Vanessa Simonds, Sc.D., completed her graduate studies at the Harvard School of Public Health earning a Master of Science from the Department of Epidemiology, and a Doctor of Science from the Department of Society, Human Development & Health. In 2011, Dr. Simonds finished a postdoctoral fellowship with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico, where she was mentored by Dr. Nina Wallerstein. After her postdoctoral training, she joined the faculty at the University of Iowa College of Public Health as an assistant professor. While at Iowa, she was selected for the 2012-2014 Native Investigator Development Program funded by the National Institute of Aging. Dr. Simonds uses community-based participatory research approaches to address health and health literacy issues ranging from chronic disease to environmental health among Native Americans. She is especially committed to designing and evaluating strength-based, community-centered outreach strategies designed in partnership with Native American communities. She is currently funded through MSU’s Center for Health Equity Research to work in partnership with Crow community members to develop an environmental health literacy program for Crow youth and their families.