Faculty and Staff
The following faculty represent the academic departments most directly associated with each of the thematic areas in the Ph.D. in Indigenous Studies. They (or their successors) will serve collectively as a Steering Committee for the program as well as the Admissions Review Panel to recommend applicants for admission to the Dean of the Graduate School. They will also help identify affiliate faculty with appropriate expertise to serve on student graduate committees, drawing upon, but not limited to the faculty members in the sponsoring departments.
Center for Cross-Cultural Studies
Hours of operation
8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday
201 Eielson Building
1820 Salcha Street
P.O. Box 756730
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6730
Theresa Arevgaq John is an Associate Professor in the Department of Cross-cultural Studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She has authored numerous academic articles and a co-author of a book Yupiit Yuraryarait: Yup’ik Ways of Dancing and has presented her work at dozens of local, national, and international professional conferences. Dr. John currently serves on the National Advisory Council on Indian Education and the International Indigenous Women’s Forum. She is a former member of the Alaskan State Council Arts and the former Chair of the Traditional Native Arts Panel. She is also the recipient of the Governor's Distinguished Humanities Educator Award and Alaska State Library Award. Dr. John received her B.S., M.Ed., and Ph.D. from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
As an advocate for Native education, she is highly involved in various organizations and projects that promote traditional Native culture, history, spirituality, language and education. Among John's many affiliations, she is involved in the University Alaska Native and Language Committee, Alaska Native Education and Computer Assisted Language Learning project. She is a member of the National Indian Education Association and a former member of the Statewide Bilingual Multicultural Education Council, Alaska Association for Bilingual Education, Alaska Native Heritage Center Project, Qayaqs and Canoes, Paddling into the Millennium Selection Committee, and Alaska Rural Systemic Initiative. John has extensive performing experience, including several Yup'ik Traditional Dance Groups and her one woman show Yup'ik Arnaq. She is the founder of the Nunarpak Dancers at Alaska Pacific University, the Annual Cama-i Dance Festival in Bethel, the Inu-Yupiaq student Dancer Group at University of Alaska, Fairbanks, co-founder of the Tuma Theatre, and participated in the development of the Festival of Native Arts. John has performed all over the world, in festivals in Greenland, Greece, France, Russia, the Far East and Peru.
"I believe that we are all lifelong learners. It is very important to share our wisdom and knowledge with others. We can live in the world of peace and harmony..."
John, T. Nutemllaq Yugtun Qaneryaraput: Our Very Own Way of Speaking Yugtun in Southwestern Alaska in Global Sociolinguistics. (IN PRESS) Taylor and Francis Routledge. 2013.
Parker Webster, J and John, T. A book chapter entitled On Becoming a “Literate” Person: Meaning Making with Multiliteracies and Multimodal Tools (p. 73-100) in Communities of practice: An Alaskan Native Model for language teaching and learning. University of Arizona Press. 2013.
John, T. Piciryaramta Elicungcallra: teaching our way of life through our language. Tundra Drums. Vol.40. No.7. June 25, 2012.
Webster, Joan Parker and John, T. (2010) Research in the contact zone: Preserving a space for cross-cultural collaborations: an account of insider/outsider issues. Ethnography and Education.
Barker, J., Fienup-Riordan, A. and John, T. “Yupiit Yuraryarait: Yup’ik Ways of Dancing” UA Press 2010.
John, T. Yaaruiyaraq: A way of storyknifing. The Delta Discovery. Vol. 13, Issue 33. August 17, 2011.
John, T. Petugtaryaraq: a gift to the young. Tundra Drums. Volv. 38, No. 41. December 16, 2011.
John, T. Nutemllarput: Our Very Own, a Yup’ik epistemology. Canadian Journal of Native Education. Vol. 32, 2009 (54-72) Number 1.
John, T. Mikelnguum nutem qaneryaramteggun tarenrateggun-llu qanemcitlriit: Children storytelling through pictures and Yugtun.Tundra Drums. April 16, 2010.
Webster, Joan Parker and John, T. (In Press) Insiders and outsiders: From dualism to continuum. Ethnography and Education.
