Indigenous Wellness Research Institute

ISMART-Scientific Mentor Network


August 15, 2017

Nancy Rumbaugh Whitesell, PhD

Dr. Whitesell’s work focuses on child and adolescent development within the contexts of American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) communities. Her research projects apply developmental science to inform preventive interventions to improve outcomes for both young children (birth to five years) and young adolescents (10 to 14 years). Through her leadership role in the Tribal…


Joseph P. Gone, PhD

Joseph P. Gone, Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Psychology University of Michigan Email: jgone@umich.edu


Ramona Beltrán, PhD, MSW (Yaqui/Mexica)

Ramona Beltrán’s (Yaqui/Mexica) scholarship focuses on the intersections of historical trauma, embodiment, and environmental/social determinants of health as they affect health and risk behaviors in indigenous communities. She is particularly interested in centering cultural protective factors, strengths and resiliencies in indigenous populations as they work to interrupt the intergenerational transmission of historical trauma. She uses…


August 7, 2017

Jane Simoni, PhD

Jane Simoni, PhD, will provide the focal point for technical consultation to research project scholars and affiliates, particularly with respect to research design and development related to socio-behavioral and prevention research, treatment adherence, HIV/AIDS, and regional as well as international mental health research. Dr. Simoni will also serve as the core liaison to the Center…


August 3, 2017

Melissa L. Walls PhD (Bois Forte and Couchiching First Nations Anishinabe)

Melissa L. Walls Ph.D. (Bois Forte and Couchiching First Nations Anishinabe) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Health and Population Sciences at the University of Minnesota Medical School-Duluth. . Dr. Walls is a social scientist committed to collaborative research and has over a decade of experience working with tribal communities in the…


July 28, 2017

Michelle Johnson-Jennings, PhD (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma)


July 7, 2017

Tessa Evans-Campbell, PhD (Snohomish)

Associate Professor Tessa Evans-Campbell is the director of the School’s MSW program. She completed her BA in art history at the University of Washington and her MSW at the University of California Los Angeles. Her research interests focus on historical trauma, resistance and healing; cultural buffers of trauma; substance use and mental health; and indigenous…


April 6, 2017

Karina L. Walters, PhD (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma)

Photo: Karina L. Walters, PhD

Biography Karina L. Walters, an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, is the Associate Dean for Research, the Katherine Hall Chambers Scholar, and the Co-Director and Principal Investigator of the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI; NIMHD P60MD006909). IWRI is one of 16 National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities Comprehensive Centers of…