Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship (ACES)

Michelle Sarche

Inducted in

University of Colorado Denver - Anschutz Medical Campus

Associate Professor, Department of Community and Behavioral Health
Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health

Photo of Michelle Sarche

Biographical Abstracts

Michelle Sarche is a licensed clinical psychologist and associate professor in the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and Colorado School of Public Health. Michelle is a citizen of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwe and has been partnering with American Indian and Alaska Native tribes in research and evaluation related to children’s development in the context of family, community, culture, early care, education, and home visiting programs, and, more broadly, to health and well-being across the lifespan, for over 25 years.  Michelle’s work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Administration for Children and Families.

Her current projects include the Tribal Early Childhood Research Center, the Multi-site Implementation Evaluation of Tribal Home Visiting (MUSE) project, the Native Children’s Research Exchange Network and Scholars program, the American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey, and two randomized controlled trials of a culturally adapted alcohol-exposed pregnancy prevention program. 

Michelle is an Aspen Institute Ascend Fellow, the 2018 recipient of the National Indian Head Start Association Child Advocate of the Year award, and an appointee to the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on Addressing the Long-Term Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children and Families. Michelle’s greatest honor and privilege has been her partnership with numerous American Indian and Alaska Native communities, tribal early care, education, and home visiting programs, and colleagues who work to support young Native children and families on a daily basis.

Michelle obtained her BS in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Masters and PhD in Clinical Psychology from Loyola University Chicago. She completed her predoctoral clinical psychology internship and a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. She also completed a 2-year certificate in psychodynamic child and adolescent psychotherapy through the Denver Psychoanalytic Institute.

Areas of Expertise

  • Early childhood development
  • Early care and education
  • Indigenous communities