Student Highlights

We take pride in your accomplishments! 

Have an accomplishment or story to share? Let us know, get featured in our newsletter, and be an inspiration to your peers!

Michelle Quillin

Michelle Quillin is a student working on her Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Biology and Conservation. Being a student here at UAF has presented her with many opportunities to become more marketable and knowledgeable in the wildlife field through traveling and networking with other biologists. In the summers, she works as a biological science technician in Denali National Park, and during the semester she is a student assistant here at Rural Student Services! Not only does she work to support herself through college, but staying busy also helps her to stay focused, and manage her time wisely.

Aside from working and attending classes, she is currently putting together a youth program focusing on Alaska Native high school students - one goal of this program is to encourage students to go to college and hopefully become involved in the wildlife field. Michelle's advice to other students is that " life is not a straight line and it does take a while to get to where you want to be, but don't let that discourage you from following your dreams. The best view comes after the hardest climb."

 

Zane DeBilt

Hello, my name is Zane DeBilt and I am a senior studying Japanese with a minor in history. I am from the Southwestern part of Alaska, and through my time here at UAF, have had many incredible experiences. In the 2014-2015 school year, I was able to study abroad for a year in Japan, and that memory is one of the best of my time in university so far. I aim to pursue a Master's degree in International Business with Marketing, and will be attending the University of Stirling in Scotland to attain that goal. Before I head to the U.K., I hope to continue to gain knowledge and experience in business through internships. I have applied to an internship in Seattle, which will take place over the summer with the sales department of a company I have had the good fortune to work with in previous years. The real-world experience I gain will help me in my studies once I enter graduate school. UAF has been an awesome experience, and I would like to thank everyone I have come across for making it so.

Denae Benson

Denae Benson is a History major with a double minor in Spanish and Political Science. After obtaining her Bachelor's degree, she wants to attend graduate school to get a Master's in Education. In 2015, Denae was able to intern with Lisa Murkowski, and this past summer she was invited to participate in the Model Arctic Council (MAC). She spent a week at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire while playing the role of the Inuit Circumpolar Council representative, discussing issues that face the Arctic and the people who live there. She says that "this opportunity was absolutely an amazing experience and I may have the opportunity to travel to Finland next year to participate in the MAC again." Lastly, she encourages other students to "look for opportunities!"

Taniesha Emry

Taniesha Emry will be graduating with her Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Human Services with a concentration in Addictions Counseling in May. After graduation, she plans on returning to school in the fall to work on her Bachelor's in Social Work. After successfully completing her practicum/internship in December 2016 at Interior AIDS Association she was offered a job as the HIV Client Services Case Manager Assistant. Taniesha continues to work there and likes to be involved in the community including fundraising events.

Taniesha is excited to be working towards her Social Work degree and is involved with the Social Work club ANSWA. Besides work and school she is also busy raising her two-year-old son, Avery, with her fianc Conrad Moses. To stay active she enjoys yoga, aerial silks, and playing basketball. She is originally from Northway, Alaska, a village along the ALCAN highway near Canada, and loves to take the four hour road trip home as often as she can.


Bobbie McNeley

My name is Bobbie McNeley, I am Alaskan Aleut from Nelson Lagoon, Alaska, on the Alaska Peninsula. I am in my third year at UAF, majoring in Alaska Native Studies with a concentration in Alaska Native Law, Government and Politics, and a minor in Law and Society. I am a representative for my regional non-profit Aleutian Pribilof Island Association Language Revitalization Program. Over the Summer I participated in a language camp where I learned Unangam Tunuu (Aleut Language). After participating in the camp I started a club at the UAF campus called the Fairbanks Unangam Tunuu (Aleut Language) Club, where I teach the language to a group of students and community members.

Bobbie works as a student Assistant with the Office of Admissions and the Registrar and has been with Rural Student Services since she graduated from Mount Edgecumbe High School in 2014. Once she arrived on campus she also became involved with the Student Support Services Program (SSSP). Bobbie has many interests and an exceptional determination to learn and be accomplished in all realms and she is well on her way to completing her Bachelor's Degree in 3 years. Last spring semester she registered for and completed a record 27 credits in one semester and also graduated with her Certificate in UAF's CTC Diesel and Heavy Equipment Program.

