American Indian Studies Graduate Student Council 2019-2020


The 2019-2020 American Indian Studies Graduate Student Council (AISGSC) is made up of doctoral candidates & students, master's students in American Indian Studies (AIS), and undergraduates in AIS. We also welcome the participation from UA students in all disciplines and community members alike. We are involved in many different areas including: being a voice for AIS students, having an active role in AIS committees, and working with local communities. We serve as a forum for students to discuss cultural, social, political, and educational concerns and to network with other Native students and organizations on and off the UA campus. AISGSC students promote interactions between UA communities and Native Nations and fosters community building among Indigenous graduate, undergraduate, and professional students and our allies. We aim to enhance personal, academic, and professional growth and development in a fun, stable, and peaceful family environment. We serve as a conduit for graduate, undergraduate, and professional student issues and concerns. Our wish is to foster close relations with current students and alumni creating a strong sense of community and higher student retention.

AISGSC is a student organization at The University of Arizona that resides and recognizes the traditional homelands of the Tohono O’odham Nation. AISGSC strives to provide a voice for student advocacy; improve the educational experience of AIS students by promoting professional relationships between faculty, students, and staff by providing student representation in faculty and curriculum committee meetings; and other matters that directly affect the well-being of AIS students. AISGSC aims to enhance scholarship opportunities and access to research funding, host and encourage the organization of social activities and fundraising events, and provide fellowship among students, faculty, and staff in the AIS Department and other Indigenous/Native/American Indian focused groups on campus. 

Your 2019-2020 Officers:

Larea Lewis (AISGSC President)Miyaxwen! I am a member of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians (ACBCI) from Palm Springs, CA. I am a PhD Candidate in AIS: Federal Indian Law & Policy. I also serve as Chairwoman of the Historic Preservation Advisory Board (HPAB) created by ACBCI’s Tribal Historic Preservation Officer to help make recommendations on cultural issues at our traditional sites. My interests are in protecting and preserving cultural resources and landscapes, as well as learning and revitalizing the tribe’s cultural heritage.

"Millicent "Millie" Pepion (AISGSC Vice President) - Yá'át'ééh Shi'ké dóó Shidine'é!! I am Bitterwater from the Navajo Nation born for the Blackfeet Nation. I am also a mom.  My children are Lila and Choctaw. This is my third-year as a PhD student in the historic American Indian Studies program at the University of Arizona, and second-year as Vice President of our beloved American Indian Studies Graduate Student Council. I am honored to have the opportunity to serve our Native community here at UA and look forward to an exciting 2019-2020 academic school year. Bear down!!

Go Wildcats!!

Ashleigh Thompson (AISGSC Records Officer/Secretary).  Aaniin boozhoo Ashleigh Thompson indizhinakaz. Miskwagamawi zaaga’igan indonjiba. Migizi indodem.  Hello! I am Ashleigh Thompson, Red Lake Ojibwe tribal member, and of the eagle clan.  Currently, I am a fifth year PhD student in anthropology (archaeology) with a graduate minor in American Indian Studies. My research interests include Indigenous Archaeology, Applied Anthropology, and Food Sovereignty. In 2014, I graduated from the University of Minnesota, Morris with B.A.s in Anthropology, American Indian Studies, Multicultural Studies, and English. I am also a writer, photographer, and outdoors enthusiast. Miigwech (thanks)!

Mark Clytus (AISGSC Treasurer) - Yá'át'ééh (Hello) I am Mark Clytus I am married to beautiful Dine’ woman with four kids, I am in my second year PhD student of American Indian Studies emphasis Natural Resource Management and Policy at the University of Arizona. My research interest Indigenous Food, Energy, Water, and Security (FEWS) Nexus emphasis Energy and Water infrastructure on Indigenous lands. I have had a dynamic professional background with 15 years in engineering field. I have over six years of experience working as a structural design engineer with The Boeing Company. In addition to my engineer experience at Boeing, I have also worked with Navajo tribal programs with the implementation of various program goals and objectives. In 2018, I made the decision to further my education by applying for the PhD program at the U of A to apply his engineering skills and abilities toward other potential opportunities; particularly for the benefit of Indian Country. As a PhD candidate, I envision in the future applying my engineering capabilities toward an end-product that will produce economic development opportunities in an environmentally conscious market for Indigenous Communities.

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College of Social and Behavioral Sciences