Honors Academic Board

Spiral metal statue against a dark blue sky and the moon

Honors Academic Board Members

Ray Ball, Ph.D. - Honors College Dean

Community Engagement 

  • Mychal Machado, Ph.D.
  • Brian Partridge, Ph.D.

Global & Multicultural Studies

  • Natasa Masanovic-Courtney, Ph.D.
  • Jeff Meyers, Ph.D.


  • Steve Johnson
  • Kimberly Pace, Ph.D.
  • Julie Ann Wrigley, J.D.

Research & Creative Activity

  • Ray Ball, Ph.D.
  • Tracey Burke, Ph.D.
  • Masoumeh Heidari Kapourchali, Ph.D.

*Additional board members: Francisco Miranda, Major Scholarships

Photo of Martha Amore

Martha Amore
Interim Honors Academic Board Chair
e: mjamore@alaska.edu

Martha Amore lives in Anchorage, Alaska, with her family and teaches writing at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in fiction and an Interdisciplinary Studies Ph.D. in creative writing. Winner of a Rasmuson Individual Artist Award, she is a contributing editor of the University of Alaska Press anthology Building Fires in the Snow: A Collection of Alaska LGBTQ Short Fiction and Poetry, which was a finalist for a LAMBDA Literary Award. Her collection of short fiction, In the Quiet Season & Other Stories, was published in 2018. She is currently hard at work on a new book.


Photo of Tracey Burke

Tracey Burke
Research & Creative Activity Track
e: tkburke@alaska.edu


Originally from the east coast, I was a philosophy major as an undergraduate.  I first moved to Alaska in 1989.  I alternated living in Bethel and Fairbanks with living out of state for graduate school until I began at UAA in the fall of 2003. 

Since I started, I’ve been very involved with the Center for Community Engagement & Learning and have taught a service-learning class off and on for over 15 years.  In the last 7 years, I’ve become very involved with undergraduate research as the local PI for a funded project intended to enhance the health-research workforce.  My own research has been community-based, mostly in the area of food security.  I’ve taught in Social Work’s graduate and undergraduate programs but most enjoy undergrads.  I value the relational aspect of teaching and mentoring and am excited to get to know students from many degree programs and help them navigate the RCA track to best serve their communities and their own interests and aspirations. 

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson
Leadership Track
e: sljohnson@alaska.edu

Steven Johnson is an Associate Professor and Director of Debate at the University of Alaska Anchorage.  Steve has been involved in competitive debating for over 30 years and believes fervently in the power of academic debating to change people’s lives.

Steve has held a variety of leadership positions in academic debating.  He was the first president of the United States’ National Parliamentary Debate Association and served two terms as the Chair of the World Universities Debating Council.  He has developed debating courses and trained teachers and students around the world in techniques of debating.  His book, Winning Debates: A guide to debating in the style of the World Universities Debating Championships, has been translated into 6 languages.

Teams coached by Steve have enjoyed significant competitive success.  In 2002 & 2005 UAA won the US National Championships.  In 2007, a team from the University of Alaska prevailed over 320 teams from around the world to reach the Semifinal round of the World Universities Debating Championships.  At the 2017 US Universities Debating Championships, the UAA squad was tied with Cornell for third, behind only Yale and Stanford and ahead of Berkeley, Harvard, Princeton and over 60 other universities.

Steve’s research interests focus on argumentation pedagogy and the relationship between spatial and abstract reasoning.

Masoumeh Kapourchali

Masoumeh Heidari Kapourchali
Research & Creative Activity Track
e: mheidari2@alaska.edu

Masoumeh is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Prior to joining UAA, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins University, Laboratory for Computational Audio Perception. Her research interests lie at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Cognitive Science, and Computational Neuroscience. She received her MS and PhD degrees from the University of Memphis in Computer Engineering, in 2016 and 2019, respectively. During her PhD and Postdoctoral fellowship, she had the opportunity to work on interdisciplinary projects, funded by NSF and NIH.

