Undergrad Creates Group for Native American Students

MARCH 19, 2013 - Hilary Andrews (NHS’14) is a health care management & policy major who recently created the Native American Student Council (NASC) under the Center for Social Justice – Research, Teaching, and Service.

The School of Nursing & Health Studies junior and another student founded the organization after they both transferred to Georgetown from other universities.

“I met another transfer student who desired an organization like this, and we decided to start it,” she says. “It’s important to have an outlet and give Native American students a voice.”

Andrews noted that the Center for Multicultural Equity and Access at Georgetown was instrumental in starting the organization.

“I’ve really appreciated the minority support we’ve received through them,” she says.

Educating the Community

A member of the Wampanoag tribe of Aquinnah, Andrews has been very active in her New Bedford, Mass. hometown.

“My aunt is the chairwoman of our tribe, and I’ve been able to go to a lot of conferences with her,” she says. “Most of my family has or does sit on council.”

She plans to use her ties back home to further NASC’s mission of promoting tribal affairs, culture, and policies affecting Native American communities. Michael Stoto, PhD, a professor in the Department of Health Systems Administration, will be helping to spread the word of NASC in the New England area. In April, he will present NHS to the tribe on Martha’s Vineyard.

Expanding the Reach

Hoping to educate area Native Americans on the importance of Native health care professionals, Andrews also hopes the event will increase Native American enrollment at Georgetown.

“There is a critical need for Native health professionals to champion culturally sensitive initiatives,” she says.

She – alongside faculty advisor Bette Jacobs, professor of health systems administration, a distinguished scholar at the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, and a member of the Cherokee Nation – and NASC’s 20-plus members have other upcoming plans.

“Our goal is to raise awareness through our first powwow,” Andrews says. “Hopefully this will help with educating people about Native Americans. I also want to keep aligning ourselves with Native and non-Native people to further our reach.”

The event is scheduled for April 28, from 12-5 pm on Copley Lawn.

More About Andrews

In addition to being NASC chair, Andrews also interns at the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute under executive director Erin Bailey, a human science alumna.

She is considering joining the Peace Corps to work on health projects after graduation and would like to eventually attend graduate school for global health.

By Tiffani Haynes