October 2023 – Graduate
Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians of North Dakota
Scholarship: Grace Wall Barreda Memorial Scholarship
School: University of North Dakota
Degree: Indigenous Health, Ph.D.
Food distribution volunteer
Sandbagging flood areas volunteer
Mulching and landscaping volunteer
Animal Shelter cleaning volunteer
Planted trees and flowers for a veterans’ memorial park
Mikalen is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians and has a remarkable journey rooted in his Native American culture. Growing up on the Turtle Mountain reservation, his academic excellence was evident when he graduated as one of five valedictorians from the Turtle Mountain Community High School in 2015. His dedication to education continued at North Dakota State University (NDSU), where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in Human Development and Family Sciences in May 2020. Mikalen’s passion for addressing community health disparities led him to pursue a Master of Public Health (MPH) at NDSU, specializing in Community Health Sciences and earning a certificate in American Indian Public Health by May 2022.
Mikalen is embarking on his journey as a second-year Indigenous Health, Ph.D. candidate at the University of North Dakota, maintaining an impeccable 4.0 grade point average. Beyond academia, he serves as the Public Health Coordinator at the American Indian Public Health Resource Center. In this role, he collaborates with a dedicated team to tackle public health disparities affecting tribal communities nationwide. Their comprehensive approach encompasses technical assistance, research, policy advocacy, and community-driven initiatives that empower data sovereignty and self-determination.
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