VERMILLION, S.D. – Tamee Livermont, a graduating senior at the University of South Dakota and member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, has long had a passion to work in healthcare. With two prestigious national Udall Scholarship awards, the medical biology and Native American studies double major is well prepared to tackle the master’s program she’ll enter at Vanderbilt University to concentrate on health policy.
“My experiences at the University of South Dakota have undoubtedly catapulted me into my master's degree pursuits,” said Livermont, who will study public health at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee. “Having the opportunities that I did through this university and the faculty members that assisted me along the way, allowed me to enter a graduate program that requires two years of post-undergraduate experience because of the extensive nature of my experiences during my undergraduate career.”
Growing up in Martin, South Dakota, Livermont said she has long been interested in healthcare, but it was after her first Udall Scholarship experience that she added a second major in Native American studies. She was awarded the first Udall in 2016 and the second in 2017.
“After my first Udall, I became interested in tribal public policy. Healthcare isn’t just about the clinicians but also the policies that shape the healthcare we are providing,” Livermont said.
Livermont is a past president of the USD American Indian Science and Engineering Society, an executive board member of the Alternative Week of Off-Campus Learning (AWOL) and a member of the USD Medical Biology Club as well as various other campus organizations.
Livermont said she appreciated the assistance she received during her time at USD, especially from the Native American Cultural Center (NACC).
“For Native American students, finding a place at Native Student Services at the NACC, is very helpful. There’s a whole population like you and everyone is there to support you and back you and help you in any way possible,” said Livermont.