 

Esau Sinnok

"Hello! My name is Esau Sinnok and I am Inupiaq Eskimo. I'm the leading student officer for Native Games run through Rural Student Services, and I am also a representative for the Nanook Diversity and Action Center. I am also an Arctic Youth Ambassador for the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council. UAF is my second home; I have been visiting the campus for the past six years for summer programs and summer school. UAF is a great school as it provides a wide range of degrees and certificates that anyone can apply for!"

Esau Sinnok is a Tribal Management major from the village of Shishmaref, Alaska. He is also a student ambassador for UAF. This past summer, Esau interned with Alaska Geographic as a Youth Program Assistant. This summer he was invited to the White House and recognized as a Champion for Climate Equity. Among the people recognized, he was the youngest. Just recently, he was awarded the Denny Wilcher Award for Young Environmental Activists from the Alaska Conservation Foundation for their 2016 Conservation Achievement Awards. Esau challenges other students to "get out of your comfort zone!" As a UAF Ambassador, he is open for questions.

Katie Roseberry

Katie Roseberry is finishing up her Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences with a minor in Biochemistry. She is from Utqiagvik, formerly known as Barrow, AK. Besides working towards her degree requirements, Katie has taken advantage of other opportunities. She has been involved in science and engineering organizations such as ANSEP and AISES. Through the BLaST program, she worked in Diane O'Brien's lab and worked on research that focused on nitrogen isotope ratios in native foods to determine if we could use them as a biomarker of traditional food intake for the Inupiat of the North Slope. This last summer she served as an intern Clinical and Research Services department of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium in Anchorage. As an intern, she did a variety of tasks from data entry, shadowing practitioners, and conducting background research for current or upcoming projects. As an intern she was required to attend weekly presentations on topics such as LGBTQ patients, how to treat stress, and breastfeeding.

Terrell Jones

My name is Terrell Jones, I am a Rural Development Major, and this summer I did an internship with First Alaskans Institute. First Alaskans Institute is a non-profit organization that strives to promote Alaska's future leaders by placing them into organizations where they can be utilized to their fullest potiential.

For my internship, I was placed into ASRC, where I studied the traditional uses of plants on the north slope and traveled to Point Hope to conduct interviews with local elders for the project. The entire experience was inspirational.


Tayesia Nick

Tayesia Genevieve Belynda Ann Nick (Panicungaq) has been chosen as an outstanding student that we would like to recognize in this month's edition of the Reach Out.

Tayesia is from Pilot Station and is now a Junior studying natural resources management. She is excited to say that she's been selected for her first internship with the Alaska Oregon Research Training Partnership and would offer the following advice to anyone who was interested in applying for an internship: "Apply for as many as you can. When accepted for multiple ones, choose the one that will benefit you the most."

Tayesia understands that she can get more from college than a degree. She is outgoing and has been taking advantage of different programs at UAF since the spring of 2012. She is a secretary for Natives for Positive change and a Secretariat for Native Alaskan Business Leaders. She is also involved with the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program and American Indian Science and Engineering Society. She says that this level of social and academic involvement helps motivate her to do well in her classes.

She is not without struggle, however, and finds that her most common challenge is the fear of failing a class. She feels that overcoming the fear and actually passing her classes takes a lot of effort. She says that drawing on her time management skills to stay structured and also studying with friends helps her push forward.

Tayesia also offered some insight on some of the best ways to pay for school. She employs the use of grants and scholarships to cover her costs. Her advice is to apply for all of the scholarships that you qualify for and keep in touch with your funding sources so you are aware and can make them aware of any changes or updates.

Finally, Tayesia closed the interview with the following words of advice: "It is scientifically proven that thinking positive and believing in what you want to accomplish helps." We think this is applicable to all things in life and hope you find the same.

