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Two nursing professors join Native Research Ambassador Program

Courtesy Timian Godfrey
Timian Godfrey is one of two University of Arizona College of Nursing professors who were accepted to the American Indian Health Research and Education Alliance’s Native Research Ambassador Program.

Two University of Arizona College of Nursing professors, Timian Godfrey and Michelle Kahn-John, were accepted to the American Indian Health Research and Education Alliance’s Native Research Ambassador Program. Both of the women are members of the Navajo Nation.

According to the American Indian Health Research and Education Alliance’s, or AIHREA, website their goal is to “improve the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of American Indians throughout the United States through quality participatory research and educational programs.” 

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The professors were 2 of 20 selected to be ambassadors in the program based on the work they have already done or what they are planning to do.

A recent graduate of Johns Hopkins University, Godfrey has not conducted much research but is eager to begin. She is at the UA under a grant that will seek to encourage mentorship for other Native American students interested in pursuing nursing.

Godfrey said she hopes that the AIHREA will help strengthen skills that she has learned both at Johns Hopkins University and the UA.

“There has long been a historical mistrust between Native Americans and research,” Godfrey said. “I hope that the program will provide increased cultural training in how to conduct research and write grants on campus with regards to Native Americans.”

Kahn-John’s main area of research focuses on the relationship of Native American culture, ceremony, spirituality and health. Some of her research has included studies such as “Intergenerational Wisdom of Cultural Outcomes of Ceremonial Intervention” and “Culture as a Protective Factor for Native Americans.” 

Through the program, Dr. Kahn-John said she aims to further her research with resources provided through the AIHREA.

“I am hoping to get paired mentorship to conduct respectful research in Native American communities,” Kahn-John said. “I am also looking forward to expanding my skill set that is needed for research.”

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Godfrey was informed of the program through a colleague from Johns Hopkins University who also helped to start the program. Godfrey then shared the application with Dr. Kahn-John. 

Both professors just returned from the University of Kansas where they were at an informational and introductory conference for the AIHREA.

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