Who We Are
- Build Team
- 2020 Summer Staff
- 2019 Summer Staff
- 2018 Summer Staff
- Board of Trustees
- Board of Advisors
Centered in Sitka
- Bryden Sweeney-Taylor (Executive Director) is the co-founder and a board member of Matriculate and was formerly the CEO of College Access and Success at America Achieves, where he led Bloomberg Philanthropies’ CollegePoint initiative. Both efforts aim to support high-achieving, lower-income students apply to, enroll in, and, ultimately, graduate from top-performing colleges and universities across the U.S. Prior to joining America Achieves, he served as Executive Director of African Leadership Foundation, the U.S. foundation supporting African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa and developing the next generation of African leadership. He started his career in education as Chief Operating Officer at Peer Health Exchange, a non-profit organization that trains college students to provide a comprehensive health curriculum in public high schools. He is an alumnus of Deep Springs and Harvard College.
- Cecilia Dumouchel (Director of Programs and Operations) holds the belief that there are many ways to succeed and that a holistic education honors and supports different modalities of learning. Motivated by this belief, Cecilia joined the team in the fall of 2016 to help build the foundation for an education that supports students on their path toward agency and responsibility and works against the commodification of the college degree. She's had the pleasure of serving as Program Coordinator at the 2018 & 2019 Summer Seminars and is currently the Director of Programs & Operations. Cecilia harbors a deep interest in health + healthcare in the United States and graduated with a degree in the History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health from Yale University. In her spare time, Cecilia can be found sewing, biking out to either end of the road, or cooking copious amounts of Japanese food.
- Franklin Eccher (Programs and Operations Manager) comes to Outer Coast with an interest in college admissions and higher education reform, with a particular focus on college access and success for high-achieving, low-income students. Inspired by his experiences in education in rural western Colorado, Frank completed an interdisciplinary program in Education Studies at Yale University, where he studied the efforts of American colleges to more effectively reach students in rural education deserts. Frank joined the Build Team in September of 2019 as the Programs and Operations Fellow and was the Program Coordinator for the 2020 Summer Seminar. In his free time, Frank writes, fly fishes, and makes crossword puzzles.
- Grace Greenwald (see bio in Staffulty tab)
- Johnny Elliott (see bio in Staffulty tab)
- Rachel Thomson (Development and Administration Fellow) is excited to be at Outer Coast building an educational institution that values being and becoming human, beyond just being and becoming a student. She is interested in relationships, community, and community-centered education that is truly accessible and valuable for students from all backgrounds. While a student at Stanford University, she explored how cultural and social structures affect human health. Rachel joined the Build Team in September 2020 through the Alaska Fellows Program. She also enjoys long hikes, storytelling, no-knead bread, and board games.
- Tasha Boyer (Programs and Operations Fellow) was born and raised in Chugiak, Alaska and is a proud Thai American. Her time as Student Representative to the Anchorage School Board first sparked her curiosities in education reform and community building. A graduate in Psychology from Yale University, Tasha takes a people-centered approach to every facet of her life. She believes that interpersonal understanding can occur through cultural exchange, and has worked as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Brazil and with the Royal Thai Embassy. Tasha joined the Build Team at Outer Coast as the Programs and Operations Fellow through the Alaska Fellows Program in September of 2020. In her free time, Tasha enjoys choreographing dances, longboarding, and fangirling over Lady Gaga.
Centered in Sitka
- David Egan (faculty) was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, and has a deep love for the Pacific Northwest. He completed his DPhil in philosophy at the University of Oxford in 2011 and since that time has taught at Oxford, McMaster University, the University of Chicago, and Hunter College (CUNY). David is also a playwright with work professionally produced on both sides of the Atlantic.
- Dionne Brady-Howard, Yeidikook’áa (Indigenous Studies faculty) of the Kiks.ádi clan’s X’aaka Hít (Point House), grew up in Sitka. She was raised by her maternal grandparents, the late Bill and Isabella Brady; her paternal grandparents are Liz Howard and the late Glenn Howard. Her parents are Louise Brady and Glenn Howard. She is the child of the Teikweidí clan and the grandchild of the Kaagwaantaan clan. Dionne graduated from the state-run public boarding school, Mt. Edgecumbe High School, where she has now been teaching since 2000, as well. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Sheldon Jackson College. In addition to spending more than two decades teaching students from all across the state of Alaska, Dionne’s roots in her own culture run deep, having led two local Tlingit dance groups for several years, as well as being the caretaker of her clan’s songs. As a culture bearer, she has volunteered with the middle and high schoolers in the local Native education program, teaching song and dance. Additionally, she has taught the Alaska issues curriculum that is embedded in the US Government course at MEHS, focusing on land claims and tribal government. When she isn’t at work or engaged in one of her numerous volunteer commitments, Dionne loves to sing, dance, watch Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, and Star Wars, Marvel and drink grande double buzzsaws with way too much cream.