Thank you, Tayesia, for being such an outstanding student!

Alaina Ctibor

My name is Alaina Ctibor and I grew up in Bethel, AK. I am currently a fourth year psychology major here at the university and intend to go on to grad school either in clinical psychology or public health after I receive my bachelors degree. My experience here at UAF has been wonderful. I currently am employed through the Center for Alaska Native Health Research here on campus as a student research assistant. Technically it's not an internship, but because I am working with people who are in the psychology department and am doing work regarding psychology, it's more than just a job, it's something that will help me in the future. I was lucky enough to volunteer with one of the PhD students in the psychology program here last spring which I think is really important for students to do, especially if they want to continue on with their education after getting their bachelors. After volunteering for some time, a job opportunity was presented to me and that's how I became a student research assistant. Besides working on campus I am also a student ambassador for the university.

The UAF student ambassador program consists of a handful of student volunteers, our main objective is to help inform prospective students and their families about the university and what it is like to be a student here and what it has to offer by giving campus tours, responding to mail and emails as well as chatting online with students who are visiting the UAF website. I am also part of ANPSYCH (which stands for Alaska Natives into Psychology), and that has been a great experience.

A couple things that motivate me to do well in school are my parents and just my own personal goals and career choice. If it weren't for their support I wouldn't be where I am now. In addition to them (and many other supportive people in my life) the fact that I took my time to really explore my career options contributed to my work and enthusiasm that has kept me here. I think choosing something that you love and are interested in is one of the most, if not THE most, important thing to keep in mind when preparing and attending college. I didn't know what I wanted to study when I arrived and I didn't declare my major until after I had been here for a few semesters because I was still exploring my options. I think a big mistake a lot of students make when coming to college is just deciding a major just because they're pressured to or because a lot of people have declared. It's not something that should be rushed, nobody wants to be 40 years old wishing they had done something else with their lives. Not that it's too late at 40 to change, but I guess what I'm trying to get across is that life is short and you should do something that you love and be sure to explore your options.

Keep up the good work Alaina, RSS continues to be proud of you!

 

Sarah Walker

Sarah Walker, a second year UAF student from Washington State and Fairbanks/North Pole is currently studying in Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development with concentrations in Alaska Native Law, Government, Politics, and Natural Resource Management with a minor in Yup'ik. Sarah completed two internships with the City of Washougal, WA and Doyon, Limited. From her internships, she learned the art of the Southwest Washington Native Americans (she mainly dealt with the petroglyphs) and working for a Native Corporation where she learned more about ANCSA, business communications, and marketing. Her advice to students is to apply for internships and make sure you follow up because most internships aren't applied for and the companies really want to teach you. Internships are a great experience and helps to prepare you for life after college.

Currently Sarah is president of two student clubs: Native Alaskan Business Leaders (NABL) and Festival of Native Arts (FNA). She also participates in the Inu-Yupiaq Dance Group, UAF LIVE program, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Student Support Services. Sarah is a first generation low-income college student. Two of her older siblings didn't graduate high school and had to go to Job Corps to get their degrees; and another older brother that was supposed to graduate before her didn't graduate high school until a year after she did. Plus she would always hear that "if we wanted to go somewhere in life that we would need a college degree".

Sarah recalls, "And growing up in Washington where people would always ask me "Are you Chinese? Japanese? Mexican? Indian? Hawaiian?" and then when I told them I'm Eskimo (I'm both Yup'ik and Inupiaq) they thought I was lying and they would say that Eskimos aren't real or always ask if I live in an igloo and travel by dog sled." Growing up in the Fairbanks/North Pole area some other students would look at her as just some "dumb Native," and say that I would never do anything in life because I am just a "dumb" Native and that they never make it past high school and just some other stuff like that. So, I told myself that I'm not going to be included in some stereotypical statistic. I will graduate from a University being proud of my Native heritages and where I came from and nobody/nothing is going to get in my way. And after I graduate I'll get a real good job that will also stop those stereotypes from getting passed on."

