dustin skenandore | yl voice | feb. 2019
A year ago, the Community Education Center introduced Oneida Scholars, in collaboration with Education & Training and Oneida Higher Education. This series features Oneida professionals in a myriad of career and educational paths. We've hosted literary, technology and culinary scholars from Wisconsin to New York. We are very excited to see this program grow.
On February 14, 2019, the Community Education Center is hosting the newest addition to the Oneida Scholarrepertoire, Amanda Bruegl, MD MS. She is Oneida and Stockbridge-Munsee and works as an assistant professor in gynecologic oncology (women's pelvic cancer specialist) at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon. She is also the director of tribal engagement for the Northwest Native American Center of Excellence at the OHSU School of Medicine.
Bruegl spoke to her educational success as a “powerful driver,” with the expectation that she would pursue higher education.
“When I was young . . . [the question] wasn't if I would go. It was where I would go.”
She faced a myriad of difficulties in college, including the intimidation factor of being surrounded by smart and driven individuals; however, one of the biggest challenges was culture shock.
Bruegl grew up in a small town of about 1,200 people. Her college campus had upwards of 40,000 students. Her trips back home were long, with long drives or airline travel. This did not deter her.
Bruegl had to work throughout college, making the balancing act between school and paying bills difficult. What she found most trying was locating a community, a group of people that made the huge campus seem smaller and more like a home. She found this in the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). Bruegl believes that without finding this organization she would have had a notably less positive time at school.
Community has been integral for Bruegl. The central part of her mission continues to be helping Native American women, and she has stayed true to this. She serves on a national committee for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that specializes in Indigenous Women's health. She also does research on gynecologic cancer preventions of Native women. Her research examines why Native women have one and a half times the rate of cervical cancer and twice the rate of death from cervical cancer when the disease can be prevented by a pap smear and an HPV vaccine.
With this passion Bruegl comes to the Oneida Nation Community Education Center from Portland to provide a community presentation on February 14 at 5:30 p.m. She will provide updates on cervical cancer screening guidelines, HPV vaccination, review general screening guidelines, and special guidelines for patients with HIV. We cordially invite all community to delve into this great learning opportunity. Register online at oneidacommunityeducationcenter.org.
Dustin Skenandore is a recent graduate of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He currently works for the Oneida Nation Community Education Center and the Oneida Nation Arts Program.