- Eiden Pospisil (Academic Life Coordinator) is a graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory where he earned a B.A. in Religion and a B.M. in Jazz Studies. After graduation, Eiden taught English as a Second Language and TOEFL preparation in Istanbul and Paris. In Paris, he also worked with humanitarian organization Utopia 56 providing essential services and necessities to displaced migrant populations. Eiden’s time at Oberlin and his experience working in Education have fostered a passion for progressive educational spaces focused on self-driven learning and community development. Eiden joined the Outer Coast staff in August 2020 as the Academic Life Coordinator.
- Grace Greenwald (Residential Life Coordinator) has worked in a diversity of learning spaces, teaching everything from social-emotional literacy in pre-schools to installation art in high schools. She hopes to continue building community-focused spaces in higher education, and investigating what makes a positive and powerful school culture. Grace joined the Outer Coast team as the 2019-2020 Development and Administration fellow, and is now the Outer Coast Year Residential Life Coordinator.
- Johnny Elliott (Program Coordinator) was born and raised in Juneau, Alaska and graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School (Go Bears!) in 2015. He joined the Outer Coast team in December 2017, while still working on an undergraduate degree, and has primarily worked on student recruitment and program design. At present, he is the Program Coordinator of the Outer Coast Year. Outside of work, he enjoys running, hiking, playing piano, and caring for his pet turtle Kate.
- Nicholas Gooding (faculty) received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2019, writing a dissertation on Aristotle’s discussion of love and friendship; since then, he’s been an instructor in philosophy at Berkeley and a visiting professor at Deep Springs College. He’s taught courses on a wide range of philosophical topics, with a particular emphasis on moral and political philosophy. Prior to embarking on his PhD, Nicholas worked in outdoor education, leading high school students on month-long backcountry trips in the Pacific Northwest.
- Sanjena Sathian (faculty) is a novelist. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Prior to Iowa she worked as a reporter in San Francisco and Mumbai. She has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa, the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio, and Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand).
2020 Summer Staff
- Lance Twitchell, Faculty carries the Tlingit names X̱’unei and Du Aaní Kawdinook, and the Haida name Ḵ’eijáakw. He lives in Juneau with his wife and bilingual children, and is from the Tlingit, Haida, and Yupʼik native nations. He speaks & studies the Tlingit language, and advocates for indigenous language revitalization. He is an Associate Professor of Alaska Native Languages at the University of Alaska Southeast, has a Ph.D. in Hawaiian and Indigenous Language Revitalization from Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, and also is a Northwest Coast Artist, musician, and filmmaker.
- Sol Neely, Faculty is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation living in the Raven Bioregion of the Pacific Northwest and the traditional homeland of the Tlingit (Lingít Aaní). In 2009, he earned his Ph.D. from Purdue University’s Philosophy & Literature program, where he wrote his dissertation on practices of restorative and critical pedagogy. As an Associate Professor of English and Philosophy at the University of Alaska Southeast, he teaches courses in cultural studies, literary and critical theory, philosophy, and Critical Indigenous Studies in an interdisciplinary context. He has published in a variety of journals and books on a wide range of topics. He serves on Editorial Advisory Boards for Public Philosophy Journal and Criminal Justice and Philosophy book series. In Fall 2012, Dr. Neely started a prison education program called The Flying University, which brings university students inside the local prison for mutual and collaborative study. He is also working on a book-length manuscript that develops an Indigenous phenomenology as shaped by Indigenous cosmopolitan histories and oral literary traditions. During Summer 2019, while on sabbatical, Dr. Neely traveled the Trail of Tears with his daughter and father as three generations of Cherokee citizens.
- Barbara Johnson, Faculty was born to a French mother and an American father in Benin. She grew up in Italy, before moving to Canada and finally Alaska, the place she decided to call home. She now lives in Anchorage within Denai’na Elnena (Dena’ina Country). She is a PhD student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) in the Natural Resources and Sustainability program, researching the economics of small water systems in rural Alaska and consulting on applied economics projects. She regularly teaches Intro to Economics courses and has an MSc in Resource and Applied Economics from UAF and a BA in Environmental Studies from McGill University in Canada. Barbara is the co-founder of 49th Rising, an Alaska based non-partisan advocacy group putting a face on the statistics about sexual violence and pushing foward legislation to make Alaska as safe as it is beautiful. In her spare time Barbara likes exploring the outdoors, and her projects this summer include learning to packraft, fish, harvesting plants and berries and working on her dissertation.