Sarah shares, "As a first generation-low income student I had to first find a way to even get here. So when I got my acceptance letters I chose UAF and then worked all summer in Washington state mowing lawns, gardening and tree trimming, washing cars and picking up trash in my apartment complex. (It was one hot summer!! Sometimes 90-100 degrees)". And then when I came up here I found out that I still had fees due and I thought that I had to quit school but then a very special friend just paid the balance and I was able to stay. So I started searching for a job and couldn't find anything on campus but found a job at Geist Road Pizza Hut. I worked at Pizza Hut at night after all my classes (I was taking 15 credits fall semester and 16 spring semester) so I can repay that friend that paid my school balance and save money to go home for the Holidays and my sister's wedding where I was the Maid of Honor.

While I was making payments to that friend and saving money for that trip home I was also helping my sister pay for her wedding. I bought all the food and my (7 foot) brother's tuxedo and decorations and some of her wedding attire; I was also sending money home so my parents wouldn't get kicked out of the two-bedroom apartment. My Dad was the only one working because my Momma's cancer came back and the chemo and radiation didn't leave her with much energy. My brothers couldn't get a job because my family just happens to live in the county that has the highest unemployment rate in Washington State. Then my advisor said I should apply for the FNA's Student Coordinator position...so I did and got it. But I didn't find out about it until January and had less than two months to plan Festival. And for a little over one month I was working two part time jobs and going to school full time (I don't know how I did it, but I made it happen and passed all my classes).

Sarah applies for grants and scholarships to help pay for college expenses. She recommends getting the applications done as soon as possible and answer all the questions honestly. Most of the places that give scholarships also provide internships. Also filling out the FAFSA early is a big help.

"I love being back in Alaska and being a part of UAF and RSS. You guys are awesome!"

And RSS is amazed and inspired by your energy and enthusiasm Sarah. Keep up the good work!

I am of the Kaigani Haida from the village of Kasaan on Prince of Wales Island in southeast Alaska, and I am currently attending the University of Alaska Fairbanks in pursuit of a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts, with emphasis on Native art.

My Haida names are Nang K'adangaas (The Smart One), Kats Ts'ilaa (Curly Hair) and K'uhlaal (Bent Knife). My father is Glenn Hamar and my mother is Bonnie Neet. I am the grandson of George Hamar and Ethel Almquist, great grandson of Elmer Almquist and Phyllis Alexander. In June of 2010, I was accepted into the College Emerging Artist Program through the National Museum of the American Indian. Right at the beginning of December I was able to spend a full week in Washington D.C studying old masks and regalia collected at the turn of the twentieth century from across southeast Alaska, and I also attended classes on how to market my artwork to the public. This experience was endlessly inspirational and made me realize the true goal that I have been trying to achieve: the revival of the Kasaan style of Haida art. Over the past century, Haida art has slowly been melting from a diverse art form with many styles to a single, basic style that is dictated more by personal preference opposed to geographic region as was historically the case. I aim to bring back the uniqueness of the Kasaan style of carving as well as two dimensional works so that those that come after us will be able to recognize my style as Kasaan style, not just my individual style. As it stands now, there are a total of two artists that reside in Kasaan including myself and it just isn't enough to continue the line of Kasaan art. As I've been attending college at UAF, I have been honing my skills as a carver and trying to exemplify what the unique qualities of Kasaan art are. It is my hope that when I leave college, I will be able to bring that art back to my community to share as well as to teach so that it continues on.

I was also recently awarded the Undergraduate Research Grant by the College of Liberal arts within UAF. Under this grant, I will be studying the use of masks in theatre performance. The grant will also pay my way to Toronto, Canada, where I will take part in a staged reading of Lance Twitchell's play "Raven Speak" at a First Nations theatre conference in Toronto, Canada. After I return to Fairbanks, I will be in charge of making a variety of masks and other props for a future full production of the play.

We are so proud that you are a part of the RSS family.

