Faculty & Staff
Kristen Jacklin, Ph.D
Dr. Jacklin is a medical anthropologist. Her research focuses on chronic disease care for Indigenous peoples, including investigations concerning aging; cognitive health and dementia; diabetes; and Indigenous health/medical education. She is the principal investigator for MK-MDT’s first NIH grant: Indigenous Cultural Understandings of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia – Research and Engagement (ICARE). Dr. Jacklin is the founder of the International Indigenous Dementia Research Network and the Indigenous Cognition Awareness and Aging Awareness Research Exchange (I-CAARE.com).
Rick J. Smith
Elder in Residence
Rick J. Smith, M.Ed, is the Memory Keepers Medical Discovery Team Elder in Residence. Elder Smith is a teacher and knowledge keeper who provides guidance, insight, and spiritual understandings to faculty, staff, and students of the MK-MDT. He is currently providing guidance on the formation of an Indigenous Advisory Committee for MK-MDT.
Rick has been the Director of the American Indian Learning Resource Center at the University of Minnesota Duluth for over 30 years. He is a citizen of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. He has a Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Education degrees from the University of Minnesota. In addition, he has served as an Independent Consultant for the Blandin Foundation for 17 years, as a Cultural Liaison for the Blandin Reservation Community Leadership Program. He has been involved with Indian Education for over 35 years, regionally and nationally.
Wayne Warry, Ph.D.
Director, Rural Health Initiatives
Dr. Warry is a medical anthropologist specializing in Indigenous and rural health and health systems research. He is the former Director of the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research CRaNHRat Laurentian University. Dr. Warry has been PI on a number of large interdisciplinary, community and patient-oriented research programs concerning Health Equity. He has conducted community based participatory research concerning Indigenous dementia, including a multi-sited foundational study documenting cultural perceptions and attitudes toward dementia and caregiving. View full bio
Jordan P. Lewis, Ph.D.
Jordan P. Lewis, Ph.D., is the Associate Director of Memory Keepers Medical Discovery Team and Department of Family Medicine and BioBehavioral Health Professor. His expertise is in Indigenous successful aging, rural community health, generativity and healthy aging, cultural constructions of Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias.
Over the past decade, Dr. Lewis’s research agenda has significantly contributed to the field with community-based research and discussions on culture-specific approaches in Alaska Native (AN) successful aging and Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders (ADRD) among AN Elders, including the development of a model of AN successful aging, the theory of AN healthy aging, the concept of Indigenous cultural generativity, and cultural understandings and construction of ADRD among AN caregivers. His research has identified indigenous cultural generativity as a critical ingredient to healthy aging, a resilience resource, and has important implications for the wellbeing of Alaska Native and American Indians, including those with ADRD, their caregivers, and family and community members.
Genelle R. S. Lamont, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Dr. Lamont is an epidemiologist, public health and health literacy professional. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Biobehavioral Health at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, Duluth Campus and faculty with the MK-MDT. Her research focuses on the intersection between chronic disease, social determinants of health, and Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias in indigenous populations. Other areas of research include health equity, health literacy, cultural humility, and establishing meaningful and accessible health data on American Indians/Alaska Natives using community-based participatory research and building public health surveillance capacity to address native health.
Melissa Blind, PhD - Senior Research Associate
Patrick Bright, MA - Research Specialist
Josyaah Budreau, MA -Qualitative Analyst
Sheamus Cavanaugh, MA - Research Associate
Kirsten Cruikshank - Researcher 1
Melinda Dertinger, MA - Research Associate
Josh Fergen, PhD - Senior Research Associate
Sasheen Goslin, BS - Indigenous Community Based Researcher
Antonio Paniagua Guzmán, PhD - Post Doctoral Associate
Zayla Asquith-Heinz - Research Assistant
Natasha Jauss - Research Admin Support
January Johnson - Community Based Researcher
Tracy Kemp - Administrative Associate
Dana Ketcher, Phd – Researcher 5
Kelsie Larson, Community Based Researcher
Alexis Mason - Community Based Researcher
Brooke Metz, MA, MS, Communications Manager
Amy Otto, PhD - Senior Research Associate
Collette Pederson - Community Based Researcher
Karen Pitawanakwat - Senior Community Based Researcher
Lynsie Radovich, PhD - Research Manager
Sung Han Rhew, PhD - Post Doctoral Associate
Ben Rosaasen, MBA - Community Based Researcher
Patricia Soderlund, PhD - Senior Research Associate
Rhonda Trudeau - Community Based Researcher
Lena Thompson, PhD - Post Doctoral Associate
Aaron Verhel - End-User Support
Natalya Walker, BA - Community Engagement Coordinator Manager
Martha Williams - Community Researcher
Mikaela Williams, BA - Qualitative Analyst