Alaska Native Studies welcomes Diane Benson as a faculty member in spring 2012

by Jamie Gonzales  |   

UAA and the Alaska Native Studies program are very fortunate to have Diane Benson as a faculty member for the spring 2012 semester. She may be most familiar to Alaskans through her bids for U.S. Congress and her 2010 run for lieutenant governor.

Most notable is Benson's success in sharing the Elizabeth Peratrovich story as a one-woman show performed statewide and nationally. Twenty years of effort culminated in a PBS documentary with Jeff Silverman, For the Rights of All: Ending Jim Crow in Alaska. Together, they also produced Pathways to Hope: Healing Child Sexual Abuse, an educational video for rural communities. Her lifetime in film, video, stage and radio also includes Disney's White Fang and the 2010 television feature, Christmas With a Capital C.

Besides acquiring a Master of Fine Arts from UAA in creative writing, she studied public policy and justice at New England College and the University of Alaska and film studies at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. She is a playwright mentor for the Alaska Native Playwrights Program at the Alaska Native Heritage Center.

Benson frequently keynotes and facilitates discussions on issues of trauma, survival and recovery. She serves on the HAVE-Alaska Board, an organization providing outdoor opportunities for wounded veterans, is an active associate member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, is sergeant-at-arms for the Alaska Native Brotherhood and past president of the Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 87. Among her other activities, she serves as a commissioner with the Municipality of Anchorage's Americans with Disabilities Act Commission.

We are proud that Diane Benson has agreed to teach at UAA for the Alaska Native Studies program this coming spring.

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