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Livermont to Pursue Graduate Degree in Healthcare Policy

Photo of Tamee Livermont. Graduating senior Tamee Livermont will pursue a master's in public health with a concentration in health policy at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

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.


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News