Alumni Profiles

Alumni Profiles

Gail Werner

Gail Werner, a Southern California Native American Artist, talks about the cultural significance of her work commissioned by Murals of La Jolla. She descends from three tribes: Cupeño, Luiseño, and Kumeyaay. And she pays tribute to her relatives, particularly her grandmother, Catherine Mojado, and her great-grandmother, Salvadora Valenzuela, a noted basket maker. The title of the mural is in the Cupeño language: Mukikmalim, Su’ulim, Chem-tema-ki’ay (Birds, Stars, Our Lands). The Cupeño people were forced from their ancestral land of Kupa, located in north San Diego County, in 1903. The plants and birds in the mural are all found on these ancestral lands. The three birds, the Cactus Wren, the Says Phoebe, and the Black-Throated Sparrow, also refer to the tribe’s traditional songs, called Bird Songs. The design behind the central bird and the crosses in the sky, the stars, are based on Native basketry designs. The mural was installed at 7836 Herschel Avenue in La Jolla, California in Summer of 2023 and is expected to remain in place for two years. More information can be found at The mural is located in Mat Kulaaxuuy (La Jolla), the un-ceded ancient homeland of the Kumeyaay nation. We honor and respect the past, present, and emergent generations of the Kumeyaay people. Special thanks to Diana Duro and Kupa Song and Dance Group, featuring Head Singer David Duro. Video by Mark Laurila


Shannon Keller O’Loughlin

American Indian Studies Major

Major: American Indian Studies

Degree(s): JD in Indian Law, University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law, class of 2001; MA in American Indian Law and Policy, University of Arizona, class of 1998; BA in American Indian Studies, California State University – Long Beach, class of 1997.


Shannon Keller O’Loughlin is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Raised by her grandparents in Wolf, Oklahoma, Shannon’s grandmother urged her to get her education and be of use to her family, her Nation, and Indian people. Shannon earned her B.A. in American Indian Studies and was recognized as the Outstanding Graduate for the College of Liberal Arts at CSULB in 1997. After graduation, Shannon went on to pursue higher education and earned her M.A. and Juris Doctorate in American Indian Law and Policy from the University of Arizona College of Law. Pursuing law and her passion to strengthen American Indian sovereignty, Shannon began her career as a Law Clerk for the Arizona Court of Appeals and has worked as legal counsel for several Indian Nations in the Northeast. Shannon has worked her way up to her current position as Attorney Partner and Chair of the Indian Nations Law and Policy Practice Group for Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP in Washington, D.C. Shannon was appointed in September 2013 to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Review Committee by the Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, which was supported by the nominations of the Tonawanda Seneca Nation, Seneca Nation of Indians, and Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. As a distinguished alumna of CSULB, Shannon is a former Udall Intern who worked in the Bill Clinton White House, has advocated for indigenous rights at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, and has established a national reputation for her strong leadership in the practice of law in Indian Country.