November 2018 Undergraduate

Preslee ThornePreslee Thorne

Home town: Lawton, OK
Tribe: Chickasaw Nation
Scholarship: AIGC/Gates Millennial Scholar
School: University of Oregon
Major: City Planning, Public Policy and Nonprofit Management
GPA: 3.56

I am currently a senior at the University of Oregon, completing my degree with the assistance of the AIGC/Gates Millennium Scholar Program. I come from a family of ten, battling and defying the odds of intersecting oppressions, poverty, and a family history of generational trauma and multiple chronic illnesses. Coming from a background, and a community, that has experienced a multitude of health disparities due to lack of resources, unaffordability, and the like, I have taken it upon myself to help create the change I wish to see.

Coming from a low-income and high crime community in Oklahoma that experiences some of the highest rates of obesity and heart disease in the nation, I have found myself deeply motivated by food security, issues that are preventing it, as well as identifying solutions, these last few years. I am studying City Planning, Public Policy, and Nonprofit Management with minors in Food Studies and Global Health.

One relevant educational experience of mine includes interning at the Chickasaw Nation Division of Public Health within the Department of Health during the summer of 2016. This valuable experience has expanded my knowledge about tribal public health issues, tribal-specific disparities, and the ways in which tribes and local, state, and federal governments work together to ensure the health and well-being of Native people. During my internship period, I assisted the department to write a grant proposal to expand on a project that addresses childhood obesity within the local Native community. I also have assisted with multiple health education events through the Chickasaw Nation Public Health Department as well as Nutrition Services.