College of Menominee Nation Sustainable Development Institute Summer 2019

Jasmine Neosh

Jasmine Neosh is a proud member of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin. Jasmine holds a Natural Resources associate degree from the College of Menominee Nation and is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration. She is an Ambassador for the American Indian College Fund, the 2018-2019 CMN Student of the Year, and the author of Rezilience, a student blog for Tribal College Journal. Her past work with the Sustainable Development Institute includes an internship under the Tribal Climate Relations/Ethical STEM project, which was part of a National Science Foundation-funded multi-year collaboration with Michigan State University, as well as research assisting CMN faculty member Dr. Dennis Vickers in the development of a unique Bachelors program in Integrative Studies. She is currently the Multimedia Support Worker for SDI.


Marissa Vele

Marissa Vele is one of this summer’s Sustainability Leadership Cohort Education Mentors. She is currently working on her B.S. in Early Childhood/ Middle Education at the College of Menominee Nation. Marissa currently lives in Tigerton with her husband and daughter. This is her second year interning with SDI as a mentor. During the school year, she is a substitute teacher for area schools. Once she graduates she plans on teaching within the area to give back to her community. Marissa is looking forward to working with the SLC again this year to gain more experience working with students.  

Read more about Marissa’s experiences at SDI here: Marissa’s blog posts


Adam Schulz

Adam Schulz is a first line descendant of the Stockbridge-Munsee band of Mohican Indians. He currently holds two Associate degrees from the College of Menominee Nation, in Natural Resources and Business Administration with an emphasis on management respectively. He is currently pursuing Bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Public Administration at CMN. His career objective is to work in a natural resources capacity as a manager for either the Stockbridge-Munsee, or another tribal government.

This spring and summer, he will be continuing his work at SDI as an Agricultural Research Assistant for the third year in a row. His research on Bear Island Flint Corn has brought him to many seminars and conferences on behalf of SDI. Adam looks forward to this opportunity to add valuable traditional knowledge to my learning journey. He lives in Bowler, WI with his three daughters and wife.

Read more about Adam’s journey here: Adam’s blog posts


Deidre Ann Caldwell

Deidre Ann Caldwell is a member of the Lac Courte Oreilles nation. Deidre has worked as a paraprofessional at the Keshena Primary School, where she helped students diagnosed with autism. In 2019, she graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the College of Menominee Nation. Her goals are to one day earn a Master’s degree in Reading or Special Education and to inspire Native American children to have a high self-efficacy, pride in themselves and their culture, and to love learning.

Deidre is part of the team mentoring the Sustainability Leadership Cohort and is excited to begin teaching kindergarten at the Keshena Primary School next year. Deidre lives on the Menominee Reservation with her husband and their three children.

Read more about Deidre’s summer with sustainability leadership cohort here: Deidre’s blog posts


Jacob Schwitzer

Jacob Schwitzer is a first descendant of the Menominee Tribe and lived on the Menominee Reservation for 10 years before moving to Shawano. He is currently attending UW Stout to pursue his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a concentration in Game Design and Development and a Math minor.

This will be the second summer that Jacob be working on the Visualizing Forest Futures project and sixth year working at SDI. The project will use Virtual Reality to show the many ways how the Menominee forest can change due to climate change.

Read more and watch videos from Jacob’s adventures here: Jacob’s Viff Blogs


Evelynn Grignon

Evelynn Grignon is from the Menominee tribe of Wisconsin and is recognized as Menominee. With experience in event planning and agriculture she hopes to be able to take the knowledge she has learned along the path and use it to her greatest ability.

Her current work is going to school full time for her BA in Business Admin and working as an Intern for the Visualizing future forests. In her spare time she enjoys her ukelele and taking her dogs on walks.


Curtis Wilhelmi

Curtis Wilhelmi is an intern at the Sustainable Development Institute, working with the SLC program this summer. Curtis will be helping the students with the digital media aspect of their projects and will be with SDI until August of 2019.

Curtis has been attending CMN since the fall of 2017 and will be transferring to UW-Green Bay this fall to study Communications. In his free time, Curtis likes to play music, watch movies, and roam the Commonwealth with his German shepherd Dogmeat.

Read about Curtis’ experience with the SLC here: Curtis’ blogs


Tressa Lange

Tressa Lange is a proud member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation of Kansas and grew up on the Forest County Potawatomi reservation her entire life before going to college. She is a senior at the University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire where she studies Environmental Geography and American Indian Studies. She is a second year UCSC Doris Duke Conservation Scholar. She is spending her second year in the program interning at the Sustainability Development Institute at the College of Menominee Nation. She will be working closely with Chris Caldwell where she will help support the advancement of Indigenous environmental/sustainability education that SDI is collaborating on with CMN faculty. She greatly enjoys reading books, going for long runs and playing with her nephews and nieces.


