You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Meet the Team

Stephanie Olson, Dental Assisting Director

Stephanie is a Certified Dental Assistant with a Masters Degree in Career and Technical Education. She was also selected to be a site visitor for the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been volunteering with the Commission for 5 years. She is a lifelong Alaskan and is a University of Alaska Alumni. Stephanie has spent the majority of her career as the Director of the Dental Assisting Program at UAA and has been with the program for over 20 years. She is passionate about all things dental assisting but particularly loves teaching skills labs. In her spare time, she is an avid hiker, loves camping, kayaking and enjoying nature.  Stephanie and her husband have two golden retrievers that they show and train for a variety of AKC competitions. 

Dental Assisting Director Stephanie Olson


Laura Stoddard, Dental Assisting Faculty

Laura is a Registered Dental Hygienist, Certified Dental Assistant and completes her Masters Degree in Education in May 2021. She spent most of her career working in public health where she developed her skills as a clinical dental hygienist, educator and love for the profession. Laura returned to UAA in 2019 as faculty, bringing 20 years of clinical skills as a Registered Dental Hygienist and 13 years teaching Dental Assistants. Laura is a life-long Alaskan, born in Homer, Alaska and a graduate of Dimond High School. Her family (husband, two children & mischief puppy) love to be outdoors fishing, hunting and hiking!  Laura is an avid photographer and proud hockey mom.

Dental Assisting Faculty Laura Stoddard


Matt Burgoon, Dental Assisting Program Support Specialist

Matt moved to Alaska from California because he was tired of having too much vitamin D in his life.  He loves studying history and he followed his dream by attending UAA and graduating with honors with a degree in history, so naturally he is a program support specialist.  He has a cat, named Cat, that he loves more than anything in the world and drives a 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer with 50,000 miles on it.

Dental Assisting Program Support Specialist Matt Burgoon


Ralyssa Harris, Dental Assisting Academic Advisor

RaLyssa is originally from Oklahoma and moved to Alaska to be closer to her husband's family.  She graduated from Northwestern Oklahoma State University with her Bachelors in Political Science in 2016 and with her Masters in American Studies in 2018. She enjoys spending time with her husband, new baby, and dog. She is passionate about traveling, research, and helping students become successful. She has worked in higher education since 2012 and currently, she works as an Academic Advisor for the College of Health advising for Dental, Nursing, and Fire and Emergency Services. Her recipe for student success is taking responsibility for one's own actions with the determination to keep moving forward. Her motto is "Don't quit and remain focused on the end goal."

Dental Assisting Academic Advisor Ralyssa Harris