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.

Sarah Smith, Assistant Director

I began working with SSS at UAF beginning in the fall semester of 2010 as a peer tutor. I joined the SSS team as a full time staff member in October, 2011.

My undergraduate degree is in English education and I taught middle and high school for four years in Colorado and Montana. I recently completed my master's degree at UAF in professional communication. My master's thesis focused on first generation college students utilizing SSS at UAF.

I LOVE living in Alaska and working at UAF! The best part of my job is providing our students with high quality tutoring so they can be successful in difficult classes. In the two years since I moved to Alaska, I have enjoyed getting to know the Fairbanks community and taking my picture in front of the UAF sign at 50 below!


Dana Kinzy, Academic Advisor

I’m from the Appalachian mountains of southeastern Ohio and northwestern West Virginia, so I find the low mountains around Fairbanks and the local emphasis on string band music rather familiar and comfortable.   My educational background is in several different areas of English studies.   I completed a B.A. in English with a fiction writing emphasis at Marshall University and an M.F.A. in creative writing with an emphasis on poetry at West Virginia University.   I am currently writing my dissertation in order to complete a Ph.D. in composition and rhetoric from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.    

While I have lots of experience teaching college-level composition, I was hired as an SSS comprehensive advisor fairly recently (in November 2011). I really enjoy the fact that, as an advisor, I get to work with college students throughout their university experiences.    I find that Student Support Services is a great match for me since I was a first generation college student and would have qualified for the program when I was in college.

Folks who spend any time with me soon learn that I am an avid knitter, which gives me plenty to do during the long winter months.   I also love animals, especially cats, and I managed a feral cat colony and participated in a Trap/SpayorNeuter/Release program in Nebraska.

Claire Gelvin-Smith, Temporary Advisor

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 enjoy the smell of a barn and working with horses and riding students as an English riding instructor.

I have a BA in Psychology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UH), and I’m currently finalizing an MA in Social Psychology from UH. 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.

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

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.

Jennifer Chambers, STEM Coordinator/Advisor

I started working at SSS in March of 2015. Prior to working at SSS, I taught lab sections for the UAF chemistry department, interned with Flint Hills Resources, and worked with the student government at UAF.

In 2006, I moved from Anchorage, where I had lived almost all my life, to Fairbanks to start college. During my undergraduate career, I was heavily involved with student government and the honors program. In May of 2011, I completed my bachelor’s degree in chemistry and I am currently pursuing my master’s in environmental chemistry.

I am excited to part of the SSS team and am looking forward to helping students meet their academic goals through this role.

Vanessa Shannon, Office Manager

While I am new to the SSS program, I am excited to be a part of the SSS community and help in any way I can! I am originally from Wisconsin and moved up to Fairbanks after receiving my Bachelor degrees in Social Work and Spanish in 2008 to work with teens in residential youth programs. While my experience is with at risk youth, I feel that SSS is a great fit for me because I myself am a first-generation college graduate and I am motivated in helping others succeed academically.

When I am not in the office, you will commonly find me playing soccer, shooting archery, snowboarding, at the gym or at Mother Moose with my toddler! I enjoy all that Alaska has to offer and am excited to work for UAF!

Megan Earle, Student Worker

As a military brat I have been stationed in several states including Massachusetts, Michigan, Connecticut, New York, and twice in Alaska. I graduated from Liverpool High School in the Syracuse area of New York before my family was stationed in Anchorage in June of 2011. I chose to move here to Fairbanks to attend UAF and am now pursuing my B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Accounting.

I began working for SSS in February of 2012 as a part-time Student Assistant and now also work as a peer coach and tutor. The staff and students that I have the privilege of working with always make my day a little brighter! I very much enjoy helping out the students in any way I can to help make school a little less stressful.

I love living in Alaska because it’s one giant playground! I ran eight seasons of varsity track in high school so I love that Fairbanks has so many different beautiful places to go running. Skiing, hiking, camping, and mountain biking are also among my favorite activities!

Tracy Israelson, Student Worker

David Schweigert, Student Worker

Jessica Speed, Student Worker

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