For Your Health
For Your Health

News from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences

Department of Indigenous Health faculty awarded APLU/Cornell grant to support student travel

Drs. Melanie Nadeau and Shawnda Schroeder, assistant professors in UND’s world-first Department of Indigenous Health (IH), have been awarded a grant by the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU) and Cornell University to support an Indigenous Health Scholars program at UND.

The pair of researchers was notified of the award, which is financed by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, by Robin Parent, APLU associate vice president of Diversity Equity and Inclusion and STEM Education for the APLU.

“We’re thrilled to support UND in this critical work,” said Parent in an APLU news release. “Native American and Indigenous students and scholars are vital to the public university community, and we’re excited to work with institutions like UND to support the extraordinary contributions of these initiatives.”

According to Schroeder, the initiative in question is supporting travel for IH doctoral students attending the Department’s 2024 summer seminar. Because UND’s IH doctorate is entirely online, assembling students from a variety of backgrounds and locations in-person can be a challenge. But such gathering is vital: the summer seminar is the one week of the year where IH students travel to UND from all over the U.S., Canada, and even American Samoa to spend one week building community and studying topics important to IH globally.

“Our Indigenous health scholars who attend the seminars learn how to successfully engage in higher education while keeping lndigenous knowledge at the center of their learning,” added Nadeau, noting how the grant was one of only two the APLU/Cornell awarded this cycle. “In this way students establish relationships to support their professional development at the same time as they create a cohort and build community, which is essential to their success and ours.”

Per the grant requirements, UND will share the progress on its project at the APLU Annual Meeting in November 2024.

“We are very proud of each of our students, and also grateful to UND President Armacost for his letter of support for this award,” Nadeau said. “Every dollar from this grant goes directly to our students and we’re already looking ahead to planning the summer seminar.”

More information about the APLU and the grant program can be found here.