Meet our team!
Carlton Hautala• Advisor
Carlton grew up on the Kuskokwim River in the village of Kwethluk. He attended Mt. Edgecumbe for the second half of his high school career. He graduated from UAF with a BS in Fisheries. His favorite hobbies are hunting, trapping, and fishing with family and friends.
Colleen Angaiak • Advisor
Colleen is originally from Illinois but has lived in Alaska since she was 12. She went to junior high in Nightmute and high school in Tununak, both on Nelson Island, west of Bethel. She attended UAF and earned a BA in English with a minor in Secondary Education. She was advised through Rural Student Services for her undergraduate degree. She's currently working towards a Master’s Degree in Multicultural Education. When she has time left over after work and school, she likes to read, crochet, cross stitch, and scrapbook.
Gabrielle Russell • Lead Advisor
Gabrielle has been working with UAF for the last 20 years and as an Advisor with RSS for 10. She is happy that longtime friend and mentor Sue McHenry encouraged her to apply at RSS and has found it to be her perfect niche. Gabrielle came to UAF as a freshman by way of Upstate NY and used to tag-along with her friends who had advisors at RSS. She earned a BA in History, minoring in French, and a M.Ed. with a license in Community Counseling. She loves river travel, meeting new people, speaking French and creating art with her daughter. Most importantly, she enjoys problem solving and helping others, skills that have hopefully assisted the students she has come to know over her years at UAF.
Minnie Naylor • Advisor
Minnie is originally from Kotzebue and has family from Noatak and Shishmaref. Minnie graduated from UAF in 2008 and was involved with RSS. Her degree was in Rural Development with an emphasis in Community Organizations and Services. She is currently working on her Masters Degree in Rural Development.
Sandra Kowalski • Director of Indigenous Programs
Sandra Kowalski has been director of Indigenous programs in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Rural, Community and Native Education since January 2018. Sandy is Iñupiaq from Buckland and Kotzebue, where she was both a teacher and a principal. In Kotzebue, she served as one of the initial planning team members for a tribal school startup and later served as director of Nikaitchuat Ilisagviat, her home community’s tribal Iñupiaq language immersion school. When Sandra later became principal of June Nelson Elementary School in Kotzebue, she recognized the many positive academic, social and emotional outcomes of students who transitioned over from the tribal immersion school to the public school. Sandra believes strongly that Indigenous youth prosper when immersed in relevant language and cultural experiences. After moving her family to Fairbanks in 2007, Sandy was a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. As director of Indigenous programs at UAF, she finds meaningful work in supporting Indigenous programs and studies and particularly enjoyed hosting the Alaska Native Language Revitalization Institute in May 2018. Sandra is also a member of the Alaska State Board of Education, representing the Fourth Judicial District. Her term expires in March 2023.
Shenai Simeon • Office Manager
Shenai Simeon is from Aniak, AK which is located on the upper Kuskokwim River. I grew up on the river and out on the tundra with a strong subsistence way of life. I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Rural Development and a minor in Rural and Emergency Health and Wellness with a focus in Yup'ik language in 2018. Shenai is a former RSS student and Student Employee. Shenai is the Office Manager and works at the front desk. She will be the face you see when you stop by RSS or call our main number, you will most likely be talking to her.
Timothy Murphrey • Eileen Panigeo MacLean Iñupiat House Advisor/Program Manager
Tim Murphrey is originally from New Orleans, but has lived in Fairbanks for 23 years. At UAF, he earned a BA in English, minoring in Alaska Native Studies, a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, and is currently a Ph.D. student in the Indigenous Studies program. He has taught high school in the Fairbanks School District, as well as for the Rural Alaska Honors Institute for 13 years. Tim has a real passion for traditional archery, keeping his old Harley running and on the road, and writing poetry.