Student Spotlight – Alum Laura Nicolai

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Our student spotlight for October is our 2014 alumna and current Iḷisaġvik College employee, Laura Nicolai. Laura, who graduated from the Allied Health program in April 2014, recently accepted a position at the college as our Administrative Assistant to the Allied Health and Northwest AHEC programs. She provides support in recruiting and outreach efforts, data entry and upkeep, and assistance with programming and planning. Way to go Laura! Keep up the good work!

Where are you from?

I am from Akiak, Alaska.

What did you study at Iḷisaġvik College?

I graduated from the Allied Health program with a Human Services Emphasis.

What made you decide to enroll in classes at Iḷisaġvik?

I decided to enroll in classes at Iḷisaġvik because this school incorporates the rich foundation of a subsistence culture in harmony with the land which gives it sustenance. I appreciate how the tribal college believes that my cultural values make me and my community stronger, more cohesive and more successful. This particular college also interested me because the programs offered at the college not only model its traditions and values, but also has substantial career and employment opportunities.

What are your educational goals?

I hope to get a Bachelor’s degree in Social Services and eventually a Master’s Degree. I aspire to become a Rural Social Worker and travel to rural villages in Alaska. I am currently enrolled and taking classes at Alaska Pacific University.

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

My hobbies include: spending time with family and friends, traveling, down-hill skiing, playing basketball and volleyball, cutting fish, ice fishing, and spending time outdoors.

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

I would advise anyone to come and take advantage of what Iḷisaġvik College has to offer whether it’s one class or two. Being able to further your education is a great achievement and a step in the right direction. Being knowledgeable as a person and as a native people is important so that we can hold on to our past and preserve for our future!