Student Spotlight: Jamie Smith

Portrait of Jamie smiling.Smiling Jamie holding up a large photograph.Jamie Smith is this month’s Student Spotlight! She was nominated more than once by faculty and staff. Congratulations Jamie!

Where are you from?

My mother originates from Point Lay but I was born and raised in Anchorage. I call Barrow my home now that I’ve started a family here.

What are you studying at Ilisagvik College and Why?

Iñupiaq Studies and General Studies. This was my way to reconnect with my Iñupiaq culture since I felt I lost it after my Aana’s passing. This was also my opportunity to learn the language my Aana felt she should not teach us because of her own personal experiences of the Iñupiat historical traumas her generation faced.

What made you decide to enroll in classes at Iḷisaġvik?

I moved to Barrow 5 years ago and while it took time to find work I embraced the opportunity to enroll in classes.

What are your education goals? 

After graduating this semester I will be going to UAA to study Anthropology and Environmental Science. My final educational goal will be a certified teacher with a PhD.

What do you like best about being a college student?

It’s always a good feeling to learn something new and feel like I’m making a difference.

What are your hobbies when you aren’t studying or working?

Hunting, fishing, sewing, playing guitar, camping, and teaching my daughter new things.

What advice do you have for people thinking about signing up for classes?

Never pass up an opportunity to push yourself to your limits.

Quyanaq Jamie!