Brandon Boyd

Brandon Boyd is double majoring in Liberal Studies and Natural Resources at the College of the Menominee Nation. His projected graduation date is Fall 2019 and he plans to continue his education in natural resources, emphasizing forestry.

Brandon is an enrolled Menominee member who was born and raised in the Menominee forest and has completed two internships through the Sustainable Development Institute as an ecological data collector and a climate change researcher. Brandon has four sisters, two brothers, one eight-year-old son and many nieces and nephews.


Letytia Hindsley

Letytia Hindsley is an enrolled tribal member of the Ho-Chunk Nation. Graduating from Menominee Indian High School May 2019, she chose to continue her education earning college credits with the Learn and Earn program through the College of Menominee Nation. All of her work is going towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science.

This summer, she will be assisting CMN faculty member Dr. Dennis Vickers, researching the harmful effects both styrofoam and plastic have on our environment and well-being.


Kayla Cleveland

Kayla Cleveland is an enrolled tribal member of the Ho-Chunk Nation. She is currently a part-time student pursuing an associate’s degree in Biological and Physical sciences. One of her goals after college will be to further her education at a four-year university.

Starting in the spring of 2019, Kayla will be working on the phenology internship. She will be Collecting data from the three different plots within the Menominee reservation. She is looking forward to furthering her knowledge of plant life and being able to experience the Menominee forest.

Read more about Kayla’s adventures in phenology here: Kayla’s blog posts


Matthew Schwitzer

Matthew is a Visualizing Forest Futures intern who will be going into his freshman year at Columbia University this fall to pursue Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies. As a first-descendent Menominee, he lived on the Menominee Reservation for the first seven years of his life. Matthew has previously worked with the SDI’s Sustainability Leadership Cohort for two years. He is looking forward to working with his brothers, Nicholas and Jacob, and learning more about virtual reality technology and its uses as well as phenology.


Sharissa Grignon

Sharissa Grignon is an enrolled member of the Menominee Indian tribe of Wisconsin and grew up on the reservation. She is currently attending CMN and majoring in Natural Resources. Spring 2019 was her first semester and she is expecting to graduate Spring 2021. This is her first summer phenology internship and first summer working at SDI. For the phenology project, students take data on the plants such as when they bud, flower, or fruit. We also see if climate change affects their growth. Sharissa likes being outdoors and learning about the different types of plants on the reservation.


Luke Perez

Luke Perez is the lead field technician for the collaborative phenology project between the College of the Menominee Nation and the University of Minnesota. Luke, along with two other attached interns, will be seeking to establish a baseline dataset of plant flowering and fruiting on the Menominee Indian Reservation. This data will eventually be used assess and understand the effects of ongoing climate change, specifically its impacts on Menominee tribal forests.
Luke is an enrolled member of the Menominee Indian tribe of Wisconsin. He is currently seeking his Bachelors of Science Degree in Biology with a Minor in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.


Nicholas Schwitzer

Nicholas Schwitzer is a Visualizing Forest Futures Intern for the Sustainable Development Institute. He is also a former member of SDI’s Sustainable Leadership Cohort from the summers of 2013-2016. A member of the Menominee tribe of Wisconsin, Nicholas was raised on the Reservation but moved to Shawano before starting middle school. He is currently attending University of Wisconsin: Stout to get a degree in Entertainment Design with a concentration in Comics and Sequential Arts. He is looking forward to the ViFF project as he thinks it will be interesting to use virtual reality technology to help explain the effects of climate change on the forest.

Follow Nick’s experience here: Nicholas Schwitzer’s blogs


Tonia Haack

Tonia Haack has an Associate Degree in Early Elementary Education and is currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts Education Program with an expected graduation date of Fall 2020.  Tonia interned with the summer’s Sustainability Leadership Cohort as an Education Mentor. During the school year she works at the Menominee Indian High School. She lives in Keshena with her children.

Read about Tonia’s experience with the SLC here: Tonia’s blogs


Shirley LaTender

Shirley LaTender is currently working for her Child Development Associate Course (CDA). After obtaining her CDA’s, Shirley plans on working towards her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education with an expected graduation year 2023.

Shirley works with the Menominee Tribal Head Start throughout the school year and she interns with the Sustainability Development Institute in the summer.

Read about Shirley’s experience with the SLC here: Shirley’s blogs

Past Interns

Read about past SDI interns and the projects they worked on.