Education

ASU News: First graduates of Indian studies master's program






Lorena Yaiva, Hopi/Havasupai. Photo from ASU

The first graduate of Arizona State University's American Indian Studies master’s program is Lorena Yaiva and two more will complete their degrees this summer:
Lorena Yaiva took her first professional steps on the path to become a lawyer this summer. The first official graduate of Arizona State University's American Indian Studies master’s program, Yaiva now works as an assistant prosecutor in the Prosecutor’s Office with the Hualapai Tribe.

Yaiva, who is half Hopi and half Havasupai, credits ASU for making the dream of making a difference in her community a reality. “The American Indian Studies Program and faculty, and my work with the American Indian Student Support Services offered me the ability to meet new people, to learn and receive the guidance that I needed to further my education and pursue my goals,” said Yaiva. “Ultimately, I would like to address issues of domestic violence in my Havasupai and Hualapai communities and develop a juvenile diversion program to help youth and their families challenged by drug and alcohol problems.”

The master’s program was founded in 2010 through the work of ASU faculty, including David Martinez (Gila River Pima) and John Tippeconnic, the founding director of the program, who is of Comanche and Cherokee heritage. The collective designed the program to support students interested in Indigenous rights, social justice, language revitalization and tribal governance, and prepare them for doctoral work or professions, such as law.

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First American Indian Studies master's graduate credits ASU for career path (ASU News 7/24)