Native American Alumni Chapter Board & Officers

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 2, 2015 - 3:29pm

NAAC Leadership



President:  Justin Hongeva ’11, ‘14

Justin Hongeva is an enrolled member of the Hopi Tribe from the village of Moencopi. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in the spring of 2011 and a master’s degree in the fall of 2014, both in American Indian Studies at Arizona State University. He currently works to encourage American Indian students to pursue careers in the health professions through the Indians Into Medicine (InMED) program. He decided to run for Board President to obtain more leadership experience as well as strengthen the skills that he already possesses. He also feels that it is a great opportunity to continue to support the American Indian community on the ASU campuses. 

President-Elect:  Ernest Tom ’11, ‘15

Ernie Tom was born & raised near Gallup, New Mexico. He comes from the Navajo clans: Two Who Came to the Water, born for the Meadow People. His maternal grandpa is Mountain Cove Clan, and paternal grandpa is the Towering House People. Ernie earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering in 2011 and recently received his MBA in 2015 from Arizona State University. He has a wife and three children.
Ernest believes that the ASU NAAC can offer every Native American alum a place to share ideas and share stories. It can be a place that allows fellow ASU alumni to come together and create opportunities that may build friendships and partnerships that last a lifetime. He believes that he can offer a unique perspective to life, education, and family to the NAAC and wants to become an integral part of the mission set forth by the organization. He believes he can help continue the success of ASU’s Native American Alumni Chapter and looks forward to working with like-minded individuals who are passionate about their culture and the pursuit of higher education.

Secretary:  Sharon Tom ‘12

Sharon Tom is originally from Borrego Pass, NM on the Navajo Nation. She is Dine of the Bit’aahnii (Folded Arms/Under His Cover) Clan, born for the Ashiihi (Salt) Clan. She graduated from ASU with an MBA in May 2012 from the W.P. Carey School of Business. She is a Communications Specialist for ASU’s American Indian Policy Institute and the Office of American Indian Initiatives working on the marketing and communications efforts of both programs. She came back to serve a second year.  ASU Native American Alumni Chapter plays an integral role in supporting our local Native American alumni and students through its programming, the annual Josiah N. Moore scholarship dinner and endowment fund, and in the volunteer opportunities within the local Native American and ASU communities.   

Treasurer:  Cheryl Mizell ‘04

Cheryl Begay-Mizell was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ and is a member of the Navajo Nation.  She received her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from ASU in May 2004 and is currently in the MS-GIST online program at the University of Arizona.  In her spare time, she teaches Navajo weaving, travels, enjoys the outdoors. 


Cheryl was inspired by the ASU Native American Alumni Association after attending her first chapter meeting last year, and shortly after she joined the chapter to be part of the Board of Directors.  She is this year’s chapter treasurer and is looking forward to helping plan and working with other Sun Devils in the Native American Chapter. 

Nicholet Deschine Parkhurst – Social Media Manager ’03, ‘10

Nicholet Deschine Parkhurst is Standing Rock Sioux and Navajo. Deschine Parkhurst received a Bachelor of Science in 2003 and a Master of Social Work in 2010 both from Arizona State University. Currently, she is a Ph.D. student at ASU studying Public Administration and Policy. She has been involved on the Native American Alumni Chapter Board and Council since 2013.   

"I became involved with the NAAC because I believe the Chapter played an important role in building a network for ASU Native American students to connect with for educational, employment, social, and cultural ties. I want to develop a strong social media presence that strengthens the Chapter's presence within the local Native American community and beyond."


Members At Large: Sandra Howard '13

Sandra Howard is a member of the Navajo Nation and from Mexican Water, AZ. She is born of the Many Goats People and born for the Deer Spring People Clans. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from ASU in May 2013. She is currently a Software Engineer and a second-year graduate student at ASU studying Systems Engineering. Sandra enjoys giving her service to the communities and encouraging Native American students in STEM fields. She would like to contribute and give back to the Native American community and gain valuable leadership skills from fellow Sun Devil officers and board of directors. 



Members At Large: Sahmie Joshevama '15

Sahmie Joshevama, Hopi, is a member of the Piqos Wungwa (Bearstrap/Spider clan) from the Village of Songoopavi. Sahmie serves as a Management Intern for the Office of American Indian Initiatives. She is currently a graduate student pursuing a Master’s degree in American Indian Studies (AIS) with an emphasis on Tribal Leadership and Governance at Arizona State University. Her research interests include Cultural Revitalization and Sustainability, and American Indian education. Sahmie recently received her Bachelor of Science degree in American Indian Studies from Arizona State University. She has been involved with numerous student organizations on ASU campus including American Indian Council, Native American Business Organization, American Indian Graduate Student Association, and Miss Indian ASU Pageant Committee. Through her educational efforts and previous experience working with organizations such as the Native American Basketball Invitational Foundation (NABI), the Hopi Opportunity Youth Initiative (HOYI), and being a part of Tribal Nations Tour at ASU, she found passion in working with American Indian communities in the capacity of promoting higher education. Upon completion of her Master’s degree, Sahmie plans to continue her education and hopes to return home to offer her education, skills, and work experience to serve her community.


Members At Large: Krista Thompson '12

Krista Thompson is a new member of the ASU Native American Alumni Chapter Board of Directors. In 2012, she became a proud alumnus of Arizona State University when she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability and Bachelor of Science in American Indian Studies. Following graduation, she gained valuable professional experience working in Indian Country for two tribal governments and one Native non-profit. Her experiences as a professional have encouraged her to empower future Native American ASU alumni to excel professionally by taking advantage of unique opportunities.


“I believe that my experience as an ASU student and abilities to connect with fellow alumni would make me a valuable member of the board. As a professional, I would work to expand the chapter’s efforts and activities to Sun Devil families and current students. I find that the ASU alumni have a great reputation unofficially opening doors for recent ASU graduates.”