Mary Ann Franks, MPH
Mary Ann, Public Health Communications Associate, has received a Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education with a minor in Substance Abuse Education; Prevention, Intervention, and Treatment from Central Michigan University. After completing a Bachelor’s degree, Mary Ann completed a Master’s in Public Health at the University of Michigan in 2020. During her time at Central Michigan University, Mary Ann participated in many organizations, including Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, Lunch Buddies Mentoring Program at the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Academy, Student Environmental Alliance, Para Los Ninos de Oaxaca, the Alternative Breaks Program, Leadership Safari, and other registered student organizations.
While in school, she complemented her public health studies with several paid, volunteer, and internship opportunities. Work included experiences with the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Mount Pleasant, an internship combatting homelessness with the Isabella County Restoration House, and mentoring youth in Pride Youth Programs, a peer-to-peer drug prevention and healthy lifestyle organization. She also completed study abroad trips to Mexico, Honduras, Dominican Republic, and Ecuador. During her time in college, Mary Ann gained special interest in working with tribal communities. She assisted with the planning and implementation of the Ziibiwing Cultural Center’s Sacred Water Symposium. At the University of Michigan, Mary Ann served as a research assistant with Dr. Katie Schultz, continuing her study of Native American and tribal communities. Their work focused on the importance of community and cultural connectedness as a protective factor and developed culturally derived interventions. Additionally, she participated in the planning committee for the University of Michigan’s Native American Heritage Month and the Dance for Mother Earth Powwow. Mary Ann is interested in sustainable solutions that prioritize, include, and support indigenous knowledge.