We recently welcomed a new cohort of NCRE Scholars! Dr. Heather Jean Gordon, Cassidy Armstrong, Nicole Reed, and Meenakshi Richardson joined NCRE Scholars Cohort 11 in October. All are dedicated to pursuing research on substance use and disorder and Native child and adolescent development. Welcome Cohort 11!
Jessica Saniguq Ullrich is a Cohort 8 NCRE Scholar. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage and a tribal member of the Nome Eskimo Community. We are excited to share the news of Jessica’s acceptance into the 2022 Aspen Ascend Fellowship this past spring. She is joined in this cohort by NCRE member Dr. Deana Around Him from Child Trends. According to the Ascend announcement, over the course of their fellowship, “Fellows will have a chance to inspire, challenge, and support each other and grow their leadership in exponential ways. Ascend Fellows will pursue work across sectors that impact the vitality and wellness of families, from reinventing systems of care and learning, unlocking capital that opens doors for economic inclusion and justice, and breaking ground with research that changes the course for policies and practices directly impacting communities." Congratulations Jessica on this major recognition!
Amanda Hunter is a Cohort 9 NCRE Scholar. Amanda is currently a postdoctoral scholar at Northern Arizona University’s Center for Health Equity Research. Amanda holds a PhD in Public Health (Health Behavior and Health Promotion) from the University of Arizona. She recently received a National Institutes of Health Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers (MOSAIC) K99-R00 award, called a Pathway to Independence Award, which will assist her in expanding and supporting her research. She is the first postdoctoral scholar at Northern Arizona University to receive a K99-R00 for her work titled, “Native Spirit: Culturally-grounded Substance Use Prevention for Indigenous Adolescents.”
Rebecca Young is a Cohort 10 NCRE Scholar. Rebecca Young is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Rebecca holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Alaska Pacific University. Rebecca was selected as a NW NARCH Fellow. The Northwest Native American Research Center for Health (NW NARCH) program is operated by the EpiCenter at the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB), an Indian organization uniquely qualified to administer NW NARCH based on active membership of all 43 Northwest Indian tribes in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. As a NW NARCH Fellow, Rebecca Young will have access to highly trained AI/AN health researchers sensitive to the culture and specific concerns of Northwest Indian and Alaska Native communities. In addition, as a NW NARCH Fellow, Rebecca will receive funding for work on her dissertation research. The NW NARCH fellowship additionally offers a travel stipend for conference attendance.
Amanda Hunter is a Cohort 9 NCRE Scholar. Amanda is currently a postdoctoral scholar at Northern Arizona University’s Center for Health Equity Research. Amanda holds a PhD and MPH in Health Behavior and Health Promotion from the University of Arizona. Amanda’s recent publication, "Native Spirit: Development of a culturally grounded after-school program to promote well-being among American Indian adolescents," describes her work with community partners to develop, implement, and evaluate a culturally-grounded after-school program. The after-school program, called Native Spirit, is based on Indigenous cultural values and activities and is led by traditional knowledge holders from the community. The community and academic partners hope that Native Spirit will strengthen adolescent cultural identity, self-esteem, resilience, and decrease substance use initiation.
Monica Tsethlikai is a Cohort 2 NCRE Scholar. Monica is currently an Associate Professor at the Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University. Monica was recently featured on the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) website in a SCRD Member Spotlight. Monica has become a member of the Ethnic and Racial Issue Committee (ERI) this year at SRCD. Monica is excited about the opportunity to advocate for more inclusion of Indigenous voices and research in the US and around the world. She hopes to see more research on Indigenous children featured in Child Development and Child Development Perspectives.
Alicia Mousseau is a Cohort 1 NCRE Scholar. Alicia is currently the Vice President for the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Alicia holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Wyoming. Alicia was recently selected as a 2021 Aspen Ascend Fellow. Over the next year, Ascend Fellows will have a chance to inspire, challenge, and support each other and grow their leadership in exponential ways. Ascend Fellows pursue work across sectors that impact the vitality and wellness of families, from reinventing systems of care and learning, unlocking capital that opens doors for economic inclusion and justice, and breaking ground with research that changes the course for policies and practices directly impacting communities.
Helen Russette is a Cohort 8 NCRE Scholar. Dr. Russette is a post-doctoral researcher at the Center for American Indian Health in the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. As part of her dissertation, she was able to spend almost two years developing a relationship with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes to conduct a study on identifying and measuring resilience factors among young children with and without prenatal substance exposure. This relationship-building phase of their study was recently published by the Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse entitled “Relationship-building to develop an Indigenous community-based epidemiological study investigating developmental resilience factors among children with prenatal substance exposure.”
Tammy Kahalaopuna Kaho'olemana Martin is an NCRE Scholar in Cohort 9. Tammy is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Hawaii Pacific University. She holds a PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Dr. Martin was recently awarded a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Diversity Supplement entitled, “Intervention development and pilot study to prevent untreated Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander opioid use disorders.” This award will support her work to understand the cultural and community facilitators and barriers to treatment seeking for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander people with opioid and methamphetamine use disorders. She is looking forward to learning from this work to develop a cultural intervention that can be tested in future research. Tammy’s mentors for this award are Drs. Andy Subica, Keawe'aimoku Kaholokula, Nia Aitaoto, and Scott Okomoto. Congratulations Tammy! We are so excited to see where your research will lead.
