CROWNPOINT, NM – Biology major Jasmine Charley of Vanderwagen, NM was elected Region 3 Student Representative at the American Indian Science and Engineering Society’s Spring Regional Conference. She is the first Navajo Technical University student to hold a position with the national society, which consists of seven regions throughout the United States and Canada.
As Region 3 Student Representative, Charley has served as the liaison between the National AISES Office and each of the 84 regional AISES chapters across the states of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. It is Charley’s responsibility to evaluate issues and concerns of students across the region and to make recommendations for ways to improve member services.
“I plan to form a bond with all chapters within the region and be there for them the best that I can,” explained Charley, whose clans are Yucca Fruit Strung Out On a Line born for Salt People. “I need to have good communication with all the chapters, which is a big task because Region 3 is one of the biggest regions.”
Complicating Charley’s task has been the pandemic. Since spring, all AISES-sponsored meetings and events have gone virtual. Charley has recorded three videos since assuming her position, while hosting a virtual caucus on Sept. 22. Charley and other regional and national representatives also had to prepare for the 2020 AISES National Conference, which was hosted virtually, Oct. 15-17. Charley attended last year’s national conference in addition to the AISES Leadership Summit and has used the experiences to help her carry forth her duties.
“The Leadership Summit is what motivated me to run,” recalled Charley, who attended the summit after being elected NTU’s AISES chapter president in her first year as a member. “The student reps at the time were so encouraging and motivational to push us to find the leaders within ourselves. Because of that experience, I wanted to be able to do that for others.”
Charley’s term as Region 3 Student Representative will last until Summer 2021, during which she hopes to recruit more members to AISES and to share scholarship, research, and employment opportunities through AISES’s extensive network. The self-described introvert also hopes others will learn from her experience and not be afraid to pursue new challenges.
“Being elected shows students that they can explore outside of their comfort zones and that they can do more than they think they are capable of doing,” Charley stated. “Since I accepted the position, I’ve had two NTU students contact me about running for next year’s term. That makes me proud to see that there are other students here on campus that would love to take on this role.”
For more information about NTU’s AISES chapter, contact Andrea Wilson at email@example.com