PSY/CCS 602: Native Ways of Knowing
CCS 639: Indigenous Philosophy
CCS/RD 608: Indigenous Knowledge Systems
International Indigenous Women’s Forum, Global Leadership School, May 2014
Distinguished Governor’s Humanities Award, 2002
President’s Obama’s National Advisory Council on Indian Education, 2010
Board of Directors, Alaska State Council on Arts, 1990-2010
Service to Underrepresented Groups in Alaska Native Education, Technology
Alaska Native Education, Computer Assisted Language Learning, 2013-
Piciryamta Elicallra (Teaching our way of life through our language, 2007-2010
Alaska Native Language and Culture UAF Committee, 2004-2014
Conference and Symposium Organizer
National Indian Education Association, 2014
Bilingual Multicultural Education Conference, 2014.
My name is Polly Hyslop. I am dineh (Athabascan) from the Upper Tanana River region
of Alaska near the Canada border. I am also a descendent of the Scottish people. I
was born and raised in rural Alaska. I am an Assistant Professor in the Indigenous
Studies Program here at UAF. I also teach online classes for the Communications-Journalism
Department. I have two villages I call home.
The first village is Northway (near Tok) is where I was born and now live in the summers where I am documenting our Native language. The second village I call home is Tanana, located along the Yukon River. It is where my father retired and where my siblings now call home. I love both my rural homes but relate more to my birth village of Northway.
My mother is Upper Tanana river Athabascan and my father is of Scottish descent and. Our dineh clan originated in Canada. I have a son, Ben, who lives and works in Reno, Nevada and is pursuing an M.A. Business from the University of Nevada Reno
My career path did not follow a linear projection. I earned all my degrees here at UAF. I began my career as a journalist working for Ms. Magazine in NYC after graduating with a B.A. in Print Journalism here at UAF. I worked for five years as a writer/journalist until I returned home to my village in 1995 where I worked at the tribal council, local federal refuge, etc. for nearly 17 years before I returned to UAF in 2011 where I received an M.A. in Justice Administrator in 2013. Five years later, I graduated in 2018 with my doctorate in Indigenous Studies here at UAF. I have several certificates in restorative justice and I have mediation training from the State of Alaska. I have worked with mediators and also mediated on my own. I love the art of resolving conflict but above all, I am passionate about creating and understanding sustainable dispute resolution systems within Native communities in rural Alaska. I am always learning about what is needed to create sustainable systems?
My dissertation focused on safety and well-being in a rural community based on community members' efforts. It was titled: Circle Peacemaking in Kake, Alaska. A Case Study in Indigenous Planning and Dispute Systems Design. Kake is a Tlingit community in southeast Alaska. I am very interested in traditional ways of resolving conflict using traditional teachings and ceremony.
My career in teaching started as a Teacher’s Assistant in 2014 for the Dept. of Communications. I taught adjunct for a few years before joining the Indigenous Studies Program as Assistant Professor in 2016. I enjoy teaching. Most of my teaching career has been online teaching. It gives opportunity for students to work at their own pace. Many students in our program are professionals with full-time jobs and families. UAF has a high number of “Non-Traditional” students (students who are older than 21). I say that this is the norm to have older students here at UAF. My philosophy of teaching is that we are all learning and teaching one another.
Ray Barnhardt, Emeritus
Professor Emeritus Cross-cultural and Indigenous Studies
Ray Barnhardt is a professor emeritus of Cross-Cultural Studies and Indigenous Studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he has been involved in teaching and research related to Native education issues since 1970.»»His research interests include Native education, indigenous knowledge systems, institutional adaptations to rural and cross-cultural settings, and alternative approaches to management and organization.
Michael Koskey is an associate professor with the Center for Cross-Cultural Studies, which offers a Master's of Arts in Cross-Cultural Studies and a PhD in Indigenous Studies. While serving in the Marine Corps he received a BS in Anthropology and a BA in Political Science from the University of Central Florida, and afterwards received an MS in Anthropology from Purdue University and a PhD in Anthropology from University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Mike's research focuses on oral history, traditional knowledge, ethnohistory, culture change, decolonization, resource use and allocation, and indigenous cosmology/mythology. He is married and has two young boys, lives in Goldstream Valley, and enjoys hiking, hunting, and blacksmithing with family and friends.
Education & Training:
- B.A. in Humanities - University of Alaska Fairbanks, May 1992
- M.A. in Cross-Cultural Studies - University of Alaska Fairbanks, June 2010
- Ph.D. in Indigenous Studies - University of Alaska Fairbanks, December 2015
Dr. Topkok’s research interest include multicultural and Indigenous education, decolonization and Indigenist methods and methodologies, working with communities to help them document their cultural heritages, and community well-being.
