Undergraduate

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 chemical engineering, animal science, biological sciences, environmental sciences and many more. Take a moment to explore their profiles below and see for yourself what a Cornell education can offer.

Michael Charles (Navajo) '16 talks about his journey at Cornell and how the AIISP has helped him along the way. Video credit: Filmed and Edited by June Liu.
 

Undergraduate Student Spotlights

Fredrick Blaisdell '16

Fredrick Blaisdell '16

Oneida Nation of the Thames | Bear Clan

Fred, a member of the Oneida Nation, is a junior at Cornell majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in American Indian Studies and Nutritional Sciences. Also a Ronald E.McNair Scholar, Fredrick currently studies nutrient metabolism in pregnancy and hopes to continue to study maternal nutrition, earn a MD or PhD, and offer his science training as an additional tool to improve the health status of Native American/First Nation communities. He is actively involved with the American Indian Program and Native American student organizations on campus and interested in ice hockey, music, and drumline. In addition, Blaisdell serves as a tutor for Onondaga Nation students; has been a presenter at Promising Futures, a Native student recruitment weekend hosted by the American Indian Program; was a presenter at a suicide prevention conference for the Native American community of Detroit, and has received the Akwe:kon Leadership Award.

Skye Hart '18

Skye Hart '18

Tonawanda Band of Seneca, Snipe Clan

Skye is a member of the Tonawanda Band of Seneca who has spent most of her life in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The inequities in her hometown motivated her to major in Urban and Regional Studies, and her interest in the built environment resulted in a minor in Architecture. Because she hopes to work with urban Native communities in the future, she is working towards a second minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies. As a Hunter R. Rawlings III Cornell Presidential Research Scholar, Skye will research the issues facing Seatte's urban Native population, the resources currently available, and community needs.

Bailee Hopkins '18

Bailee, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, grew up in both Longview, Texas and Denver, Colorado. She is a junior in CALS studying Plant Sciences and plans to obtain a minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies. Some of her interests include learning about plants Native to the Cayuga Lake Basin area, gardening, and learning about traditional foods and medicines of her Nation.

Alissa Jaquin '18

Born and raised in the city of Syracuse, NY, Alissa is a PMA major and a Goldenberg Family Scholarship recipient. She served as Media Chair for Native American Students at Cornell (NASAC) for 2015-16 and now serves as a Co-Chair for 2016-17. Currently, she is spending the summer with Signature Theatre Company in New York City as their Production Management Intern. During the school year, you can find her running around the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts, at AIISP's weekly Faculty Fellows dinner, or in rehearsal as a Production Assistant for a student-run show.

Laura Lagunez '16

Laura Lagunez

Laura Lagunez '16

Diné | Nahua

Laura is majoring in Animal Science with a minor in Natural Resources. She is currently completing the requirements for obtaining her certification as an associate wildlife biologist through The Wildlife Society. Some of her undergraduate research involves working with Maya healers in Yucatan, Mexico and the Toledo District of Belize, assisting with ecological conservation projects. She plans on continuing to work with these communities after her undergraduate studies.

Madalynn Madigar '19

Madalynn is a sophomore from Colorado Springs, Colorado. She is majoring in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Insect Biology and minoring in microbial science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). She is a second-year resident at Akwe:kon and recipient of the Akwe:kon Peer Appreciation Award as well as the treasurer for NASAC for the upcoming 2016-2017 year. She is the secretary for the Cornell AISES chapter and a brother of the professional chemistry fraternity, Alpha Chi Sigma.

Benjamin Oster, B.S. '17 M.Eng '18

Ben grew up in Scotch Plains, New Jersey and is currently pursuing a Bachelors and Masters in Mechanical Engineering, as well as a minor in American Indian Studies. He has been heavily involved with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) since his first day at Cornell, serving three terms as the Cornell Chapter Co-President (2014-2017) and two terms as the Region 6 Student Representative (2015-2017). For his work with AISES, Ben was awarded the 2015 AISES Leadership Award and the 2016 Diversity Programs in Engineering Undergraduate Excellence in Leadership Award.