Director of Exhibits
Roger Topp has been with UA Museum of the North for more than 23 years. He came to Fairbanks as a graduate student and earned an M.S. in physical oceanography and an M.F.A. in creative writing. He brings to museum exhibits diverse experiences in project management, strategic planning, video production, computer animation, and software and hardware programming. At the extremes, he is a six-time state and one-time national champion fencer, and a prize-winning slam poet. More typically, he can be found on the badminton court and running Fairbanks trails. Outside the world of museums, his short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Zyzzyva, The Maine Review, Bennington Review, West Branch, and many other journals.
Tamara Martz began working with the exhibits department in 2005 during the museum expansion, designing and constructing over 180 brass mounts to present the museum collections in the new Rose Berry Alaska Art Gallery. After receiving a BFA from Otago School of Art, Dunedin, New Zealand, Tamara moved to Alaska from New Zealand in 2004. As part of the museum’s collaborative exhibits team, she takes the goals for a diverse range of art and science exhibition and design projects and creates cohesive exhibitions that are attractive, educational, and culturally respectful in an immersive museum experience. When not at work, she is dreaming up new jewelry designs and raising a family.
Jonah Wright is Chief Preparator for the exhibits department. While working nearly full time as a student, he helped to implement the museum's expansion, which was completed in 2006. This work included exhibit lighting, furnishings, and the installation of both 2D and 3D art in the Rose Berry Alaska Art and the Special Exhibits galleries. He has a critical eye for detail in finish carpentry and art installations. Jonah has 20 years of carpentry experience, with a desire to create curves in woodworking. He has a BFA in Ceramics with a minor in Native Arts from UAF. When not collaboratively creating exhibit furnishings for the museum he can be found skiing the trails of UAF, camping with his family, or sea kayaking the waters of Alaska.
Cindy Hickman is a student assistant with the exhibits department who is working to earn a degree in art. She was born in North Carolina but grew up in North Pole. She is now living in Fairbanks area where she has gained experience in the reindeer industry and is a regular member of Fairbanks Action Climate Coalition. In her free time Cindy likes to create and listen to music, sketch and play board games.
Tashina Pitka is a student assistant with the exhibits department. She was born and raised in Fairbanks, AK. She is currently going to school to get her degree in art, her concentration is in sculpture and digital art. When she is not working or studying, she is a spontaneous traveler who enjoys trying new things in new places. In her down time, you can find her cuddling with her two dogs or collecting more house plants.