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ASU grad strives to fight for issues that impact Indigenous communities

This spring, Angel Nosie will graduate from The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with degrees in justice studies and American Indian studies.

April 28, 2021

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2021 graduates.

In her second year at Arizona State University, Angel Nosie became more aware of social justice issues through her justice studies courses. As a member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe of the Hagosteele Clan, she grew increasingly interested in studying the injustices Native American communities face.

“Growing up off the reservation in the city, I didn’t know about the needs of Indigenous communities,” she said. “I learned how health care on the reservation needs to be improved and that there are things that limit Indigenous people that could help promote the lifespan of their communities. I learned about the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women. This made me realize that I want to be a voice for Indigenous people and fight for Indigenous social justice issues.”

This spring, Nosie will graduate from The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with degrees in justice studies and American Indian studies. 

While at ASU she participated in the Pre-Law Society and served as the vice president of Alpha Pi Omega, the first Native American sorority at ASU. She also worked with the Office of American Indian Initiatives as a student panel speaker for the Tribal Nations Tour, where she shared her personal experiences in higher education with Native American high school students across Arizona to encourage them on a path to college.

“I would say one of my most impactful moments at ASU was when we went to the San Carlos Apache Reservation, which is my reservation, and we held a college readiness event there,” she said. “I told them my Native Sun Devil story and shared my experiences to show them that it's possible for anyone to get through college.”

For her outstanding scholastic achievements, Nosie was honored as the American Indian Studies spring 2021 Dean’s Medalist. She is also a Moeur Award recipient. 

After graduation, she plans on participating in the Pipeline to Law Initiative, where she will be equipped with the tools to apply to law school.

Nosie shared more about her ASU journey.

Question: Why did you choose ASU?

Answer: I chose ASU because it was like home to me. My mother went to ASU, and I grew up going to ASU football games. I couldn't see myself going anywhere else outside of ASU.

Q: What’s something you learned while at The College — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?

A: I've never really been much of a volunteer person. I joined Alpha Pi Omega and we had to do volunteer hours every month. We volunteered at Midwest Food Bank and just learning about what we're doing and how impactful it is and how needed this kind of work really inspired me to continue doing volunteer work. …  Stepping into that position and trying to help people was new to me and aided in my career path toward trying to help people.

Q: Did you experience any obstacles along your way? If yes, how did you overcome them?

A: The challenge for me was to step outside of my comfort zone and to engage myself in things that I wouldn't normally do. My freshman year I was focused only on academics and of course that's great, but there's also the social connection that I want for myself. When I finally broke out of my shell and began attending events and meetings, joining clubs and stuff like that, I learned about a lot of things and made great connections.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: I would tell them that anything is possible if you just have the right mindset. You have to have a strong work ethic, great perseverance and no excuses. Just do your best to persevere through college, because it is possible. I am an example of that. Stay focused and complete your coursework. Reach out to your academic adviser to talk about your major and what you need to do to set yourself up for success. Build a great schedule for yourself so that each semester is achievable.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I am trying to get into law school so I can become an Indian law lawyer, that's my main goal. I really love ASU so I'm definitely going to go with Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. But before I get there I need to do a lot of prepping like taking the LSAT and preparing my application. 

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