Chancellor's Diversity Action Committee

CDAC Committee Members

Diane McEachern/ Co-Chair

Hi, I have lived in rural Alaska for almost 14 years and have been a faculty member of the Kuskokwim campus of UAF since 2003.   Previously I was the Lead social worker for Lower Kuskokwim School District where I realized my goal of practicing cross cultural social work in a wilderness area!   Now, I coordinate and teach within two wonderful cohort programs, Rural Human Service (RHS) and Human Services (HUMS) both of which are designed around the adult indigenous learner.   My students have taught me a great deal about both my profession of social work but also how to understand different ways of experiencing, knowing and understanding the world around us.   I often feel grateful for the diverse dynamics within these classrooms and try to practice a continual reflective practice as a teacher.  

I am in the final stages of doctoral work in Educational Studies with focus on Adult Learning and Indigenous Populations.   And as they say…it is good to have a passion for whatever your PhD quest is or the quest will become grueling.   Mine remains a rich and interesting quest for me.

I love exploring Alaska, quilting, and, for now, doctoral related reading (!).

Dr. M. Kayt Sunwood/ Co-Chair

I’ve been at UAF since 2005. In this time I’ve taught courses for Education, Women’s Studies, and Sociology, as well as traveled throughout Alaska working with teachers in rural schools for the Math in a Cultural Context project.

I manage the UAF Women's Center and teach Women's Studies online through the Center for Distance Education.

In the Chancellor's Diversity Action committee my contributions have included serving as a connection and conduit to the Women's Center as well as serving as a resource on women’s and gender issues. I’ve been involved with many of the committee’s initiatives, the website committee perhaps heads the list of my special assignments and commitments. My work with CDAC, the Women's Center, as President of Staff Council, and my other work at UAF and in the community is driven by my passion for connecting people with the resources and the information that they need. My research, as well, is fueled by this passion, and focuses on online community building.

My recent research interests are best practices for online teaching and learning with special emphasis on engaging students in critical thinking on equity issues.

Walks with our dogs on our 70+ acres on the edge of the Alaska wilderness, enjoying the bird visitors at our feeders (and enjoying our cats watching the birds) keeps me occupied. I've also added documentary film making as an enjoyable pursuit.

Ana Richards

Ana Richards

I am a UAF Alumna (International Student) and am currently the Manager of the Office of Multicultural Affairs & Diversity since 2005.

I am a firm believer that a successful community has its roots embedded in the contributions of their diverse population. Every individual desires to coexist in a community that will appreciate, value, and respect their potential to enhance and enrich their society. The annual report in the magazine Diversity Inc, states that of the 50 most successful businesses surveyed the common thread for success has its base in their diverse employment infrastructure. CEO’s understood that in order to address the changing needs of today’s society and attract diverse consumers, they needed to hire experts that can understand their new clients. UAF is in the business of education. This is where we shape our leaders for tomorrow.   It is vital that we not only provide the educational element but also the understanding of diversity in today’s society.    There is no greater responsibility than to equip UAF students with everything they need to succeed in life and in their career.   As a forerunner in this market, I believe providing students with the understanding of the importance of diversity will give help set them apart and provide potential employers with well rounded and qualified individuals.  

During off time, volunteers at the J.P. Jones Community Development Center and enjoy relaxing with friends, dancing, as well as book & movie discussions.

Jane Weber

I am an associate professor of Mathematics and chair of the Department of Developmental Education.   I was both an undergraduate and a graduate student with a teaching assistantship at UAF starting in 1985; faculty since 1993.   I'm a regular volunteer at the Pet Pride shelter and at the Food Bank.   Riding bicycles is my passion and my motto is FUN!

I have been a member of CDAC since its inception and have been cochair since 2008.   I believe that the overall status of diversity at UAF is a reflection of the status of diversity in our current society.   It is an indicator of the maturity and development of our community and a matter of social justice.   Advances in diversity can only happen if we all stand together to honor this diversity and to make our university a more welcoming and equitable place for all.

Christina Bartlett

Christa Bartlett, CMA - CPC

I have worked as an adjunct for UAF/CTC since 1999 and have been a full time Assistant Professor since 2003. Currently, I am an Assistant Professor in the Allied Health Department at the Community & Technical College (CTC). I serve as the Program Director of the Medical Assisting Program and coordinator for the Health Care Reimbursement Certificate and Medical/Dental Reception Certificate. I currently serve on several committees including Adjunct Faculty Development at the CTC, Chair for the Students Awards Committee, and CDAC.

Since this is my first year serving on this committee I am just getting familiar with our goals and missions and becoming more involved with each meeting. I am a representative for faculty senate.

