I grew up in Kotzebue Alaska and am the daughter of Sally and James McClellan. I attended Cornell University (1 year) and the community college University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac for 1.5 years. I earned a Bachelors of Science in Medical Microbiology and Immunology and PhD in Microbiology, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I did my Postdoctoral fellowship in Host-Microbe interactions at the University of Oregon. My research focuses on how the host genetic background contributes to the relationship between the host and the microbes that reside in our guts. I use threespine stickleback as a model organism. I also study how to improve recruitment and retention of Historically Excluded and Underrepresented Scientists in STEM fields.
What drew you to/inspires you about the Caleb Scholars Program?
I wanted to be able to help Alaska Native students in their path to earning a Western education and figuring out how to use their education to help other Alaska Natives. I wish I had had that type of support when I was a student.
What does conservation mean to you? For me it means preserving land, food resources, medicines, knowledge, and traditions, among other things for the generations after us. None of these are in infinite supply. Without careful preservation and care, each can be lost within a generation.
Taikuu for your commitment to the Caleb Scholars Program!