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Denni Woodward, associate director of the Native American Cultural Center, consults with a student. Woodward is a winner of the 2012 Amy J. Blue Award. Credit: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

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The American Indian Staff Forum (AISF) is a community of American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander staff and faculty at Stanford University, Stanford University Medical Center and Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. AISF is one of many staff groups for employees within the Stanford community. AISF's goal is to be an educational resource to the university, to other ethnic staff organizations, and to local and national Native American groups.


The American Indian Staff Forum (AISF) is a group of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian staff and faculty at Stanford University, Stanford University Medical Center and Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.

The purpose of our organization is two-fold: To provide community for all members of AISF and to advocate for issues of concern to Native Americans, and; to be an educational resource to the University, other ethnic staff organizations, and local and national Native American groups.

About the AISF Community

The American Indian Staff Forum AISF organizes several events including regular brown bag lunch meetings at the Native American Cultural Center,  quarterly off-campus socials or field trips, an annual holiday dinner, the annual "PamCake" Breakfast for newly-arrived Stanford freshmen during Stanford Admit Weekend, the quarterly Pam Hanitchak Lecture Series and the Anne Ninham Medicine Mentorship Award.

The Pam Hanitchak Lecture Series is a series of lunchtime meetings hosted during the school year at the Native American Cultural Center in the Clubhouse.  Past speakers have included Tom Arviso, Jr (Knight Fellow and Editor of The Navajo Times), Bill Lomax (Vice President, Goldman Sachs' Investment Management Team), and Elizabeth Hoover (Stanford Humanities Center External Faculty Fellow from Brown University).  Pam Hanitchak (Cherokee) was a founder of the American Indian Staff Forum.  This ongoing lecture series honors her dedication to strengthening our American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian community at Stanford.

For more information about the American Indian Staff Forum, please contact:

AISF Recent News

2020 Recipient of the Annual Anne Ninham Medicine Mentorship Award, Laura Selznick of Stanford Academic Advising.

On the occasion of the Annual Native Student and Mentor Dinner on February 27, 2020, AISF Vice Maija Cruz announced that this year’s recipient of the annual Anne Ninham Medicine Mentorship Award was Laura R. Selznick Stanford's Academic Advising Director:

"Laura Selznick has uniquely championed generations of Native student excellence and well-being inside and outside of the classroom.  As an alumna (she earned a Master's in Slavic Languages and Literature) she has led advising, research, fellowship, course development, and international study opportunities since 1971.  She was the director of both the Undergraduate Special Program (a predecessor to the Student Initiated Courses) and Undergraduate Research Opportunities.  

"Since 1989, she has been coordinator of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship.  Current fellowship recipient Kendra Becenti '21 says, 'Laura has been a consistent source of mentorship, guidance, recognition and encouragement as I've begun my journey with Mellon Mays.  She is dedicated to seeing students, especially students of color, thrive and achieve great successes both in and out of academia.  I am truly grateful for all that she as done as an ally to this community.'" 

"Laura won the coveted Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education in 2000.  But it is her role as Academic Director for the Row where she advises more than 650 students, and is a known fixture at the Muwekma dinner table and the NACC,  where--up close and personal--we experience the exceptional advocacy, prowess at navigating the academy, and unwavering doggedness to support our community to thrive.

"Her Resident Dean colleague and valued NACC mentors herself, Michelle Voigt says: 'Laura prioritizes that students are here to get their degrees and works tirelessly to remove barriers so that this can happen.  She knows everyone on campus and calls on them for assistant with students. If the students are open to it, Laura continues to have contact with students who are away from Stavord, always encouraging those students, and stands ready to help them return.  Laura also helps students think about graduate school and looks at different paths and resources with them.  She is an advisor for frosh students through seniors and is especially skilled and creative when advising seniors trying to graduate.  Her life's work is advising students and she knows no higher calling.'

"Through the lens of the Native Community, she builds relationships based on trust.  She inspires us in times of celebration and supports us in times of challenge.  She is beloved."

About the Anne Medicine Mentorship Award

The Anne Ninham Medicine Mentorship Award was established by the AISF to honor retired staff member Anne Medicine's legacy of mentoring and to encourage others to strive for the depth of her commitment.  Recent recipients of the award are Sandra Manosalvas-Kjono, 2016, Naomi Brown and Virgil Moorehead, 2017, Karen Biestman, 2018, Shoney Blake, 2019, and Laura Selznick, 2020.  A perpetual plaque in the Native American Cultural Center records the history of each year's winner.

Anne Ninham Medicine biography, as printed in 6.13.97 Stanford Daily.

Anne Medicine announced her retirement effective May 31, 1997. Anne Medicine passed away on February 14, 2002.

"Over the past 16 years, Anne has served the University in several capacities, as Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies, advisor to the Native American Cultural Center, and Assistant Dean on the Dean's staff at the medical school. In 1991, she joined the Vice President for Student Affairs staff as the Graduate Recruiter for American Indian and Alaska Native students in Stanford's professional and graduate schools."

"Anne's outreach and recruitment efforts have been a major factor in increasing the number of Native American and Alaska Native students matriculating at and graduating from Stanford.  During her time at Stanford, she has worked with many national Indian organizations and served as an educational consultant to many tribes. Most importantly, Anne has played a significant role in students' lives through her work in developing a strong Native community presence on campus. She...led the effort to establish a traditional sweat lodge, and played a critical role in campus discussions concerning the return of human remains from the University to the Muwekma Ohlone Indian tribe and worked with faculty to develop the Zuni at Stanford program. A member of the Seneca / Oneida / Mohawk Nations, before coming to Stanford Anne worked with tribal organizations in New York, South Dakota, and Canada. Anne attended Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kansas, and received her Master of Education degree and Certificate of Advanced Study at Harvard University."

"The first winner of this annual award is tentatively set to be selected from nominees in January 1998. A perpetual plaque in the Native American Cultural Center will record the history of each year's winner...also to receive a certificate and cash prize."