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Community, Cultural, Academic Mentoring Professionals (CCAMP)

2023 Community, Cultural, & Academic Mentoring Professionals

  Name Title Bio
Ed Napia, PhD
Ed Napia, PhD Grant Writer, Consultant, Skull Valley Goshute Tribe Eruera "Ed" Napia is a New Zealand and Maori-born artist who lives in Salt Lake City. Since 2004, he has developed programs at the Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake. Ed has designed and taught university courses, performed song and dance around the world, won several awards for his sculpture, and presented at conferences across the United States. Ed joined the Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) Community Advisory Board as a founding member in 2018. He currently serves on the Board of Tribe of the Skull Valley Goshute. He has served as a NARI CCAMP Mentor since 2010
Franci Taylor, PhD
Franci Taylor, PhD Consultant Franci Taylor is a member of the Choctaw tribe and has over 25 years of experience in American Indian education. Taylor has worked on creating American Indian curriculum for public schools. She directed two award-winning college preparation bridging programs for American Indian youth and has developed effective, best practices, recruitment and retention programs at the junior high school, high school and university levels. Taylor came to the University of Utah from Washington State University (WSU) where she was the Native American retention specialist and director for the American Indian Resource Center. Franci has served as a NARI CCAMP Mentor since 2015.
Nathaniel Todea, MS
Nathaniel Todea, MS Utah NRCS State Hydraulic Engineer Nate is a member of the Dine Nation and obtained his master’s from University of New Mexico in Engineering. He has been working as a Utah NRCS State Hydraulic Engineer at U.S. Department of Agriculture for 22 years. U.S. Department of Agriculture is part of the Federal industry, and located in District of Columbia, United States. Nate says, "Being a public servant and a Native American man, I feel a responsibility to serve my family, my community, and my people. Hydrology and hydraulics have been a great career choice as it has empowered me to do just that." He is from Shiprock, NM and has served as a NARI CCAMP Mentor for 2018.
Samantha Eldridge, MA
Samantha Eldridge, MA Director, American Indian Resource Center Samantha (she/her) is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. She has over 10 years of experience in local, state, and tribal government and academia. Her career in public service began at the State of Utah Office of Multicultural Affairs. In 2014, Samantha relocated to Washington, D.C. to serve as the senior advisor to American Indian/Alaska Native outreach at the National Education Association. She was then appointed as a policy analyst to serve on the executive staff for the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President. While in D.C. Samantha advanced educational and social justice policies and practices increasing equity, access, and opportunities for Indigenous youth. Samantha is a past recipient of the University of Utah Equity and Diversity award and 2021 recipient of the Student Affairs Diversity Committee Pursuit of Inclusion award. Samantha received a B.A. in Sociology and M.A. in Public Administration from the University of Utah.
Donna Eldridge, MSW
Donna Eldridge, MSW Director, Office of Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Donna is a member of the Navajo Nation and grew up on the Navajo reservation in Shiprock, New Mexico. In 2012, she earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Utah. In 2013, she received her master’s degree in social work from the University of Utah. Donna is interested in championing social justice issues and advocating for underrepresented populations. As the Director in the Office of Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion she works on educational outreach for K-12 students. Her programs are designed to stimulate student learning, create an interest in science, and expose students to medicine and related fields to ultimately create a gateway to higher education. Donna has been serving as a NARI CCAMP mentor since 2014
Dr. Aaron Bia, MD
Dr. Aaron Bia, MD Family Medicine Physician Salt Lake City, UT Aaron is a member of the Navajo Nation and from Canyon De Chelly, AZ. He completed his medical degree from the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Tucson and his B.A in Global Health from Arizona State University. He is interested in Native American health, rural health, health equity and health systems leadership. Dr. Bia enjoys watching sports, spending time with family, socializing with friends and exploring new food! He chose the University of Utah for their commitment to rural medicine, outstanding faculty and residents, academics, leadership, and the beautiful Utah scenery.
Dr. Aaron Smith, MD
Dr. Aaron Smith, MD Pain Medicine Fellow, Department of Anesthesiology Aaron (Navajo) first came to the U in 2018 as an anesthesiology resident. He finished his residency program this July and started a pain medicine fellowship in August. Smith attended medical school at the University of Minnesota from 2014 to 2018. Outside of work he enjoys playing basketball and volleyball and going skiing. “I am interested in collaborating with others at the U to address the health disparities that exist in access and quality of healthcare among Native American populations,” Smith said. “This has led me to be involved in mentorship and outreach towards Native American students with an interest in healthcare professions.”
