UTQIAĠVIK (Barrow), AK (October 6, 2020) — Iḷisaġvik College is pleased to welcome Justina Wilhelm as the new President of Iḷisaġvik College.
A lifelong resident of Utqiaġvik, President Wilhelm is a first-generation college student and graduate of Barrow High School, where she was raised since she was 8. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Hawaii, Hilo, and her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of New England in 2018.
Wilhelm has worked the entirety of her career on the North Slope, including 14 years with the North
Slope Borough Health Department working in various capacities, including with direct service delivery and compliance, followed by seven years as the Deputy Director of Behavioral Health. In 2017, Wilhelm joined Iḷisaġvik College as Executive Director of Institutional Advancement, before being promoted to Dean of Institutional Advancement, and most recently, Vice President of Administration.
Wilhelm continues to be actively engaged in the region. She is an imiun, or a whaling captain’s wife, and she and her husband have been the Captain and Wife of Makalik Crew since 2007. This fall, their crew was blessed with not one, but two whales and Wilhelm expresses the honor that it is to serve on a whaling crew.
Wilhelm serves on the Utqiaġvik City Council, North Slope Borough School District School Advisory Council, Arctic Women in Crisis Board, and the Eben Hopson Memorial Scholarship Committee. Wilhelm is married to Ross Wilhelm and, together, they have four children: Madison, Gabriel, Juliana, and Hunter and are grandparents to 4-month old Odessa Harrington.
“The College will surely grow and prosper under her direction, as an active participant in our cultural way of life and part of the fabric of our Iñupiaq community. Sending you best of wishes for a successful, enjoyable, and many happy years as our new President,” said Lillian Lane, Chair of Iḷisaġvik’s Board of Trustees.
“I am humbled to be afforded the opportunity to serve as Iḷisaġvik College’s next President. I feel blessed to have this opportunity and I look forward to my new role,” shared President Wilhelm.
Welcome, President Wilhelm!