American Indian Alumni (AIA)

Two women in Native American dress, waving

Our mission is to support American Indian alumni of the University of Arizona by providing networking opportunities, serving as a liaison between the university and our alumni membership, and by recognizing personal and professional achievement of our membership. In addition, AIA supports American Indian students through mentorship, community service and the provision of scholarship opportunities.


Jonathan Rios

The University of Arizona Land Acknowledgement

We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples. Today, Arizona is home to 22 federally recognized tribes, with Tucson being home to the O’odham and the Yaqui. Committed to diversity and inclusion, the University strives to build sustainable relationships with sovereign Native Nations and Indigenous communities through education offerings, partnerships, and community service.


Awarding scholarships with the charitable support of donors, friends, and the Arizona community is one of the most important things we do. Scholarships provide access to college for students who otherwise could not afford it and bring the best and brightest minds to the university.

The following scholarships offered by AIA can be found on Scholarship Universe:

  • AIA Tribal Nations Scholarship
  • Tuition Scholarship


AIA relies on donations and community support to fund events and its scholarship fund. The community greatly appreciates donations of any size.


  • The Special Contribution to Indian Education Award is given to a faculty member, staff member or administrator who has made significant contributions toward improving the educational experience for American Indian students at UArizona. The nominee must be affiliated with the university, and evidence must be provided to show outstanding contribution or achievement in their current profession to the American Indian campus community.
  • The Chad Marchand Native American Community Service Award is given to a UArizona student who has demonstrated outstanding community service to benefit American Indian communities on and off campus while also demonstrating engagement, activism and service. The nominee must be a current AIA scholarship recipient, evidence must be provided to show two (2) years of community service to American Indian communities on and off campus, and evidence must be provided to show leadership qualities of engagement, activism and service.

Board of Directors

  • Jon Rios, president (Tohono O'odham/Navajo)
  • Daniel Sestiaga Jr., vice-president (Ft. Yuma Quechan)
  • Randy Yazzie, treasurer (Navajo)
  • Virjinya Torrez, secretary (Cherokee)
  • Carolyn Thompson, historian (Akimel O'otham/Apache (San Carlos))
  • Collette Brown-Rodriguez, student representative (Confederated Salish Kootenai/Navajo)
  • Charlinda Haudley, tribal community engagement representative (Navajo)

At-large members:

  • CF Greenberg, AIA Auntie
  • Melodie Lopez, AIA Auntie
  • Vince Redhouse (Navajo)