- Joel Alden Schlosser, Faculty just moved with his wife, Sarah, and son, Jai to Ardmore, Pennsylvania, a near suburb of Philadelphia close to Bryn Mawr College, where Joel teaches political theory. He was born and raised in Seattle, Washington and attended Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. After a stint working in publishing and corporate law in New York City, Joel moved to Oakland, California and studied ancient Greek and Latin at UC Berkeley. He then enrolled in a doctoral program in Political Science at Duke University and received his PhD in 2009. Joel held the Julian Steward Chair in the Social Sciences at Deep Springs College from 2010 until 2014. There he taught courses on Greek tragedy and the Hollywood Western, Marx and contemporary critical theory, psychoanalysis, power and resistance, and the history of democracy. His first book, What Would Socrates Do?, examines the figure of Socrates and the relationship between philosophy and democracy in democratic Athens as well as present day democracies. His second book, Herodotus in the Anthropocene, thinks through the present ecological crisis with the world-traveling and storyteller first historian of the ancient Mediterranean, Herodotus. In addition to numerous essays on ancient political theory, Joel has also written on contemporary literature and politics, engaging writers like James Baldwin, Don DeLillo, and Joan Didion.
- Franklin Eccher, Program Coordinator (See Build Team)
- Amadea Wilhite, Assistant Program Coordinator is a rising sophomore at Sarah Lawrence College where she studies poetry, gender studies, and is engaged in both student senate and the Office of Admissions as a tour guide. She has been involved with Outer Coast since 2018 when she was a member of the first summer seminar. As an active alumni, she participated in the admissions process and headed an alumni virtual self-governance planning group before becoming this summer’s Assistant Program Coordinator.
- Maleah Wenzel, Summer Seminar Advisor joins us as a member of the Tlingit Nation from Wrangell, Alaska. A recent graduate of Dartmouth College, Maleah is currently living and working in Juneau. When not working, Maleah spends her time crafting with her far-too-many craft supplies, participating in local activism, and wandering around in the great Alaskan outdoors. She is also the big sister to three amazing little monsters who keep her on her toes. Her plans for the future are to attain a Master's in Public Health, and then decide what to do with her Master's in Public Health.
- Shahpar Mirza (“Shep”), Summer Seminar Advisor
- is a Pakistani transguy who was born and raised in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA. He loves storytelling and long walks into the mountains. He lives in the Bay Area with six other friends, and he spends most of his days playing board games and spikeball with those friends. Shep graduated from Stanford University in 2019 and majored in Product Design. He loves applying the design process to basically anything, but he especially loves applying it to all things education. One day, when Shep grows up, he’d like to start an educational summer camp or school of his own.
- Marc Milone, Summer Seminar Advisor stays young by spending absurdly large amounts of time with toddlers, working at a daycare for the last four years, and is at maximum bliss when engaging with yoga, acting, teaching, hiking, sleeping, and one-on-one conversing. Marc is a recent graduate of Vassar College in New York State with majors in Drama and Education. They have a love for work in performance and mental health, and hope to merge these with their loose plans to begin a Masters in Drama & Movement Therapy in London in the near future. But who knows for certain?!? Not me!
- Marianne Cowherd, Summer Seminar Advisor is a Michigan to California transplant, running enthusiast, and older sister. She studied environmental engineering for her BS and MS, where her research focused on the fluid mechanics of sediment transport in estuaries. She has previously worked as a wilderness ranger and outdoor trips leader, and most recently directed an online computational biology program for high school students.
2019 Summer Staff
- Jenell Paris, Faculty is Professor of Anthropology at Messiah College. She earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology from American University, with a focus on African American urban life. She teaches at Messiah College, a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, in areas including research methods, gender studies, and cultural anthropology. She comes to Outer Coast with her partner James and their three children, Oliver, Wesley, and Max.
- Lance Twitchell, Faculty (See 2020 Summer Staff)
- Sol Neely, Faculty (See 2020 Summer Staff)
- Claire Helgeson, Lead Residential Teaching Assistant (See Collaborators)
- Anastasia Ciuguun Pleasant, Residential Teaching Assistant is Yup'ik and Inupiaq from Bethel, Alaska. Anastasia has a background in working with children and diverse cultures around Alaska in non-profit sectors and corporate branches. As a student at UAS she interned at the legislative office with Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky. Outside of the classroom and her professional life she enjoys spending time with family, outdoors, and new experiences.
- Brian Conwell, Residential Teaching Assistant is from Dutch Harbor, a small fishing town in the Aleutians, and is finishing up his first year at Harvard College. He hasn’t declared his major yet but is leaning towards History and Literature. Outside of academics, he enjoys studying small claims law and using it in a volunteer setting with the Small Claims Advisory Service (SCAS), planning events with Harvard’s Half Asian People’s Association (HAPA), cleaning dorms through his part-time job at Harvard Dorm Crew, playing pickup games of basketball, and volunteering through the Alternative Spring Break program.
