Chad S. Hamill, Ph.D.
Vice President, Native American Initiatives
Office of the President
Applied Indigenous Studies
Chad S. Hamill came to Northern Arizona University in 2007 as a visiting professor of ethnomusicology. His scholarship is focused on song traditions of the Interior Northwest, including those carried by his Spokane ancestors. In addition to his book, Songs of Power and Prayer in the Columbia Plateau, he has produced numerous articles centered on Columbia Plateau songs and ceremony, exploring topics ranging from sovereignty to Indigenous ecological knowledge. Prior to his current position as Vice President of Native American Initiatives, Hamill served as Chair of the Department of Applied Indigenous Studies at NAU and as Chair of the Indigenous Music Section of the Society for Ethnomusicology. Currently, he sits on the editorial board of the Native American Indigenous Studies Journal and the Steering Committee of the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. He also serves as Vice President and Treasurer of the Spokane Language House, a 501c3 that contributes to the sustainability of the Spokane language.
Manley Begay, Ed.D.
Interim Director, Tribal Leadership initiative
Applied Indigenous Studies and Politics and International Affairs
In addition to faculty appointments in the Departments of Applied Indigenous Studies and Politics and International Affairs, Dr. Begay (Navajo) is affiliate faculty in the W. A. Franke College of Business at Northern Arizona University. Since 1997, he has also been co-director (with Professors Joseph Kalt and Stephen Cornell) of the award-winning Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, working for and with Indigenous governments, enterprises, organizations, and communities world-wide, providing research, advisory services, and executive education on issues of nation-building and economic development. Professor Begay is recognized nationally and internationally as one of the primary planners and designers of the now-accepted theory of how Indigenous nations and communities build nations that work.
Ann Marie Chischilly, J.D.
Executive Director, Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals
Ann Marie Chischilly started at the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) in April of 2011. She is responsible for coordinating ITEP’s work with Northern Arizona University, state and federal agencies, tribes, and Alaska Native villages. Ms. Chischilly oversees four environmental programs (climate change, air quality, solid waste, and educational outreach) and established the “Tribal Clean Energy Resource Center” to assist tribes in transitioning from fossil fuel based energy to sustainable/clean energy solutions. In May 2013, Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell appointed Ms. Chischilly to the Federal Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resources Science. Ms. Chischilly currently serves on the Arizona Attorney magazine Editorial Board, Indian Law Section Executive Board of the Arizona State Bar, Arizona Energy Consortium-Tribal Liaison, First Stewards on Climate Change Founding Board, and Native American Connections Board.
Assistant Vice President for Native American Initiatives
As Assistant Vice President for Native American Initiatives, Ron plans to help NAU strengthen its tribal partnerships “to become the nation’s leading university serving Native Americans.” Formerly, Ron served as District Director & Intergovernmental Relations for Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick in Arizona’s First Congressional District. Ron led a congressional staff located in seven district offices to provide constituent services, district-specific policy priorities and policy recommendations. For 8 years, Ron was owner and president of Native Policy Group, an independent political consulting firm that advocated for Arizona public schools located on Indian reservations, tribal colleges and universities, telecommunications and healthcare. Ron also served 6 years as Executive Director of the Arizona Commission of Indian Affairs to help the State of Arizona build better communications and relations with Arizona’s 22 Indian tribes/nations. Ron has 19 years of experience in public affairs, government and tribal relations, public policy and administration. Ron holds a BS from Arizona State University and an MPA from Northern Arizona University. He also served two-terms as Chairman of the Native American Advisory Board to NAU Presidents Cheng and John Haeger. Ron is Dine’ from the Navajo Nation and resides in Flagstaff with his family.
Ora Marek-Martinez, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Native American Cultural Center
Before assuming the role of Executive Director of the Native American Cultural Center, Dr. Ora Marek-Martinez worked for the Navajo Nation as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer and tribal archaeologist, conducting, reviewing, and approving cultural heritage work throughout the Navajo Nation. As Executive Director of the NACC, she is charged with programming, fundraising, strategic planning, development of the Office of Native American Initiatives newsletter, and budgetary oversight of the NACC. In addition, she is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at NAU. Her research interests include Southwestern, Indigenous, and tribal archaeology, decolonizing methodologies, and epistemic injustice. She is focused on serving, supporting, and ensuring the success of NAU students through the programming and services provided at the Native American Cultural Center. Dr. Marek-Martinez is from the Navajo Mountain Cove clan, born for the Nez Perce tribe. Her maternal grandfather was Hopi Sun clan, and her paternal grandfather was Bohemian and Italian.
