News & Events


May 21, 2015

New ISMART Cohort Announced!

The Indigenous Substance Abuse, Medicines and Addictions Research Training (ISMART) program is pleased to welcome the third cohort! ISMART is a structured mentored training program that offers funding to fellows to conduct research development activities. All fellows are matched with a mentor in the field of substance abuse/addictions research, as well as with an IWRI mentor, and work with their mentors to develop a research training and grant/publishing plan to guide their participation in the program.

Five fellows will join the program: Jessica Black, Emma Elliott, Miigis Gonzalez, Melissa Lewis, and Miriam Valdovinos.

Jessica Black - ISMART Fellow

Jessica Black – ISMART Fellow

Jessica Black is Gwich’in Athabascan from the village of Fort Yukon, Alaska. She is currently a doctoral candidate at Washington University in St. Louis and also serves as an Assistant Professor/Special Projects Liaison for the University of Alaska-Fairbanks College of Rural and Community Development Vice Chancellor’s Office.




Emma Elliott - ISMART Fellow

Emma Elliott – ISMART Fellow

Emma Elliott (Cowichan Tribes) is a doctoral candidate in the UW College of Education, Learning Sciences and Human Development program. Committed to clinical practice, she is also pursuing a Master of Social Work at the UW.





Melissa Lewis - ISMART Fellow

Melissa Lewis – ISMART Fellow

Melissa Lewis, PhD (Cherokee) is an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth in the Department of Biobehavioral Health & Population Sciences. She is also a research fellow at the Research for Indigenous Community Health Center in Duluth. Dr. Lewis received her PhD in Medical Family Therapy and is a licensed marriage and family therapist and an American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy-approved supervisor.





Miigis Gonzalez. - ISMART Fellow

Miigis Gonzalez. – ISMART Fellow

Miigis Gonzalez is a member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwe in Northern Wisconsin. She received a BA from Dartmouth College in 2007 and an MPH from the University of Minnesota’s Master’s in Public Health Program, Community Health Promotion. She is currently a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota.




Miriam Valdovinos - ISMART Fellow

Miriam Valdovinos – ISMART Fellow

Miriam Valdovinos (Chicana) is a doctoral student in the UW School of Social Welfare. Valdovinos is interested in researching the intimate partner violence experiences of Latina immigrant women with a specific focus on the health effects on the survivors and their children, as well as issues of access to informal social support (i.e., family and friends) and formal social support (i.e., social services, community programs, institutions) for immigrant women.




For more information, please contact Program Manager Anastasia Ramey, MSW at or 206-685-0164 or visit the website at