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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

Headshot of Meghan Baker

Meghan Baker (Lakota)

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.

Skye Hart (Tonawanda Seneca)

Regional Planning, Masters Studemt
Skye Hart is a member of the Tonawanda Seneca Nation, Snipe Clan. The racial inequities and environmental issues that she witnessed growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, motivated her to study urban planning. Her professional and academic interests focus on planning with Indigenous communities, particularly in urban areas.

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.

Leah Shenandoah (Oneida)

Apparel Design, PhD Student
Leah Shenandoah is a Wolf Clan Member of the Onyo’ta:aká: – Oneida Nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. She is an indigenous scholar, artist, activist and musician currently enrolled in her third year as an Apparel Design Ph.D. student at Cornell University. Shenandoah received a Master’s of Fine Art from Rochester Institute of Technology in Metals and Jewelry and Bachelor’s of Science in Textiles from Syracuse University. Her M.F.A thesis “O’whahsa’ - Protection, Comfort and Healing” was a multimedia experience based on the Haudenosaunee legend of Skywoman, that consisted of: five textile, paint and steel sculptures, five sets of jewelry, five outfits and a 45-minute DJ set with 12 original songs written and performed by Shenandoah at the Hungerford Gallery in Rochester, NY.  
 

Dylan Stevenson (Potawatomi)

City and Regional Planning, Ph.D. Student
Dylan Stevenson's research focuses on the agency of Indigenous communities within the planning process, both on tribal lands and urban areas. His research interests investigate how tribal epistemologies and land relations influence the conceptualization of the future and culturally appropriate methods of creating such futures. More specifically, he focuses on the role of food systems as a means of developing sovereignty that also promotes the revitalization of cultural practices of marginalized communities, namely Indigenous communities in North America. His other interests include urban design, intergovernmental collaborations, and utopian thought. He holds a bachelor's degree in linguistics from the University of California–Davis, and a master's degree in planning from the University of Southern California.

Namgyal Tsepak (Tibetan (བོད།)

Anthropology Ph.D. Candidate
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).