Michele Yatchmeneff is Unangax (Alaska Native) who grew up living a traditional subsistence lifestyle in rural villages along Alaska’s Aleutian chain. She earned a BS in Civil Engineering in 2005 and an MS in Engineering Management in 2009 at University of Alaska Anchorage. After earning her BS she began working in Alaska’s construction and engineering industry, specializing in water and sewer projects in remote villages across the state. She also worked as the Deputy Director of the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP). Professor Yatchmeneff earned her PhD in Engineering Education from Purdue University in 2015. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Her research focuses on belonging, motivation, and success for Alaska Native science, engineering, technology, and mathematics (STEM) students.
Matt Calhoun is an Athabaskan Indian from the Upper Kuskokwim River region who grew up in Homer, Alaska. In 2002 he was one of the first students in the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program ( ANSEP™) to graduate and earn a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Alaska Anchorage. After being employed in the construction industry, he returned to work with ANSEP™ as Pre-College Program Director in 2006 with the purpose of motivating and empowering more Alaska Native high school students to pursue a degree in science or engineering. Matt has now earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees and is the only Alaska Native in the world to complete a doctorate in civil engineering. He is now an assistant professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage and mentors engineering students while working with ANSEP™.
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