Hello! My name is Collette Bowman, and for the next eight weeks I’ll be interning at headquarters for Face It TOGETHER (FIT) in Sioux Falls. I’m from Rapid City, South Dakota and I’m a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe in Pine Ridge. My family comes from both the Pine Ridge and Standing Rock Reservations in South Dakota. I recently graduated from the University of South Dakota with my degrees in Psychology and Native American Studies.
I’m part of the Maternal Child Health Care/ Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement- Undergraduate Program (MCHC/ RISE-UP) with the Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI), which is a grant-funded program by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The program’s ultimate goal is to promote a more equitable health system by introducing highly qualified diverse undergraduate scholars to the field of public health.
My interests within the field of psychology are depression and drug and alcohol use among Native American populations. I’ve done research with Sanford Research, and I was part of a research team at the University of South Dakota that studied vaping among college students during my undergraduate career. My future endeavors are to gain more research experience and receive my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a focus on minority mental health.
I’m very excited to work with everyone on the team at FIT, and to learn so much about the disease of addiction. I’m eager to be working with an organization that strives to use out-of-the box thinking to solve our nation’s biggest public health challenge.
Throughout the summer, I’ll be working with my mentor, Kristen Goettsch, on evaluating the Loved One (LO) program. FIT’s model for LOs uses peer recovery coaching focused on helping the LO get well. FIT recognizes that having a positive, educated, healthy and engaged LO has long been undervalued in the addiction wellness process. A healthy LO is important to the wellness process of the person with the disease. Research tells us when LOs are positively involved, the recovery capital of the person with the disease they care about rises, sometimes exponentially.
As my internship experience continues, I’ll be posting about more topics and giving updates on the evaluation project I’ll be working on. I’m very excited to be helping FIT stay steadfast in their vision – a nation that has solved addiction.
Thank you to the CDC and KKI for this wonderful internship opportunity. Lastly, thank you to the team at FIT for allowing me to be part of this amazing work, and for the endless cups of coffee this far.