Ten Badgers recognized among Wisconsin’s ‘Most Influential Native American Leaders’

Ten members of the UW–Madison community were honored by Madison365 in its annual list of most influential Native American leaders for 2022.

A nonprofit online news publication, Madison365 has published annual power lists recognizing Wisconsin leaders from different racial and ethnic groups since 2015. The purpose of the lists is to “highlight the beauty of the diversity across our state” and lift up role models for Wisconsin’s young people, according to Henry Sanders, Jr., co-founder, publisher and chief executive officer of Madison365.

“You might know a few of these names, but there’s a good chance that most of them will be new to you,” Sanders said. “I urge you to get to know them. Reach out to those living and working in your communities. Learn from them, network, create partnerships. And spread the word — let others in your network know that we have people of all ethnicities living and working across Wisconsin to make this state a good and prosperous place for all.”

Congratulations to the current and former UW–Madison students, faculty, and staff who received this well-deserved recognition. You can read the full post on Madison365’s website.

Carl Artman (E.M.B.A. ’99) is an attorney in Milwaukee who represents tribal clients on various issues including gaming, natural resources and energy development, financing, industry regulatory and compliance, corporate structure, and governmental affairs. He is also on the board of advisors of Earth & Water Law and the board of directors of JackRabbit Homes. He served as the 10th assistant secretary of Indian affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior. He also served as the department’s associate solicitor for Indian affairs and chief counsel for his tribe, the Oneida Nation. Artman also serves as a faculty associate at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. He earned his Executive M.B.A. from UW–Madison, his J.D. from the Washington University – St. Louis, and his LL.M. in Natural Resources and Environmental Law from the University of Denver.

Dan Cornelius (J.D. ’09) is a member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and outreach specialist and deputy director of the Great Lakes Indigenous Law Center in the UW–Madison Law School. He is a 2009 graduate of the Wisconsin Law School. For seven years he worked for the Intertribal Agriculture Council in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Cornelius’s work has focused on helping Native Nations and their members with development of Native agriculture and food systems, promoting improved access to U.S.D.A. programs, including conservation, value-added production, and infrastructure development, as well as expanding intertribal trade and commerce.

Dr. Angela Fernandez is an assistant professor at the UW–Madison School of Nursing, and member of the campus Native American Environment, Health, and Community faculty cluster. A member of the Menominee Nation of Wisconsin, her research program is built on over two decades of combined national and international social work and public health research, practice, teaching, and service experience with Indigenous, Latinx, and other marginalized communities in inpatient and outpatient health care settings, academic settings, nonprofit organizations, and the Peace Corps. As a clinician, she has worked with interprofessional teams in inpatient and outpatient care and holds clinical social work licenses in the states of Wisconsin and Washington. As an instructor, she has taught courses on historical trauma and healing and critical social theories. As a prevention scientist, she examines the role of cultural practices and nature contact as protective factors in the prevention of chronic and co-occurring diseases (e.g. mental health, substance abuse, diabetes) among Indigenous peoples.

Jennifer K. Gauthier (’98) is a community development educator in Menominee County/Nation and senior outreach specialist in the UW–Madison Division of Extension. An enrolled member of the Menominee Nation who has Ho-Chunk, Oneida, and Stockbridge heritage as well, Gauthier is involved with food sovereignty in Indigenous communities and supports local partners with strategic planning elements. For nearly 25 years, she has worked with the Menominee community, including the tribal government and most recently as a community development educator. At the core of Gauthier’s work is the integration of Menominee language and culture into all aspects of programming. She is especially excited by her work with Indigenous food systems both at home and abroad. Gauthier has been essential to building a food system that integrates local knowledge, Menominee language and teachings, and community. UW–Madison honored her with the Outstanding Women of Color Award for 2021-22.

Dr. Jo Anne House (J.D. ’93) is chief counsel for the Oneida Nation. She earned her J.D. from the UW–Madison Law School in 1993 and her Ph.D. from Walden University, where she studied public policy and administration with a focus on deliberative democracy within tribal governments with a goal of developing tool that Tribal governments can use to improve information, discussion and decision making at membership meetings.

Dr. J. P. Leary (Ph.D. ’12), a member of the Delaware Tribe of Indians in Oklahoma, is an associate professor in the First Nations Studies, History, and Humanities at UW–Green Bay. He is also a member of the graduate faculty in the Professional Program in Education, and as a faculty affiliate with the Education Center for First Nations Studies. He regularly teaches a variety of courses including Introduction to FNS: The Tribal World, American Indians in Film, Mohican Ethnohistory, First Nations and Education Policy, and the FNS Seminar. His primary research interests relate to curriculum policy, the history of education, and the representation and self-representation of Native people in education and popular culture. Leary is also the faculty advisor for Intertribal Student Council. He earned his Ph.D in. Educational Policy Studies at UW–Madison in 2012.

Crystal Lepscier (’05, M.S. ’11) is First Nations Student Success Coordinator at UW–Green Bay, where she also teaches courses in First Nation Studies. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UW–Madison, where she was a PEOPLE scholar, a member of Wunk Sheek and Alpha Pi Omega student groups, and was active in the Wisconsin Union Directorate and Hoofers Ski and Snowboard club. She is in the first cohort of the UW-GB doctoral program in First Nations Studies.

Dr. Jo Deen B. Lowe (J.D. ’85) is chief judge of the Ho-Chunk Nation Trial Court. A 1985 graduate of the UW–Madison Law School, she has served as in-house counsel for a number of Wisconsin’s tribes and worked at the Great Lakes Intertribal Council. She served as the district attorney for Jackson County, Wisconsin, and was the first attorney general for the Ho-Chunk Nation.

Dr. Sasānēhsaeh Pyawasay (’07, M.S. ’09), an enrolled member of the Menominee Nation from the Menominee Indian Reservation of Wisconsin, is the UW System’s first Coordinator of Native Student Success, where she advocates on behalf of Native students at all of the UW System colleges and universities. Born within the Menominee Nation in northeastern Wisconsin, she came to UW–Madison as a Powers-Knapp Scholar and studied sociology and education. She went on to earn a doctoral degree in organizational leadership policy and development at the University of Minnesota.

Adrienne Thunder (M.S. ’97, Ph.D. x22) is director of the Hoocąk Waaziija Haci Language Division for the Ho-Chunk Nation, a role she’s held since 2016. The Language Division is dedicated to ensuring Hoocąk remains a living language through a language academy, language apprenticeship programs and a Hoocąk-language childcare center. Prior to stepping into the directorship of the language division, Thunder served for four years as the executive director of the nation’s education department and 12 years as an academic advisor at UW–Madison. She holds a master’s degree in educational administration from UW–Madison, and expects to earn her doctoral degree from UW this year.