I started in May as the Director for the American Indian Graduate Program (located in Barrows Hall) and am a member of Kha Po Owinge/Santa Clara Pueblo, a graduate from Haskell Indian Nations University, and an American Indian Studies graduate from UCLA.
Growing up in Santa Clara Pueblo, I always maintained an interest in ideas that weren’t necessarily the norm for Native children in my community. I was the owner of a large chemistry set that wasn’t the most attractive “board game” to play. One of my favorite toys was Perceptor, a scientist transformer, which changed into a microscope as its alternate form. Unlike the other transformer toys that transitioned into vehicles or fighter planes, Perceptor wasn’t the most popular transformer in the cartoon series as a microscope. He rarely engaged in battle, and each appearance in the cartoon highlighted his tendency to engage in overbearing communication using scientific terminology. These kinds of alternate interests informed me at a young age to be an individual and more importantly reinforced my view to be different.