IEAC Committee Members

Kari Emm

Dr. Emm has over 15 years of experience in higher education. She is a member of the Yerington Paiute Tribe and was raised on the Walker River Paiute Indian Reservation in Schurz, NV, where she still considers “home”. Dr. Emm’s career started in public affairs at the Natural Resources Conservation Service with the United States Department of Agriculture. She later continued her career with the University of Nevada, Reno as the Outreach and Retention Coordinator for The Center for Student Cultural Diversity, overseeing the retention of American Indian/Alaska Native students. In this role, she coordinated programs such as the College Life 101 retention program and assisted with creating and teaching a course on Native American Culture and Identity. In 2010, Dr. Emm continued her tenure at the University as Transfer Student Coordinator, later becoming Director of Transfer Student Admissions and Recruitment. Dr. Emm is a proud alumna of the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She received her Master of Arts in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix and has recently graduated with a Doctorate of Philosophy in Education from the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Nevada, Reno. Dr. Emm’s research includes American Indian/Alaska Native students in higher education. Dr. Kari Emm is currently the Specialist for the Tribal Students Program at the University of Nevada, Reno- College of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Natural Resources. This program is unique and is one of the only programs within an individual college that solely supports American Indian/Alaska Native Students in agricultural-related disciplines.

William Bauer

William Bauer is an enrolled citizen of the Round Valley Indian Tribes and a professor of history and program director for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Bauer earned his BA from the University of Notre Dame and MA and Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. He has been teaching at UNLV since 2009. Previously, Bauer taught at the University of Wyoming. Bauer is the author of three books about California Indian history and has worked with tribes on historic research projects.

Fredina Drye-Romero

Ms. Fredina Drye-Romero is from the Southern Paiute Tribe and enrolled with the Kaibab Band of Paiute Tribe, in northern Arizona, and has close affiliations with the Moapa Band of Paiute Tribe, in southern Nevada. Fredina has been working in education for over 20 years and currently serves as the Education Programs Professional for Indian Education at the Nevada Department of Education. Through her own experiences, she understands the need to strengthen the educational structure for Native American Indian (AI) students. She graduated from the tribal college Haskell Indian Nations University, in Lawrence Kansas with an Associate of Arts degree with an emphasis in business. She further persuaded and graduated with a Bachelor of General Studies in Liberal Arts, and a Master of Science in Education from the University of Kansas, in Lawrence, Kansas.

Fredina has led and organized teams at the state level to improve the academic achievement of AI students in Nevada. One of her great attributes is being a team player and working with educators locally and nationally to assist in modernizing and streamlining the education system. In Nevada, she has assisted in originating several events, such as the Annual Nevada Department of Education Indian Education Summit. Fredina has served on the National Indian Education Association Board of Directors and has worked with various national committees to enhance the lives of Native American Indian children. Most recently, some of her successful work has included being the lead for the Nevada Department of Education’s Native Youth Community Project and working with three tribal communities in Nevada to implement the project, she assisted in creating a new position at the Nevada Department of Education for Indian Education and is leading the ARP ESSER Nevada Enhancement Curriculum Project.

She is married to Patrick Romero. Together they enjoy the company of their families who come from Arizona, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Kansas. She is thankful for her experiences that have led her to be of service to Indian country.

Fawn Hunter

Fawn Hunter has over 20 years of experience working with students and families in the k-12 setting. She is a member of the Duck Valley Shoshone-Paiute Tribe and a descendant of the Washoe Tribe, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, and Pit River Tribe of Susanville Indian Rancheria. She grew up on the Dresslerville reservation and is currently residing on the Pyramid Lake Reservation with her husband and son. She enjoys spending time with family outdoors, hunting, fishing, and gathering. She received her Associates of Arts in Criminal Justice from Western Nevada College, Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies from Grand Canyon University and a Master’s in Public Administration with an emphasis in Government & Policy from Grand Canyon University. Fawn is currently the Washoe County School District’s Indian Education Specialist and services on the Nevada Indian Education Advisory Committee as Chair and services on the Nevada Association of School Administrators Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee as Vice Chair. She has always had a passion for providing families with the tools to find their own success in education.

“When times are hard, as they sometimes will be, remember to look back and see how far you have come rather than worrying about how much further you have to go. Our paths are like a river, it can be calm or fast with no time to slow down, sharp turns and spills. Remember that there are so many souls cheering for you, even individuals that you have never met. The future is unknown, but you are a part of creating it.”

Lance West

How mu.  Nu Lance West me nanea. Nu cui-ui dicutta agai dicuttano. Nu Schurzwaetu. Nu tunedooedu pooenabe agai dicutta.  My name is Lance West, I am Pyramid Lake and Walker River Paiute.  I live in Schurz, Nevada on the traditional lands of the Walker River Paiute. I am Schurz Elementary Principal, a K-6 public school, with two decades of experience in the education field.

I am also Co-founder and Executive Director of Indigenous Educators Empowerment. A 501(c)3 nonprofit focused on solutions for Indigenous education issues in Nevada.

Finally, I am currently a doctoral student at the University of Nevada’s College of Education and Human Development’s EdD Educational Leadership program.