opportunities for economic development for tribal nations. Nadine’s passion for this cause is reflected in her willingness to pursue a business degree concurrently with her law degree (as part of the three year JD/MBA program) in order to develop the expertise to bring more value to this effort as an attorney.

Undergraduate Alumni

Adam Alejandro '16

Adam Alejandro

Adam Alejandro '16

Chiricahua Apache

Adam is from Pflugerville, Texas. He is majoring in Animal Science with a minor in American Indian Studies. He grew up riding horses in Texas and says that since he was little he knew he wanted to work with large animals as an equine veterinarian. This passion led him to studying in Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine where he is also an equine immunology researcher in Dr. Bettina Wagner’s Lab. Additionally he was a founding member of the Cornell Paintball Team. He says that it is his goal to receive his DVM in large animal medicine, have his own practice and continue his research to advance equine veterinary medicine. 

Michael Charles

Michael Charles

Navajo Nation

Michael is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and grew up in Colorado. Outside of studying Chemical Engineering at Cornell, he is also pursuing a minor in music. He plays the bass for various ensembles within CU Jazz and also loves to be outside camping, shooting, and playing sports. He is highly involved with American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) and outside of the Cornell chapter he serves as the Region 6 Student Representative. In the summer of 2014, he successfully completed an internship at GE Energy. Currently he hopes to push forward with a professional career related to his field of study.

Abraham Francis

Abraham is a recent graduate of Cornell University. He was the recipient of many awards and when asked what interests him, he said that he find great joy in learning about Mohawk history and traditions. He is passionate about medicine.

Steven Ingram

Steven Ingram

Taos Pueblo/ Cherokee Nation

A descendent of the Taos Pueblo and Cherokee Nation, Ingram’s Cornell activities include service as Co-Chair of the Native American Students at Cornell; participation in the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program; and service on the ALANA (African, Latino, Asian, Native American) Intercultural Board and in the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. Ingram would like to pursue a career in fisheries management, to conserve a resource “crucial to both the livelihoods of people and to the health of aquatic ecosystems throughout the world,” he says. He is primarily interested in fisheries management through the use of statistical analysis and how such methods relate to government policies. He aims to pursue a master’s degree. Ingram is a dean’s list scholar and has been honored by the Samuel and Barrett Scott Excellence Fund. He has interned at the Department of Natural Resources and served as a Spanish tutor for the American Indian Program. Most recently, Ingram was a recipient of the 2015 Udall Scholarship.

Mia McKie

Mia McKie

Tuscarora

Mia graduated from Cornell in 2013. She is currently a graduate student in the Indigenous Governance program at the University of Victoria. She is a consulting scholar for the American Philosophical Society's Center for Native American and Indigenous Research (CNAIR).

Natani Notah

Natani Notah

Diné (Navajo)

Natani Notah is an interdisciplinary artist, poet, and graphic designer. She is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation (Diné) and is also of Lakota and Cherokee descent. Her research interests include Indigenous feminism, environmental justice, the effects of historical trauma, and privileging the female Indigenous voice. In 2014 she obtained her BFA from Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning with a minor in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the College of Arts and Sciences. Following graduation she worked as a Communications Assistant and graphic designer for the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program (AIISP) at Cornell. In addition to extensive work experience, she is the recipient of numerous awards including: Walking Shield’s American Indian Access Scholarship, The Charles Goodwin Sands Memorial Medal of Art and the Edith Stone and Walter King Memorial Prize. Natani's work has been published in As/Us: A Space for Women of the World and presently she is working on an illustrated book of poetry titled, These Navajo Lips. Currently, she is an MFA Art Practice Candidate and Teaching Assistant at Stanford University.

Heather Williams '16

Heather Williams

Heather Williams '16

Diné (Navajo)

Heather is from Lukachukai, Arizona. She majored in Animal Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). Some of the organizations she was a part of include; American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), Sigma Alpha-Alpha Psi Chapter, and the Meinig Family Cornell National Scholars. Some of the extracurricular activities she participated in included the intramural basketball league and volunteering at the YMCA in Ithaca. She enjoys playing basketball, riding horses, and participating in rodeos. She is interested in a future career where she gets to work with animals while simultaneously being a leader within her community.