Elizabeth came to Alaska in the summer of 1996. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Elizabeth instantly fell in love with lush green beauty of the Interior. She grew up in an Alaskan fashion, helping her dad build a house and living the dry cabin lifestyle.
She attended Arctic Light Elementary, was home-schooled for some time and graduated from Lathrop High School with a UA Scholars award. Elizabeth graduated cum laude from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in May 2018 with a major in English and a minor in art with a focus on photography. During her time as a student she enjoyed studying a variety of fields, which made it difficult for her to choose a major and stick with it. Eventually, her love of literature prevailed and she completed her undergraduate degree. She is excited about the next chapter of her life, transitioning from student to staff. Elizabeth plans to continue taking courses at UAF. She will always be a student at heart and her thirst for knowledge will continue to thrive as a university employee.
In her down time, Elizabeth enjoys serving as treasurer on the board of the Ester Community Association and leading the Fundraising Committee. She loves hiking her neighborhood trails, cooking, photography, kayaking, ice-skating and curling up in front of the wood stove with a good book.
Simi is a graduate of DePaul University. She defines herself as a global citizen and lifelong learner. Simi believes learning happens every moment of every day. She came to Alaska in the summer of 2021 and is excited to learn more about the state’s culture.
Simi has worked in higher education for fifteen years, holding several roles in student affairs and workforce development in the Chicago area. In her previous role as program coordinator for student life and campus inclusion, she advised the award-winning chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), an international honor society, and the Student Government Association (SGA). In 2019, she earned the Paragon Advisor of the Year award by PTK International and the regional Outstanding Advisor of the Year award. In 2020, she received the national Women in Leadership 40 under 40 award from the American Association of Women in Community Colleges (AAWCC).
Simi’s interests range from human services and addiction counseling to higher education and consulting with entrepreneurs developing small businesses. She advocates for women’s rights globally and engages in philanthropic work to raise funds for domestic violence shelters.
She is a wine and tea snob who loves traveling, being in the water, trying out new adventures like skydiving, and reading while listening to her eclectic mix of music. She also adores spending time with her family and being a new mom to her daughter.