Photo of Mychal Machado

 Mychal Machado
Community Engagement Track
e: mmachado2@alaska.edu


Mychal A. Machado is an Associate Professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage in the Department of Psychology. They received their Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2015 and are now a Board Certified and Licensed Behavior Analyst. Their research interests include many applications of behavior analysis, such as the integration of applied behavior analysis and technology-based interventions to improve behavioral healthcare and social justice issues, using a behavior analytic lens to evaluate methods related to popular claims in health and psychology, and the analysis of verbal behavior. Clinical areas of interest include inpatient and outpatient applications of behavior analytic treatments for children and adults experiencing autism, mental health disorders, or both. Outside of academia, Dr. Machado enjoys skiing, fishing, crocheting, Lego art creation, and spending time with their family.

Photo of Natasa Masanovic-Courtney

Natasa Masanovic-Courtney
Global & Multicultural Studies Track
e: nmasanovic@alaska.edu

I am a professor of German and the coordinator of the German program in the Department of Languages. I have taught German language and literature classes at UAA since 2003.  From 2011-2020, I was the chair of the department. I have been recognized for my mentorship of students who have received prestigious international scholarships. In 2014, I was honored as one of Alaska’s YWCA Women of Achievement recipients for my leadership and efforts toward creating a better community. I believe in international education and the importance of cross-cultural understanding and am committed to exploring international opportunities and education programs for UAA students. Originally, I am from Istanbul, Turkey, and grew up speaking two mother tongues, Turkish and Greek.

Jeff Meyers

Jeff Meyers
Global & Multicultural Studies Track
e: jmeyers13@alaska.edu

I moved up to Homer in July 2016 and have been enjoying Alaska very much. I have a PhD. in Modern European History, with an emphasis on Russian History, and the History of Organized Crime and Terrorism. I enjoy traveling, fly-fishing, or going to Colorado Rockies and Seattle Mariners baseball games in the summer and snow-shoeing/boarding in the winter. I am in the Global and Multicultural Studies Track because through my experiences, I believe there is no greater education than immersing oneself in a foreign culture. While using those experiences to help immerse oneself in one’s community.

 Photo of Kimberly Pace

Kimberly Pace
Leadership Track
e: kjpace@alaska.edu

Kimberly Pace is from the thriving metropolis of Soldotna.  After graduating from High School, she moved to Missoula, MT and majored in Political Science with a minor in History, from the University of Montana.  Kimberly did her Graduate work in Political Science and History at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. 

Kimberly is a Professor of Political Science and the Coordinator of the Women's and Gender Studies Program at the UAA, she has been at the University since 1998.  She is a Senator on the Faculty Senate, serves on the Faculty Senate Diversity Committee, the Diversity Action Council, is the Director of the National Coalition Building Institute team at UAA, and for the past 19 years has been the Faculty Director for the Model United Nations for the state of Alaska.  She is the Internship Coordinator for both Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies. 

For the past 6 years, she has served on the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission (AERC) and is the past Chair. Additionally, Kimberly serves on the Board of the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts where she advocates for accessibility and the needs of the differently abled. 

Kimberly is married to the lovely Sheri and they are the proud parents of Theodore Roosevelt aka Teddy, a 10 lbs. 13 year-old Pomeranian rescue.

Brian Partridge

Brian Partridge
Community Engagement Track
e: bcpartridge@alaska.edu

Brian Partridge is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the Kachemak Bay Campus of the Kenai Peninsula College, UAA.  He received both his graduate and undergraduate degrees from Texas A&M, where he studied the neurobiology of addiction in the Department of Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience program.  

Brian has been teaching various psychology courses, part time, at KPC since 2001 and, full time, since 2009.  His current areas of interest are still the neurobiology of addiction and adolescent brain development and decision-making.

Julie Wrigley

Julie Wrigley
Leadership Track
e: jbwrigley3@alaska.edu

Julie Wrigley is a Professor of Real Estate in the College of Business and Public Policy. After 18 years as a lawyer in private practice in Alaska, she discovered her love of lawyering was really a deep affinity of teaching others to understand the legal aspects of our world. In addition to teaching real estate and business related classes, she also teaches negotiation and conflict resolution. Julie is the Faculty Director of the Tom Case Leadership Fellows and enjoys connecting students with all the opportunities that exist in our great state. Outside of work, she spends time with her husband and children skiing, floating and fishing rivers and exploring trails with her Newfoundland, Ruthie.