Recipient of GSEE Graduate Excellence Award Research Assistantship

Master of Public Health program

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am an aspiring public health professional with interest in program management and policy analysis, with a passion for Indigenous health and wellbeing. I was born in Wisconsin, but was raised in Alaska. My father, a tribal member of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, taught me a passion for subsistence, the outdoors and the importance of community, all which are central pillars of my personal and professional motivations. During my undergraduate education, I worked at a community nonprofit to provide clothing, toiletries, and resources to those residing at Central Arizona Shelter Services. In addition, I led ASU’s United Nations Association as the Director of Advocacy, working with local politicians regarding topics such as climate initiatives and support for undocumented students. Following my education, I worked for a tribal nonprofit in Alaska offering various social, family, and legal services to Indigenous peoples. 

Why did you decide to attend the UW for graduate school?

The University of Washington is internationally recognized as a leader in public health education, and was often the answer when I’d sought advice for my next step from my undergrad faculty. Furthermore, research and program opportunities present across the Americas provided an opportunity to deepen my experience in areas of interest. The University of Washington has demonstrated a focus on creating a diverse and welcoming campus community - evident by the rich diversity present in my cohort. Having worked at an international humanitarian organization upon graduating high school, which exposed me to cultures and countries far different from my own, I developed a deep passion for global health early on, later studying this field during my undergraduate degree at Arizona State University. While I am aware the field of global health has much to improve, I am proud to study, learn, and contribute to the growth & knowledge of health and wellbeing on a global scale. 

What are your research interests?

My research interests lie in the promotion of Indigenous health and the effects of migration upon community and individual wellbeing. In addition, I am interested in studying research fatigue among historically marginalized communities, emphasizing the need for community based participatory research and cultural competence within research projects. 

What are you enjoying most about your graduate program?

The diversity present in faculty and peers has allowed a great wealth of varied and expansive perspectives regarding topics often nuanced in the global public health sphere. I feel this diversity is key to my learning, and will benefit my professional and personal development, allowing me to be well rounded and prepared for myriad situations. 

Did your award influence your decision to attend UW?

I am deeply appreciative to have received the Global Excellence scholarship, which was vital in my decision to attend the University of Washington. While Washington was my first selection for graduate schooling, finances, for myself and far too many who desire an education, were unfortunately the primary determinant. Therefore, without this award I would not have attended UW - what a scary thought! Through this amazing opportunity, I have further developed my analytical & communicative skills under Dr. Chris Longenecker as a research fellow of the Rural Procare network. I cannot understate how important this award has been to my professional and educational development.