SSS Staff

Ginny Redmond, Director

Hello! I’ve worked for the SSS program since 2007. I am a life-long Alaskan and UAF grad! After earning a B.A. in Foreign Languages (German and Spanish) with a minor in Linguistics, I went on to pursue an M.A. in Applied Linguistics. In my free time I like gardening, spending time outdoors, raising chickens and being with family.

Claire Gelvin-Smith, Assistant Director

The community of Fairbanks, and Alaska overall, is near and dear to my heart. Born and raised here, I enjoy the rich experience that my pioneering grandparents and family have provided me. I enjoy hunting, fishing, riding horses and spending time with my husband and step-daughter. In my free time, I work at my family's equine training center where I instruct riding lessons.

I have an MA in Social Psychology from University of Hawaii at Manoa. My research examined the the experience of empathy and emotional contagion.

After living in Hawaii for 10 years, I am happy to be back in Alaska and enjoy the space and freedom that it offers. In the fall semester of 2014, I also began work on a demanding, yet exciting, M.Ed in Counseling at UAF. I am working to develop an Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) program, and offer therapeutic riding options for those in interior Alaska.

I’ve enjoyed getting to know all the wonderful students, tutors and advisors who make up this excellent group at SSS. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with SSS students, and look forward to a great experience with TRiO and the SSS family!

Cassandra Sanborn, STEM Coordinator

I was also born and raised here in Fairbanks, Alaska, a place a truly call home. I am the youngest of eight and was a first-generation student who proudly obtained her BS in Biological Sciences from UAF in May 2015 with a minor in Art (I had very split areas of interest).

In general, I love to do new things! I have road-tripped from AK to FL, traveled across Europe, seen the Pope, went skydiving, and am constantly looking for exciting educational experiences. I enjoy art, leading the choir at my church, and being outdoors.

I was introduced to SSS while working for the Academic Advising Center as a Supplemental Instruction Leader, where I found my appreciation of TRiO and the support it offered during undergrad. Upon graduating, I found employment through the State of Alaska as a College & Career Guide at Lathrop High School working with students to help them find out what they wanted to do and how to get there. It was an awarding experience and I am grateful to continue that work. As the STEM Coordinator/Advisor I can't wait connect students to the natural inspiration that UAF has to offer.

Victoria Smith, Academic Advisor

I have been a student in the TRiO programs since middle school. I joined Educational Talent Search early on, and got involved with Upward Bound Math/Science the summer before my Senior year. I spent the summer of 2005 on the UAF campus attending classes that would prepare me for college. I graduated from Pe Ell High School in 2006 and left my small town in southwest Washington to attend the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

My undergraduate degree is in History, with a focus in Northern Studies. One of my favorite subjects to study is the history of Alaska! With the help of the History Department I have been able to attend multiple Phi Alpha Theta State and Regional conferences. For the past year I have been working at the front counter of Admissions and the Registrar, this has helped me to gain a wide variety of knowledge on how to help students through their post-secondary experience.

I am so excited to be a part of the SSS team! It means so much to me to be able to give back to the program that got me to where I am today.

Kate Wade, Academic Advisor

Hello, my name is Kate and I am new to the SSS! I love travel, adventure, sports and have a strong passion for helping students succeed. I served as a yearlong ambassador abroad in Germany and explored numerous countries throughout Europe. Bitten by the travel bug, I took advantage of studying abroad( three times) while completing my undergraduate degree in Physics/Chemistry at the College of Saint Rose in New York. I then earned my Masters in Education from the University of Notre Dame. I taught High school Physics and Chemistry at a low income school in San Antonio, TX. I pursued  outdoor adventure and garnered skills while taking an Outdoor Educator semester through NOLS! This past spring I completed a thru-hike of the Appalachian trail hiking from Georgia to Maine. I now find myself in Alaska eager to explore the outdoors and adventures to be had. I am super excited to share my passion for education with those in the SSS and be a part of the Nanook Nation.

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