Jenna Murry, MPH
Jenna Murry, MPH MD/PhD Student, University of Utah Jenna Murry is a member of the Eastern Shoshone and is currently an MD/PhD student at the University of Utah. Her most formative childhood experiences were spent on her family’s Wind River Indian Reservation ranch where she loved nothing more than helping her grandfather. In addition to her studies, Jenna is the President of the Association of Native American Medical Students at the U and is also very active in her community as a motivational speaker and inspiration to many. As a NARI Alumna from 2015, 2016 Jenna values the importance on Mentorship and has continued to be apart of NARI since 2021.
Caroline Nelson, MS2
Caroline Nelson, MS2 MD/PhD Student, University of Utah Caroline is a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and is attending the University of Utah's Medical Scientist Training Program. During her time at the U, Caroline has initiated a chapter of the Association of Native American Medical Students (ANAMS) alongside her colleague, Jenna Murray. As a co-president, she hopes that to enhance the support available to native health science students and promote community building. As a NARI mentor, Caroline looks forward to connecting with talented and driven students with whom she can share her passions of research and medicine and offer guidance from her experiences.
Dena Ned, PhD
Dena Ned, PhD Associate Professor, University of Utah College of Social Work Dena Ned is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma. She serves as the inaugural associate dean of the Office for First Generation Access. She is also an associate professor at the University of Utah College of Social Work. Her research has focused on the Indian Child Welfare Act, Title V of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, urban American Indian health policies and delivery of care systems as well as social determinants of health in Native communities. After earning her Masters of Social Welfare (MSW) from the University of California, Berkeley, she worked with California’s Division of Children and Family Services before going on to direct a Title V-funded urban Indian health center in Salt Lake City. Her direct practice experience motivated her to explore issues of social justice, health, and policy from the perspective of urban Indians.
Tashina Barber, ME
Tashina Barber, ME
Program Manager, American Indian Resource Center, University of Utah Tashina is a member of the Dine Nation. She is Experienced Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) professional in higher education supporting historically excluded and minoritized college students in navigating college degree attainment. A conscious and dedicated educator growing the achievement of Native American students in higher education while also meeting the mission and values as a Native American community. Supporter of students, campus, and community stakeholders enriching their programs to increase Native college student engagement, persistence, retention, and completion rates. She is currently the Program Manager in the American Indian Resource Center at the University of Utah.
Faith Bowman
Faith Bowman, PhD Candidate, Bioscience Department, University of Utah Faith Bowman is a proud Indigenous scholar and McNair alum from Wisconsin. She joined the Biosciences Ph.D. Program in Fall 2018. In the Schlegel lab, Bowman investigates the role of MCT7 in ketone body metabolism and the role Foxn3 in glucose utilization during fasting. Outside of research, Bowman likes to explore new restaurants and trails with friends, as well as connect with the surrounding Indigenous communities.
Orlando Antelope
Orlando Antelope, PhD Candidate, University of Utah He attended the University of Utah and earned his B.S in biology with an emphasis in cell and molecular biology and a minor in chemistry. His journey began as a NARI intern in 2013 where he developed his love for research in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry under the instruction of Dr. Kuberan Balagurunathan researching the role of heparan sulfate proteoglycans in cancer metastasis. He joined the Peterson lab in 2021 after completing his first year as a Bioscience PhD student in the Molecular Biology program. Orlando is examining the role of E3 ubiquitin ligases during early development in zebrafish using our Multiplexed Intermixed CRISPR Droplet (MIC-Drop) platform.
Winter Rex, BA
Winter Rex, BA Student Success Coordinator for Native American/Alaskan Native Students, Salt Lake Community College Winter is a first-generation college student. She is a proud member of the Blackfeet Nation of the Blackfoot Confederacy from Montana and Alberta. Winter received her BA in Commutation from Montana State University-Northern. She is excited to help Native students through their educational journey. Winter is an advisor to the American Indian Student Leadership Club, and she invites all to attend the meetings at Salt Lake Community College.
Kali Dale, PhD
Kali Dale, PhD Director of Research, Native BioData Consortium Kali Dale is a member of the Anishinaabe Nation (White Earth Band of Ojibwe Indians). She received a Ph.D. in Oncological Sciences from the University of Utah in 2022. The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) recognized her as the 2021 National Conference Graduate Student Presentation Winner. Dale’s work focused on evidence-based approaches for the treatment of lung cancer, specifically the molecular mechanisms that signal specific genetic mutations in the pathway of lung cancer development. She currently is the Director of Research at the Native BioData Consortium in Eagle Butte, SD. As a NARI Alumna Kali values the importance on Mentorship and has continued to be a part of NARI since.