- Lakrisha Johnson, Chookán, Teaching Assistant (See Collaborators)
- Brian Doniger, Residential Teaching Assistant grew up in Denver, Colorado camping, hiking, biking, and making music. He has played saxophone for most of his life and especially loves jamming out to jazz, funk, and rock music. As an undergraduate, Bryan studied English at Amherst College, and in the fall he will begin a graduate program in Philosophy at the New School for Social Research.
- Aaní Perkins, Teaching Assistant (or Aanyaanáx̱ tláa) lives in Sitka and just graduated from Sitka High. She’s studied Lingít for the past 5 years and will be leaving Sitka for college in the fall, most likely to pursue a degree in Native American Studies with some combination of either quantitative social science or mathematics. Aaní will be serving as part-time Teaching Assistant in the Tlingit Language and Indigenous Studies course.
- Joe Weyhmiller, Teaching Assistant grew up in Craig, Alaska and recently graduated from Boise State University with a B.A in History Secondary Education. He has taken up a variety of roles within schools, including working as a social studies teacher at Initial Point High School in Kuna, Idaho. Joe joined the project staff as a 2018-19 Alaska Fellow based in Sitka.
- Jessica Twydell, Service Lead (See Collaborators)
- Peter Vu, Service Coordinator grew up in Austin, Texas, a busy hub of music goers, tech workers, and hipsters, among others. He attended college in San Marcos with a focus in Urban and Regional Planning. Peter landed in Sitka shortly after graduation, where he’s been for the past three years. He has spent that time working in schools and currently works at Mt. Edgecumbe High. His new favorite hobby is playing in the ocean, whether it’s swimming, snorkeling, surfing, or just polar plunging.
- Simon Rose, Service Coordinator grew up in Tacoma, Washington, where he attend high school at the Tacoma School of the Arts. He attended the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, earning his undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts and his graduate degree in Public Administration. While living in Olympia, Simon co-founded the New Moon Cooperative Cafe, a collectively owned and managed business. In 2015, he moved up to Anchorage and worked as a community organizer before going into the field of the education. He has lived in Sitka for the last few of years, working as the English teacher at Pacific High School.
2018 Summer Staff
- Claire Helgeson, Residential Teaching Assistant (See Collaborators)
- Elliot Setzer, Residential Teaching Assistant is a graduate of Deep Springs College and a current student at Yale College, where he is pursuing a B.A. in political science and humanities. He is originally from Ottawa, Canada
- James Hart, Service Coordinator is a 28-year-old Tlingit from the Chilkat Valley community known as the Haines Borough, and he is of the Kiks.adi clan. James has a strong heart for community involvement and is an active volunteer at his local school, a traditional dance group member, and a mentor to Tlingit youth, always encouraging them to embrace their language and culture. He has logged over 300 miles as a team member in open ocean traditional canoe paddling and was an apprentice carver with Wayne Price, completing two 40' traditional dugout canoes. He is a tribal council member for the Chilkoot Indian Association. An active member of the Alaska Native Brotherhood, his Tlingit leadership roles include serving as a Kake Tribal Heritage Foundation board member and as a delegate to the Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, which recognized James with an Emerging Leader Award at the 82nd Tribal Assembly in 2017.
- Jessica Twydell, Service Coordinator (See Collaborators)
- Lance Twitchell, Faculty (See 2019 Summer Staff)
- Ishmael Hope, Faculty is an Inupiaq and Tlingit poet, storyteller, actor, and playwright living in Juneau, Alaska with his wife Lily Hope and five children. Notable recent projects include his second poetry collection, Rock Piles Along the Eddy, serving as a lead writer for Kisima Ingitchuna- Never Alone, produced by the Cook Inlet Tribal Council and E-Line Media, and co-directing, with Scott Burton, Lineage, Tlingit Art Across Generations, a documentary on Tlingit art produced by KTOO Public Media. He is on the University of Alaska Anchorage low-residency creative writing MFA faculty.
- Sharon Schuman, Faculty earned degrees in English from Stanford (BA) and University of Chicago (PhD) before teaching at Deep Springs College, Willamette University, University of Oregon, and the Michigan TASP. Her publications include articles about Shakespeare, English Poetry, American Literature, and Writing. Since 2015 she has given presentations about her book, Freedom and Dialogue in a Polarized World, in Oregon, California, Sweden, and Italy. Beyond academia, she writes essays for newspapers and magazines in Oregon, and she has an active career as a violinist.
Board of Trustees
- Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins is the founder and current Board Chair of Outer Coast. He was born and raised in Sitka and represents Southeast Alaska in the Alaska Legislature. During and after his time studying at Yale, Jonathan founded Alaska Fellows Program and Historical Restoration Interns program. Jonathan began to explore creating a new institution of higher education in Sitka summer 2014. In January 2015, he visited Deep Springs, and soon after made the decision to embark on the Outer Coast project.
