Expanding a culture of education: Preparing Indigenous Teachers and Administrators for Alaska Schools (PITAAS)

In Alaska schools, Alaska Native students make up 25 percent of the student body – but less than 5 percent of the professional educator labor force. The PITAAS program was created in 2000 with the goal of addressing this discrepancy by preparing more Alaska Native educators for Alaska classrooms. “When students have a teacher who has direct experience with their culture, they have a mentor, a leader and an example of the power of education in their lives,” says Ronalda Cadiente-Brown, MA, Assistant Dean of Indigenous and Multicultural Education, and the director of PITAAS…

Growing our own workforce: Recruiting and Retention of Alaska Natives into Nursing (RRANN)

From hosting camps that foster high school students’ interest in nursing careers to offering tutoring, scholarships and other support to current students, RRANN is dedicated to providing the tools Alaska Native and American Indian nursing students need to successfully reach their graduation day. Brooke Brun, an AAS nurse graduate from Fairbanks, is one of the 270 Alaska Native/American Indian students who graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage School of Nursing with RRANN’s support. It wasn’t an easy road…

Inspiring future health care providers: Della Keats Health Sciences Summer Program

Carolyn Knackstedt was a junior in high school when she applied to the Della Keats Health Sciences Summer Program. During the four-week experience she lived on campus, attended college-level classes, and job shadowed in a hospital emergency room, physical therapy office and alongside a pediatric cardiologist. “That is very difficult to obtain as a 16- or 17-year-old,” Carolyn says. “This exposure would have been impossible for me to accomplish on my own…”

Developing tomorrow’s leaders: Senator Ted Stevens Legislative Internship Program

Over its 30-year history, the Senator Ted Stevens Legislative Internship Program has provided hands-on experience to UA students, preparing them for work in federal, state or local government – or to become legislators themselves! In fact, 40 percent of past participants have gone on to be professional staff for the Alaska Legislature, and more than a quarter of Alaska’s current legislative staff are graduates of this program…

Changing the trajectory of hundreds of lives: Rural Alaska Honors Institute (RAHI)

Marina Anderson never thought she was “smart” … until RAHI, a competitive six-week summer program where students live on campus and participate in a rigorous academic program. “Before RAHI, I couldn’t see myself being capable of research and relaying ideas articulately. RAHI made me see my self-discipline,” shares Marina, who is now working for her tribe in her village of Kasaan, and serving on Kasaan’s Tribal Council…