AMERICAN INDIAN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING SOCIETY

aka American Indian Science and Engineering Society   |   Albuquerque, NM   |  aises.org

Mission

Founded in 1977, the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) is a national nonprofit organization focused on substantially increasing the representation of Indigenous peoples of North America and the Pacific Islands in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) studies and careers. This robust nonprofit currently supports individual student and professional members across the U.S. and Canada in critically needed STEM disciplines. Through chartered college and university chapters, tribal chapters, and affiliated K-12 schools, members benefit from diverse STEM-focused programming that supports careers and promotes student success and workforce development in multiple crucial areas.

Notes from the nonprofit

Thank you for this opportunity. We hope to gain more friends and partners in our mission to increase the representation of indigenous North Americans and the Pacific Islanders in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) studies and careers.

Ruling year info

1977

Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Sarah EchoHawk

Main address

6321 Riverside Plaza Lane NW Unit A

Albuquerque, NM 87120 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

National Society of American Indian Engineers

EIN

73-1023474

NTEE code info

Professional Societies, Associations (W03)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (J12)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) is a national nonprofit organization focused on substantially increasing the representation of American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, First Nations, and other indigenous peoples of North America in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies and careers. Across the U.S. and Canada, AISES supports 23 professional chapters, 199 college chapters, 157 K-12 affiliated schools, and four newly created tribal chapters. Specifically, AISES focuses its work in three areas: Student Success, Career Support, and Workforce Development. At our core, AISES is about creating an Indigenous workforce to serve in the most in-demand and critically needed fields. Each year, AISES holds the largest college and career event in Indian Country where over 250 universities and employers come to recruit Indigenous STEM students and professionals.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Pre- College

The focus of the Pre-College Program is “Awareness and Retention.” AISES engages in a multitude of programs and events that aim to ensure students are given exposure to first-rate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs and events.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples
Non-adult children

AISES offers a universe of opportunities to college students! Our students choose to move fiercely forward in their educational journeys by learning and acquiring new skills that will help them in meeting the ever-changing STEM needs of our communities.

At AISES, we invest more than just scholarship support into our students; we are investing confidence, trust, and a large community of support and encouragement for our students. Year after year, our AISES scholars bring potential and limitless possibilities for the future of STEM, each working towards advancing his or her opportunities in STEM career fields.

AISES has over 2,365 college members. There are 197 college chapters in the U.S. and Canada of which only five colleges are represented in the map below.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples
Young adults

The focus of the Professional Program is “Leadership and Change.” AISES is dedicated to supporting its professional members in STEM, providing a network of Professional Chapters an annual Professional Awards Program to celebrate excellence in the field.

The Professional Program supports early, mid and executive professionals in STEM fields through professional development, career opportunities, networking and opportunities to mentor and support students in STEM.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Yawa' Award 2012

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Yawa' Award

Affiliations & memberships

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Yawa' Award in Education 2012

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of paid participants in conferences

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Indigenous peoples

Related Program

College

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The two primary annual events at AISES are the National Conference (held in the fall) and the Leadership Summit (held in the winter). Seen here are the National Conference stats only.

Number of competition winners declared

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Pre- College

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

For over 32 years, AISES has been hosting the Native American Science Fair that is a combination of in-person and virtual fair. It is known as NAIVSEF.

Number of clients placed in internships

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Young adults

Related Program

College

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

AISES facilitates college internships with some of our corporate partners for students who are majoring in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines at the college level.

Number of competition entrants

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Young adults, Children and youth

Related Program

College

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

In addition to the Native American Virtual Science Fair (NAIVSEF), AISES holds oral and poster presentations at its National Conference. These competitions are judged by industry professionals.

Number of unique website visitors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

AISES has three websites that contain information about AISES activities and programs. They are the annual National Conference, general AISES website, and the Winds of Change Magazine.

Total number of organization members

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Young adults, Retired people

Related Program

College

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

AISES has changed our membership structure where selected groups/individuals can join AISES for free. This includes pre-college and college students, as well as retirees.

Number of conference attendees

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Young adults, Indigenous peoples

Related Program

College

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

AISES tracks the number of attendees at our National Conference, Leadership Summit and Regional Chapter Conference. Seen here are the National Conference stats.

Number of list subscribers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Professional

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Individuals can subscribe to receiving regular information about AISES and our programs/

Number of Facebook followers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

College

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

AISES has an active Facebook page #AISES.org, that is connected to Twitter and other social media platforms.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

In order to be a strong nation, we have to have a skilled workforce – specifically a skilled STEM workforce. While our work is important to Indian Country, it is equally important to the Nation as a whole. The U.S. has not been producing enough STEM talent and as a result, we are losing our competitive edge. This is why you see so much focus on STEM education these days – we all recognize we are woefully behind other countries in STEM education and our STEM workforce. Indian Country has enormous potential for helping fill this gap but it has been largely untapped and unsupported in (STEM) workforce development. Supporting STEM education beginning in K-12 schools and providing a clear pathway to college in both urban and reservation settings is critical.

