The Haury Program is Pleased to Announce Daniel Sestiaga, Jr. Joined the Indigenous Resilience Center
On Monday, February 21, Daniel R. Sestiaga, Jr (Ft. Yuma Quechan) became the Program Manager of the AIRES/Haury Indigenous Resilience Center (IRC). The IRC is a newly-launched center in the Arizona Institute for Resilient Environments and Societies (AIRES). Daniel will work with the IRC Director, Dr. Karletta Chief (Diné), to build and support a collaborative team of STEM faculty with expertise in community-driven research in support of Indigenous resilience goals with respect to environmental challenges. Daniel will support the IRC’s work to create a robust community of Native and Indigenous STEM scholars and students at UArizona and beyond that respectfully honors Traditional Knowledges and tribal sovereignty in all their endeavors.
“I am excited to join Dr. Chief (and the Indigenous Resilience Center) under her mentorship and groundbreaking leadership. The AIRES team has been so welcoming, and I cannot wait to get to work with the dedicated faculty, whose research will make a difference for Mother Earth. The IRC intends to be a hub of research and solutions guided by Traditional Knowledges and respect for Tribal Sovereignty. Coming from a small tribe and knowing full well the threat that climate change poses to my own community, I felt compelled to assist in the vision of the center in any way possible. I am thankful for this opportunity, and I look forward to our journey together.”
Daniel holds a Master of Public Health and a BS in Public Management and Policy from UArizona. In addition, Daniel has over eight years of experience working and developing partnerships with Native American tribes and other underrepresented populations. Before joining the IRC, Daniel served as the Special Projects & Initiatives Manager at the Tohono O'odham Community College in Sells, Arizona.
Among other accomplishments at TOCC, Daniel successfully implemented the Student's Thriving, Achieving and Rising Together (S.T.A.R.T.) Program, which provides college and career readiness programming to Native American, first-generation, low-income, and at-risk students. Also, in partnership with the UArizona Southwest Health Sciences Center, Daniel led “A Student's Journey,” an educational program addressing the academic and transfer barriers for TOCC students enrolling at 4-year universities.
Daniel is the Executive Board Vice-President of the UArizona American Indian Alumni Club. Also, Daniel is a member of the Arizona Indian Education Advisory Council and the Ft. Yuma Quechan Tribe Health Committee.
Dr. Karletta Chief said “I am so excited to have Daniel join our team. He has extensive experience as a tribal citizen and administrator successfully working with tribal students, professionals, communities, and leaders at many different levels, projects, and contexts. Welcome to our team, Daniel. We look forwarding to building and making a positive impact for Indigenous communities with Native Nations together!”