American Indian Science and Engineering Society Reopening Chapter at CNM

With the help of the Native American Advisory Council, CNM is rechartering the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) to better support Native students pursuing STEM-related fields
March 14, 2023

CNM is proud to announce that it is bringing back a chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)

AISES is a national nonprofit organization that focuses on increasing Indigenous representation in STEM. CNM had a thriving AISES chapter from 2010 to 2015 and Tribal Liaison Cara Thunder and instructor Chris Kerns are excited to bring AISES back to campus. 

“This is a really important place to have an AISES chapter,” Cara says. “New Mexico is home to 24 tribes and pueblos, and CNM has such a large population of Native students. I’m really excited to bring this community back.”

When the chapter first formed in 2010, students and advisor Dorothea “Dee” Bluehorse led an active organization. They ran workshops on campus about Native traditions and culture, participated in numerous community service projects, helped with recruitment efforts, and hosted CNM’s first ever STEM Knowledge Bowl. 

AISES Recruitment 2015.jpg

“We were an outgoing chapter and the students were incredibly motivated,” Dee says. 

AISES was active until Spring 2016, and then Dee started a masters program in 2017 and had to step down from her advisor role. Unfortunately the chapter shut down, and the pandemic delayed the rechartering of AISES at CNM for several more years. But now, Dee is looking forward to AISES being back on campus with the help of Cara and Chris. 

“I’m so excited for the rechartering of AISES,” she says. “We have intelligent young scholars that are ready to do more while at CNM and for the community.”

Cara and Chris couldn’t agree more, and are eager for AISES to start back up. 

“AISES is all about finding your community,” Cara explains. “Through AISES, Native students get to see peers and elders succeeding in STEM, and then take that inspiration and apply it to their academic and personal lives.”

Along with community-building, Chris is excited for the tangible benefits students gain through AISES. 

“AISES focuses a lot on professional development, and I know this will be a great opportunity for students to build their resumes, serve in leadership positions, and build important soft skills,” he says.

Cara and Chris know that bringing AISES back to CNM will help Native students thrive not only while they’re at CNM, but also after school.

“I know that AISES can help build superstar Native students that will succeed in the STEM fields and serve their communities,” Cara says.  

If you’re interested in joining AISES, you can attend their recruiting event on April 6 from 12-2 p.m. in the Student Resource Center room 204. For more information or to RSVP for the event, contact Cara Thunder at or Chris Kerns at