Academic Affairs

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On behalf of our faculty and program coordinators, I welcome you to the Department of Academic Affairs. This department provides a broad range of instructional programs and courses, which are offered for academic credit and are delivered at times, in places, and using formats that meet the needs of a diverse student population.  Additionally, the department monitors the academic integrity of instructional programs; ensures the college’s compliance with accreditation requirements; and creates the institution’s course catalogs and schedules.

Qualified and dedicated faculty implement a rigorous, place-based curriculum that prepares graduates to be successful in their future endeavors, whether they enter the workforce or continue their education at a four-year institution. Various coordinators form the critical support framework to several programs as they work with both, students and adjunct instructors, to create enriching learning experiences. The infusion of Iñupiaq cultural values, traditions, worldview, and histories into all aspects of the curriculum, shape each instructional environment to be relevant to the student body it serves.

Together, we strive to enrich, encourage, and affirm our students on their educational journey, and we take pride and joy in their successes.

Birgit Meany,
Dean of Academic Affairs


Gemma Pangan

Assistant to the Dean of Academic Affairs
Phone: 907.852.1825




Kimberlee Brent

Assistant Professor, Education- Ph. 907.852.1735



Dave Elbert

Assistant Professor, Vocational/Technical Trades (Electrical)
NCCER Master Instructor, 2003; NSTC Instructor, A.A. University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska, 1999; Electrical Contractor License, State of Alaska, 1988; Electrical Administrator License, State of Alaska, 1986; Journeyman License, States of Alaska, Idaho, Colorado, Montana, 1981.
Ph. 907.852.1781

Dave is a lifelong Alaskan who has spent most of his working career in the electrical industry.  He has been teaching the Electrical Trades Program and related construction classes at Ilisagvik since 1997, and truly enjoys instructing in the community college setting.  Dave is licensed as a Journeyman electrician, master electrician, and NCCER master instructor.  Married with five children, four of whom graduated from Barrow High school, he and his wife continue to enjoy life in the Barrow community and the joys and challenges of teaching and providing career advancement for students. One of his favorite quotes is: “Happiness in life is the result of the choices we make.  If we are not happy, make better choices!” Education can be one of those choices.



Paul D. McNeill II

Assistant Professor, English
M.A., English. University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2009. B.A., English and Media Studies. University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2006. A.A.S., Broadcast Production Technologies. Central Carolina Community College, 2002. Ph. 907.852.1731

Before becoming a professor, I worked for six years as a disc jockey at classic rock, soft rock, and talk radio stations and as a producer/director/editor for a small television station. For four years, I was a copy editor in the sports section of the Greensboro News & Record in North Carolina. I have taught English and literature courses in North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, and Wenzhou, China. My most recent publication – “Stop Asking Did This Really Happen?” – can be found in the summer 2014 issue of Off the Coast.



Denise Merat

Instructor, Foundational Studies
B.A. English, Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio, 1996.
Ph. 907.852.1712


Linda Nicholas-Figueroa

Instructor, Biology / Chemistry
M.A. Chemistry, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 2009; B.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 2000.
Ph. 907.852.1848 / 1738

Linda Nicholas-Figueroa is an Assistant Professor at Iḷisaġvik Tribal College in Barrow, AK teaching biology, chemistry, and geoscience courses since 2010. She is working on her doctorate in an interdisciplinary study program with a focus on engaging Alaska Native youth in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Currently, Linda is working with Iḷisaġvik undergraduate students on a project that relates the effects of a warming Arctic to the increase in existing and invasive microorganisms that can have adverse effects on the local food chain, which are subsistence foods for villages on the North Slope of Alaska. Her future goals are to continue to teach and work with undergraduate students on place-based, culturally relevant research projects.

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David G. Rice

Assistant Professor, Business
Master of Health Administration, Brigham Young University, 1985; B.A. Economics, Brigham Young University, 1983.
Ph. 907.852.1713


Daniel S. Wall

Assistant Professor, Social Sciences
ABD. Cultural Anthropology. University of Chicago, 1996; M.A. U.S. History, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 1995; B.A. Philosophy / Linguistics, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 1990.
Ph. 907.852.1703


Natalie Welcome

Instructor, Mathematics
M.A.T. Education, Liberty University, 2010; B.S.I.E. Industrial Engineering, North Carolina A&E State University, 2000

Originally from Winston Salem, North Carolina, Natalie graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University. She later graduated from Liberty University with a Master of Arts in Teaching and is presently working towards Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction through Texas Tech University. Her relevant field experiences include employment at Boeing Aerospace, Cutler-Hammer, & Winston Salem, North Carolina school district.

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Larry Wilbourn

Instructor, Vocational Education / Commercial Driver’s License / Heavy Truck and Equipment
Class A/CDL with Air Brake, Tanker, Double/Triple, Combination, Hazardous Materials, Passenger and School Bus Endorsements; Graduate of West Coast Training/Heavy Equipment, 2005; Department of Motor Vehicles Certified Third Party Examiner #67 (9/98); State of Alaska Department of Education and Early Development Certified School Bus Driver Training Instructor #170 (6/98). State of Alaska Driving Instructor #LW4153. State of Alaska Motor Vehicle Road Skills Examiner #LW4153.
Ph. 907.852.1774


Program Coordinators


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Jerica Aamodt

Program Coordinator, Iñupiaq Studies, Ph. 907.852.6704


Heidi Ahsoak

Program Manager, Uqautchim Uglua Language Nest, Ph. 907.852.8101

Heidi is the wife of Jonas M. Ahsoak Sr. and a mother of five. She was raised in Barrow, graduating from Kiita in 2004 and obtaining an A.A. degree in Business Management from Iḷisaġvik in May of 2013. She began work in September, 2013 as the Program Coordinator for Uqautchim Uglua, and plans to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in the future.


Rob Carrillo

Lead Coordinator, Distance Education
B.A. Physical Education, Long Beach State University, California, 1984; A.A. Recreation and Park Management, Cerritos Community College, California, 1982; Certificate in Online Teaching, Matanuska Susitna College, Alaska, 2005; Certifications: Blackboard Administrator, 2004; Blackboard Faculty Course Development, 2004; IC3 Instructor, 2007; Elluminate Moderator Certification 2010. Tribal College Grant Project Coordinator since 2008.
Ph. 907.852.1706


Amanda Sialofi

Program Coordinator, Allied Health
M.S. Criminal Justice, Tiffin University, 2015; B.A.S. in Justice Administration, Wayland Baptist University, 2011; National Certified Medical Assistant, 2004; Ph: 907-852-1737

Amanda grew up in Alaska and has over 10 years of experience in the health care field as a Certified Medical Assistant and Health Educator with South Central Foundation and Cook Inlet Tribal Council (Detox Center).  Previously, she worked as the Health Careers Coordinator with the Northwest Area Health Education Center (AHEC) program which works in collaboration with Iḷisaġvik’s Allied Health Program to promote and support health career pathways for students and adults within the Northwest region.

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