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BHSU student lands summer traineeship funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Monday, May 18, 2015
BHSU biology student Shaina Johnson from Porcupine will spend the summer training with a prestigious national health careers program funded through the CDC.
When Black Hills State University student Shaina Johnson&rsquos grandmother taught her native remedies on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, little did her grandmother know she was sowing seeds for Johnson&rsquos future in the medical field.
Johnson, biology major at BHSU and member of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe from Porcupine, will spend this summer at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta (CDC), and Sanford Medical Center in Sioux Falls as part of a prestigious public health initiative.
"I want to be an epidemiologist and study the causes of disease and epidemics within a population. I want to be a step ahead and see what we can do to take preventative measures for disorders and diseases like diabetes and cancer," said Johnson.
Throughout the summer program, the Maternal and Child Health Careers/Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement &ndash Undergraduate Program (MCHC/RISE-UP) through the Kennedy Krieger Institute and the CDC, Johnson will receive training on conducting community-based research to address public health prevention and disease treatment, knowledge she plans to bring back to South Dakota to improve healthcare.
"I hope to gain knowledge to help improve our Indian Health Services so that our people can feel comfortable, go to the facilities and get the care they need," said Johnson.
At BHSU, Johnson currently serves as president of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) &ndash a group that has helped her prepare for her summer traineeship in many ways.
"Every Thursday we get all the science majors together for a study session to keep our grades up or help fellow students in similar areas of study," said Johnson.
Johnson will graduate from BHSU in May 2016. Her mentors in the Center for American Indian Studies at BHSU, Dr. Urla Marcus and Victoria Sprague, encouraged her to apply for the MCHC/RISE-UP program.
"Because of Shaina&rsquos confidence, we knew she could not only apply but also make it through the interview process," said Marcus. "Once Shaina sets a goal, she does what she needs to do to work towards it."
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