Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Health Promotion

First Committee Member

Dr. Regina Idoate

Second Committee Member

Aislinn Rookwood

Third Committee Member

Dr. Keyonna King


The National Cancer Institute promotes workforce development programs that aim to increase representation of American Indian/Alaska Natives in health science and research careers. One such program, Youth Enjoy Science at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, has employed American Indian/Alaska Native youth in mentored cancer research internships from 2017 to 2022. The primary purpose of this study was to examine mentor and mentee experiences of participation in Youth Enjoy Science research education internships to learn from their stories. We conducted semi-structured interviews with current and former Youth Enjoy Science mentees (n=8) and mentors (n=8). We analyzed and collectively re-storied the data into narrative form based on emergent themes. We propose a conceptual model of Indigenous health research mentorship that recognizes inclusivity and mutuality as primary values of mentorship, with diversity and cultural humility as indicators of inclusivity, and resilience and trust as indicators of mutuality. Although this new model holds exciting implications for increasing Indigenous representation in health research, the model should be further studied and empirically validated.

Available for download on Thursday, April 25, 2024