Originally from Dobbs Ferry, NY, Shelli graduated with honors from James Madison University in 2016 where she studied public administration and global justice. After obtaining her B.S. she went on to pursue her Masters in public administration and a Certificate in health disparities from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Additionally, Shelli has spent her professional experience working in nonprofit organizations with a focus on public health, equity, and collaboration. Most recently she was the graduate intern for a local nonprofit with a mission focused on childhood food insecurity and nutrition.
Field placement: Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative
Shelli completed her field placement at the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative (IFAI) at the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, AR), an organization dedicated to enhancing health in tribal communities by supporting food sovereignty and economic development through research and education. In her role, Shelli supported the organization's work to enhance tribal food sovereignty with their Native Farm Bill Coalition and the Model Food Code Project. Through data collection, organization, and visualization she created infographics, maps, and charts to turn data into meaningful stories.
Policy placement: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Hunger Free Community Report
"638 Authority" is a legal tool for Tribal self-determination that gives Tribes the ability to take over control of eligible federal government programs, and recent legislation has authorized pilot programs to bring it to the USDA. This report is a tool to educate federal regulators, legislators, and other allies outside the Native community on Tribal self-determination, how 638 authorization operates, and how expanding this program could impact nutrition and agriculture in Indian Country.