The American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program (AIISP) utilizes a full-circle approach to education. We believe in the recruitment, retention and reintroduction of our students into their respective communities. Our full-time student support specialist and administrative staff are available year-round to help our students accomplish their goals.
When you come to Cornell, you can rely on us and our established connections throughout the university to help you with your transition. We take the time to guide you through Cornell's rigorous academic programs. Additionally, we provide you and your peers with the tools necessary to balance your academic and extracurricular activities. AIISP prides itself on having one of the highest North American Indigenous student graduation rates in the nation. From hiring quality tutors to sourcing important scholarships, we are here to support you.
Through the full-circle approach, we enable you to fully experience what a Cornell education has to offer. We encourage our students to join student organizations for networking and professional development opportunities. We also encourage our students to participate in AIISP’s academic and cultural events, such as taking American Indian and Indigenous Studies (AIIS) courses or living in Akwe:kon, the first residential program house in the nation founded to celebrate North American Indigenous cultures.
Programs & events
We have organized, hosted, or co-sponsored an array of events such as presentations, conferences and symposia that have proven to be precedent-setting in the field of American Indian and Indigenous Studies (AIIS). Our events have uniquely positioned us as leaders in the field by promoting Indigenous epistemologies and methodologies through the voices of Indigenous activists, artists, scientists and other invited scholars.
We acknowledge the importance of having a strong sense of community on campus in order for our students to be successful at Cornell. Thus every year we host a variety of extracurricular activities that enrich your college experience.
Wayva Waterman Lyons
Student Support Specialist
wl685 [at] cornell.edu
AIISP leadership development spotlight
The leadership development spotlight series is focused on building student academic, professional and community leadership skills. We focus on four themes:
This spotlight focuses on students' current research projects, internships and other enriching experiences. Students share how they have used AIISP's enrichment and experiential funding. Presentations are done by students, for students.
Professional development spotlight
Cornell boasts a diverse array of services, skills, and opportunities for academic success, career development and self-development. Tune in for engaging talks on the resources available to you as a Cornell student.
We encourage students to learn about the resources available at Cornell for mental health, physical well-being and other important self-care practices you can try out during the school year.
AIISP invites presentations and discussions about Indigenous and community-related topics and concerns, research and current events.
In Fall 2020, AIISP initiated the spotlight series under the leadership of student services specialist Wayva Waterman Lyons.
The series continues the long tradition of the Weekly Soup Lunch started in 2004. These events are being held in-person in 2022. Students, faculty and staff come together every week for a tasty and nutritious lunch of soup and bread.
Frequently asked questions
AIISP provides tools for student academic success such as sponsoring tutors to improve students' understanding of course material and providing financial support for note-taking software so students can focus their attention on lectures.
AIISP organizes events to give students access to the world’s cutting-edge Indigenous scholars, community-based experts and cultural knowledge holders. We have organized, hosted or co-sponsored an array of events such as presentations, conferences and symposia that have proven to be precedent-setting in the field of American Indian and Indigenous Studies.
We help current students apply for prestigious academic opportunities, such as the McNair Scholars Program to prepare under-represented students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. Watch Cornell's McNair Program video featuring recipient Fred Blaisdell '16 (Oneida Nation of the Thames) at minute 1:25.
AIISP assists students with time-management strategies that support academic studies, leisure time and student participation in one or more of the 1,200 student organizations and sports activities on campus. We encourage students to engage with the four Indigenous-related student-led organizations advised by AIISP: the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), Native American and Indigenous Students At Cornell (NAISAC), the Native American Law Student Association (NALSA) and the Indigenous Graduate Student Association (IGSA).
True! AIISP staff have an open door policy that welcomes students to come in and share their good news or to seek academic and personal guidance related to:
- College transition