Alicia Mousseau ’00

To read an update on Alicia's accomplishments, including her completion of her PhD program, click HERE.


Porcupine, South Dakota

Current Location

The University of Wyoming in Laramie A 2000 graduate of Red Cloud High School with a 4.0 GPA and numerous letters in basketball, volleyball, golf and track, Alicia Mousseau is a shining example of student achievement and academic determination after graduation. She is also a role model for generations to come.

A graduate of Creighton University with a bachelor of arts in psychology with a minor in political science, Alicia moved back to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation after graduation where she worked in a number of capacities while also earning an associate’s degree in life sciences from Oglala Lakota College.

In 2007, Alicia was accepted to the University of Wyoming in Laramie, where she was awarded a full graduate assistantship. She earned a master of science in clinical psychology from the university in 2009, and currently resides in Laramie as she works on her doctorate in clinical psychology.

Asked and Answered

What did you major in during undergraduate and why?

I started off as a political science major with a psychology minor at the University of Minnesota, but after transferring to Creighton University, I switched those two around. I ended up with a bachelor in psychology and a minor in political science. I enjoy politics—I know that sounds crazy, but as frustrated as I get [with politics] it’s true. The positive influence one can have representing people and voicing their concerns and desires is important to me. Psychology, on the other hand, is the study of human behavior, and if you can understand that then you can have a lot of positive influence as well.

Together the two areas of study sort of go hand-and-hand in providing better services and a better quality of life for people. These two areas are very important to people on the reservation but oftentimes underutilized: I want to try and fill the void and provide those services to people on the reservation because the Lakota people deserve the best.

What was your high school career like at Red Cloud?

I loved high school! It was an amazing time. I believe that my career at Red Cloud was an “outlier” moment for me—it was the right time and right place for me. It allowed me to meet a lot of great people who connected me with other great people and establish a caring, loving, spiritual community with one each other. That’s why I’d do anything for Red Cloud—they have been the foundation to my success in education and in my connections and networks in the real world.

I was able to pursue all types of endeavors at Red Cloud, including varsity basketball, volleyball and track for all four years. I also participated on the very first varsity golf team. I was a part of nearly every organization you can imagine, like the science club, student council and campus ministry. I wanted to be involved in all the activities that Red Cloud had to offer because they allowed me to meet new people.

Similarly, academically I took classes with the class ahead of me. I think I took every science and math class offered at Red Cloud! While I was a student in the high school, I also took early-entry classes at Oglala Lakota College. Most importantly, I left Red Cloud with a family of people who supported me and gave me a rich and rewarding experience that set me up for success now and in the future, working within our communities on the reservation.

Why did you choose the colleges you attended?

I chose the University of Minnesota at first because my best friend Randi Gibbons (also a Red Cloud alumni) was attending there. The tradition of previous classes attending major universities was huge for me, so I thank those who graduated before me and showed us that college was not just a possibility but a necessity.

Unfortunately, I didn’t feel like I was effectively learning in classes of 300 students at the University of Minnesota, so I transferred to Creighton University in Omaha. A lot of my fellow classmates went to Creighton, which was a smaller school with the Jesuit influence and a strong academic foundation. And, it was close to home. I chose the University of Wyoming for graduate school because they gave me the “sweetest deal” financially and academically.

I earned a full graduate assistantship, which pays me a stipend and my tuition while I earn my master’s and doctoral degrees. Academically, my program is accredited by the American Psychological Association, which provides me with the best opportunity to be a successful psychologist when I finish. My degree is also very versatile in that I can teach, do research and even participate in clinical work. This makes me more marketable and allows me to be more creative in my career.

What are your future goals in life?

I hope to respectfully represent my tribe and my community wherever I am, continuing to build relationships and support networks so that I can provide beneficial services to my community. Accordingly, after getting my degree I would like to return home to the reservation and establish a psychology program at Oglala Lakota College so that I can be a part of training future reservation psychologists while also continuing my research.

Additionally, I plan to collaborate with tribal leaders to develop their mental health programs and services as part of an overall reservation health initiative, including the implementation of a primary care behavioral health program at Indian Health Service. Finally, I hope to continue what I once did—volunteering in the community and with the programs on the reservation that promote healthy life styles. I would like to collaborate with other Native researchers across the nation for the betterment of the lives of American Indians.

To read an update on Alicia's accomplishments, including her completion of her PhD program, click HERE.

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