Kathleen Frank, M.P.A.
Director, Special Programs and Alumni Relations
During her many years at NAU, Kathleen Frank has worked in several areas throughout the university, ranging from academic departments to student services. From 2011-2016, Ms. Frank served as Director of the Native American Cultural Center, working to provide a “home away from home” for Native American students while increasing the visibility of Native American cultures and traditions at NAU. She currently serves on the NAU Commission for Native Americans and is a member of the Arizona Indian Education Association, the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Arizona, and the Arizona 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) Vision Team. Ms. Frank is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation (Diné) originally from Dennehotso, Arizona. She is of the Towering House Clan (Kinyaa’aanii) and born for the Salt Clan (Ashiihi). Her maternal grandfathers are the Water Edge Clan (Tábaahí) and paternal grandfathers are the Near-to-Water Clan (Tó’áhaní).
Marina Vasquez, B.A.
Marina Vasquez is Mayan woman from Guatemala who has worked with Latino, Native American, and non-Native communities since immigrating to the United States 40 years ago from her war-torn native land. She has worked in the areas of community-based participatory research, traditional ecological knowledge, and ethnobotany, and holds a bachelor’s degree in bilingual/multicultural education from Northern Arizona University. She is a skilled basket weaver, teaches traditional medicine and ethnobotany at NAU, and runs her own natural remedy and craft business– Indigenous Roots Organic Products, in Flagstaff, Arizona. As an immigrant and refugee who has raised children and grandchildren successfully in her adopted country, earned a university degree and gone on to teach at a major American university, and started a successful business using skills and knowledge that combine her Indigenous background and her education, Marina brings extensive first-hand experience in the area of cultural adaptation and competency.
Lorenzo Max, B.S.
Mr. Max gained his role as a traditional practitioner (medicine man) by steadily studying throughout his life. He gained valuable knowledge and experience that equips him to educate youth about their ancestral knowledge and teachings. As an apprentice studying under his elders, Lorenzo acquired the interpersonal skills needed to be an effective practitioner. His is able to translate ancient prayers and songs into stories that are applicable to this day and age. He is adept at communicating the significant and moral interpretations that our ancestors have cherished, with the proper mix of authority, diplomacy, and tact. He remains able to interact with the diverse cultural concerns of native students, parents, and university faculty. Mr. Max is able to help a person rebalance with nature by communicating in a spiritual way and by giving “offerings” to many parts of nature (Earth Water, Wind, Water Plant, animals, insects, Sun, Moon, Rain, and many others), using hundreds of different types of protection/blessing prayers and songs.
Sharon Doctor, M.Ed.
Interim Director, Native American Student Services
Sharon Singer Doctor is a three-time graduate from Northern Arizona University, earning a master’s degree in counseling with a student affairs emphasis and two baccalaureates (general studies and business management). Sharon has been employed at NAU for over 22 years and has worked for Upward Bound, The W. A. Franke College of Business’ Center for American Indian Economic Development, and is the Interim Director of Native American Student Services (NASS). Sharon serves as a collaborative leader to improve and enhance the university environment and support networks for Native American, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian students that contribute to their success. With staff support, Sharon develops, promotes and implements an array of educational, academic, cultural, social, and financial programs and services for students. She is from the Bitterwater clan (maternal), born for the Edgewater clan (paternal), and her grandfather’s clans are Towering House and Manygoat.
Denyse Herder, B.A.
Administrate Assistant, Native American Cultural Center
Of the Paiute and Diné nations, Denyse Herder has held administrative positions for the past seven years with organizations that serve Native American communities in Northern Arizona. Her undergraduate work was focused on her strong interest in health models that reinforce Indigenous self-determination through the acknowledgement and implementation of Indigenous concepts. During her time with Native Americans for Community Action, a wellness center in Flagstaff built upon Indigenous values, she participated in the developmental phase of a parenting curriculum that incorporated Native American concepts in an effort to reduce high-risk behaviors among Native American youth. Her academic and professional paths will continue to be guided by her desire to contribute to endeavors that strengthen Native American support systems and the well-being of Native American communities.