Chair and Associate Professor
SBS West Building 70, Room 100B

Chad Hamill (Spokan), PhD (BFA, MFA, California Institute of the Arts, PhD, University of Colorado-2008). Chad Hamill began teaching at NAU in 2007 and specializes in music and sovereignty, music and spirituality and cultural sustainability. His book, Songs of Power and Prayer in the Columbia Plateau explores song as a vehicle for spiritual power among tribes of the interior Northwest. His next book will focus on the untold story of American Indian musicians in the development of jazz. In addition to serving as faculty advisor for Native Americans United at NAU, he serves as Co-Chair of the Commission for Native Americans. 


The Applied Indigenous Studies faculty is a Co-PI for a new NIH grant, Center for American Indian Resilience (CAIR). 

SBS West Building 70, Room 9D

Alisse Ali-Joseph (Oklahoma Choctaw), PhD (BA, University of California, Davis, MA, PhD, University of Arizona, 2013). Alisse joined the Applied Indigenous Studies family in 2013 and specializes in the importance of sports and physical activity as a vehicle for  empowerment, cultural identity, health and educational attainment for American Indian people. She also focuses on American Indian health and wellness and American Indian education. 

Silhouette 150x150
SBS West Building 70 Room 224


Manley A. Begay, Jr. (Navajo), Ed.D, (AA, Dine’ College; BA, University of Arizona; M.Ed, Brigham Young University; M.Ed, Harvard University; Ed.D, Harvard University –1997). A citizen of the Navajo Nation, Professor Begay’s specializes in Indigenous Nation-Building, Education, and Dine’ History and Philosophy. Professor Begay also is faculty in the College of Education and W.A. Franke College of Business. He is also co-director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development.

Associate Professor
SBS West Building 70, Room 100

Lomayumtewa Ishii (Hopi), PhD, (BS, MS, PhD, Northern Arizona University - 2001) and Chair of the Applied Indigenous Studies Department. He received his appointment in the Applied Indigenous Studies Department at Northern Arizona University in 2004 and specializes in Native American history and historiography, the American West, and borderlands.



Assistant Professor
SBS West Building 70, Room 216


Karen Jarratt-Snider (Mississippi Choctaw), PhD, (BS, MPA, PhD, Northern Arizona University - 2006). She received her appointment in the Applied Indigenous Studies Department at Northern Arizona University in 2008 and specializes in indigenous environmental justice, forestry policy and indigenous people, tribal community participatory research models, federalism-American Indian intergovernmental relations, tribal administration, federal Indian policy and law, and indigenous peoples rights in international law and policy. 

Visiting Professor

SBS West Building 70, Room 9B


Chris Jocks (Kahnawake Mohawk), PhD 1994, devotes himself to the ongoing translation of Indigenous thought into action. He is especially interested in local, grassroots, community-based efforts to strengthen traditional social relations and decision-making in the midst of historical change, among Indigenous communities in Canada as well as the U.S. Language, religion or worldview, sovereignty, sustainability, and gender relations are all critical components of his work.

SBS West Building 70 Room 9B


Darold H. Joseph (Hopi), PhD Candidate, University of Arizona (M.Ed., B.S., Northern Arizona University). Mr. Joseph joined the Applied Indigenous Studies family in the Fall of 2014 and specializes in Disability and Psychoeducational Studies with an emphasis on Language, Reading, and Culture. Through a cultural, historical, and institutional lens, his current research explores concepts of resilience, persistence, and cultural identity, and their impact in the stories of American Indian Students pursuing higher education with and without Disabilities.

Assistant Professor
SBS West Building 70, Room 214

Michael Lerma (P'urhépecha), BS, MS, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Politics and International Affairs & Applied Indigenous Studies at Northern Arizona University. His recent research has explored the efficacy of traditional Diné (Navajo) institutions of governance. Michael also contributes to research conducted by Diné Policy Institute (DPI). He teaches courses on International Relations, Tribal Government, Native American Politics, and Research Methods. Michael’s research generally advocates for future Native Nation building via consolidation of Indigenous interests and expansion of Native Nation control of norms within the international political economy.

Assistant Professor
Emerald City Building 98D Rm #101A

Kerry Thompson (Navajo), PhD, is an archaeologist with a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. A member of the Navajo Nation, Dr. Thompson’s research interests revolve around indigenous issues in Anthropology and Archaeology. Her dissertation research focused on Navajo cultural persistence in the nineteenth century. Dr. Thompson is also a lithic analyst and has analyzed assemblages in the American Southwest and Peru. Current research interests revolve around the intersection of Anthropology and Archaeology and issues of American Indian identity.

SBS West Building 70, Room 212

Octaviana Trujillo (Yaqui), PhD, (BA, MA, PhD, Arizona State University - 1991).  Since 2002, she has been part of the Northern Arizona University faculty and specializes in native language policy and literacy development, and American Indian education.

Affiliated Faculty

Professor, English
Babbitt Academic Annex, Room 319

Jeffery Berglund, PhD, (BA, Creighton University; MA, Washington University; PhD, Ohio State University - 1996). He has been with Northern Arizona University since 1999 and specializes in Native American literature and American literature. 

Chair and Professor, Criminology and Criminal Justice Department
SBS Raul H. Castro Building 65

Marianne O. Nielsen, PhD, (BA, University of Calgary; MA, PhD University of Alberta - 1993). She has worked at Northern Arizona University since 1993.

Professor, Economics, College of Business
W.A. Franke College of Business Building 81, Room 304

Dean Howard Smith (Mohawk), PhD, (BS, Clemson University; MS, Oklahoma State University; PhD, Texas A&M University - 1989). Since 1989 he has been part of faculty at Northern Arizona University and teaches under the W.A. Franke College of Business. He specializes in economics, Native American economic development, spatial economics, mathematical economics, public economics, environmental economics, pricing strategies, and energy policy.

Professor, Anthropology
Anthropology Building 98D

Michael Vasquez, PhD, (BA University of California- Berkeley; MA, San Francisco State University; MS, PhD, University of California-Davis - 1989). He has been at Northern Arizona University since 1989 with specializations in applied anthropology; indigenous agriculture; cultural ecology; and rural and agricultural development in North and Central America, and the U.S. Southwest.

Traditional Knowledge Scholars

SBS West Building 70, Room 9E

Bob Lomadafkie (Hopi), (BS, Northern Arizona University - 1972). He is a public speaker, teacher, jeweler, and designer. He also is an advocate for Hopi art and community service and has worked for Northern Arizona University since 2006.

SBS West Building 70, Room 9C

Marina Xoc Castillo de Vasquez  (Mayan), (BA, Northern Arizona University - 1999). She has worked with Northern Arizona University since 2006 and is dedicated to bilingual-multicultural education in the local schools and community service programs. She is also a master basket maker specializing in traditional pine needle baskets.


SBS West Building 70, Room 100A

Applied Indigenous Studies Front Desk Assistants - Isabella Lam & Miciela Sahner

SBS West Building 70, Suite 100