Movers & Shakers 9/06/15
ANSEP alums achieve tenure-track positions
Two Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program alumni will make history at the University of Alaska Anchorage as the first tenure-track Alaska Native engineering faculty members. Both Michele Yatchmeneff and Matt Calhoun recently earned their doctorates in engineering and will begin teaching engineering courses during the fall semester of 2015 to develop the next generation of STEM industry professionals in Alaska.
“We’re proud of how far Michele and Matt have come,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder. “They exemplify the ideal ANSEP students. Their experiences, first as students and later as staff, speak volumes about the long-term impact ANSEP can have and also make them uniquely qualified to encourage other Alaskans to pursue STEM education and careers.”
Dr. Yatchmeneff is a Unangax (Aleut) woman who grew up living a traditional subsistence lifestyle in rural villages along Alaska’s Aleutian chain. She discovered her love of engineering in high school while attending an engineering camp at the University of Denver, and began to immerse herself in several camps and internships.
While working toward her undergraduate degree at UAA, Yatchmeneff participated in the ANSEP University Success component.
After earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering at UAA, she began working in Alaska’s construction and engineering industry, specializing in water and sewer projects in remote villages across the state. Throughout her school and work experiences, Yatchmeneff felt that there was an ongoing negative stereotype that came with her Alaska Native heritage.
As a result, she returned to ANSEP in 2007 as deputy director, with the goal of motivating other Alaska Native students to earn STEM degrees and join her in combating those stereotypes. Yatchmeneff recently earned her Ph.D. in engineering education from Purdue University.
“ANSEP students inspire me every day because they are knocking down barriers they don’t even realize exist,” said ANSEP Assistant Professor of Engineering Yatchmeneff. “I’m looking forward to helping students learn to navigate the university and getting them excited about their undergraduate engineering degrees.”
Calhoun is an Athabaskan Indian from Homer and has been involved with ANSEP since 1999. After meeting ANSEP Founder Schroeder, Calhoun was inspired to pursue an engineering degree at UAA while participating in the ANSEP University Success component. In 2002, he was one of the first ANSEP students to graduate with his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.
From there, Calhoun was employed as a project engineer for three years before returning to ANSEP as a regional director in 2006. Calhoun actively recruited students for ANSEP pre-college components before going outside to earn his master’s in civil engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2010. This year, Calhoun earned his Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
“I truly believe Alaska needs more homegrown scientists and engineers, and I want to be part of making that happen at ANSEP and at UAA,” said ANSEP Assistant Professor of Engineering Calhoun. “Having more Alaska students with degrees is key to having a voice in the projects and research that will build Alaska’s future.”
Both Yatchmeneff and Calhoun are now tenure-track faculty members at UAA. During the fall semester, Yatchmeneff will teach Introduction to Engineering as well as two sections of Engineering Economic Analysis and Operations. Calhoun will teach Introduction to Engineering as well as Properties of Materials and its corresponding lab. The two will also continue their work at ANSEP, serving as assistant engineering professors to Dr. Schroeder.
ANSEP’s longitudinal model begins at the middle school level and continues through high school and into college undergraduate, graduate and doctorate programs. Yatchmeneff and Calhoun are among 146 ANSEP scholarship recipients that have graduated from the University of Alaska with bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields. There are currently more than 1,500 students in the ANSEP pipeline.
Lane Powell Attorneys Brewster H. Jamieson, Michael J. Parise and Peter C. Partnow were named as 2015 “Alaska Super Lawyers” by Thomson Reuters’ Super Lawyers magazine, in the areas of General Litigation, Business/Corporate, and Labor and Employment, respectively. This is Parise’s sixth year and Jamieson’s ninth year being named as “Alaska Super Lawyers.” Special recognition goes to Peter Partnow who was named an “Alaska Super Lawyer” for the first time. Thomson Reuters performs the polling, research and selection for Super Lawyers in a process designed to identify lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. No more than 5 percent of Alaska attorneys are given this honor.
Mark Johnston was appointed as general manager of Municipal Light and Power. Johnston previously served as acting general manager and CFO. Johnston has also held executive and management level finance positions at the Alaska Public Utilities Commission, Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education, Alaska Railroad Corp., and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. He was awarded a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Nevada and has been a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Alaska since 1996.
Hal Hart was appointed as the new director of the Anchorage Development Services Department. The Planning and Development Services divisions will return to department–level status to increase accountability and coordination among departments. Hart most recently worked as Juneau’s Community Development director, where he promoted streamlining regulations to increase affordable housing and advanced Juneau’s economic development plan. He has also worked as a city planner in Woodinville, Wash. Hart obtained a bachelor’s degree from Central Washington University and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Eastern Washington University.
Chugach School District Superintendent Dr. Bob Crumley has been selected by his peers as Alaska’s 2016 Superintendent of the Year. The Superintendent of the Year program, now in its 29th year, pays tribute to a school system’s top leader who exemplifies effectiveness, knowledge, leadership, ethics, and commitment. Crumley became the superintendent for the Chugach School District on July 1, 2005 and has successfully served for 10 years in this position making him one of the longest continually serving superintendents in the State of Alaska. He has had national and state recognition with the following awards: 2009 Alaska Performance Excellence Award; 2001 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for Excellence in Education; and the 2000 New American High School Award. ASA will advance Crumley’s candidacy to the 2016 National Superintendent of the Year program knowing that he is highly respected by his colleagues, board members and constituents throughout Alaska. All State Superintendents of the Year will be honored in February at the 2016 AASA National Conference on Education in Phoenix, Ariz.
R&M Consultants Inc. is pleased to announce Christopher Fell, LG, CPG, a senior geologist in the Earth Sciences Department, has earned his Certified Professional Geologist certification. The CPG certification is administered by the American Institute of Professional Geologists, an association dedicated to promoting geology as a profession. Fell has 11 years of experience performing environmental and geotechnical projects for private and public clients. He is currently the project and field lead for projects investigating the environmental impacts of subsurface contamination in several small Southeast Alaska communities, is performing field inspection and reporting on the status of unstable slopes along the Dalton Highway, and providing geologic/GIS quality control and assurance for terrain unit mapping in Southcentral and Northern Alaska. Fell has a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Victor Perri-Jimenez joined the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce in mid-August as its engagement membership coordinator. Perri-Jimenez came to Anchorage from the Dominican Republic in 2009. He has worked for the past three years as an international student assistant and as an education opportunity specialist at the University of Alaska Anchorage and as a departmental student coordinator for the Department of Politics and International Affairs at the London University in the United Kingdom. He held an internship with KTUU, and worked for Diálogo Newspaper in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public communications and is currently finishing his thesis to obtain a master’s degree in International Studies and Affairs from the London University.