Student Profiles

Department of Community & Behavioral Health

DrPH students

Chelsea Wesner Headshot

Chelsea Wesner MPH, MSW

Research Instructor, DrPH Student
  • Centers for American Indian & Alaska Native Health

Chelsea Wesner, MPH, MSW, is a DrPH student in the Department of Community & Behavioral Health at the Colorado School of Public Health. She has worked with American Indian and Alaska Native communities for more than a decade across public health practice, research, and teaching. During her graduate training in public health and social work at the University of Oklahoma, she was awarded an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award to work at the Center for American Indian Health Research. After obtaining her master’s degree, she worked as a program planner at the University of Oklahoma’s American Indian Institute for five years and has worked as an instructor in the joint University of South Dakota and South Dakota State University Master of Public Health program for the last six years. Her research interests include maternal and child health, food sovereignty, and behavioral health in Native American communities. Chelsea co-leads the evaluation team for the South Dakota Department of Health’s Overdose Data to Action, a three-year CDC cooperative agreement, and has worked on assignment with the CDC’s Tribal, Regional, and Territorial Support Team in the Division of Diabetes Translation since 2013. Chelsea is from Oklahoma and is a member of the Choctaw Nation. She is most proud of being a mother to two little girls, Lily and Isla.

Areas of Expertise

  • American Indian and Alaska Native health
  • Maternal and child health
  • Behavioral health
  • Food sovereignty

Education, Licensure & Certifications

  • Public Health Training Certificate in American Indian Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2020
  • MPH, Health Promotion Sciences, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 2010
  • MSW, Administrative and Community Practice, University of Oklahoma, 2010
  • BA, Sociology and American Indian Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2006


  • Native Research Ambassadors Program, Center for American Indian Community Health, University of Kansas Medical Center, 2019
  • Early Career Teaching Excellence Award, University of South Dakota School of Health Sciences, 2019