News & Events


July 6, 2016

Indigenous Substance Abuse, Medicines and Addictions Research Training (ISMART) program welcomes fourth cohort

The Indigenous Substance Abuse, Medicines, and Addictions Research Training (ISMART) program is a structured, mentored research training and career development program for Indigenous and underrepresented minority scholars. The ISMART program aims to contribute to efforts to reduce substance abuse-related health disparities in Indigenous communities by supporting the development of historically underrepresented scholars with a commitment to addressing substance abuse and addiction, health, and mental health disparities in Indigenous communities. The program offers seed funding to fellows to support their research and career development and the fellows are also paired with a mentor who supports their interest in substance abuse and addictions-focused research. The program is directed by Karina Walters, MSW, PhD (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma) and Tessa Evans-Campbell, MSW, PhD (Snohomish). The program is made possible by funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (HHSN271201500767P).

In April 2016, the ISMART program joined the Indigenous HIV/AIDS Research Training 2 program for the annual IWRI Writing Retreat in Hawaii. In May, fellows and mentors from the program also attended the Society for Prevention Research Conference in San Francisco.
The program is pleased to welcome its fourth cohort for the 2015-2016 academic year:

ISMART_CoserAshleigh Coser (Muscogee [Creek], Choctaw, and Chickasaw Nations) is a fourth year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program at Oklahoma State University. She is the daughter of Dr. Pete and Jo Anna Coser of Stillwater, Oklahoma. Ashleigh earned her bachelor’s in Psychology and minor in American Indian Studies from Oklahoma State University. She also earned both of her master’s degrees in Counseling and Psychology from Oklahoma State. Her research interests include examining the parent-child relationship and role of extended family members in American Indian families. Ashleigh has earned several awards for her involvement in the community and scholastic achievement including the Indian Health Services Scholarship and Native Children’s Research Exchange scholars program.


ISMART_LaVerneLaVerne Demientieff is a Deg Xit’an, Athabascan and her family is originally from Holy Cross, Alaska. She grew up in Nenana and Anchorage and at her family’s fish camp on the Yukon River. LaVerne is a Clinical Associate Professor for the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Bachelor of Social Work program. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, with a concentration in social and economic development with an emphasis in management. She is currently working towards a PhD in Social Work from the University of Utah, College of Social Work.


ISMART_DanielleDanielle Eakins (Mixed Race) is a Clinical Psychology PhD student at the University of Washington. She also obtained a Master of Science in Psychology from the University of Washington in 2013 and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Lewis and Clark College in 2010. Danielle has worked as a pre-doctoral research assistant for the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute’s Tribal Colleges and Universities: Behavioral Wellness BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening/Intervention for College Students) Intervention Adaptations study and the Behavioral Wellness Epidemiology study.


ISMART_MattMatt Ignacio is an enrolled tribal member of the Tohono O’odham Nation. For the past 15 years, he has worked in the HIV/AIDS arena as a national trainer, direct service provider and technical assistance provider. Having worked primarily with American Indian/Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian (Native) Communities, his work has largely focused on: advocating for Native LGBTQ/Two-Spirit issues, addressing the needs of injection drug users in Native communities, advocating for drug user health and justice, and increasing community engagement in HIV clinical trials. His academic career includes an MSW degree from Columbia University, a BA in Sociology degree from University of California in Santa Barbara, and two years of undergraduate studies at the College of Santa Fe in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
For more information, please visit our website at or contact Anastasia Ramey, MSW at