- Alana Peterson is Executive Director of Spruce Root, a “triple bottom line” economic development corporation in Southeast Alaska. Born and raised in Sitka, Alana is Tlingit — a Raven of the Luknahadi (Coho) clan. She served as a small business development volunteer in the Peace Corps Peru from 2009-2011. Since she has worked in economic development for Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska and Sealaska. Alana and her husband, Jose, also own the Backdoor Cafe, a local Sitka institution.
- Roger Schmidt has been the Executive Director of Sitka Fine Arts Camp (Alaska Arts Southeast, Inc.) since 2000. During this time, the summer program has grown from a two week camp serving 40 adolescent students to a ten week program serving 1,000 students ages five to adult. In 2010, Roger negotiated the donation of the historic Sheldon Jackson School which had closed its doors in 2007. Subsequently, he has overseen the restoration of the campus by harnessing the support of thousands of volunteers and donors. Under Roger’s leadership, the Camp has grown to include a year-long arts advocacy program that offers a performing arts series, a statewide teacher training institute, after school arts classes for all ages, and a vibrant young performer’s theater program. Roger graduated from Oberlin College and Conservatory with degrees in philosophy and trombone performance with additional music studies at the Aspen Music Festival, Pierre Monteux School and internationally in London and at the Bruckner Conservatory in Austria.
- Alexandra McKay is the vice president of programs at the Rasmuson Foundation, managing the Foundation’s grantmaking programs and initiatives. She has over 25 years of nonprofit, government, and private sector experience, including 15 years working in senior roles for major family foundations. Her focus has been on strategic planning, public policy, human services, and social justice. She has served on the boards of American Civil Liberties Union National, ACLU Washington and Town Hall Seattle, and as a commissioner on the American Bar Association Youth at Risk and the Seattle Ethics and Elections commissions. Alex was born and raised in Anchorage and graduated from East Anchorage High School. She received a Juris Doctor degree from Stanford Law School, a Master of Law degree in sustainable international development from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. She is on the boards of Philanthropy Northwest, United Way of Anchorage, and Perseverance Theatre.
- Joe Nelson is Chairman of Sealaska, a for-profit Alaska Native Corporation owned by more than 22,000 Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian shareholders. He serves as a director on Spruce Root’s board and ex-officio trustee for Sealaska Heritage Institute. Joe has been a Sealaska director since 2003 and has been board chair since 2014. Joe also serves as a director for Alaska Legal Services. Joe is a Brown Bear (Teikweidí) from Yakutat. He is also a Kwáashk’I kwaan yádi. His Tlingit name is Kaá Ax Gú. Joe grew up commercial fishing and subsistence living in Yakutat. After graduating from Yakutat High School, Joe completed a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in American Indian Studies from UCLA. He also has a juris doctorate from Loyola Law School. Joe, his wife, Crystal, and children, Job, Nora, and Jude, live in Juneau.
- Richard Shaw has led Stanford’s undergraduate admissions and financial aid office since 2005. He is a nationally recognized leader in undergraduate admission, combining experience in both private and public institutions. Prior to joining Stanford, Shaw served as dean of admissions and financial aid from 1993 to 2005, director of admissions at the University of Michigan from 1988 to 1993, associate director of admissions and records at the University of California-Berkeley from 1983 to 1988 and in various admission and residence positions at the University of Colorado-Boulder from 1972 to 1981. He is a member of—and has served in leadership positions for—several national admission groups, including the College Board, American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, Consortium on Financing Higher Education and National Association of College Admissions Counselors. He holds a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth and a master's degree in college student personnel, guidance, and counseling from the School of Education at the University of Colorado-Boulder.
- Derek Schrier is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Indaba Capital Management, LP. He previously worked at Farallon Capital Management, L.L.C. and Goldman, Sachs & Co. Derek lived and worked in South Africa between 1992 – 1994 and during that time managed the elections research and polling for the African National Congress’s political campaign during South Africa’s first-ever democratic and non-racial elections in 1994. Derek is a board member of Matriculate, a non-profit organization that expands college access for high-achieving high school students. He serves as Chair of the Advisory Board for the Boston Review, an independent political and literary forum. Derek also is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Councils at Stanford Law School and Princeton University. Previously, he chaired the Board of the African Leadership Foundation and was a trustee and early funder of the African Leadership Academy. Derek is also co-founder, along with his wife, of the Cameron Schrier Foundation. Derek earned an M.B.A. from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. He attended Princeton University where he graduated with an A.B. from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs.
