Back to top

The American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program (AIISP) provides academic support to students from diverse backgrounds, nations, and territories. Our students are doing cutting edge research in fields such as Veterinary Medicine, Biological & Environmental Engineering, Linguistics, Anthropology, Sociology and many more. Take a moment to explore their profiles below and see for yourself what a Cornell education can offer.

Video created by the Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives at Cornell, featuring Graduate Horizons (2014).

Graduate Student Spotlights

Meghan Baker

College of Veterinary Medicine

Meghan is a recent graduate of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences where she majored in animal science with a minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies (AIIS). She is actively involved with the AIISP and will begin graduate study this Fall 2016 in Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine, which is a global leader in veterinary medical education.
Sam Bosco

Sam Bosco

Integrated Plant Sciences, PhD student
Sam Bosco is a PhD student in the School of Integrated Plant Sciences’ Horticulture section. His dissertation research examines the significance of temperate edible nut trees in both Haudenosaunee and settler/NYS foodscapes.  Applying archival, social scientific, and horticultural methods, this community-based and participatory research traces the role of nuts in both Haudenosaunee food sovereignty and as an important, but overlooked, component of climate smart agriculture. This project explores decolonial theory and praxis in agriculture research and extension.

Carol-Rose Little

Linguistics Ph.D. Candidate

Carol-Rose Little is a PhD student in the linguistics department at Cornell. She graduated from McGill University with a joint Honors BA in Linguistics and Russian Studies. She has conducted fieldwork on Mi'gmaq, an Algonquian language in eastern Canada, since 2011 and Ch'ol, a Mayan language in Chiapas, Mexico since 2015. Her research interests include syntax, semantics, morphology, animacy and event conceptualization as well as preservation and documentation of understudied languages.

Theresa Rocha Beardall

Sociology, Ph.D Student
Mexican | Oneida | Sault Ste. Marie

Theresa Rocha Beardall is a PhD Student in the department of Sociology at Cornell University where she is currently a Dean’s Scholar and graduate student affiliate at the Center for the Study of Inequality.  Her work explores the interconnectedness of law and sociology and applies social science methods to contemporary questions of law and inequality with a focus on Indigenous legal issues and race/class/gender stratification in the United States.
Ashley Elizabeth Smith

Ashley Elizabeth Smith

Anthropology Ph.D. Candidate
Franco-American | Abenaki

Ashley is from Maine’s Kennebec River valley. Her dissertation research on Nanrantsouak Kennebec Abenaki history and place-worlds examines Indian and Settler acts of memory grounded in the Norridgewock (Nanrantsouak) Indian Village site in Maine. She will complete her dissertation while teaching American Indian Studies as a Scholar-in-Residence in the American Studies Program at Carleton College in Northfield, MN. She also works for Gedakina, inc., a grass-roots nonprofit organization that works to support indigenous peoples of rural, urban, and reservation communities in New England.

Tibetan (བོད།)

Namgyal's research focuses on Indigenous/tribal sovereignty and settler-state colonialism, indigenous spaces before and after colonization, and contemporary (re-)territorialization of indigenous; Colonial encounters, ethnohistory, transculturalism and indigenous identity, cultural recovery and revitalization, and decolonizing theory. Indigenous North America (Wisconsin, New York State and New England).
Simon Velasquez

Simon Velasquez

Government Ph.D. Candidate
Apache | Yaqui | Mexican

Comparative politics, comparative migration, international political economy, social movements, Latin American politics, Indigenous Politicization, and race and ethnic politics. His dissertation topic will be on Latin American indigenous social movements.