SSS Staff

You may find it helpful to schedule a regular time with your advisor so that you are in the habit of meeting with them. To schedule appointments, call 474-6844, stop by our office or schedule online via Blackboard. (To schedule through Blackboard, click on the»TRiO Student Support Services» class, then click the Schedule Advising link on the left hand side and select your advisor.) Since our schedules change so quickly, we are unable to schedule appointments via email.

Victoria Smith, Director


Victoria SmithI began my career at UAF in the Office of the Registrar as a records clerk in the fall of 2011 and continued working on campus as a student employee throughout my undergraduate degree in History. I joined the TRiO Student Support Services team in 2012, and I thoroughly enjoy helping first-generation, limited-income, and students who experience disabilities work towards their educational goals. As a first-generation/limited-income student, I came to Alaska from Washington as part of the Upward Bound Math/Science program, participating in a total of three federally funded TRiO programs. My Master's degree in Arctic and Northern Studies will be completed this summer, with a focus on cultural history and higher education in the Pacific Northwest.


Montana Goss, STEM Advisor

(907) 474-2446

MontanaI started my academic career here at UAF as a first-generation college student in the fall of 2012. My best experiences at the university happened to be while being a member of the university’s honors program and while participating in URSA. In 2017, I earned my BS in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Cell and Molecular Biology and a minor in Anthropology. 

I went on to live in London for a time where I graduated at the top of my class with an MSc in Cancer Biology from Kingston University. It was here that I was able to indulge my love to travel and experience other cultures before coming home to Alaska.

Now I hope to put my academic and research experiences to good use for Student Support Services as an advisor to first-generation, limited-income and students experiencing disabilities who are pursuing a degree in a STEM field.

-->Schedule an appointment with Montana here!


Vicky Avery, Academic Advisor


VickyI am delighted to be a part of Student Support Services, first as a Program Specialist and now as an Academic Advisor. I earned my B.A. in English and Russian from the University of Texas at Arlington before moving to Fairbanks to complete my master’s. After completing my master’s in English conducting research in digital literacies in the classroom, I taught as an English lecturer at UAF and for the Literacy Council of Alaska. Equal access to literacy and education continue to be passions of mine.

Although I came to UAF for a degree, I ended up finding a home. The cold is a perfect excuse to curl up with a good book, a cup of coffee, and my dog.

-->Schedule an appointment with Vicky here!


Iris Cato, STEM Advisor

(907) 474-6497 

IrisI started my journey at UAF as a graduate student and earned a M.S. in Biological Sciences in the Summer of 2021. Prior to attending UAF, I received my B.S. in Marine Biology with a minor in ocean and coastal resources from Texas A&M University. I moved from Southeast Texas to Fairbanks in 2015, which was the first time I ever saw snow or experienced temperatures below freezing! I was a Teaching Assistant for the UAF Genetics course for 5 years, and am excited to be a STEM advisor for Student Support Services. I will use what I have learned in my experiences at UAF to help you navigate your college experience and I am looking forward to helping you through your academic career and beyond!

In my spare time I enjoy weightlifting, maintaining a garden (when the weather permits), and appreciating Fairbanks nature!

Donald Crocker, Assistant Director


DonaldI have been an academic advisor with Student Support Services since the Fall of 2017. Before starting with SSS I worked in the Academic Advising Center for four years, specializing in students with interests in Pre-Professional Advising as well as in degree planning and exploration. I currently hold an M.A. in Professional Communication as well as bachelor's degrees in English and History. I also have a 7-12th grade English Teaching Credential. For the past 3 years I have also taught Comm F141X for the SSS Emerging Scholars Academy.

I am originally from Southern California, and moved to Fairbanks in 2004. Somehow the cold still surprises me in the winter, but I can't think of a better place to live than the Golden Heart City!

-->Schedule an appointment with Donald here!


Emily Stone, Academic Advisor


EmilyI began my journey with Student Support Services in 2015 when started as a Student Assistant, then in 2017 I also began working as a Tutor and Peer Mentor. I graduated with my B.A. in Linguistics from UAF in spring 2019 and I am excited that I get to continue working with SSS Students as an Advisor.

I was born and raised in Alaska and lived in Anchorage for most of that time. I came to UAF for the fantastic academic programs and unique research opportunities, and stayed for the amazing community of people I found in Fairbanks. During my time as a student I became passionate about helping others have the best college experience possible. I know that learning to navigate college and developing skills to be a successful student can be confusing and overwhelming-- but I am happy to help you through this process that I have so recently been through myself.

Outside of SSS, I enjoy spending time with my husband and friends, playing Dungeons and Dragons, reading, doing arts and crafts projects, and (I’ll be honest) binging TV shows. I would love to talk to you about anything from foreign languages to cats to the best places to get Thai food. I’m looking forward to meeting you!

-->Schedule an appointment with Emily here!


Darcy Harrod, Program Specialist


DarcyI started at UAF as an employee in 2002, and while I spent most of my time working in the marketing and graphic design field, find working for Student Support Services to be the most fulfillinng position I have held.  I was born and raised in Fairbanks and am a first generation college graduate. I earned my BA in Art with a minor in Applied Business from UAF in 2010. (It took me quite awhile to really figure out what I wanted to do).  In my free time you can find me adventuring with my boys and pup, and I love to talk about anything art and design related. 

Claire Swanson, GRAMA


Claire SwansonIn 2019 I began working with the university as a student employee at the Wood Center, my growing passion for our students led me to my current Graduate Assistant position. After receiving my BA in psychology I knew that I wanted to focus my efforts on supporting the students at UAF, so in 2021 I was hired on to work with our First Gen community! I now have the opportunity to be working directly with SSS to further support and invest in UAF. When I'm not in my office, you'll probably find me out hiking, berry picking, or simply soaking up the sunshine with a coffee in one hand and a book in the other.