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"Our mission is the promotion and success of American Indians within education."


AIR Spring Program 2012

Spring Topics: Health: Diabetes basics, indigenous foods, healthy food and preventing diabetes
During the Spring 2012, we introduced the topic of Health: Diabetes basics, indigenous foods, healthy food and preventing diabetes. Overall we covered health concerns within Indian Country, particularly the health issue of diabetes. This is significant, as long term diets have changed throughout these many years from those that have been traditionally based to more with high fat content. Most due to the greater convenience of our modern industrialized world.
As an example, many of the Pueblos within the Southwest had a farmed based diet (grown vegetables) where in our present time the average worker from these Tribal Nations now have fast food as a matter of convenience before, during and after work. Using this topic, as a basis, our students, learned about our Tribes and the health effects of the modern age. Our students also learned more about our universities and campus libraries, they were given research methodology from our mentors, learned how to make effective presentations, and learned more about these issues affecting our communities. Most important, we kept old friendships and created new ones.

AIR Spring Group
Group Shot

Meeting 1: University of San Diego
Health and what we eat

Introduce research topic: Diabetes basics, indigenous foods, healthy food and preventing diabetes

This was our first meeting of the semester and we wanted to find out what we eat. We know that Diabetes seems to be a dramatic disease that effects our indigenous communities. Here we discussed what we know about diabetes (type 2) and the causes and implications of this disease. We then looked into indigenous foods and compared them to healthy foods from a “Western” diet. We did this by examining food labels are on nearly all of the packaged foods that we can purchase at the grocery store or mini mart. Looking at this and those with vegetables that our communities had (pre-contact) and we realized that our diets can be bad in with the western processed foods.

Dr Jacob
Dr Jacob
Group Discussion
discussion groups


Meeting 2: San Diego State University:
Health and Exercise

Academic Workshop: The purpose of our workshop on A-G requirements are to cover what many think of as the “gameplan” to qualify for the UC or CSU system. A-G requirements are the courses that you must take in order to qualify for the UC and Cal State System. Our previous findings are that most of our students that we encounter within our program have not been made aware of these requirements. This is one factor that prevents our students from successfully entering higher education.
In week 1, we learned about healthy food choices and how they can help prevent diabetes. This week we discussed exercise as a way to also prevent diabetes. Here we looked at ways in which exercise helps your body burn calories and process sugars. Not all exercise are equal. We will see which exercises are good for burning lots of calories. But most importantly, we’ll learned how just moving a little bit makes a bit difference for your health.

group planning on research
Outside exercise
Meeting room at USD

Meeting 3: University of San Diego
Health and Fast Food

Academic Workshop: Financial's and Need
This is an important workshop from our student mentors perspective. Here they discussed how they got their monies to pay for college what they expected and what they didn't expect. This is probably one of the most important workshops as money plays a big part in the educational system.
Research: What should I know about Fast Food and Diabetes Who likes fast food? McDonald’s? Burger King? Wendy’s? Dominos? In N Out? Even Starbucks!? What is your favorite? Yes, we all eat fast food sometimes. But what exactly is in that food? And what does different food do to your body? Here we researched calories and nutritional values of some of your favorite fast foods. And you’ll learn how you can make healthy choices even in the drive thru.

discussion on topic
Meeting 4: University of San Diego
Health: Diabetes and Screening

Academic Workshop: What are degrees? What are Careers?
One thing that many do not understand is the idea on what is a degree and what does it involve. We should all know the goals of why you enter higher education. Here, are mentors discussed what a basic undergraduate degree is and what is a graduate degree.
Research: Diabetes screening, management, treatment, and risk factors
In the first three weeks, we learned about diabetes; causes and prevention. Here we learned about screening, management, and treatment. We will learn how medical professionals can help you understand if you (or a loved one) has diabetes.
research room at USD
Workshop discussion

Meeting 5: University of San Diego
Health and Environmental Factors

Academic Workshop: Time Management
Organization is key to success in life and especially in college. Time management is key and within this workshop we covered the basics on how to, at the very least, keep most of our activities that are important to us.
Research: Diabetes, environmental factors, and policy
Health is not only an individual thing. Yes, you can decide what to eat and when to exercise. But, there are many other factors that matter for your health. At this meeting we researched environmental factors and policies that impact your health.

Campus Tour
Research at USD
More Research
SDSU Conference rooms
Meeting 6: San Diego State University
Interview Techniques and collecting our knowledge on Diabetes

Activity: Teaching interview basics and on-camera presence.
Research: Applying what we’ve learned: How can health be improved for myself, my family, and my community?
Here we started to gather all our information that we have collected to create our interview questions.

Post meeting with Phillip
Recruitment and Retention

Meeting 7: University of San Diego
Community Members Interview

Pulling it altogether:
Here, we pulled together all our research to develop your interview questions. Here we had the opportunity to ask questions from members of our Community on diabetes.
We were very fortunate to have our community guests willing to share their experiences and respond to our questions.

Meeting 8: University of San Diego - Last Meeting

Our last meeting culminated with our last presentations on the overall topic.
We have learned many aspects of culture, our diets and need to protect our past by staying healthy in mind and body. Our mentors will assisted in helping our students develop short presentations on what you’ve learned this semester.
Finally, we celebrated everyone’s accomplishments in the program in our end of the semester's Awards for both mentors and students and “thank you” to all our community supporters who made this program possible.

Award winning art work
Mentors Awards
last students speeches
Group shot