Diversity is important because it enriches the educational experience allowing us to learn from those whose experiences, beliefs, and perspectives are different from our own.  Diversity promotes personal growth and a healthy society. It challenges stereotyped preconceptions, encourages critical thinking and helps students learn to communicate effectively with people who might be different. Diversity is important at UAF because it strengthens our community. Education within a diverse setting prepares students to become good citizens and fosters mutual respect and teamwork.

I enjoy being outdoors and most all sports & activities that come with summer. Cooking, reading and golf are among my favorites. I am originally from Georgia , but have lived in Fairbanks since 1994. I have one son who is 16 and a sophomore at West Valley High School .  

Jenny Liu

Hi, my name is Jenny Liu . I am an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and a Registered Civil Engineer in the state of Alaska .  I teach courses and research in transportation infrastructure engineering. I have been at UAF since 2006, and am the Committee on the Status of Women representative on CDAC.  I appreciate and respect diversity because it is always fun and valuable to meet people with different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. In my free time, I love to hang out with my son.

Yvonne McHenry

Yvonne McHenry, known to many as “Mac”, has been at UAF since the early 1980’s where she attended as a student athlete and became a student employee with Human Resources, formerly Personnel Services.   During her college years Yvonne was given the opportunity to work in a part-time position with benefits at the Power Plant, now known as Facilities Services – Utilities Operations, and accepted the challenge in 1986.   The position soon turned into full-time and Yvonne continued to complete her baccalaureate degree receiving a Bachelor of Business Administration in 1988.  

Yvonne has been with UAF HR for 19 years, has seen employees come and go during her tenure, and has interacted with many through her role as Senior HR Consultant.     As an ex-officio member of the CDAC for the past few years, Yvonne helps give advice, guidance and support that will continue to promote and enhance the diversity of students, staff and faculty at UAF. 

Anne Marie Mattacchione

I am a mother of a teenager who is currently attending UAF, working toward a degree in Justice and working as a CSO with the University Police Department.   I am a strong advocate for children and family issues, and I enjoy teaching children birth-school age. In my spare time, I enjoy racquetball, running, being a home chef, gardening, and dancing.

I hold two Early Childhood Education/Child Development degrees, have been a UAF Adjunct since 1998 in Early Childhood Education, and in 2010 I was hired as a full-time faculty member in Early Childhood Education at UAF Community and Technical College.   I have been in the Early Childhood Profession for 28 years and have enjoyed working with children, families and staff in a variety of settings and positions including:

- Early Head Start Director- I opened the first EHS in Fairbanks

- I have worked with the State of Alaska Department of Administration, legislators, the Governor’s office and locally

- Since 1997, I have worked with disabilities service agencies and families who are joyful and   challenged by differing abilities of their children.

- I am currently the Director of a large, non-profit child care center birth-12 yrs with 25 staff members and 125 families

Bob Shefchik

Longtime Fairbanksan Bob Shefchik was named UAF's executive officer March 23, 2009. Shefchik has 28 years of experience as a public manager developing and implementing complex projects and initiatives, as well as serving as strategic advisor to elected officials, boards, commissions, legislators and other policymakers.

Most recently he served as the chief of staff for the Fairbanks North Star Borough, from 2005 - 2009. In that position he was responsible for the day-to-day management of borough operations. Prior to that, he worked for six years as the finance officer and assistant director at the UAF Geophysical Institute. In addition, he served for nearly two decades in various positions with the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, including assistant superintendent for business and finance, and director of business services, among other positions.

He is a graduate of Lathrop High School and holds a bachelor's degree from Cornell University.

Mary Sue Dates

Mary Sue Dates is the office coordinator for the UAF Career Services Dept.  She has been with the university since December 2007 and has served on UAF Staff Council since 2008.  She believes in and has a passion for communication within the UAF community.  Mary Sue works diligently to keep staff informed on issues and current topics.  She encourages any staff member to contact her with their concerns.


Ross Imbler

I began attending UAF as a student in 2005 and graduated in 2008 with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Women’s Studies.   In 2010, I completed my M.A. in Profession Communication at UAF.   My thesis focused on gendered language, specifically the intersubjective meaning of girl.   I have been an adjunct for CLA, CTC, and CDE in the disciplines of Communication, Sociology, and Women’s and Gender Studies.   I currently work for the Development Office which is charged with bettering the university via philanthropy.   Diversity is necessary for the enrichment and continuance of our society.   It is the key to innovation and as such must be encouraged and embraced at all levels of a society.   With this goal in mind, and with a world viewed through the lens of Critical Theory, I passionately strive to better the world for all of us.