Ilisagvik News & Events
Iḷisaġvik College Board of Trustees makes offer for position of Iḷisaġvik College President, Extends President Pearl Brower’s Current Contract
UTQIAĠVIK (Barrow), AK (June 8, 2020) — On June 4th, 2020 the Iḷisaġvik College Board of Trustees, selected Justina Wilhelm, current Vice President of Administration, for the position of President. The next step in the process of appointing the new President will be contract negotiations between the Board and VP Wilhelm. This follows President Pearl Brower’s resignation announcement last fall, after 13 years of distinguished service, with 8 in the position of President.
“The Iḷisaġvik College Board of Trustees is very fortunate to be able to offer the position of President to Justina Wilhelm. 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.
President Brower’s contract will be extended until September 30, 2020. At that time President Brower will transition into an advisory capacity supporting the new President until January 2021. Due to COVID-19, it is important to the Board of Trustees and President Brower to ensure a smooth transition in this time of uncertainty. The announcement concludes a national search with a number of qualified candidates from across the country.
A lifelong resident Utqiaġvik, Wilhelm is the product of the North Slope Borough School District. After graduating from Barrow High School, Wilhelm obtained a Bachelor’s of Sociology from the University of Hawaii at Hilo, followed by a Master’s in Social Work in 2018 from the University of New England. 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.
A community leader since her high school days, Wilhelm continues to be actively engaged in the region. This includes her service on various boards such as the North Slope Borough School District School Advisory Council, North Slope Borough Personnel Hearing Board, Arctic Women in Crisis Board, Eben Hopson Memorial Scholarship Committee, and her service on the Utqiaġvik City Council. Wilhelm is married to Whaling Captain Ross Makalik Wilhelm and, together, they have four children: Madison, Gabriel, Juliana, and Hunter. Wilhelm says that while she is privileged and honored to wear so many hats over the years, she most enjoys spending time with her family which includes partaking in subsistence activities and family vacations.
“We thank all of the candidates and the other finalist for the opportunity to have the conversation about what the future leadership looks like at Iḷisaġvik College. I wholeheartedly endorse Vice President Wilhelm for the position and know she will bring considerable energy, talent, perspective and cultural experience to the role of President of Iḷisaġvik College,” said President Brower.
Iḷisaġvik College | External Affairs
About Iḷisaġvik College Iḷisaġvik College is Alaska’s only tribal college and is located in the northernmost village in the United States, Utqiaġvik (formerly Barrow). Iḷisaġvik College provides quality post-secondary academic, vocational and technical education in a learning environment that perpetuates and strengthens Iñupiat culture, language, values and traditions. It is dedicated to serving its students and developing a well-educated and trained workforce who meet the human resource needs of North Slope employers and the state of Alaska.
This past year, Iḷisaġvik College issued our 25th Anniversary Celebration theme: Unapologetically Iñupiaq (UI). Developed by facilitating staff, faculty, student and community discussions in order to operationalize our mission statement, the UI Initiative has been a process of learning and developing strategies to amplify and advance our Iñupiaq way of life in everything that we do.
Our existence as a Tribal College is predicated upon our Iñupiaq culture, and Unapologetically Iñupiaq is an expression of how Iñupiaq language, culture, values and traditions are important. As an Iḷisaġvik Family, we have had conversations striving to do this in a manner that does not mean that other ways and knowledge is inconsequential. Of the rich diversity of the North Slope, and as an Iñupiaq Tribal College, we were pronouncing that Iñupiaq ways and lives matter.
Now is the time to say that Black lives matter.
Iḷisaġvik College unequivocally voices that Black hopes, dreams, thoughts, ambitions, goals, cultures, histories, families, rights, values, traditions, and lives, matter. Our Black community members, students, staff and faculty, matter. These expressions are the heart of the Movement, as we understand it, and it should not require bravery to say so.
Holding space for all while amplifying Iñupiaq culture on Iñupiaq land has been an ongoing discussion. However, our Iñupiaq value of humility helps us, and Iḷisaġvik desires to utilize another Iñupiaq cultural trait, and listen. May this serve as a message to our North Slope Black community, that we want to hold space during this time and going forward. We are open. Our value of humility helps us and the pursuit of justice is never wrong.
Iḷisaġvik College supports our North Slope Black Community, our Black students, wherever they may reside, and the Black community across the nation.
Taaqsipait Iñuggutiŋit Nuimanaqtut: Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter.