Kelsey Wallace

Kelsey Wallace from Bethel is a sophmore at UAF majoring in Communications with a minor in Alaska Native Studies. Kelsey was in Washington DC as an itern with Senator Murkowski. Kelsey states, "it is important to always remember where you come from and the morals you grew up with." Internships broaden experiences so Kelsey suggest all students partake in any interships related to their majors and interests.

Kelsey participated in the Festival of Native Arts and in leadership at Moore Hall within the past year.

Kelsey's motivation to do well in school comes from her parents and younger brother. She would like to set an example for her younger brother and wants to be a role model for people from her area.

Kelsey remembers why she is here at college and stays focused on getting good grades so she can keep distractions of the many things to do in Fairbanks from interfering with her goals.

Kelsey pays for college through scholarships, family savings and hard work. Her suggestion to future students is to apply for all scholarships that apply to their interests and majors.

Kelsey is really excited for this semester.

RSS wishes Kelsey an awesome year and congratulations on Miss WEIO 2011!!

My name is Kavelina Torres. My parents are Terry and Craig Anderson. My Dad is from Bellevue, New Jersey, right across the water from Newark, NJ. My Mother was born in Aniak to Catherine Ann Terry who was born to Massapokorluk wife to Chief Steven Nickolai on the Yukon River. I currently live in North Pole, Alaska with my husband and four children. I am a Junior at UAF taking concurrently an Associates in Business and an Interdisciplinary Bachelor of Technology in Yup'ik Filmmaking (encompassing Film, Business, Yup'ik Language and Alaska Native Studies). I love telling stories! I have told many of my stories to my children! I have always told stories the difference now is that I write them down to remember them for later. And now I have so many waiting in queue waiting to be developed and only so many hours of the day for college, research for my writing, time with family, household chores and actual writing! Never enough time! Never enough time! Never enough time! To that end, I have written a play for the Alaska Native Heritage Center that has been subsequently selected for a play lab in Valdez at The Last Frontier Theater Conference. I have also written 10 minute bilingual plays. A screenplay that I have written has been entered into the Sundance Native Lab Fellowship - though they only select four writers from across the nation, so I am okay if they do not choose my script!

I have had the immutable pleasure of recently completing an internship with NBC Universal! I worked on "The Everybody Loves Whales" set in Anchorage this last semester. I was able to observe business practices, Alaska Native languages at work (Yup'ik and Inupiat) and see how a major motion picture really comes into being! It was a fantastic opportunity that I would recommend to anyone wanting to learn the film industry up close. My job was a production assistant. We fill in the nooks and crannies that need filling! Like getting breakfasts for the cast, making sure they were comfortable, collecting time sheets and making sure everyone knew when they needed to be back, making sure the crew of 150-300 cast and crew can hear the Director and Assistant Director. That means going to a specific location and repeating the directions given over a radio to the cast crew present in that locale. It also means keeping everyone quiet during the camera taping! The movie was so relevant to my major, Yup'ik Filmmaking, as I want to make films and I want Alaska Natives in them speaking our languages, whether that be an actual language or language of culture. Being involved in Everybody Loves Whales afforded me the pleasure of making new and renewing old friendships! It was both very hard work and exciting! The most important thing I learned in the internship was that I can't do it alone. Surrounding myself with like-minded, capable individuals who share a passion for not just making movies but also making Alaska movies with a good story is another goal I have attained! My advice to students thinking of entering an internship: DO IT!!! DO IT! DO IT! Any internship will be good for you! An internship only increases your knowledge of an area of work. Even if it is to learn that you don't want to do that job ever again! Then you won't waste your time studying for something you will not like! If, on the other hand, you find that you like a job, it will solidify your resolve to continue to learn about the area of study! It allows a person to be able to put into practice what they have been learning about and learn many more skills on the job.

I set my goals early on so that I know what I am striving for and what I need to do to get there. I did not know my ancestors personally but I know they would be disappointed in me if I were not to meet those goals. I am also showing my children what life is like beyond grade and middle school. I hope to lead by example to show them that it is never too late to learn and that you can study something you like or want.

