Programs completed at APU: Masters of Science, Counseling Psychology
Project Title and what it entails: “Traditional Healing Utilization Patterns of American Indian/Alaska Native people: Bridging the Gap between Traditional Healing Practices and Behavioral Health Services.”
This project aims to add to the deficit in literature of demographic variables that impact Alaska-specific utilization patterns of behavioral health services and traditional healing practices. Past research has shown the combination of Western-oriented behavioral health treatment in conjunction with traditional healing practices offers the most comprehensive care for AI/AN individuals. Findings from the present research suggest Alaskan tribal and non-tribal individuals are more likely to participate in behavioral health services if there is a traditional healing component offered. Results from this research will contribute to programmatic shifts in the way we collectively provide services to Alaskan’s in both rural and urban communities.
Hometown: Cooper Landing, Alaska
Favorite classes at APU (and why?): My favorite classes hands down at APU were Design & Principles of Research and Professional Project. These two courses combined provided me the opportunity to explore my personal interests, while contributing to the greater body of literature of Alaska Native/American Indian people.
What is your favorite APU memory? My favorite APU memories have to be all of the times our cohort came together and feasted in times of happiness as well as times of stress! In my culture, food symbolizes many things; thank you, love, togetherness of family, condolences, etc., and it was a pleasure to be able to share the experiences with my cohort and professors. Not to mention, it was a treat to not have to worry about cooking a full meal after a 17+ hour day!
What is going to be your next adventure post-APU? I have a passion for breaking the trend of intergenerational trauma that has been imposed upon AI/ANs in Alaska. I furthered my education to have a strong voice for my people, and a strong voice I will have! I have spent the last four years employed with Southcentral Foundation and hope to continue my career with the organization by offering an eclectic approach to therapy with a combination of Western-oriented behavioral health services and traditional healing practices. In the mean time, I am going to focus on catching up on much needed sleep, reconnecting with friends, cooking meals again, and settling in my new home.
Any words of wisdom for students working on completing their degrees? You can do it. I had a colorful adolescence and never imagined I would be where I am right now. If you know your calling (or even if you don’t yet), never stay stagnant. Every day is a new day filled with endless possibilities. Don’t let past negative experiences shape your outlook on your future. You got this. Keep pushing.