In 2019, the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), a 501(c)(3) public charity, embarked on a planning process to guide the organization in building its capacity and programming over the next four years. Following a successful leadership transition six years ago followed by significant growth and evolution of the work of the organization both in size and scope, the time was right to take stock of AISES and determine a next lifecycle stage course of action in service of its mission. This comprehensive process - conducted in partnership with outside consultants, interSector Partners, L3C - allowed for both internal reflection and outside perspectives to leverage the organization's history and assets toward a sustainable future.

AISES' strengths, competencies and assets are many and were identified through a strategic plan process by consultants, key external stakeholders, and board and staff members. These strengths are leveraged by AISES to capitalize on its impressive 40-year track record and build toward the future. The strength areas are: committed, motivated and professional staff; supportive, responsive and diverse board of directors; variety and quality of programs; quality events, especially the national conference; communications with members via publications, outreach and websites; strong, active membership, long-term committed partners, and a reputation for achieving the AISES mission.

AISES administers many programs, services, and events for pre-college, undergraduate, and graduate students designed to increase their access to college and support their success in preparation for careers in STEM fields. Indigenous college students need professional mentorship and peer support in addition to scholarship support. Students are most successful when they have a network of other Indigenous students, as well as professionals who can provide ongoing support while they are pursuing undergraduate and graduate studies. AISES provides exactly this critically needed support through its programming.

AISES is dedicated to supporting early, mid, and executive professionals in STEM fields through professional development, career opportunities, networking, and research support to mentors who support professionals in STEM. AISES' support does not end once a student graduates from college and enters a STEM career, but rather provides ongoing career development programming to help Indigenous STEM professionals grow and succeed in their chose field. Additionally, AISES offers a multitude of opportunities for professionals to "give back" through mentoring and supporting Indigenous STEM students.

AISES has awarded over $12 million in academic scholarships to Indigenous STEM students while also providing internships, workforce development and career resources, national and regional conferences, science fairs, leadership development, and other STEM-focused programming.

AISES is in the process of reorganizing the way that it communicates about its programs, research/data efforts, and advocacy/policy work to simplify its messaging and the understanding of its work by external audiences. Three key focus areas are student success, career support, and workforce development.

AISES has a strong governance structure that includes a diverse board of directors and a set of advisory councils that help directors stay in touch with various areas of work pertinent to the AISES mission. Councils include academic advisory council, corporate advisory council, government relations council, professional development council, Canadian Indigenous advisory council, Tribal Nations advisory council, Council of Elders, and Winds of Change advisory council. Also, the board has various committees that support AISES' work. Board committees include education, finance, governance, membership, nominations, and professional development. The structure offers a comprehensive approach to providing opportunities for multiple stakeholder voices to be involved in the leadership structure of AISES.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Some of AISES methods to collecting feedback include survey design, development and implementation, session evaluations, training evaluations, and event evaluations for our national events like the annual Leadership Summit that registers over 300 individuals, and the annual National Conference that can have registrations of over 2,500 individuals. Other methods include focus groups and one-on-one interviews. AISES has seven advisory councils that are comprised of individuals who have expertise in their fields who consult with AISES on issues relevant to the committees' scope and purpose. Each Council plays an important role in advising AISES in its work for their respective sectors including tribal, government, professional and corporate.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Magazine survey,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    The development of the Tribal Nations Advisory Council (TNAC) is an example change at AISES. The primary role of the TNAC is to advise AISES on issues of relevance and importance to Tribal Nations. In addition, the TNAC also works to assist AISES in creating opportunities for Tribal Nations and their citizens and to support the AISES' mission of substantially increasing the representation of Indigenous peoples of North America in STEM. TNAC has been instrumental in the development of three tribal chapters which are brand new growth areas that are designed to bring AISES programs and services directly into tribal communities and prepare the next generation of Indigenous dreamers to succeed in life.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    In 2020, AISES assisted our students with emergency aid scholarships through a new fund call the Together Towards Tomorrow (T3) Fund. This was due to desperate telephone calls and feedback we were receiving from our students due to the closure of colleges/universities across the United States - a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of our students lost their housing, work study jobs, and internships. The Covid pandemic rocked the world. AISES set up an emergency fund to help students financially with gasoline to move home, help with internet connectivity to begin or resume online course work, and help with expenses like purchasing laptop computers. AISES has raised over $200,000 and awarded over 300 scholarship to our students who are still being affected by this global pandemic.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

AMERICAN INDIAN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING SOCIETY
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

AMERICAN INDIAN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING SOCIETY

Board of directors
as of 8/24/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Gary Burnette

IBM

Term: 2018 - 2021


Board co-chair

Michael Laverdure

DSGW Architects

Term: 2019 - 2022

Dr. Grace Bulltail

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Deanna Burgart

University of Calgary

Andrea Delgado-Olson

AnitaB.org

Jodi DiLascio

BMM Testlabs

Amber Finley

Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College

Kristina Halona

Northrup Grumman

Dr. Adrienne Laverdure

Peter Christensen Health Center

William Tiger

Retired General Motors

Dr. Traci Morris

Arizona State University

Dr. Wendy Smythe

University of Minnesota

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/19/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Native American/American Indian/Indigenous
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/15/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.