Welcome to NAISA! We are the Native American & Indigenous Students Association at UConn. Our hope with this org is to create representation for Native and Indigenous students on campus. We plan to educate and advocate on behalf of current events, issues, cultures, traditions, etc. Stay tuned for our upcoming events this fall!
Whether you identify as Native and/or Indigenous or not, we would love for you to join us!
To get involved or collaborate with NAISA, please contact our President, Sage Phillips: firstname.lastname@example.org
President – Sage Phillips
My name is Sage and I am a member of the Penobscot Nation. Our homelands are on the Penobscot River as well as the entire watershed of what we now know as the State of Maine. My pronouns are she/her/hers and I am a Senior at UConn! I am a double major in Political Science and Human Rights with a minor in Native American & Indigenous Studies. I created NAISA to increase representation of Native students like myself on campus as well as to provide more spaces for Native and Indigenous cultures, involvement, histories, etc.
Vice President – Zoe Blevins
My name is Zoe and I’m double majoring in Human Rights and German. I am a junior and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I was introduced to NAISA through my job at NACP and my goal is to make UConn a more inclusive space for Indigenous and Native students. Our university is a land grant school with the Storrs campus itself sitting on Nipmuc, Mashantucket Pequot, Eastern Pequot, Schaghticoke, Golden Hill Paugussett, Lenape, and Mohegan land. It is our duty to understand the history of the places where we live, work, and go to school and it is impossible to do that without honoring and respecting Native people and their culture. I hope to further that understanding via my work with NAISA and invite the rest of our student body to do the same!
Secretary – Samantha Gove
Aque, my name is Samantha, I am a member of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, and my pronouns are she/her. I am a Sociology and Psychological Sciences double major in the class of 2024. In the beginning of my first semester, I found NAISA and joined to find a community of other Indigenous and Native students at UConn. I’m also involved in the Human Rights and Action Learning Community, the Human Rights Symposium, and Film Appreciation Club. I am excited to work with NAISA to increase representation of Native and Indigenous students and uplift our voices, stories, and cultures on campus.
Treasurer – Queenie Diaz
!Saludos! My name is Queenie Diaz and I am a First Gen senior majoring in Human Development and Family Sciences with a Minor in Crime & Justice. As a woman of color, growing up I have always been taught that all cultures and people of color are very important in today’s society considering what is going on now a days. Expanding my knowledge on Indigenous People has always interested me so coming to UConn has given me that opportunity. Being involved on campus is very important so what other way to do so than being part of such a great organization like NAISA? My goal is to learn everything that I can so that I have the opportunity to teach others about Indigenous People and their history.
VP of Outreach – Heaven Hurd
My name is Heaven and I am an Allied Health major with minors in Psychology and HDFS. I am a Senior and my pronouns are she/her/ella. Also, I became a sister of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Incorporated. Spring 2021 L25 #8. I was introduced to NAISA through NACP when planning the annual Pow wow before the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled it. Since then, I have spent time educating myself on my family’s indigenous background of the Mashantucket Pequot, but joined NAISA to help educate others on Natives’ history, show a place that represents Native and Indigenous cultures, and introduce campus students to a wonderful organization.
Social Media Chair – Sofia Saul
Hi! My name is Sofia Saul, pronouns she/her/hers. I am a Puerto Rican Taino, one of the Indigenous people of the Carribean. I am a senior majoring in Political Science, minoring in HDFS, and specializing in early childhood. I am involved in UCINCEE and the Innovation Learning Community Council. I also mentor for multiple programs such as FAMILEE, KUBE, and COPE. This semester I started my internship with Planned Parenthood Generation Action. I love getting involved and learning about cultures, and I recommend that others do so as well. NAISA is a great way for people to learn more about Indigenous cultures and have a safe space to talk. I hope to make the Indigenous voice more heard on campus and across the nation.
Advisor – Kaylee Mootz
Kaylee is a Doctoral Candidate in the English Department studying Native American Literature. She has been working with stakeholders throughout the university to promote Native American and Indigenous Studies and to build community for Native students at UConn and between UConn and the Native nations on whose land UConn stands. Kaylee feels honored to serve as the advisor for NAISA.