Where were you born?
What school did you attend?
I attended the University of California, Irvine for my B.S. in Psychology and the University of California, Los Angeles for my Masters in Public Health.
What gained you interest in the NIH?
I came to the NIH as a Presidential Management Fellow, and I had the opportunity to rotate through many administrative areas at NIH. My passion is in communicating health information, especially for underserved communities, and with NIH's noble mission of turning discovery into health, I knew NIH was the right place for me. One of my roles at the NIH is to serve as the coordinator for the Trans-NIH American Indian and Alaska Native Health Communications and Information Work Group. We coordinate outreach and communication efforts among our different institutes, and we partner with other Federal agencies to make people aware of the many NIH resources available to Indian country.
How can you help improve the composition of the STEM education pipeline for Native American students?
I consider myself an ambassador for NIH and take every opportunity to share how NIH improves lives. We can only continue to do our great work if we have a robust and diverse staff who can offer different perspectives and solutions to the problems we wish to solve. We need more Native American students to consider the biomedical and behavioral sciences as a career, and we need to provide training opportunities and support for them so they can succeed in every step of their education.
What is your most important accomplishment to date?
I'm so proud to manage the Trans-NIH American Indian and Alaska Native Health Communications and Information Work Group. One accomplishment that I'm particularly proud of is creating our Honoring Health electronic newsletter in partnership with the Indian Health Service and the Administration for Community Living. This newsletter helps the NIH and our partners showcase the many excellent resources we offer in health topics that Native Americans care about.
How did you choose your career?
For the past ten years, I have worked in the Communications Office of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. In this role, I manage our Institute's publications and outreach targeted to underserved racial and ethnic audiences. I have always been interested in health disparities and health equity and so this job is a great fit for me.
What does success mean to you?
I define success as using my unique collection of experiences, talents and resources to make a meaningful contribution in my circle of influence, whether it's in my professional or personal life. I try to be the best I can be in any circumstance I find myself in.