Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

AIS Students and Alumni

Take a look at some of our AIS student accomplishments:

Angelique Jose Photo

Angelique Jose - Class of Spring 2023

A Tucson, Arizona, native, Jose came to ASU with a plan to pursue philosophy. When given a chance to explore other areas of interest, she learned about her passion to help the Native American community. She is graduating in May with a double major in American Indian studies and justice studies. While completing her degree, Jose interned for the attorney general's office of the Tohono O’odham Nation, where she learned about the justice system and assisted in child welfare cases. She also interned for the city of Gilbert, where she helped plan Native American events in the community. After she graduates, she hopes to find a way to represent her community in whatever she does, whether that is providing work in the judicial system, helping with mental health services or other career paths.

Nichole Smallcanyon Photo

Nichole Smallcanyon - Class of 2022

Smallcanyon transferred to ASU after receiving an associate degree in arts from the Maricopa County Community College system. In her coursework at ASU, she demonstrated a sincere concern for Indigenous social justice, a dedication to her studies and growth, and a passion for helping youth in her community. She is currently learning the Navajo language. Smallcanyon is focused on continuing to find ways to support American Indian communities. Her goal is to obtain a position that allows her to use her knowledge and passion for American Indian studies to assist in tribal community development.
Angel Nosie Photo

Angel Nosie - Class 2021

Nosie is a Moeur Award recipient who is passionate about helping Indigenous communities throughout Arizona. She is a member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe of the Hagosteele Clan. She received a full-ride Geronimo scholarship from her tribe, as well as the Fort McDowell Wassaja Scholarship. Outside the classroom she participates in ASU’s Pre-Law Society and serves as the vice president of Alpha Pi Omega, the first Native American sorority at ASU. In addition, she served as a student panel speaker for the Tribal Nations Tour, where she shared her personal experiences in higher education with Native American high school students across the country to encourage them on a path to college. After graduation, Nosie plans on participating in the Pipeline to Law Initiative, where she will be equipped with the tools to apply to law school. She aspires to attend Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law and practice Indian law in the future.

Alexander Soto

Alexander Soto - Spring Class 2019

When he first came to ASU as an undergraduate back in 2010, Soto made a mark on American Indian Studies faculty members right away. “When I met Alex, his rap group, Shining Soul, was gaining traction and his growing awareness and commitment to social justice issues were evident in his lyrics and creative process,” said Michelle Hale, an assistant professor in the program. With powerful messages about indigenous pride, culture, history and identity, Soto’s group has garnered national fame producing music Hale said resonates with Native American youth in the Phoenix area and beyond. Soto returned to finish his undergraduate studies after briefly leaving ASU to pursue other ventures in Arizona. Under Hale’s direction as the program’s internship coordinator, he is currently working with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community to bolster infrastructure and community access to information in both the nation’s tribal and elementary school library. He also inspires others inside the classroom, said David Martinez, an associate professor in Soto’s program.
Kiersten Begay Image

Kiersten Begay - Fall Class of 2019

Begay is described as a high achiever eager to take on ambitious projects and make an impact outside the classroom. “Ms. Begay participated in the town of Gilbert’s Native American Management Internship program … with the expressed intent of serving as a leader and changemaker in her own community,” said Michelle Hale, an assistant professor in the American Indian Studies program. “In that role, Kiersten educated others about indigenous history, rights, sovereignty and contemporary issues and, along with her fellow interns, was inspired to start a nonprofit that advances the leadership opportunities for Native women.” In addition to her internship with the town of Gilbert, Begay interned with the Arizona Department of Gaming, where she tracked and examined bills related to tribal gaming and confronted problem gaming through a series of public service announcements with partnering advertising agencies. Hale said Begay hoped to apply what she’d learned working directly with elected officials to one day serve the Navajo Nation.

Dorothy Rhodes - Class of 2015:

I started work with the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community (Health and Human Services). I facilitate for financial classes (participants in our programs are required to attend). Next I will start facilitating with the Domestic Violence Advocate Linda Rivers. She liked that I had a Bachelors in American Indian Studies and asked me to help out. The cool thing is that my knowledge also allows me to reach the ladies where sometimes the clinical aspects can't. the Tribe has been awesome here.

Carley Tafoya - Clas of 2014:

Currently, I am in my last semester for my Master of Legal Studies Degree here at ASU. If all goes well I will be finished with it in December. When I complete my degree I am planning on getting some work experience. I am also prepping for the LSAT next year and getting ideas about law schools etc.

Antonia M. Lampros - Class of 2014:

I'm currently working as a paralegal and office manager at a small law firm in downtown Colorado Springs, CO, called Carpenter Law and Mediation, P.C. Right now my goal there is to eventually be trained and mentored to become a mediator.

Spring 2015 Dean's Medal winner Shelly Bruno. Click to read full article.

Fall 2014 Dean's medal winner Jenna Hutchinson. Click to read full article.

Lorena Yaiva, our first Master's graduate. Click to read full article.

AIS Graduate students take home honors. Click to read full article.

Spring 2014 Dean's medal winner Carley Tafoya. Click to read full article.

Fall 2013 Dean's medal winner Rudy Anaya. Click to read full article.

AIS Master's cohort present research at national conference. Click to read full article.

Spring 2013 Dean's medal winner Madison Fulton. Click to read full article.

Historic first AIS Master's class. Click to read full article.

Previous AIS Alumni:

 In this picture:  Tara L. Kitcheyan, John Tippeconnic III (AIS Director), Letresia Sullivan, Tyler Walls - Fall 2010


   Tara L. Kitcheyan / Fall 2010

  • The American Indian Studies (AIS) program has planted an awareness and knowledge about issues confronting our American Indian communities. The AIS program has provided an in-depth curriculum that has taught the history of my American Indian ancestors; the curriculum has also included ways to develop strategies that will provide stability in the realms of tribal governance, and tribal relations.  Most importantly, AIS, has taught me the inherit right of sovereignty as it pertains to our Tribal Nations. Just as important, the American Indian Studies program has ignited a strong desire within me to make a positive difference in Indian Country.  With the completion of my studies, I plan to further my education and pursue my Master's in Public Administration or a Juris Doctorate in American Indian Law.

   Letresia Sullivan / Fall 2010


   Tyler Walls / Fall 2010


  • Onondaga / Hopi
  • The American Indian Studies program at Arizona State University challenged me to become an intellectual and critical thinker.  Overall, the AIS program empowered my understanding and awareness of Indigenous issues; giving me focus and direction towards my own goals of creating positive change throughout Indian Country.

   Semana Thompson / 2007

  • Akimel O’Odham (Gila River Indian Community)/Hopi/Navajo
  • Cultural Resource Specialist, Gila River Indian Community, Tribal Historic Preservation Office
  • Bachelor of Science in American Indian Studies, ASU 2007
  • Areas of interest or responsibilities: Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation (NAGPRA), liaison for Gila River Indian Community

If you are an American Indian Studies Alumni, we would like to include your photo and information on this page.  For more information, please contact:
480-727-8691 / Or our main desk phone number is 480-965-3634.