2024-25 Catalog

Institute for Indigenous Studies


Director: Won S. Choi,  Interim Director
Email: woc221@lehigh.edu
Phone: 610.758.2839
Physical Address: 524 Brodhead Ave., Bethlehem, PA 18015
Website: health.lehigh.edu/research-partnerships/institute-indigenous-studies 

Core Faculty and Research Staff

  • Justin Begaye (Navajo)
  • Carolyn "Carly" Camplain (Comanche)
  • Won S. Choi
  • Christine M. Daley
  • Sean M. Daley
  • Ryan Goeckner
  • Jason Hale (Prairie Band Potawatomi)
  • Charley Lewis (Paiute/Navajo)
  • Joseph Pacheco (Quechua/Cherokee)
  • Luke Swimmer (Eastern Band Cherokee)

Affiliated Faculty

  • Ho’o Hee (Kānaka Maoli), Department of Art, Architecture, and Design
  • John Hughes, Department of Community and Population Health
  • Sara Kangas, Department of Education and Human Services, Special Education Program
  • Michelle LeMaster, Department of History
  • Patricia Manz, Department of Education and Human Services, School Psychology
  • Jessecae Marsh, Department of Psychology 
  • Tom McAndrew, Department of Community and Population Health
  • Holona Ochs (Cherokee Nation), Department of Political Science

Affiliated Graduate Research Assistants

  • Abby Bryer, MS student, Population Health
  • Katherine Lopez, PhD student, Counseling Psychology
  • Laura Porto, PhD student, Community and Population Health
  • Maddie Schott, MPH student, Public Health
  • Ashlee Simon, PhD candidate, English
  • Olivia Wojtowicz, PhD student, Counseling Psychology

Delaware Nation Tribal Historic Preservation Office

  • Katelyn Lucas, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer


The Institute for Indigenous Studies (IIS) partners and collaborates with Indigenous peoples, nations, communities, and organizations to improve Indigenous peoples' physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being throughout the Western Hemisphere.  IIS researchers work with Indigenous peoples, nations, communities, and organizations to identify and address the current health and education needs of Indigenous peoples using a multi-level socio-ecological framework and partner with tribal and community organizations, colleges, universities, and other academic institutions to develop culturally appropriate research methodologies and frameworks that can be used to address the health and education needs of Indigenous peoples.

Research Activities

The IIS is actively involved in research and utilizes Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR), where Indigenous peoples and communities are involved in all stages of our research, from ideas to implementation.  Some of our current research includes:

  • the prevention and treatment of tobacco addiction 
  • mental health and addiction
  • the health and access to healthcare of Indigenous peoples in jails and prisons
  • environment and health 
  • obesity, weight loss, and diabetes
  • maternal-child health 
  • youth suicide prevention
  • infant and child speech and language acquisition
  • reservation youth college prep programming  
  • COVID-19 
  • contemporary Indigenous identity
  • grant writing and research training programs for Native community members
  • cultural education programs for non-Native school districts, organizations, and governmental agencies


The IIS has a long and demonstrated history of funding from federal agencies, national, regional, and local organizations, and tribal communities, as well as from Lehigh University.  Our previous and current funders include:

  • The American Cancer Society

  • The American Lung Association

  • The Appalachian Regional Commission (Pennsylvania)

  • The Environmental Protection Agency

  • The Healthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City

  • The Kansas City Arts Foundation

  • The National Cancer Institute

  • The National Endowment for the Humanities

  • The National Institute for Drug Abuse

  • The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities

  • The National Science Foundation

  • The Notah Begay III Foundation

  • The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development 

  • The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation

  • The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

  • The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

Educational Opportunities

The IIS is committed to educating Native and non-Native people about the current state of Indigenous affairs.  The IIS accomplishes this through Indigenous-focused undergraduate and graduate courses, independent studies, and internships.  We host live and virtual film screenings, panel discussions, presentations, and events focused on Indigenous health, education, and culture.  We also assist elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, other colleges and universities, community organizations, and governmental organizations with their Indigenous-focused research and educational programs. 


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