Chancellor announces key UAA leadership hire

by Sean Parnell, UAA Chancellor  |   

Michele Yatchmeneff
Michele Yatchmeneff

Dear UAA Community,

I am pleased to share that after a competitive search process, Dr. Michele Yatchmeneff has accepted the role of executive director of Alaska Native education and outreach.

Dr. Yatchmeneff currently serves as an associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at UAA, as well as assistant director of the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP). She has spent six years as a researcher and faculty advisor for more than 2,500 ANSEP students, and her work has garnered awards from the National Science Foundation and other prominent research organizations. Her work with ANSEP has had a tremendously positive impact already, and she will now have the opportunity to expand the reach of this work across the entire UAA community and benefit all of our campuses and students.

Dr. Yatchmeneff is of Unangax̂ (Aleut) descent and grew up living a traditional subsistence lifestyle in rural villages along Alaska's Aleutian Islands. She earned both her Bachelor of Science in civil engineering and her Master of Science in engineering management at UAA and was an ANSEP scholar herself. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she began working in Alaska's construction and engineering industry, specializing in water and sewer projects in remote villages across the state.

Dr. Yatchmeneff went on to earn her doctorate in engineering education from Purdue University. Her research focused on motivation and success of pre-college STEM students. Her current research focuses on belongingness, Alaska Native education, preparation and retention.

Throughout the search process, I was impressed by her clearly articulated vision for this new position at UAA and by her understanding of how this role fits into the university’s mission and our UAA 2025 strategic plan. She brings a breadth of experience and expertise that will help us continue to support student success and maintain an equitable and fulfilling learning environment for all students.

I am pleased to welcome Dr. Yatchmeneff into this position. I hope you will join me in congratulating her and thanking her for filling this important need for the university.

Sean Parnell
UAA Chancellor

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