Native Pathways to College

Pathways Staff

Matthew Makomenaw

Aanii!  My name is Matthew Makomenaw (Grand Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians) and I am the College Pathways Administrator at the American Indian College Fund. I earned my Ph.D. in higher adult, and lifelong education at Michigan State University. Go Green! I am excited to be working in the Native Pathways to College because I believe college should be accessible to all American Indian/Alaskan Native students who want to attend college. When I am not finding resources to assist students with the college admissions process, I enjoy spending time with my family hiking and going to parks. I also enjoy going to the movies and sporting events (I am Detroit Tiger, Detroit Pistons, and Detroit Lions fan). I am looking forward to working with all the students and communities in the Native Pathways to College program.

Leia Fish

Oki’ (Hello)! My name is Leia Fish (Blackfeet) and I currently serve as the American Indian College Fund’s Native Pathways to College Transfer program coordinator. I am a tribal college graduate of Blackfeet Community College and received a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Montana. Following graduation, my work experience has been primarily focused on Native student success in academia.  I have three children who I enjoy spending time with at sporting events, attending concerts with, and watching all the new superhero movies together.  I was recently hired to serve as the transfer program coordinator in July 2016. I am honored for the opportunities I’ve been given; namely advocating for American Indians and working with others to help our Native communities become self-sufficient through education. I look forward to the great work we will accomplish in serving our Native students as they work towards their educational goals.

Teresa Melendez

Teresa MelendezBoozhoo (Hello), my name is Teresa Melendez and I am enrolled citizen with the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi from Southwest Michigan. I’ve had the privilege of working as the college success coordinator with the Native Pathways to College program since June 2016. I am an educational administrator with a passion to serve and support the needs and aspiration of Native students. I earned my master’s degree in higher, adult, and lifelong education from Michigan State University, and have spent the last ten years working in training and development, Indigenous language and culture revitalization, and youth leadership. I’m excited to join the student support services field where I look forward to creating opportunities that help individuals realize their unique gifts, their potential, and their collegiate dreams. When not in the office, you can find me kicking up dust on the pow wow trail.

Orville Cayaditto

Hello, I am Orville Cayaditto. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to be the college admissions coach for the American Indian College Fund. I am Diné and I am from Salt Lake City, Utah. I graduated from the University of Utah with my bachelor’s degree in ethnic studies and political science. I am excited to work with high school students within various communities. I enjoy the outdoors, but I am also a gamer as well. My favorite television show is The Simpsons, so feel free to test me with any trivia questions.

Davida Delmar

Hello, my name is Davida Delmar. I am from the Deer Spring clan, born for the Red House clan. My maternal grandfather is from the Towering House clan and my paternal grandfather is from the Bitter Water clan. I am Navajo/Diné. I am a college admissions coach with the Native Pathways program. I am an alum of Brown University and Northern Arizona University. During my undergraduate career, I was fortunate enough to have a core group of friends and students through Native Americans at Brown and the Third World Center while receiving my bachelors in ethnic studies and modern culture & media.  While at NAU, I worked with Inclusion and Multicultural Services where inclusivity and social justice were at the forefront of our department’s mission. My hope is that students are driven towards amazing careers and futures that will improve their community.  On a personal note, I love podcasts, YouTube and spend my downtime on coloring books.

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