American Indian Alumni (AIA) Club

  • Women dressed in traditional Native American clothing
  • Women shaking hands
  • Graduates in gowns
  • Native American blessing
  • Arizona group meeting/presentation
  • Group of Native American alumni
  • Graduation cap with Native American decor

Our mission is to support American Indian Alumni of The University of Arizona (UA) by providing networking opportunities, serving as a liaison between the University and our alumni membership, and by recognizing personal and professional achievement of our membership. In addition, AIA supports American Indian students at the UA through mentorship, community service and the provision of scholarship opportunities.

President: Jonathan Rios

Board of Directors:

  • Jon Rios, president (Tohono O'odham/Navajo)
  • Daniel Sestiaga, Jr., vice-president (Ft. Yuma Quechan)
  • Randy Yazzie, interim treasurer (Navajo)
  • Vince Redhouse, secretary (Navajo)
  • Dana Wilcox, historian (Navajo/Ohkay Pueblo)
  • Charlinda Haudley, student representative (Navajo)
  • Ingrique Salt, MNUA Advisor (Navajo)

Advisory Members:

  • CF Greenberg
  • Melodie Lopez
  • Nicholas Wilson



The Special Contributions to Indian Education Award is given to a professional who has made significant contributions toward improving the educational experience for American Indian Students at the University of Arizona. Previous award winners have been recognized for teaching, student support, mentoring, community outreach, and philanthropic efforts. The award recipient will receive a commemorative award and joins the esteemed group of previous award winners. 

Named after Clara Lee and John F. Tanner, who exhibited long-term devotion to the University of Arizona American Indian community, the Tanner Award continues to be the highest honor given annually to an outstanding UA American Indian graduate who has demonstrated significant success in their professional career and their contributions and leadership has provided a direct benefit to the American Indian communities. The AIA granted the first Tanner Award in 1981 and continues to recognize a new Tanner recipient each year. The recipient will receive a commemorative award and would join the esteemed group of Tanner winners that spans three decades. 



Awarding scholarships with the charitable support of donors, friends, and the Arizona community is one of the most important things we do. Scholarships provide access to college for students who otherwise could not afford it, bring the best and brightest minds to the UA, and energize the economy through employment, internships, and research.

Criteria for scholarship recipients:

UA Alumni Association scholarships are awarded in two categories: merit-based — to attract and retain students of exceptional academic quality, and need-based — for students who demonstrate great financial need. (Need-based scholarship applicants must complete a free application for federal student aid.)


Miss Native American:

Miss Native American University of Arizona and her first attendant serve as ambassadors for the Native American population at the University of Arizona. These women comply with influencing and effectively encouraging our Native American community here at the University of Arizona.

If you would like Miss Native American University of Arizona to appear at your event, fill out this form:

Appearance request form 


Stay Connected:


Get Involved

There are two ways to get involved with AIA:

1. Become a AIA Club event volunteer

We gladly accept volunteers to help set up for events, greet guests, sell raffle tickets at game-watch parties, and more. Just send your contact information to and we'll add you to our volunteer database and let you know of upcoming volunteer opportunities in which you will be paired with a AIA Club board member.

2. Join the board of directors

We are always looking for enthusiastic and passionate UA alumni to join our board of directors. Involvement on the board is a great way to continue to share your UA passion post-graduation and meeting other alumni in the Tucson area.



The AIA Club relies on donations and community support to fund events and its scholarship fund. The AIA Club greatly appreciates donations of any size.

Make a gift