I have had many challenges at UAF. Student culture was foreign to me as was large groups of people. Speaking in front of people was my most crippling challenge. Practice makes perfect! The more I speak the better I get. I am not excited about doing it but when I am excited about the topic no one can stop me from speaking about it! College costs money... I pay for school by applying for scholarships, saving money, and getting the lowest interest in loans (ones that are deferrable - so I can wait to pay them after I have completed college). The most important step to getting a scholarship is to get good grades! There are several scholarships that are based just on good grades. Apply for a scholarship is the most important thing you could do in your college life. Let's face it, in the day and time we could all use some free money! The only way you can do that is by logging onto uaonline.alaska.edu and filling out the scholarship application. It's really just writing about you and your accomplishments. Simple and easy.

"RSS is pleased and honored to have you as part of the family Kavelina!"

Charlene Church

Waqaa! My name is Charlene Church, I am known by many as Woman (may seem odd or weird to call me by it but I don't mind, it's my nickname). I was born and raised in Quinhagak, Alaska. Quinhagak is situated on the Kanektok River and near the Arolik River, approximately a mile from the Kuskokwim Bay of the Bering Sea Southwest of Alaska. My parents are Bobby and Carol Church, they are also from Quinhagak.

My hobbies are beading, picking berries, helping others (I consider it a hobby because I love helping anyone), and rod-and-reeling on the Konektok River. I have recently been addicted to making earrings. I also have been addicted to playing my Wii lately. My favorite sport is volleyball, and all-time favorite color is green. Green is the color of life I think. It's so beautiful and lively.

This is my 2nd year at UAF and I am currently in the Bachelor of Science program in biology. My goals in life are to further my education and become a physician assistant. It's going to take a couple years to finish but I believe that I can do it.

For all those attending UAF and future students, just work hard and do your work. It may seem so much fun to skip class and hang out with friends instead of doing your work, but in time, the work will catch up and you will drown in unfinished school work. In my first year here, I never hung out with anybody, I was anti-social pretty much. And I lived off campus, so, I wasn't influenced to skip class and not do homework. What I am trying to say is: school is very important and everyone should take advantage of their time by doing homework. Doing your work and finishing it keeps you moving and gets you closer to your goal and degree.


Sarah is from Barrow and has attended UAF since 2006. Sarah will graduate with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting this May 2010, with Leadership Honors. She has been very involved with volunteer work on campus and around the community, including ASUAF Senator, Rural Student Services Peer Mentor, Native Alaskan Business Leaders President & Secretary, Greater Alaskan Accounting People Programs Officer, Leadership annual conference planning committee, and the Festival of Native Arts as volunteer, member and the Coordinator. She is also the recipient of the 2008 Emerging leader scholarship and placed first in the Business Plan Competition at the American Indian Business Leaders 2010 National Business Leadership Conference in Carlton Minnesota. Congratulations Sarah!

Agnes is from St Marys, Alaska, she is in her second year at UAF as an Elementary Education major. She currently participates in ANESA, Future Teachers of Alasak (FTA), and Inu~Yupiaq Dance Group. She gets her motivation to do well in school from her parents, RSS advisor, and friends. One challenge faced while attending UAF is video games, but she forces herself to do the work and get it done. Currently she pays for schooling through scholarships. Agnes shares "I really encourage students to apply for scholarships because it sucks paying for school out of your own pocket or taking out loans. Also scholarships are easy to fill out and there are a lot of scholarships out there, you just have to reach out for them."