Helen Russette is a Cohort 8 NCRE Scholar and a doctoral candidate at the University of Montana. During the COVID-19 outbreak, Helen had the opportunity to measure one of her greenspace exposure variables as part of a separate study of COVID-19 mortality risk. Her study, “Greenspace exposure and COVID-19 mortality in the United States: January–July 2020,” was recently published in Environmental Research. Results indicated a dose-response association between increasing deciles of greenspace exposure and reduced risk of COVID-19 mortality across the conterminous United States. Counties with a higher prevalence of older age residents, lower education attainment, Native Americans, Black Americans, and housing overcrowding were significantly associated with increased risk of COVID-19 mortality, whereas Medicaid coverage showed a significantly reduced risk. Congratulations on this important and timely contribution to the literature Helen!
Read her published paper, "Greenspace exposure and COVID-19 mortality in the United States: January–July 2020."
Katie Schultz and Jerreed Ivanich are Cohort 6 NCRE Scholars. Katie is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan, and Jerreed is an Assistant Professor of Public Health at the University of Colorado, Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health. Katie and Jerreed were recently funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse for the study, Tribal Reservations Adolescent Connections. This mixed-methods social network study will explore the peer and family relationships of American Indian (AI) youth, and how they factor in substance use, exposure to violence, and suicide among youth living on a Northern Plains reservation. This project grew out of their time together as NCRE scholars. NCRE co-director, Dr. Nancy Whitesell, is a Co-Investigator on the study. Congratulations Jerreed and Katie! We look forward to hearing more about findings from this important work!
Two current NCRE Scholars are featured this month -- Susanna (Susie) Lopez and Evan White. Susie is a 5th year clinical psychology PhD student at Oklahoma State University. Evan is an Associate Investigator at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research (LIBR). Both Scholars have made contributions towards the special issue "Native American Issues in Behavior Therapy and Research: Parts I-II" in the Behavior Therapist. Susie served as guest editor on both the March and April 2021 issues, and Evan was a co-author of the article, “For the good of the community: Considering the impact of evidence-based treatment adaptation on Tribal communities,” published in the April issue. Great job Susie and Evan on these significant contributions to the literature!
Susanna (Susie) Lopez is a Cohort 9 NCRE Scholar and a 5th year clinical psychology PhD graduate student at Oklahoma State University. As a final step towards obtaining her PhD, Susie has successfully matched to a one-year clinical internship at the VA Puget Sound in Seattle, beginning July 2021. During this internship, Susie aims to expand her clinical training in substance use and behavior medicine, and further her research investigating the etiology and treatment of high-risk drinking with diverse veteran populations. She believes the internship program at the VA in Seattle is an ideal program to solidify her clinical skills before graduating in May 2022, and it is an excellent step towards reaching her career goal of becoming an independent substance use researcher. Congratulations Susie! We are excited to see where this next phase of your professional journey leads!
Helen Russette is a Cohort 8 NCRE Scholar and is currently a PhD candidate in Public Health at the University of Montana. Helen was recently awarded an American Indian Alaska Native Clinical and Translational Research Program (AI/AN CTRP) Diversity award housed at Montana State University and an American Indian Graduate Center Community Impact Scholarship award from the Center for Native Scholarships. The awards will provide a stipend, tuition, research or dissertation support, and conference travel for an AI/AN mentee on a currently funded study and provide AI/AN doctoral candidates with additional support to carry out impactful research that addresses issues of social and racial equality, equity, and diversity through various fields of study. Combined funding will cover Ms. Russette’s time, community-related activities, and any other research needs in order to complete her dissertation.
Jessica Saniguq Ullrich is a Cohort 8 NCRE Scholar. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage, a tribal member of the Nome Eskimo Community, and a proud mother of two middle school daughters. Jessica has a PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Washington and graduated in March 2020. We are excited to share her list of recent publications! Both of which have been co-authored with current and former NCRE Scholars and mentors.
Katie Schultz is a Cohort 6 NCRE Scholar. Dr. Schultz is currently an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan. She holds a PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Washington. She and her co-author, Emma Noyes, are really excited about a new publication, "'Then Who Are You?': Young American Indian and Alaska Native Women Navigating Cultural Connectedness in Dating and Relationships." It is an important and unexplored topic – the authors explore dating and relationships among a sample of young Native women. They also incorporate some innovative approaches that the authors hope will expand how we think about academic publishing. This included adding illustrations to the text and asking a group of Indigenous women to review and interpret the findings for the discussion section.
Sarah Momilani Marshall is a Cohort 8 NCRE Scholar. Momilani is currently a post-doctoral researcher at Hawai‘i Pacific University. Momilani holds a PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Recently she was awarded a Diversity Supplement grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse. The Diversity Supplement will build upon a current research project that focuses on the implementation of a culturally grounded drug prevention curriculum in public schools on the Island of Hawai`i (R34 DA046735: “The Implementation, Adoption, and Sustainability of Ho‘ouna Pono”; PI: Scott Okamoto). The 2-year Diversity Supplement will provide Momilani with research training, education, and mentorship while enabling her to expand the culturally grounded drug prevention curriculum, Ho‘ouna Pono, into charter schools on the Island of Hawai`i.
Evan White is a Cohort 8 NCRE Scholar. Evan is currently an Associate Investigator at Laureate Institute for Brain Research (LIBR). Evan holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Oklahoma State University. He began at LIBR as a post-doctoral research fellow working with Robin Aupperle, PhD. He was promoted to Associate Investigator in July 2020 and will continue to build his program of research aimed at applying neuroscience to understanding American Indian resilience and risk in relation to mental health. He is currently developing a project that will be the first to explore neuroscientific markers of cultural protective factors among American Indians.