Faculty and Staff

Retchenda George Bettisworth, L.M.S.W.

Department Chair/Clinical Assistant Professor/Statewide Coordinator for the UAF Department of Social Work Cohort

Phone:  (907) 474-7025
Fax:  (907) 474-2712
Email:  rbgeorgebettisworth@alaska.edu

Mailing address:

UAF Dept. of Social Work
P.O. Box 756480
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6480

Retchenda George-Bettisworth, LMSW, is Clinical Assistant Professor for the University of Alaska , Fairbanks and the Statewide Coordinator for the BSW Rural Cohort Program. Retchenda has been working in the field of social work since 2000 in the area of child welfare.   She has worked in a crisis prevention program for families at risk of child abuse and neglect, as a parenting educator, various children and youth residential facilities, and as a social worker at Department of Children, Youth and Families in Rhode Island, and the Office of Children’s Services in Alaska.   Retchenda received her BSW from the UAF in 2000.   She received her MSW from the University of Michigan , Ann Arbor in 2007, with a concentration in Social Policy and Evaluation, and an emphasis in Children, Youth and Families.

LaVerne M. Demientieff , M.S.W.

Clinical Assistant Professor, Fairbanks Campus

Phone: 907-474-6267
Fax: 907-474-6085
Email: lmdemientieff@alaska.edu

Mailing address:

UAF Dept. of Social Work
P.O. Box 756480
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6480

LaVerne Demientieff, MSW, is a Clinical Assistant Professor for UAF's Bacholor of Social Work program. LaVerne is a Deg' Hitan, Athabascan and her family is from Holy Cross, Alaska. She grew up in Nenana, Fairbanks, Anchorage and at her family's fishcamp on the Yukon river. She has a teenage son named Khayree. LaVerne received her MSW from Washington University in St. Louis, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, with a concentration in social and economic development with an emphasis in management. She received her BSW from UAF's Social Work Department. She also holds an AAS in Early Childhood Education. LaVerne teaches Introduction to Social Work, Rural Social Work, Human Behavior in the Social Environment I and II, and Research Methods and hopes to provide a good foundation for students to build upon, as well as relay her passion and enthusiasm for all of the possiblities that the field has to offer. LaVerne is currently working towards a PhD is Social Work from the University of Utah, College of Social Work in their Technology Enhanced Doctoral Program and is in the ABD (all but dissertation) phase of the program. 

Heidi Brocious, M.S.W., Ph.D.

Clinical Associate Professor, Juneau Campus

Phone: 907-796-6213
Fax: 907-796-6577
Email: hlbrocious@alaska.edu

Mailing address:

UAS Social Work
Hendrickson Building rm 205
11120 Glacier Highway
Juneau, AK 99801

Heidi Brocious, MSW, PhD, is a Clinical Associate Professor for the distance bachelor’s degree in social work.  Heidi has worked clinically in the fields of child and family mental health and domestic violence.  She has practiced community social work, developing and implementing curriculum on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and helped oversee the State of Alaska FASD initiative, including the development of regional diagnostic teams.  More recently, Heidi has worked in the field of adoption.  She completed her PhD at the University of Utah College of Social Work in 2013.   Here dissertation was titled “Activities that Promote Ethnic Identity Development in Transnational Adoptees”.   Heidi has published articles in the area of rural ethics management as well as transnational adoption.   She is currently working on research projects that promote student involvement in research, and that use strengths-based perspectives to explore community issues.     Heidi teaches a variety of   distance course work to social work students around the State, focusing on practice, HBSE, and research. She supervises student practicum placements throughout Alaska, and is interested in the complexities of rural student placements.

Kimberly Swisher, LMSW

Clinical Assistant Professor and Field Director for BSW program

phone: 907-474-6513
Fax: 907-474-6085
Email: kcswisher@alaska.edu 

Mailing address:

UAF Dept. of Social Work
P.O. Box 756480
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6480

Kim Swisher was raised in Fairbanks and received her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Kim began working in the field of child welfare and mental health after graduation prior to moving on to graduate studies. She received a Master's of Social Work from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2000 with an emphasis in Children, Youth and Families. Kim has spent over 12 years in the field working with severely emotionally disturbed children, providing advocacy in court for children, child welfare, and child protection. Kim has worked as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children in foster care, and spent ten years with the Office of Children's Services, both in Anchorage and Fairbanks. Kim spent three years working for the Family and Youth Services Training Academy, through the UAA School of Social Work, traveling Alaska and training child protection workers in best practice. Kim currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Interior Center for Non-Violent Living (IAC), and the Advisory Board for the Birch Center in Fairbanks. She provides consultation to Stevie's Place, the Child Advocacy Center in Fairbanks, through the Resource Center for Parents and Children (RCPC). Kim's area of interest include direct practice with individuals, groups and communities, and she delights in inspiring students to become social workers.

Carol Renfro, PCA, M.Ed.

Administrative Specialist/Program Assessment Coordinator, Fairbanks Campus

Phone: 907-474-7240
Fax: 907-474-6085
Email: cprenfro@alaska.edu

Mailing address:

UAF Department of Social Work
P.O. Box 756480
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6480

Carol is currently employed as Administrative Specialist/Program Assessment Coordinator with the Social Work Program. She has been with the department since 1996. Carol is a 1984 graduate of the UAF, with a B.A. in Foreign Languages, minored in Music, and received her Master’s in Education, Special Education from UAA in 2001. She has lived in Fairbanks for 43 years, is married and has three children. In her spare time she enjoys listening to Lynda Randle and the Gaither Vocal Band, singing, playing violin, and basketball.

Carrie Ivie

Administrative Generalist III, Fairbanks Campus

Phone:  (907) 474-1812
Fax:  (907) 474-2712
Email:  clivie@alaska.edu

Mailing address:

UAF Dept. of Social Work
P.O. Box 756480
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6480


Carrie is the travel coordinator for the social work rural student cohort.  She received a B.S. degree from UAF in Wildlife Biology in 1997 and has been employed by the University since 2003.  Carrie ’s position is part-time, and her office hours are 9:00am to 1:00pm, Tuesday through Thursday.  Carrie took this part-time position with the Department of Social Work in August of 2007 in order to spend more time with her four children.