Ashley McMillan, Ph.D.
American Indian Liaison to the Chancellor & Director of the American Indian Heritage Center
Ashley (Lumbee) is a higher education administrator and visionary leader with a commitment to amplifying the voices of those who are low-income, rural, first-generation, and students of color within postsecondary institutions. Her experiences span admissions and financial aid, fraternity and sorority life, graduate student support services, leadership development, and diversity and multicultural affairs. In 2019, she joined UNCP to become the inaugural American Indian Liaison to the Chancellor. In this role, she collaborates with campus and community partners to identify and implement best practices and new initiatives to support American Indian students at the institution from matriculation to graduation. Some of these initiatives include working with the UNCP Board of Trustees to adopt an official land acknowledgment, establishing a proclamation to officially recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day, and creating multiple new scholarships specifically for American Indian students. In 2020, Dr. McMillan was awarded a grant from the Department of Education to establish the American Indian Heritage Center, of which she became the inaugural Director. As Director, she strives to create a space at UNCP where American Indian students can see their culture reflected and feel a sense of belonging while also creating an avenue for non-Native faculty, staff, and students to learn more about American Indian culture.
Dr. McMillan earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development at North Carolina State University; her MSW from Boston College; and her B.A in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During her free time, she enjoys exploring new restaurants, listening to true crime podcasts, and spending time with her husband and two sons.
Myia Reyes, (Lumbee), M.P.A.
Assistant Director, American Indian Heritage Center
Myia (Lumbee) oversees the programs and services that are focused on supporting an inclusive environment and a sense of belonging for UNCP students from Indigenous backgrounds. She also plans and implements programs that focus on the personal, social, culturally responsive and academic development of American Indian students as well as non-Native UNCP students, faculty and staff. Some of these programs include the American Indian Welcome Back Social, Indigenous Power Hour Sessions, and the BraveNation Powwow and Gathering.
She previously served as the Project 3C Career Exploration Coordinator at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke from 2019 to 2021. Myia has previously worked with American Indian students and families to broaden their college and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). She previously worked as the Project ACCESS Community Engagement Specialist at UNC Pembroke from 2016 to 2019. Myia has worked at UNC Pembroke for over 13 years in various roles in financial aid and youth focused programs for underserved populations. She is also a member of the Lumbee Tribe of NC and alumna of UNC Pembroke, earning a bachelor's degree in Political Science and a Master of Public Administration. In her spare time, Myia enjoys spending time with her husband and three children and traveling as a self-proclaimed foodie.
James Rudd, M.S.
Student Success Advocate
James (Haliwa-Saponi) is responsible for developing and implementing programs that strengthen American Indian student success. James enjoys connecting with students and helping them find their “why.” Some of the larger programs that James leads is the American Indian Graduation ceremonies and the Alternative Break program. James seeks to foster positive and transformative experiences for American Indian students during their time at UNC Pembroke. James has a focus on creating a welcoming community and supportive environment for students. James graduated from The University of North Carolina at Pembroke with Bachelor of Art Degrees in Criminal Justice and Sociology. He received his Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from East Carolina University. James enjoys traveling, trying new foods, attending Pow-Wows, and watching all of the streaming services (specifically Netflix and Disney Plus). He enjoys spending time with his wife Whitney, daughter Lily, and their dog Maui.
Kaloni Walton is a proud member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. She is currently a sophomore double majoring in Psychology and Mass Communications with a minor in Public Relations. Kaloni is President for Alpha Pi Omega Sorority Inc., a member of the Native American Student Organization, an ambassador for All Greek Council, and a student worker for the American Indian Heritage Center.