Class Notes

Rachel Ross headshot
Rachel Ross
Melissa Wanamaker headshot
Melissa Wanamaker
Dr. Laurie Stuart headshot
Dr. Laurie Stuart
Dr. Tina Woods headshot
Dr. Tina Woods
Dr. Michele Yatchmeneff headshot
Dr. Michele Yatchmeneff
Nate Seymour headshot
Nate Seymour
Kelly Shrein receiving an award
Kelly Shrein
Jamie O'Connor flexing muscles
Jamie O’Connor
Matt Caprioli
Martha Amore


Elementary education alumna Rachel Ross, B.Ed. ’84, visits UAA campus for the first time in over 30 years. Ross, who recently retired from teaching elementary school in California, was in town to participate in the Anchorage Runfest in August 2021, which was the last race in her quest to finish a half marathon in all 50 states.


The Clark Fork Watershed Education Program in Montana announced in September 2021 that marketing alumna Melissa Wanamaker, B.B.A. ’94, has been hired as its director of community engagement and development. In this position, Wanamaker is charged with growing the capacity and expanding the reach of the staff and program. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Wanamaker)


In April 2021, English alumna Dr. Laurie Stuart, M.A. ’95, accepted the position of executive director at the Tyonek Tribal Conservation District. Dr. Stuart is an experienced nonprofit executive with more than 10 years of leadership roles in science education, conservation and nonprofit management. She most recently served as a director at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, and has previously held leadership positions at the Pratt Museum in Homer and at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward.


In spring 2021, the Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes launched its new Community and Behavioral Services Division. Psychology alumna Dr. Tina Woods, B.A. ’99, M.S. ’10, Ph.D. ’13, has been hired to lead the new division. In addition to maintaining the tribe’s existing programs, some of her main goals will be to expand the type of care offered and to destigmatize seeking help around mental health and drug use. (Photo courtesy of Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska)


In September 2021, Chancellor Parnell announced that civil engineering and engineering management alumna Dr. Michele Yatchmeneff, B.S. ’05, M.S. ’10, accepted the role of executive director of Alaska Native education and outreach at UAA. Dr. Yatchmeneff most recently served as an associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at UAA, as well as assistant director of the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program.


In June 2015, Cornerstone General Contractors expanded their project management and estimating team by hiring construction management alumnus Nate Seymour, B.S. ’09, to focus on private sector business development and projects. Seymour joined with more than 11 years of construction experience, most recently owning his own construction and real estate consulting firm.


Alaska Department of Education & Early Development Commissioner Michael Johnson (left) presents elementary education alumna Kelly Shrein, B.A. ’13, of Northwood Elementary in Anchorage with a plaque commemorating her designation of 2021-22 Alaska Teacher of the Year. One of 109 Alaska educators to be nominated for this year’s award, Shrein will have a seat on Commissioner Johnson’s Teacher and Educator Advisory Council. She will also be Alaska’s nominee for National Teacher of the Year. (Photo by Louis Velasco / Anchorage School District)


Journalism and public communication alumna Jamie O’Connor, B.A. ’14, joined the Washington, D.C. office of Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in August 2021 as a legislative assistant for fisheries, oceans and sciences. This is a return to Capitol Hill for O’Connor who previously served in the office of Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) in 2015-16 as senior staff assistant and internship coordinator. (Photo courtesy of Jamie O’Connor)


English and psychology alumnus Matt Caprioli, B.A. ’15, (left) participating in a Q&A in August 2021 with UAA assistant professor and creative writing alumna Martha Amore, M.F.A. ’09 (right), at the Writer’s Block Bookstore and Cafe in Anchorage to talk about his new memoir One Headlight. (Photo courtesy of Matt Caprioli)