- Jeff Clifford is President of Heyday Films, David Heyman’s production company based at Warner Bros, which is best known for the HARRY POTTER series. At Heyday, he has served as Producer on THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS and Executive Producer on PADDINGTON and PADDINGTON 2. Prior to Heyday, Clifford oversaw production and development for The Montecito Picture Company, the Paramount-based partnership between Ivan Reitman and Tom Pollock, where he produced UP IN THE AIR, among many other films. Prior to Montecito, Clifford was Vice President of Production at Warner Bros and at Walt Disney/Touchstone Pictures. Clifford began his career as an independent producer in New York. He graduated from Yale in 1991. He currently serves as Board President for The Independent School Alliance for Minority Affairs in Los Angeles. He is a founding board member of Outer Coast College.
Board of Advisors
- Bruce Botelho served as Alaska Attorney General from 1993 to 2002 and mayor of Juneau for four terms, from 1988-1991, and again from 2003-2012. Bruce was born and raised in Juneau, graduating Juneau Douglas High School and going on to earn his B.A. and J.D. from Willamette University. Bruce’s record of civic service prolific, including serving as president of Alaska Conference of Mayors, director for Alaska Municipal League, trustee to the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, and chair of Conference of Western Attorneys General. Bruce is also an Eagle Scout, and has served as president of Boy Scouts of America’s Southeast Alaska Area Council. Bruce lives in Juneau.
- Nicole Borromeo is executive vice president and general counsel of Alaska Federation of Natives. A Doyon shareholder, she earned her B.A. from the University of Alaska Anchorage and J.D. from University of Washington School of Law. Prior to joining AFN, she clerked for Judge Patricia Collins (ret.) and worked in the Anchorage office of Sonosky, Chambers, Sasche, Miller & Munson, one the premier Indian law firms in the U.S. Nicole was raised in McGrath, and now resides in Anchorage.
- Lisa Busch began working as the executive director of the Sitka Sound Science Center in 2010. She and Roger Schmidt spearheaded the revitalization of the Sheldon Jackson Campus in the wake of the former Sheldon Jackson College’s sudden closure. Under Lisa’s leadership the Science Center staff has grown from two to 20 and has brought dozens of science educators and researchers to Sitka, most notably through the Scientist in Residency Fellowship and Scientists in the Schools.
- Ed Cohen received his B.A. from Amherst College and J.D. from the University of Virginia. Ed became general counsel at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette at the age of 26. Ed served as President and CEO of the New York State Urban Development Corporation from 1975-1977. He became a partner in McKinsey & Company in 1977, and in 1980 he was recruited to start the organization which became General Atlantic Partners. He was managing partner from 1980-1992 and chairman from 1992-1995. Ed is a founder of the Echoing Green Foundation, New Leaders for New Schools, and the Four Times Foundation. He initiated and funded Dartmouth Medical School’s efforts to promote the effective functioning of the medical school in Pristina, Kosova. He served as President and Chairman of the Manhattan Theatre Club, Co-Chairman of The MacDowell Colony and Chairman of City Year. He currently serves on the Board of America Achieves and New Profit in Boston. Ed is President of Carlin Ventures, Inc. in New York City.
- Anne Fadiman is an essayist and reporter. A former NOLS instructor, she won a National Book Critics Circle Award for her first book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, and has written a memoir, The Wine Lover's Daughter, as well as two essay collections, Ex Libris and At Large and At Small. As the Francis Writer in Residence at Yale, Anne teaches nonfiction writing and serves as a mentor to students who are considering careers in writing or editing. In 2012 she received the Brodhead Prize for Teaching Excellence. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
- Major General Laurie Hummel as Adjutant General-Alaska and Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs from 2015 to 2018, overseeing 4,100 soldiers and airmen. Laurie started her military career commissioned into the Military Intelligence Corps in 1982 and served 30 years in the Active Component Army in a variety of intelligence assignments, and asl also served as a consultant to the Defense Intelligence Agency and Woodrow Wilson Center. She deployed on several missions in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, including advising the Afghan National Army’s leaders of the National Military Academy of Afghanistan. MG Hummel holds graduate degrees from the University of Colorado (Ph.D.), Penn State (M.S.), Army War College (M.S.S.), University of Alaska Anchorage (M.Ed.), and a B.S. from the U.S. Military Academy, where she has also taught as a professor.
- Lena Jacobs is Koyukon Athabascan from Ruby and was raised throughout Alaska. She earned her degrees from Willamette University and UC Berkeley and has worked to support educational advancement, career readiness, capacity building and leadership development for over a decade. Lena works full-time raising her children and runs her own consulting business on the side.
- David Neidorf is the president of Deep Springs College. He has worked as an Outward Bound instructor course director, and on the faculty of Shimer College, Saint Mary’s College of California, and Middlebury College. He has also served as a director of Bioethics-In-Action, a developer of bioethics curricula.
