The search committee for the position of director for American Indian Student Services has announced three finalists who will each participate in open forums next week.

UNM students, faculty and staff are invited and encouraged to attend each of the candidate forums next week. The forums are a great opportunity to learn about each candidate’s experience and engage in open dialogue about their interest in the position.  

Forums will take place in SUB Fiesta A and B and on Zoom with Meeting ID 943 3032 1710.

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Natalie Arellanez

Natalie Arellanez
Forum: June 10, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Resume 

Natalie Arellanez currently works as the operations manager and certification officer in the UNM College of Education and Human Sciences (COEHS) Center for Student Success. Prior to taking on the role, she served as a senior academic adviser and later the coordinator of student advisement in the college. Arellanez also works as a youth cross-country and track and field coach.

She was Miss Indian New Mexico from 2012 to 2013 and has served as the organization's incorporator and Board of Directors president since 2018. She holds dual Bachelor of Arts (UNM'12) degrees in English and Family Studies with minors in Native American Studies and Psychology respectively, as well as a Master of Arts (UNM '20) in Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies with a focus in American Indian Education. 

 

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Dawn Blue Sky-Hill

Dawn Blue Sky-Hill
Forum: June 11, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
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Dawn Blue Sky-Hill currently works as the program manager for UNM's Student Support Services-TRIO (SSS-TRIO), where she oversees the day-to-day operations of the Department of Education grant initiative, oversees staff, and executes program services and activities aligned with approved federal grant objectives.

She has worked with SSS-TRIO since 2001. In 2017, Blue Sky-Hill served as TRIO New Mexico president. She was also the 2023 Southwest Association of Student Assistance Programs Legacy Award recipient. Blue Sky-Hill holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Sociology and Psychology (UNM '95) and a Master of Public Administration (UNM '13).
 

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Andrew Yazzie

Andrew Yazzie
Forum: June 12, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Resume

Yazzie currently works as the manager of student success for UNM's American Indian Student Services. He has worked with AISS since 2010 in the roles of student success leader, professional intern, student recruitment specialist and now manager of student success. Yazzie is the co-chair elect of the NASPA Indigenous Peoples Knowledge Community.

He has served on the NASPA 2024 CLC Extending Learning Sessions Subcommittee, UNM First Amendment and Student Activism Task Force, UNM LGBTQ Resource Center Advisory Board, NASPA President’s Implementation Committee for Indigenous Engagement & Inclusion, and UNM Engaging Men & Masculine Peoples Working Group, among others. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Family Studies with a minor in Psychology (UNM '13) and a Master of Public Administration (UNM '23).

This key role provides strategic direction, consultation, and support to the university community in developing integrated approaches for best addressing the educational needs, prospects, and related concerns of American Indian/Indigenous students and allies. The AISS director is also responsible for assisting the university in providing an environment that promotes a welcoming and dynamic atmosphere that results in greater advancement and empowerment of Native students.