Denali Quyanna Qapvik Whiting is from Kotzebue and Sisaulik, Alaska. She is a freshman at UAF and plan to double major in Elementary Education and Biology with a minor in American Sign Language. Denali has been the vice president of the Kotzebue chapter of National Honor Society, involved with student government since elementary school (holding positions as class representative, treasurer, historian, secretary, and vice president), captain of the Kotzebue chapter of youth leaders, varsity cheer captain for three consecutive years (winning 1st runner up at the state level and receiving the team GPA award), and participated in cross-country. She was in choir for two years attending the regional music festival and ranking to go to the state music festival. Denali has been a part of the sivulik media group in Kotzebue for about five years where they complete media training including interviewing, filming, audio recording, still photos, video editing, and explore personal expression. She has also served as photographer and page editor for the Kotzebue high school year book. Denali quotes "You truly do get back what you put in, the harder you work, the greater the reward will be even if it is just a greater feeling of self-esteem and knowing you tried your best." She is motivated to do well in school knowing that she is representing her family, high school, region, and heritage. She wants to set a good example for her peers and the younger generations. The biggest challenge Denali has faced while attending UAF was the transition from high school to college. She is an only child so she has a strong connection with her parents. Denali quotes "we are like the three musketeers!" Denali keeps going strong by staying busy with school work, being active and practicing healthy habits such as exercise and eating healthy, and getting involved with volunteering. Denali has supportive family members in Fairbanks that makes the transition easier on her. Denali has used scholarships to pay for her entire first semester of school. Denali suggests "Even if you don't think you are eligible for certain scholarships or if it is passed due, APPLY! It doesn't hurt to try, the worst that could happen is they will say no! Research scholarships opportunities early so you can begin the process and won't be rushing to make deadlines. Also think outside the box, apply for local scholarships offered through UAF but also keep in mind there are scholarships nationwide that you could be eligible for!"


Denali had the honor to be crowned Miss Teen Arctic Circle 2008 which is a traditional pageant held in Kotzebue available to young Alaskan Native women. That year she also received the Most Photogenic Award and Most Traditional Award. She is currently reigning Miss Alaska Teen USA 2011. This is her biggest accomplishment to date. She is excited to represent Alaska and especially young Alaskan Native women through this title. She will be competing at the Miss Teen USA pageant, which is part of the Miss USA and Miss Universe organization. Denali quotes "It is important to be aware of your roots and embrace your culture." CONGRATULATIONS DENALI!!!

Marjorie Tahbone

Marjorie is from Nome, she is in her 4th year at UAF majoring in Biological Sciences with a minor in Inupiaq Language. Marjorie has been working as an intern for the Norton Sound Fisheries Research & Development in Nome for the past four summers. She recommends all students to apply for internships that may be of interest to you. She has been involved with Inu-Yupiaq Dance Group, ANSEP, & AISES student clubs. Marjorie gets her motivation to do good in school from family, peers, & community members. Her school expenses are paid through scholarships, she encourages all students to apply for as many as you can and its best to do them early and not wait for the deadline.

Congrats to Marjorie on becoming the Miss WEIO 2010 and Miss Arctic Native Brotherhood. RSS continues to support you in all your efforts.

Norman Carlo

Norman Carlo Jr. is from Tanana, Alaska. He is in his second year at UAF majoring in process technology. He is part of the Inu~Yupiaq Dance Group. He says being a part of the dance group is a lot of fun with a lot of love, they are good friends and like family. Norman gets his motivation to do well in school from himself, family, and God. One challenge he has faced is distractions, he recommends to find a quiet place to do homework, such as the library. He pays for college with the help from scholarships and personal income. His recommendation for scholarships is to apply early, be persistent, and to follow through to completion of the application. Norman shares, "To the kids who are having problems with school and personal problems, use me as an example. In the Fall of 2007 I lasted only one month in college before I got kicked out for drinking too much. This was a big wake up call for me. Not only did I let myself down, but my family as well. Even though I was struggling with alcohol and kicked out of college, I did not give up hope. I took one year off of school and worked. During this time I quit drinking because I knew the only way I was going to make it in this world was to be free from alcohol. I am now on my second year of school and I am doing alright. I am still fighting the fight to succeed in life but no matter what happens I will never give up. Whatever you do in life just be the best that you can be and never forget where you come from and who you are. For our Native culture is just as important as education. Remember you are not only representing yourself but your family, village, and your people as well. Enaa baasee for listening to what i have to say."