Student Advisory Council

Student Advisory Council

The School of Management’s Student Advisory Council (SAC) was formed in 2008 to provide opportunities for School of Management (SOM) students to voice their opinions on the direction of the school. The Student Advisory Council is a liaison between SOM students and the SOM dean.

The 2018-19 SAC members are listed below with the group they are representing.


Erik Andersen

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Associated Students of Business (ASB) / National Millennial Community (NMC)

Erik Andersen was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska and graduated from North Pole High School in 2016. He decided to stay local and attend University of Alaska Fairbanks where he is a senior pursuing a BBA in accounting. Erik has been recently recognized as the 2017-2018 Outstanding Student of the Year in Principles of Accounting.


For the past three summers, he has worked as a tour guide at the Riverboat Discovery, where he shares and teaches his Alaskan Native culture and history to others. When he is not busy with school or work, he likes to go kayaking, hiking, and camping.


Joel Ballou

Joel Ballou
Master of Business Administration (MBA) Program

Joel Ballou is a UAF graduate student and teacher’s assistant for the School of Management’s Student Investment Fund. He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from UAF and is looking forward to continuing his education at the university. He has taken advantage of several unique opportunities offered through the School of Management, such as attending the Quinnipiac G.A.M.E Forum in New York City and the Permanent Fund Corporation’s Board of Trusties Annual Meeting.

Joel loves the Alaska wilderness and most weekend you will find him mountaineering, ice climbing, or winter camping. All of these hobbies he also learned at UAF through the Outdoor Adventures program where he was a student employee.


 Jillian Bjornstad

Jillian Bjornstad
Native Alaskan Business Leaders (NABL)

Jillian Bjornstad is from the Aleutian community of Sand Point. Currently, Jillian is a senior seeking a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Japanese. She is the President of NABL (Native Alaskan Business Leaders) and has been since fall of 2017. Last Spring, the club traveled to the NIKE World Headquarters in Oregon and placed 2nd in the AIBL (American Indigenous Business Leaders) business competition.

Along, with being a part of NABL, Jillian has also been very involved with the School of Management. She is a member of both ASB (Associated Students of Business) and AIM (Active Innovative Minds). Jillian is also one of our Student Marketing Assistants working at SOM. This will be her third time on the Student Advisory Council.


Claire Everts

Claire Everts
Students Offering Leadership Development (SOLD)

Claire Everts is a junior at the UAF School of Management seeking a bachelor’s degree in business Administration with a focus in marketing and a minor in art history while working at the School of Management as a marketing assistant. Claire was born and raised in Alaska and enjoys every aspect of the Alaskan lifestyle. She currently serves as the vice president of Students Offering Leadership Development (SOLD).

When she is not working or in school, Claire loves to adventure – whether traveling across the world or spending time at her family’s lake cabin.


Melinda Farmer

Melinda Farmer
Active and Innovative Minds (AIM)

Melinda Farmer was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, art, and reading. She is a senior undergraduate student pursuing a dual degree in digital design and business administration with a concentration in marketing. Melinda currently works for the School of Management as a Student Marketing Assistant. She is the fall 2019 president of AIM (Active and Innovative Minds) and a new member of NABL (Native Alaskan Business Leaders). 


Aharon Hughes

Aharon Hughes
Esports Club

Aharon Hughes is a senior at UAF pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in aerospace. He currently serves as president of the UAF Esports Club. An avid competitor, Aharon frequently participates in the local esports events he organizes and occasionally travels outside of Fairbanks and even outside of Alaska for competition.


Eric LaMesjerant

Eric LaMesjerant
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA)

Eric LaMesjerant is a graduate student in the College of Engineering and Mines, working towards a master’s in civil engineering with a focus on water resources. He graduated from UAF in 2018 with his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

Eric is a U.S. Army veteran, served as vice president for Chi Epsilon (civil engineering honor society), and has been working in water resources related research since 2017. In his free time, he enjoys all aspects of fly fishing, shooting, and generally getting outdoors.


Miguel Saavedra

Miguel Saavedra
Cadet Club (ROTC)

Miguel Saavedra was born and raised in Alaska and spends most of his time, when not in school or playing hockey, in the woods – hunting, fishing, and exploring his home state. Miguel is a sophomore at UAF studying homeland security and emergency management. He hopes to obtain a job working for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in disaster relief after serving time in the military. In 2022, he will be commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army, where he hopes to branch military intelligence or infantry and work his way into a reconnaissance detachment with the Army’s 75th Ranger Regimen.


Ben Udden

Ben Udden
Great Alaskan Accounting People (GAAP)

Ben Udden is a senior at UAF pursuing a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He currently serves as the vice president for Great Alaskan Accounting People (GAAP). Originally from Florida, Ben moved to Alaska in 2012 and began pursuing his degree in 2014 while deployed to Afghanistan. Ben is married to Meryem Udden and has a one-year-old daughter, Aliyah. He enjoys shooting, diesel performance, and construction.


Dana Woodward

Dana Woodward
International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM)
Master of Security and Disaster Management (MSDM) Program

Dana Woodward is pursuing an MBA and recently completed his Master of Security and Disaster Management (MSDM) degree at the UAF School of Management. Additionally, he has completed his undergraduate studies in health sciences in healthcare management.  Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., he spent 24 years in the U.S. Navy, primarily onboard submarines as the sole medical provider.  Dana is excited to serve on the School of Management Student Advisory Council representing the MSDM program and the student chapter of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM).