Saydie Sago (Mescalero Apache Tribe of the Mescalero Reservation)

June Student of the Month

Scholarship: Science Post Graduate Scholarship Fund
School: University of Colorado Boulder
Degree: Integrative Physiology
GPA: 3.75

Community Service

  • Indigenous Advisory Council Member for the Right Relationships Boulder

  • Administrative team member for Boulder Zouk High Dance Company and Dance Teams

  • Graduate Mentor for STEM Route Uplift Program at CU Boulder

  • Leadership Council Member of Native Graduate Student Group at CU Boulder

  • President of Engagement for Graduate and Professional Student Government at CU Boulder

Saydie Sago is a 3rd year doctoral student in the Integrative Physiology Department at the University of Colorado Boulder. She was born and raised in Colorado and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at CU Boulder. Saydie is part of Dr. Christopher Lowry’s Behavioral Neuroendocrinology lab and the first in her family to be accepted and pursue a Ph.D. program. Her research investigates alternative treatments for Type 2 diabetes (T2D) using a soil bacteria strain, Mycobacterium vaccae NCTC 11659. T2D is considered a multifactorial chronic low-grade inflammatory disease that leads to a number of negative health outcomes. As a doctoral student researching alternative treatments for Type 2 diabetes (T2D), Saydie believes she can make a significant impact on helping Native and Indigenous peoples. She is passionate about giving back to her communities and being a healer, educating and mentoring the future generation of Native and Indigenous scientists. Saydie wants her communities to know the risk of associated risks of mental and inflammation throughout the body while diagnosed with T2D and how they can manage it better before it gets worse. She wants to apply this research by helping her Native and Indigenous community with their health program initiatives for healthier lifestyles and reconnecting with ancestral lands by growing and eating traditional foods.

In addition to her research, she does many community outreach activities, such as teaching at the CU Upward Bound program, being an academic tutor for Native American high school students in the Boulder Valley School District, and mentoring underrepresented undergraduates in the sciences.

The Native Forward Scholars Fund empowered me to continue pursuing a higher education. This funding resource has been a significant support for my graduate program. I feel honored and privileged that I have been given this opportunity. I’m able to focus on my degree program without worries. I also feel empowered that other Native and Indigenous students are pursuing their degrees like me, and I’m not alone. In my department, I’m the only Native American woman researcher; at times, I feel alone. The Native Forward Scholarship has provided a support system and shown me that I’m not the only one in my field of study pursuing a Ph.D. It gives me a sense of belonging to my program and commitment to finish my degree.

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