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Danielle Hiraldo, Ph.D., M.P.A., Director

Danielle Hiraldo (Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina), Director, American Indian Center, Dr. Hiraldo received her Ph.D. in American Indian Studies with a minor in public administration at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. She holds a M.P.A. and a B.A. in Political Science with a concentration in Pre-Law from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Before joining the American Indian Center, Dr. Hiraldo served as a researcher for the Native Nations Institute (NNI) situated in the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy at the University of Arizona where she remains an affiliate researcher. During her time at NNI, she collaborated with the University of North Carolina at Pembroke to host We Still Remain: A Conference Toward the Promotion of Southeast Indigenous Research, Scholarship, and Collaboration funded by NSF (BCS-2037256) to promote research collaborations and partnerships with Southeast Indigenous communities. Dr. Hiraldo co-founded the Southeast Indigenous Research Network for tribal community members and researchers interested in advancing Southeast Indigenous scholarship.

Her research explores governance under state recognition, tribal-state relationships (specifically in the Southeast), federal Indian law/policy, and Native Nation governance structures and practices. Dr. Hiraldo has taught Introduction to American Indian Studies, Introduction to Public Administration, Indigenous Governance, and American National Government for the University of North Carolina at Pembroke; and Indigenous Organizations for the University of Arizona.

Marissa Carmi, Ph.D. Candidate, Associate Director

Photo credit: Donn Young

Marissa Carmi is a citizen of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and a PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she specializes in American Indian and Indigenous Studies (AIIS). Her research explores the multidimensionality of Oneida sovereignty in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and Oneida intellectual history. As a former executive member of UNC’s First Nations Graduate Circle, a community of Indigenous graduate and professional students, she collaborated with Native campus organizations and community stakeholders to promote the growth of AIIS at UNC. She remains committed to this work as a member of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Working Group on Global Indigeneity and American Indian Studies. Appointed in fall 2022, the Working Group’s charge is to redefine and bolster the AIIS curriculum at the University. Before pursuing her doctorate, Marissa worked for the Administration for Native Americans (ANA), providing technical assistance to tribal nations and Native organizations implementing community development programs.  

Marissa received her B.A. in English Literature from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia and her M.A. in Cultural Studies from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Her master’s thesis examines the evolution of Oneida Christianity as a commitment to securing an Oneida future.

Marissa lives in rural North Carolina where she enjoys spending time with her two dogs and cooking food fresh from the garden.

Qua Lynch Adkins, Native Student Engagement Coordinator


Qua Lynch Adkins, MPH, is the Native Student Engagement Coordinator at the UNC American Indian Center, where she plans and implements programs (i.e. Carolina Horizons, New Native Student Orientation, the Native Pathways to Professional Development Series, etc.), cultivates partnerships, and coordinates events that foster professional development of American Indian high school and undergraduate students.

Qua is a citizen of the Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe and has strong connections to each of the Tribal Nations in North Carolina and many beyond the state, due to her lifelong community service. Previously, she worked with the NC Commission of Indian Affairs, the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity, and the NC American Indian Health Board. Qua earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at Campbell University in 2012 and later received her Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Community Health Education from UNC-Greensboro in 2015. She continues to work with universities, museums, and students to promote diversity in creative, meaningful ways.

Qua is a proud member of the Alpha Pi Omega Sorority, Inc. Her hobbies include making traditional arts & crafts, dancing at powwows, cooking, and spending quality time with her friends and family. Qua is committed to empowering Indian Country and providing a voice to the seemingly voiceless population.

Office: 919.843.5928; Email:

AJ Briggs Hunt, Administrative Support Associate

AJ Briggs Hunt (he/they) is a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, and he is the new Administrative Support Associate at the American Indian Center. He graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in May of 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in American Indian and Indigenous Studies and Psychology, and a minor in Education. During their time as a student at Carolina, they remained steadfast in advancing the awareness of Native peoples on and off campus as an active member of the Carolina Indian Circle and was president his senior year. In his free time, AJ loves to rock climb and hang out with their friends, or for less of an adrenaline rush, do sudoku while sitting on his back porch in the sun.

Office: 919.483.4189;  Email:




Ryan Dial, American Indian Health Project Manager

Ryan Dial is a member of the Lumbee tribe and will be serving as a Project Manager of American Indian Health. He graduated UNC in 2020 with a Bachelor’s in Clinical Lab Science. This new position is a partnership between the American Indian Center and the Southeastern American Indian Cancer health Equity Partnership. For the AIC, Ryan will be managing the Health Native North Carolinian program as well as supporting the center in their initiatives. Ryan’s work is dedicated to the overall health of Indigenous peoples in NC through the use of community work, health education, and research.

Ryan is currently a master’s student in the division of Clinical Laboratory Science in the UNC School of Medicine. His research interest is evaluating the utilization of Hemoglobin A1c testing in the Lumbee community and what factors contribute to testing access. Previously, Ryan was employed at UNC hospitals as a Senior Medical Lab Scientist in the core laboratory where he performed a variety of laboratory services for all UNC Health patients.

Ryan has been involved in the NC Native community his entire life. In his free time, he travels the states teaching and performing a variety of indigenous arts in an effort to educate and inspire others about NC first peoples. Ryan is a proud brother of Phi Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc. and currently sits on the governing council as Chief Elder Brother. He is also the current Vice President of Triangle Native American Society which serves as the governing body for Native people in the triangle area.

Office: 919.445.4711  Email:

Joshua Chorman, Public Communications Specialist

Joshua is the Public Communications Specialist for the UNC American Indian Center.

Joshua has managed social media and marketing presence for businesses, higher ed and nonprofits.
His specialty is community building and targeting clientele based on physical location and association.
He was a Video Producer/Director at the Duke University School of Medicine for over 5 years and is well experienced in all aspects of video production, the provision of AV support, utilization of learning management systems, social media marketing, and in the use of a variety of editing software.

Joshua has Dual Bachelor’s degrees in both Cinema and English from Binghamton University in NY, as well as a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education, Master’s from NCSU.