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Cohort Graduates

Inaugural Cohort (2012-2015) 

Shawn Abeita works with the United States Peace Corps as a regional representative for the great State of New Mexico. Mr. Abeita served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Panama from 2007-2009 as an economic development extension agent where he worked with the Board of Directors of a women’s artisan cooperative. Originally from Isleta Pueblo, Mr. Abeita received his MBA and undergraduate degrees from New Mexico Highlands University. Currently, Mr. Abeita serves on the Board of Directors of TIWA Lending Services in Isleta Pueblo. His research interests include Pueblo Economics (e.g. economic systems, economies of scale, economies of scope, economic theory). His personal interests are reading, traveling, and playing guitar and soccer.

Carnell Chosa was raised in the Towa speaking community of Jemez Pueblo by an extended family and community network. This experience is reflected in his educational, professional and volunteer pursuits. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College where he obtained his B.A. and of Harvard University Graduate School of Education, where he completed an Ed.M. His professional interest is to design and implement programs that build community and empower individuals. Mr. Chosa co-founded and co-directs the Leadership Institute, which is housed at the Santa Fe Indian School. He serves on the boards of the Chamiza Foundation, Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, Wheelwright Museum, and the Santa Fe Community Foundation Native American Advised Fund. His research interests are Community Development and the role Philanthropy plays in empowering Native Communities; The role of self in community and the role of community in self; and Innovative evaluation methods to empower programs, individuals and communities. He is an avid silversmith and gardener.

Anthony Dorame is a tribally enrolled member from Tesuque Pueblo, New Mexico. After graduating from Santa Fe Indian School in 1993, he attended Colorado State University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Biology with a minor in Rangeland Ecology. He holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana. His research interests include the Environment, Agriculture, Language Preservation, and Economic Development. He believes most environmental problems are very complex in nature and to fully understand them, the viewpoints of stakeholders involved must be fully understood. Currently, he is the Agriscience Teacher at the Santa Fe Indian School. Tony is married and is the father of two daughters who love to farm, fish and raise chickens. 

Mark Ericson was born in Bolivia, by the time he was 15 years of age, had lived in Spain, Nigeria, Australia, and the United States. Since 1987 he has served the Santa Fe Indian School community as a science teacher. He holds a BS in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. Since 1995 he has been the Environmental Science teacher in the developing Community Based Education Model, which engages youth in interdisciplinary learning while addressing current, relevant, and important problems in their communities. His professional life has been dedicated to learning how to best inspire young people to develop their individual qualities and skills, while teaching them about the beauty of the natural world and the interrelatedness of nature and human society, and encourage them to pursue their own interests through life-long learning and service to their communities and culture. His research interests include addressing the serious problems of youth unemployment and environmental degradation by establishing a self-sustaining, socially responsible enterprise that trains, employs, involves and empowers young people who are not clear about their career or post-secondary education aspirations to identify and provide needed environmental and other community services for their own and other Pueblo communities and so creating a model that can be adapted in other indigenous areas around the globe.

June L. Lorenzo (Laguna Pueblo/Navajo (Diné) has devoted most of her 28 years in law practice to public interest law, including human rights and civil rights. She has served as staff attorney for the Navajo Nation Department of Justice and for committees of the U. S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, a litigating attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Voting Rights Section, and a staff attorney for the Indian Law Resource Center. Beginning in 1997 she participated in the negotiations on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and has also participated in negotiations for an Organization of American States declaration since 1999. Currently she is focused on projects in her own community, including advocacy on issues involving uranium mining and cleanup, and continues to be engaged in issues of international human rights advocacy for indigenous peoples. Her research interests include “intentional community” and Pueblos, including transmission of the community values, as well as data collection comparing generational understandings of the impacts of uranium mining in Laguna Pueblo. 

Richard Luarkie is from the Pueblo of Laguna and is currently serving as the Governor for the tribe. Governor Luarkie has served as a member of the Laguna Tribal Council and over the years, he has also acquired experience in other areas of Pueblo leadership, which includes serving several terms as a village officer, serving on tribal entity boards, and participating in various committees. He has been a small business owner and has a passion for supporting entrepreneurs and economic creation. He holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of New Mexico and an MBA in strategy and business development from New Mexico State University. His research interests include Technology, Economic creation, Media & Globalization. 

Kenneth Lucero is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Zia and is also half Cochiti Pueblo. Since 1999, Mr. Lucero has actively served on the Zia Tribal Council and has worked as the Assistant Tribal Administrator for the Pueblo. Mr. Lucero serves on numerous health-related boards and committees on behalf of Zia and other tribes at the tribal, state and national level. His latest appointment is to the US Health and Human Service Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee, where he was elected as Chairman of the committee by the national tribal representatives. Mr. Lucero is currently employed as the founding Director for the RWJF Center for Native American Health Policy at UNM. Most recently, Mr. Lucero received his BA in Native American Studies from the University of New Mexico, and his research interests include decolonizing health policies and institutions that administer health care.

Vince Lujan was raised at Taos Pueblo. His parents are the late Vince Lujan Sr. and Beatrice Cordova-Lujan. His paternal grandparents are the late Agapito Lujan (Taos Pueblo) and the late Juliana Martinez-Lujan (Taos Pueblo). His maternal grandparents are the late Onesimo Cordova (Taos Pueblo) and the late Manuelita Romero-Cordova (Tesuque Pueblo). Vince received his undergraduate degree in Political Science and Accounting from the University of New Mexico and his advanced degrees (MPA and JD) from Arizona State University. He is the President and CEO of Salt River Devco. Vince’s research interests include Pueblo concepts of due process.

Corrine Sanchez is Tewah Towah from San Ildefonso Pueblo, NM. Ms. Sanchez is Executive Director of Tewa Women United. A Native women run and led multi-issue organization. Ms. Sanchez is one of sixteen visionary leaders across the country recently selected as the first cohort of the Move to End Violence, 10-year initiative to end violence against women and girls. Most recently Ms. Sanchez was selected to serve on the National Child Sexual Abuse Working Group for the Office of Victims of Crime. She holds a Bachelors degree with Honors in Environment, Technology and Society from Clark University and an MA in American Studies, MA from the University of New Mexico. Her research interests include: Overcoming violence and its impact on Native American Communities and Native Women; The Power of Sharing Story in Healing and Overcoming Violence; Models from Other Indigenous Communities from Throughout the World in Organizing and Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women. 

Michele Suina is from Cochiti Pueblo and is grateful to be raised in her Pueblo, because it provided her with her purpose in life to work for and with Pueblo people to return to a balanced way of living and to contribute to the healing from the outside impositions that disrupted the healthful Pueblo way of life lived by past generations. Ms. Suina is a health educator and manages the Native American Cancer Education and Outreach Program at the University of New Mexico Cancer Center. She provides cancer education to Native Americans in New Mexico and throughout the United States. Before Ms. Suina began her work in cancer education she worked for the UNM Prevention Research Center as an evaluator, as a trainer for the Circle of Life HIV/AIDS prevention curriculum, and as a health educator working with Pueblo elementary and middle school aged youth to prevent substance abuse. Ms. Suina graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor of Science in Health Education in 2000. Her research interests include ethics of clinical research with Native American people. Development of relevant health education models grounded in Pueblo health wisdom and core values. Michele is a proud mother of her daughter Sydney and is proud to be called “Auntie Shell” by her nieces and nephews.