His previous and present research partners include:
- Alaska Rural Systemic Initiative
- Alaska Native Knowledge Network
- Center for Cross-Cultural Studies
- International Arctic Research Center
- WGBH Teachers Domain: Alaska Native Perspectives on Weather and Climate
- Passport to Knowledge POLAR-PALOOZA
- Alaska Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence
- Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center
- UAF Festival of Native Arts
- Margaret A. Cargill Foundation - North Slope Borough School District
- Prince William Sound College – University of Alaska Anchorage
Selected Publications & Presentations:
- Harrod, R., Williams, M., Breinig, J., Lind, S., Leonard, B., Twitchell, L., Topkok, S., Wilga, C., & Mitchell, R. (Editors). 2015 Alaska Native studies conference journal. Anchorage, AK: University of Alaska Anchorage. (pending)
- Topkok, C. S. (2016). Iñupiat Ilitqusiat: Inner views of our Iñupiaq values. Fairbanks, AK: UA Press. (pending)
- Topkok, C. S., Freiburger, A., Barnhardt, R., Koskey, M., Brooks, C, & Stern, C. (Editors). 2014 Alaska Native studies conference journal. Fairbanks, AK: University of Alaska Fairbanks.
- Topkok, S. A., & Green, C. J. (2016). Following the Pathways of the Ancestors: Well-being through Iñupiaq Dance. In Indigenous Perspectives on Education for Well-Being in Canada.
- Barnhardt, R. & Topkok, S. A. (2016). Cultural orientation for new University of Alaska Southeast faculty. (Keynote Address). Juneau, AK: Sealaska Heritage Foundation.
- Topkok, S. A. (2016). Indigenous programs at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. (Presentation). World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium Conference. Ōtaki, Aotearoa: Te Wānanga o Raukawa.
- Tuck, E., Topkok, S. A., & Mack, L. (2016). Indigenous methodologies. (Panel). Oahu, HI: Native American and Indigenous Studies Association Conference.
- Topkok, S. (2016). Contributing author for Nordicité. (Online). Retrieved from http://www.theatreincline.ca/nordicite/en/
- Hogan, M. P., & Topkok, C. S. (2015). Teaching Indigenous Methodology and an Iñupiaq Example. Decolonization, Indigeneity, Education and Society.
- Topkok, C. S. A. (2015). Iñupiat Ilitqusiat: Inner Views of Our Iñupiaq Values. Unpublished dissertation. Fairbanks, AK: University of Alaska Fairbanks.
- Topkok, S. A. (2014). An Iñupiaq methodology. (Presentation). Oahu, HI: World Indigenous Peoples’ Conference on Education.
- Topkok, S. (2014). Iñupiaq Well-Being. (Keynote Speech). Alaska Child Maltreatment Conference. Anchorage, AK: Alaska Children’s Alliance.
- Dublin, R., Sigman, M., Anderson, A., Barnhardt R., & Topkok, S. A. (2014). COSEE-AK Ocean Science Fairs Projects in Both Western Science and Traditional Native Knowledge. In Journal of Geoscience Education 62(166-176). Bellingham, WA: NAGT.
- Topkok, S. (2014). TedxClaremont Colleges. (Producer). Iñupiaq stories: Past, present, and future. Retrieved from http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Iñupiaq-Stories-Past-Present-an
- Topkok, S. (2014). Native Ways of Networking. In Multicultural Knowledge and the University. Alor Setar, Malaysia: Multiversity.
- Topkok, C. S. (2011). Humility. In Sharing Our Pathways: Native Perspectives on Education in Alaska. Fairbanks, AK: Alaska Native Knowledge Network.
- Topkok, C. S. (2010). Iñiqpaġmiut Iñupiat Quliaqtuaŋit: Iñupiat Urban Legends: An Analysis of Contemporary Iñupiat Living in an Urban Environment. Retrieved from http://ankn.uaf.edu/Curriculum/Masters_Projects/SeanTopkok/
Professional Organization Memberships:
- Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative, Affiliate Member
- Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, Member
- UArctic Verdde Thematic Network, UAF Member
- Alaska Native Studies Council, UAF Member
- Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Native Education, Chair
- Journal of Global Education and Research, Editorial Advisory Board Member
- World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium, Alaska Executive Board Member
- World Indigenous Peoples’ Conference on Education, Alaska Delegate
- Phi Kappa Phi, Lifetime Member