- L. Jackson Newell served as president of Deep Springs College from 1995 to 2004 as well as Dean of Liberal Education at the University of Utah for 16 years, where he built a nationally-celebrated arts and sciences core curriculum required of all undergraduates. Jack’s teaching has been awarded the Hatch Prize for Teaching Excellence. He has been designated a Presidential Teaching Scholar, appointed to the special rank of University Professor, and recognized as the State of Utah’s first Professor of the Year. He has written a number of books, including a history of Deep Springs College and L.L. Nunn. Jack attended Deep Springs College, earned his M.A. in history and theology at Duke University, and earned his Ph.D. in the history and philosophy of universities at Ohio State University.
- Brian Rogers was the Chancellor of University of Alaska, Fairbanks from 2008-2015. Before UAF, he was partner and CFO at the consulting firm Information Insights; served as Vice President of Finance for the University of Alaska statewide system; and represented Fairbanks in the Alaska Legislature. Brian holds an M.P.A. in public administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
- Janelle Vanasse is superintendent of Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka, Alaska. As superintendent of Alaska’s premier public boarding school for over 400 rural and Native students since 2016, Janelle has deep background in rural education, previously serving as director of secondary education for the Lower Kuskokwim School District, principal of Bethel Regional High School, and executive director of Yuut Elitnaurviat, a Bethel non-profit that provides vocational training to youth and adults. Before Sitka, Janelle lived in Bethel for over 20 years.
- Carol Bazarsky received her degree in medical communications from Ohio State University and has been involved throughout her career in enhancing education in Newport, RI — serving on numerous boards and committees, including the Newport Public Education Foundation. In addition, Carol is president of a private family foundation whose primary focus is enhancing elementary and secondary education. Carol brought the educational music program “Little Kids Rock” to the Newport Public School System and is working on bringing a literacy program to Newport County. She is currently serving on the strategic planning committee of FabNewport, a fabrication workshop where lab members use innovative technologies and materials to make (almost) anything.
- David Bazarsky is president of a real estate development company in Newport, RI. After practicing law at Seyfarth Shaw in Chicago he returned to Rhode Island to develop commercial real estate. David has served as board chair of St. Michael’s Country Day School and Child & Family Services of Newport County. He serves on the boards of Salve Regina University (where he teaches Business Law in the MBA program) and a local bank (where he chairs its audit committee). David has also served on the board of Portsmouth Abbey School, Newport Hospital, and the Newport Preservation Society. David holds a B.S. from Boston University and a J.D. and L.L.M. from the University of Miami.
- Adonna Adams is a current senior at Mt. Edgecumbe High School and will be interning with Outer Coast for the remainder of the school year. Adonna is spearheading the Matriculate Alaska project, which includes researching schools and academic programs across Alaska and surveying MEHS seniors about their high school experiences & college expectations. Adonna’s research will inform Outer Coast’s future programming in our efforts to matriculate and retain Alaskan students from diverse backgrounds across the state.
- Haliehana 'Alaĝum Ayagaa' Stepetin (Unangax̂) was born and raised on Akutan in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. She has a Master of Arts in Cultural Studies from the University of Washington and is pursuing a PhD from UCLA. Haliehana is an artist and scholar, an Alaska Native dancer, "contemporary" Indigenous performer, subsistence practitioner and a Navy Veteran. Haliehana’s personal and academic work regards the “contemporization" of Indigenous performance, art, and identity in settler colonial society where she explores Indigenous governance, Indigenous politics of recognition and responsibility, Indigenous resurgence, and Indigenous futurity. She intentionally employs Indigenous epistemologies, ontologies, and methodologies in her work to interrupt limiting spaces of knowledge production to Indigenize education and the academy.
- Anna Nelaatoh Clock is Athabascan from Kaltag and Eyak from Orca. While these are her ancestral homelands, she was raised in Seward on the traditional homelands of the Alutiiq people, and currently makes her home in Anchorage, on the land of the Dena'ina people. Anna went to Middlebury College to study Japanese language and history. Her favorite area of work is in revitalizing Alaska Native languages, and believes firmly in the Lingít saying, "Kusaxán tín yagaxtoodláak" (We will succeed with love of the people). Anna joins the Outer Coast team as the Tlingit language MOOC coordinator.
- Claire Helgeson was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. She received her Associates degree from Seattle Central Community College before moving to Juneau, Alaska to complete her bachelor's in Alaska Native Languages and Studies with focuses on the Lingít language and Indigenous Language Revitalization. Claire joined the Outer Coast team in 2018 as a Residential Teaching Assistant and is now a collaborator with the core team.
- Emma Burck is a graduate of St. Olaf College, where she earned her B.A. in Environmental Studies. After graduating, Emma worked as a communication coach and outdoor educator. She currently serves as the Director of Student Life at Sitka Fine Arts Camp. Emma joined the Outer Coast core team in December 2018 as the Program and Operations Alaska Fellow for 2018-2019.