Dr. Pearl Kiyawn Brower | President, Iḷisaġvik College
UTQIAĠVIK (Barrow), AK (May 28, 2020) – Iḷisaġvik College is pleased to announce the graduates of Iḷisaġvik College’s Class of 2020:
Bachelor, Business Administration: Erik Darian Danner
Associate of Arts, Liberal Arts: Taylor Bowen, Benjamin Hanby Steward
Associate of Arts, Iñupiaq Studies: Elizabeth Asisaun Toovak
Associate of Applied Science, Accounting: Keleiola Talaiasi
Associate of Applied Science, Business Management: Jacynthia Sarah Oprenov, Lyndsey LaRé Blanco Associate of Applied Science, Construction Technology: Donna Armey
Associate of Applied Science, Dental Health Therapy: Inga Marcella Weddle, Wilma Uisok Certificate, Accounting Technician II: Keleiola Talaiasi
Certificate, Business Specialist I: Dolly Frankson Hank
Certificate, Business Specialist II: Lyndsey LaRé Blanco
Certificate, Construction Technology II: Donna Armey
Certificate, Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management I: Erik Darian Danner
Certificate, Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management II: Erik Darian Danner
Certificate, Indigenous Education II: Haley Marie Fischer
Certificate, Information Technology Support Specialist I: Jacob D. Harris
Certificate, Liberal Arts: Juliana Osgood
Certificate, Liberal Arts: Taylor Bowen
Certificate, Medical Office Management II: Haavale Tuilautala
Certificate, Office Management I: Rachel Schierholt
Certificate, Office Management II: Haavale Tuilautala
Endorsement, Carpentry Level I: Rosalie Misimua Tialavea
General Education Diploma (GED): Kodi Andrew Kroll, Max Ungarook Ahgeak, Jr., Bert Gordon, Marjorie (Aveoganna) Hopson, MaHa’amoa Kaitapu
Workforce Development: Iḷisaġvik is proud to have offered many different Workforce Development trainings and industry certifications to over 700 students. For a listing of some of the classes we’ve offered and the students earning certificates, please click on this link.
- Iḷisaġvik College Board of Trustees confers upon Ida Olemaun the Honorary Associate of Arts Degree in recognition for her tireless work advocating for education across the North Slope.
- American Indian College Fund Faculty of the Year: Denise Merat, Associate Professor of Foundational English.
- Iḷisaġvik College Adjunct Faculty of the Year: Dr. Jaime Davis, Business Program
- Alumnus of the Year: Adam Jene Burnett
Erik Darian Danner is the first to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree from Iḷisaġvik College, in BusinessAdministration. Taylor Bowen is the second student to earn an Associate’s Degree through the Dual Credit Program, graduating with her college degree a few weeks before earning her High School Diploma.
The Class of 2020 coincides with Iḷisaġvik College’s 25th Anniversary. The theme for the 25th Anniversary is, “Unapologetically Iñupiaq,” which was developed following a year of conversations with students, faculty, staff, and community members.
Iḷisaġvik College | External Affairs Cordelia Kellie
About Iḷisaġvik College Iḷisaġvik College is Alaska’s only tribal college and is located in the northernmost village in the United States, Utqiaġvik (formerly Barrow). Iḷisaġvik College provides quality post- secondary academic, vocational and technical education in a learning environment that perpetuates and strengthens Iñupiat culture, language, values and traditions. It is dedicated to serving its students and developing a well-educated and trained workforce who meet the human resource needs of North Slope employers and the state of Alaska.
- CARES Act Emergency Relief Fund
- COVID-19 Ilisagvik College Mitigation Plan 5.26.20
- Update to Ilisagvik Community 5.26.20
- Update to Ilisagvik Students 3.31.20
- Update to Ilisagvik Community 3.31.20
- Update to Ilisagvik Students 3.18.20
- Update to Ilisagvik Community 3.17.20
- Update to Ilisagvik Community 3.16.20
- Update to Ilisagvik Students 3.16.20
- Update to Ilisagvik Community 3.10.20
Health officials worldwide are working to contain the spread “coronavirus disease 2019” or “COVID-19,” originating in Wuhan, China, which the World Health Organization in mid-March characterized as a pandemic.
Iḷisaġvik’s priority is to keep each the Iḷisaġvik Community healthy and safe as we monitor the evolving conditions of COVID-19. In the interest of proactively protecting our community, we are taking the following steps at Iḷisaġvik to help contain the virus:
- All college related travel is suspended until further notice, exceptions to this are determined on a case-by-case for instructions.
- All non-essential college programming, gatherings, and community events are canceled until further notice.
- In agreement with the CDC recommendation, we will ask any employee and student who has traveled out of the country and or out of the state on personal travel, to quarantine for 14 days upon return.
We would like to stress the importance of the following preventative measures:
- Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with your arm.
- Frequent cleaning of doorknobs, light switches, and other commonly touched areas with disinfectant wipes.
- Avoiding contact with people who are ill.
- Stay home from work or school if you are ill.
For additional information about the coronavirus, including signs and symptoms, transmission and risk of exposure, and what to do if you are exhibiting symptoms, please refer to the latest updates from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.