Executive Director of Alaska Education & Outreach - Michele Yatchmeneff
Executive Director of Alaska Education & Outreach
Alaska Education & Outreach
Dr. Michele Yatchmeneff is an Unangax̂ woman who grew up living a traditional subsistence lifestyle in the rural villages of King Cove and False Pass, along Alaska's Aleutian chain. She has worked at the University of Alaska Anchorage since 2007, as faculty since 2015, and was promoted to Associate Professor of Engineering in 2021. She has committed her career to improve Alaska Native success and was hired to serve on UAA’s Chancellor’s cabinet in an inaugural position as Executive Director for Alaska Native Education & Outreach in October 2021.
Michele was an Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP) and Louis Stokes
Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Scholar at the University of Alaska Anchorage,
where she earned a BS in Civil Engineering in 2005 and an MS in Engineering Management
After earning her BS, she began working in Alaska's construction and engineering industry, specializing in water and sewer projects in remote villages across the state. She also served as ANSEP Deputy Director from 2007 to 2012.
Professor Yatchmeneff went on to her PhD in Engineering Education from Purdue University, focusing on the motivation and success of pre-college Alaska Native STEM students. Her current research expands that doctoral work to focus on belongingness, Alaska Native education, preparation, and retention.
In 2018, Michele received the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, honoring her work on “Alaska Native Belonging in High School Math and Science Classrooms.” This award was the first and only NSF CAREER award granted at UAA. Professor Yatchmeneff recently was rewarded for her work in Indigenous leadership by receiving the national College Board Dr. Henrietta Mann Leadership Award.
Michele has made valuable contributions to the development of both pre-college and undergraduate courses to foster critical thinking, engineering identity growth, and an understanding of real-life engineering projects. Michele is inspiring a new generation of underrepresented students to succeed in college and the engineering profession.