- Erin Slomski-Pritz is a graduate of Whitman College, where she earned a B.A. in English. Prior to attending Whitman, she spent her first two years of college at the University of Washington. Since graduating, she has worked in various community-based organizations, aiming to make education and healthcare more accessible to individuals from low-income socioeconomic backgrounds. She currently serves as assistant poetry editor for Bracken Magazine. Erin joined Outer Coast as a Sitka Winter Fellow in January of 2018 and now works as a collaborator with the core team.
- Javier Botero is a film producer, writer, and software engineer. Javier coproduced the cyber warfare documentary Zero Days for Director Alex Gibney, which was short-listed for the 2017 Academy Award for Best Documentary. He has led software development and communications for several tech start-ups. He and Jonathan, with others, co-founded the Sitka Fellows Program in 2012. Javier studied philosophy at Yale.
- Kira Fagerstrom is from Wasilla, Alaska and will be a freshman next year at Harvard College studying Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology. You can also call Kira by her Iñupiaq name, Tayaġana. As a student at the 2019 Summer Seminar, she was inspired by Outer Coast’s mission and vision for higher education and is excited to return as an intern though the Cook Inlet Tribal Council’s Youth Employment Program.
- Sara Feinberg was a public defender in Brooklyn, New York, for seven years before becoming a screenwriter in Los Angeles. In New York, Sara co-founded Young New Yorkers, an arts-based diversion program for court-involved teens. Recently, Sara wrote for Tales, a TV series on BET, and is now working on original material. Sara holds a B.A. from Harvard and a J.D. from Georgetown Law.
- Jessica Twydell teaches at Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka, Alaska. Jessica holds a Masters degree in Education and a Bachelors degree in Biology. In her free time, Jessica can be found in the mountains hiking, volunteering as an EMT with the Sitka Fire Department, or traveling abroad. Jessica served as a Service Coordinator during the inaugural 2018 Outer Coast Summer Seminar. In 2019, she organized and oversaw the service component of 2019 Outer Coast Summer Seminar as the Service Lead.
- Lakrisha Johnson, Chookán is Sitka Tribe of Alaska's Education Manager. She was born and raised in Sitka, Alaska. She was adopted Chookaneidí, and is child of the Kiks.ádi. She graduated the Sitka Native Education Program (SNEP) in 2010, and has been working as an instructor since 2008. In this position, Lakrisha works with 6th through 12th grade students after school, teaching Tlingit songs, dances, and language. For the last three years, she has been working with the Tlingit language along side Kassy Eubank-Littlefiled with elders Daasdiyaa (Ethel Makinen), Gooch Tlaa (Anne Johnson), and L'eiw Tu Éesh (Herman Davis), as a part of the Sealaska Heritage Institute Haa Shuká master/apprentice program. Her goal is to learn as much of the language as she can so she can confidently grow her curriculum and pass along the knowledge to future generations.
- Roger Schmidt grew up in Sitka and is the executive director of Sitka Fine Arts Camp. Roger was a double-degree student at Oberlin College and Conservatory and worked as a professional trombonist and music teacher before joining the Sitka Fine Arts Camp. As executive director, Roger has catalyzed the revitalization of the Sheldon Jackson Campus—which had fallen into disrepair after the sudden closure of Sheldon Jackson College in 2007—and brought national acclaim to the Sitka Fine Arts Camp.
- Stephanie Gilardi has worked as a staffer in the Alaska Legislature and, previously, on Tlingit language revitalization projects at the Sitka Tribe of Alaska. Stephanie completed M.A. coursework focused on language ideologies and endangered language issues and holds a B.A. from Wellesley College.
- Terrell Carter took a year off between Deep Springs College and Yale University to help start Guizhou Forerunner College, in Southwest China, a program aiming to help local poor and blind students learn technology skills. At Yale, Terrell studied the history of technology. He first came to Sitka to help the Sitka Fine Arts Camp with marketing and to work on the restoration of the historic Sheldon Jackson Campus.
- Uluqi Olivia Olson is from the small village of Aleknagik, in the Bristol Bay region and currently resides in Anchorage, AK. She is a sophomore in college currently working to get her degree in Alaska Native Governance. Olivia attended the Summer Seminar in 2018 and is excited to return to Outer Coast as an intern through the First Alaskans Institute Summer Internship Program. She hopes to help create education spaces that help students value life-long learning and service to their communities.
- Will Hunt is a graduate of Deep Springs College and a current student at Yale College, where he is pursuing a B.A. in computer science. Will took a gap year between Deep Springs and his final two years of undergrad in order to work full-time to bring Outer Coast into existence. He transferred to Yale in the fall of 2016 but continues to work on Outer Coast remotely, overseeing the accreditation process.