AAUW is proud to celebrate Native Americans and their invaluable contributions, while also raising awareness about the inequities many still face. In honor of Native American Heritage Month, we are featuring a few of our awardees who are working to bring awareness and promote gender equity for women and girls within the Native American community.
AAUW’s Native American Alumnae Spotlight
Native Americans Alumnae
Sarah Biscarra Dilley is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, educator and member of the Northern Chumash Tribe. Their text-based, curatorial, educational, and visual work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the Smithsonian Institute, SFMOMA, and Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA). Dilley is self-taught in two dialects of the Chumash language and collaborates with others that also are studying the dialects. Dilley is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Native American Studies at UC Davis.
Kristina Halona is originally from Sawmill, Arizona on the Navajo Reservation. She is of the Black Streak Wood People Clan born for the Folded Arms People Clan. The Bitter Water Clan is her maternal grandfather’s clan and the Salt Clan is her paternal grandfather’s clan. Kristina is an Aerospace Engineer and program manager at Antares Systems Engineering at Northrop Grumman. She received a B.S.E. degree in Aerospace Engineering from Arizona State University and a M.S.E. degree in Engineering Management from George Washington University. She has been a member of the organization, Advancing Indigenous People in STEM (AISES) since she was a child and now serves as the AISES National Student Representative.
Jacque Kocer’s research examines how women learned and shared knowledge and technology in the past. She studies the archaeologically defined group called Gallina (A.D. 1100–1300) in Northwestern New Mexico. Upon graduation, she plans to teach at a tribal college and run her nonprofit company that will include a collaborative research program and an archaeological field school for Native American students. She has Hispanic and Native ancestry from New Mexico, but she is also an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota.
Dr. Rose Stremlau is a historian specializing in the study of the Indigenous South; American Indian women, gender, and sexualities; families and kinship; federal Indian policy; and sexual violence in American History. She received her Ph.D. in Philosophy and Master’s in American History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her book ‘Sustaining the Cherokee Family: Kinship and the Allotment of an Indigenous Nation’, won the 2012 Willie Lee Rose Prize from the Southern Association for Women’s Historians. Dr. Stremlau is a professor of history at Davidson College.
Dr. Sarah Dees is an ethnohistorian of religion, race, and culture in (and beyond) the United States. She received her Ph.D. in Religion in the Americas from Indiana University and Master’s in Religious Studies and American Indian and Native Studies from the University of Iowa. Her scholarship primarily focuses on the representation of Native American and Indigenous religions in political, scientific, and popular realms. Dr. Dees is an Assistant Professor of American Religions at Iowa State University.
Dr. Mary Klann has a Master’s in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College and a Ph.D. in U.S. History from UC San Diego, where she focused on Native American history and U.S. political history. Dr. Klann is an adjunct lecturer at UC San Diego, where she teaches courses in Native American History, Women’s History, and Digital History. Her forthcoming book, Wardship and the Welfare State: Native Americans and the Formation of First-Class Citizenship in Mid-Twentieth-Century America (2024), connects Native people to larger histories of race, inequality, gender, and welfare in the twentieth-century U.S.