2020–2023 Alumni Council Election
The Alumni Council is the principal representative of IAIA alumni and the primary forum for the exchange of alumni sentiment. The Council consists of seven members who will serve a three-year term. The Council meets four times a year with Councilors attending either by conference call or in person.
Alumni Council Election will be held from July 1–31, 2020. An official announcement of results to be made on August 5, 2020. Choose a total of four members for the Council.
- Marcus Dunn (Tuscarora Tribe of North Carolina), BFA ’11
- Kendra Greendeer (Ho-Chunk), BFA ’14
- Shane R. Hendren (Navajo), AA ’91
- Colleen Lucero (Hopi), BFA ’14
- Rachelle Pablo (Diné), BFA ’19
- Manuel Ramirez (Otoe-Missouria), BFA ’18
- Elizabeth Stahmer (Wyandotte, Cherokee, Blackfeet, Scots-Irish), BS ’18
- Kathryn Wilder, MFA ’17
- Willow Tomeo (Colville, Yakama), BFA ’18
- Ryan Young (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe), BFA ’19
Important Note: The candidate statements are published as they were received—their words, their voice.
- Marcus Dunn
- Kendra Greendeer
- Shane R. Hendren
- Colleen Lucero
- Rachelle Pablo
- Manuel Ramirez
- Elizabeth Stahmer
- Kathryn Wilder
- Willow Tomeo
- Ryan Young
Marcus Dunn (Tuscarora Tribe of North Carolina)
IAIA was where my art career first began when I set foot on campus in 2006, and since then I have pursued as many creative ventures I find worthwhile. From grad school to exhibitions to residencies, these platforms are ways of communicating to a broader audience what I seek to express through art and furthering my education and practice; but nothing is more rewarding than giving back. I would love to have this opportunity to reconnect with my fellow alumni from IAIA and help provide input from my own learned experiences.
Kendra Greendeer (Ho-Chunk)
While I was a student at IAIA, I had the pleasure of meeting many supportive instructors and classmates while in a place that encouraged me to be able to embrace my identity (unlike the other universities I have since attended). I am interested in becoming an IAIA Alumni Councilor because IAIA was the foundation for me to get this far toward my career goals.
While we live in a time where structural changes are necessary, I have also been working towards making changes in my department, how Native people are represented at a primarily white institution, and attempting to change the university as a whole, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This same desire to begin institutional change began in the Museum Studies program and closely examining the museum space. Now other places at IAIA could benefit from what they teach their students and create structural change at the school. It would be my pleasure to give back to the community that sparked my inspiration and motivation with the hopes of inspiring current students.
Shane R. Hendren (Navajo)
The Institute of American Indian Arts jump started what has become a 30 year career in the Arts. The knowledge I gained and the connections I made provided a solid foundation that I built my career upon. I have served on the board and as President of the Indian Arts and Crafts Association as well as other volunteer positions. These roles taught me that change can only be facilitated if we take an active role. It is my intention to serve the future generations as those before me served, to not just maintain IAIA but facilitate its growth and development.
I humbly and respectfully requests that you accept my application and welcome me onboard as an Alumni Council Member.
Colleen Lucero (Hopi)
Participation as an IAIA Alumni Councilor will provide the opportunity to give back to my alma matter and become active in duties needed to support this position. I would like experience, contribute and represent as a proud alumni. I feel it is important to share achievements, aspirations and struggles with current faculty/students to strengthen the learning environments at IAIA. Also more than one classmate has encouraged me to try and I appreciated the recommendation.
Rachelle Pablo (Diné)
To be an IAIA Alumni Councilor, I believe is an opportunity to be of service for the Alumni community at the Institute of American Indian Art. I graduated in 2019 with high honors, earning my MFA in Studio Arts with a Minor in Museum Studies, including a Certificate in Business and Entrepreneurship. I acknowledge and respect the crucial role IAIA played in my current status as a graduate student seeking a MA degree in Art History, this was made possible by the collective community from faculty, mentors, cohorts, and staff. I believe this is a platform to volunteer and contribute to the educational system that carried us through our instructive process when we were student, subsequently molding us to be an active participant in our current specialties.
In the process, I hope to learn effective skills that positively affect the advancement of Indigeneity within the various forms it is manifested. If selected, this will be my first term and it would be an honor to bring an impartial lens always holding the interest of the IAIA Alumni members. As an IAIA alumni, a veteran, artist and now art historian, I hope to always be mindful of the intercultural community at IAIA, and always keeping the Mission and Values of IAIA as a core value, and all that responsibility that it brings.
