Student Spotlight: Cassie Mohawk

Feb 4, 2021

Meet Cassaundra (Cassie) Mohawk, a junior in the Department of Applied Human Sciences.

Cassie is majoring in Public Health and minoring in Early Childhood Studies and Woman, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

What do you like most about your major/minor program(s)? 

I really like how broad the Public Health major is. You can choose to focus on what you are truly passionate about. Throughout my classes, I have grown passionate about maternal and child health and have been able to show that through my projects. My hope is to extend that passion in my future academic and professional careers.  

Why did you choose UMD? 

I choose UMD because of the location. For me, it is the ideal location with having so much natural beauty around it. There are always things going on and I feel there is never a dull moment here. I also love the class sizes, not too big, not too small. 

What has been your most meaningful experience at UMD so far? 

I would have to say my research and internship positions with Dr. Hanson. I have been able to develop many new skills as well as refine the skills that I already had. She has also helped me step out of my comfort zone academically and professionally, I would not be where I am without her. 

Can you tell us a little bit about the journal publication that you co-authored?

I started a research assistant position with Dr. Jessica Hanson in January of 2020. At the beginning, we were focusing on creating a variation of the CHOICES intervention which encompassed social support for Native American communities. We started collecting data by having key informant interviews with many individuals who have experience with CHOICES as well as individuals with leadership positions in tribal communities.

Once COVID hit, we were not able to continue with our intervention as planned. We decided to share the information we discovered through these key informant interviews which led to the publication of the article, “The Importance of Understanding Social Context in the Reduction of AEP Risk Among Native Women.” This article explains in detail how Alcohol Exposed Pregnancy (AEP) prevention programs can have a serious impact on Native women on a social level and how this should be addressed when having AEP programs in place. 

What advice do you have for incoming students? 

Go out of your comfort zone. Try new things you have never thought you would academically, professionally, and personally. Your college experience is exactly that, yours. Make it what you want and get the experiences that you want. 

What do you like to do in your free time? 

In my free time, I enjoy hiking in and around Duluth with my friends. I like to try new coffee shops as well as shop and support small businesses in Duluth. I enjoy cooking and baking new foods. I am always down for a good movie night with friends and family.