Manuel Ramirez (Otoe-Missouria)
I completed my BFA Studio Arts degree in 2018. As a member of the IAIA community, I believe we support and uphold our core values through our Alumni Council and our current students. Together as Alumni Associates, our options include advancing our institution. During this time, my desire is improving our community ties through understanding how we’ve adapted after graduation. Viewing our long-term successes, engaging our career goals, and establishing our artistic legacies represent the fulfillments of my volunteerism.
I’ve learned how Alumni do enhance the professional outlook of our recent students and graduates alike. I am inspired by the lives of our IAIA community. How we benefit from the IAIA mission and the commitments of our benefactors further develop my motivation. Creating relationships that reaffirm our creative intentions and our original expressions support my ideas.
Building from our current knowledge and our future interests facilitate my inspirations and where we can go from here!
Elizabeth Stahmer (Wyandotte, Cherokee, Blackfeet, Scots-Irish)
Attending IAIA and completing my Bachelor in ILS is one of my proudest experiences. IAIA is a special place where you go to learn more than techniques and skills, but also to learn about yourself and how you connect with the world through art and knowledge. The friendships, instructors who shared their knowledge, and the mentors who believed in me, were all integral parts of my education that made it a shared journey. I’m fortunate that my career path led me to a nonprofit where I create free training and access to work opportunities in the film & tv industry here in Santa Fe, something that my ILS degree perfectly prepared me for. I’ve greatly enjoyed having multiple IAIA mentees and interns join our team to be immersed in New Mexico’s growing film industry. Now, I’d be honored to help others have the opportunity to experience and grow in IAIA’s unique learning environment as I did by supporting students and IAIA community as an Alumni Councilor. The safety and wellbeing of campus life had been central to my focus as a student in that my senior capstone was a proposal for a Minor in Counseling, rooted in Title IX, to be offered through the ILS department. I’m interested in policies and institutional systems that ever evolve to reflect the needs of the students and their success. I hope to connect with students as a Councilor to lift up their ideas and voices as others did for me on my journey.
In 2017, I graduated from IAIA after two lovely, intense years of reading and writing in the company of others in the young low-rez MFA program. While I made lifelong friends as a student there, I have missed the additional interactions and stimulation of the residencies, and have longed for the support I felt while there. I am interested in how to continue building a strong network of ongoing support for alumni, which I believe many writers and artists need, especially during these trying times. At the urging of one of your devoted alumni councilors, I am offering my nomination of self (which seems a bit presumptuous but I don’t know how else to go about this).
In addition to an MFA from IAIA, I have an MA in creative writing from Northern Arizona University (1992) and a BA in the same from San Francisco State University (1989). I love education, and taught writing for twenty years in academic as well as alternative settings. My publications have accrued over the years, and my IAIA thesis, which includes some published pieces, has evolved into a manuscript that will be published in March of 2021 by Torrey House Press. My experiences as student, teacher, and writer are what I have to offer, though I’m also a rancher in southwestern Colorado and sell grass-fed-and-finished Criollo beef at local farmers’ markets, in case anyone wants to talk cattle and horses!
Willow Tomeo (Colville, Yakama)
I have overcome a wide variety of challenges and kept myself afloat. Both of my biological parents passed away. I have a huge passion for art that keeps me going in this life. I went to the first couple Indigenous Comic Conventions, drew chalk murals at the local gym, and get commissions for portraits and various illustrations. I have a strong work ethic and sense of integrity that motivates me to survive. Lately, I can even say that after getting through what I have, I’m even thriving. I’m working during the pandemic and making art. Could you list my name as Jello Billyo as an alumni or is that weird? Glad I could apply on the deadline.
Ryan Young (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe)
As a proud alum, IAIA was a life changing experience that gave me access to many different resources and opportunities that pushed me as an artist and as a Two Spirit person. I would like to be able to help provide that for other students/alumni as an IAIA Alumni Council member. Getting a chance to serve in this position would allow me to reconnect with the IAIA community while working on initiatives that will help future IAIA graduates as they make their next moves after receiving their degrees. I would also love to learn more about the ways IAIA is connected with the art community in Santa Fe and work with the fellow council members on networks to increase more opportunities for IAIA artists to learn about exhibition opportunities, community building, scholarships, etc. Resource accessibility was very important to me as a student at IAIA and being a member of the IAIA Alumni Council would allow me a chance to be able to expand those resources and networks for my peers.
For questions, please contact IAIA Alumni Relations Officer Roanna Shebala at email@example.com or (505) 428-5712.
Alumni Relations Officer
P (505) 428-5712