Institutional Development and Advancement Officer
Ryan K Belnap was raised in a community near Pocatello, Idaho. From a young age he has been involved in sports, scouts, church, and outdoor recreation. Some highlights of his youth include participation on a high school state championship football team, competing in amateur waterski tournaments, obtaining the Eagle Scout rank, and vacations with his family. At 19, he went on a two-year volunteer mission for his church in Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. Ryan earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications from BYU Idaho, and a Masters in Public Administration from University of Alaska Anchorage. While earning this degree, he found a love for the university environment, and participated as a leader in several student-led programs. Ryan started his career with the UA with an internship for the Human Resources department in 2005; later he was hired as a Human Resources Professional. Over the next eight years, he assumed new roles including Systems and Records Manager, Consultant for International Employee Services, and Senior HR Consultant. Ryan comes to Valdez accompanied by his wife, Juliet, and three children.
Copper Basin Extension Coordinator
Katrina Church-Chmielowski has a passion for education, from pre-school to adults. She holds a Bachelor’s from Georgetown University, and comes to the Copper Basin Extension Center with long and deep ties to the Copper Basin. Having grown up in Copper Center, she and her husband decided to raise their family there. Katrina has worked at the Copper Basin Extension Center since 1997, when she was hired to teach an Introduction to Business and Local Tourism class. Through that course, Katrina wrote the curriculum Tourism in Rural Alaska, which is now used globally. Since then, she has taught many tourism, business, and history classes as an adjunct instructor. As adjunct faculty, Katrina was selected twice from a national pool as a Summer Scholar by the National Endowment for the Humanities. She was also invited to speak at several international conferences, such as the EduLearn11 Conference, the World Wilderness Congress, and the Business Enterprises for Sustainable Travel. She has worked in partnership with local businesses and local, State, and Federal entities to develop innovative programs and workshops. Katrina is very active in the local community, and looks forward to serving the students and residents of the Copper Basin as the new Coordinator.
Executive Assistant to the President
Originally born in Birmingham, Alabama, to a military family, Ana Hinkle moved from upstate New York to Alaska at the age of twelve when her father was stationed at Eielson Airforce Base. She graduated from Ben Eielson High School in the greater Fairbanks area, and subsequently attended Southwestern Community College in Coos Bay, Oregon, on an athletic scholarship. She earned a BA in Justice, and a Minor in Social Work from University of Alaska Fairbanks, before moving to Valdez with her family in 2000. Ana earned her Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Alaska Southeast, and was co-recipient of the prestigious Gruening Award. She was Program Director of the local non-profit organization Valdez Youth Court, as well as Casework Coordinator for the mentoring program Big Brothers Big Sisters, contributing to the growth and well-being of the local community. Since 2006, Ana has worked at PWSCC in the areas of budget, procurement, and accounting, as well as performing various duties in human resources.
Ana is a competitive athlete who loves the thrill of the Alaskan outdoors. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, and hopes in the future one of her children will follow in her footsteps by becoming a graduate of the UA system. She resides in Valdez with her husband, Bart, a First Sergeant for the Valdez Police Department, and three wonderful children.
Coordinator, Health & Fitness Center
Sarah Histand comes to us from Skagway, Alaska. She has earned degrees in both Sociology and Spanish from Nebraska Wesleyan University, and is currently finishing her Master’s in Social Work. She has a professional background in Recreation Center management, trail-work, and outdoor recreation. Sarah is excited to be a part of the Valdez community and to develop the programs at the Health & Fitness Center. Please introduce yourself and let her know your vision for the future of the Center.
PWSCC is pleased to announce the following new additions to our faculty.
Professor of the Outdoor Leadership Program
Our Professor of Outdoor Leadership degree program, Dr. D.B. Palmer, comes to us with an extensive leadership background, having led treks across the western states and internationally. His skill sets include wilderness therapy, sea kayaking, coastal & river canoeing, light mountaineering, backpacking, dogsled guiding, winter camping, hunting, sailing, and rafting. His research focus is Outdoor Risk and Safety Outcomes (ORSO), and he regularly presents on human factors, group dynamics and leadership, and wilderness therapy. Dr. Palmer earned his MA in Marriage and Family Counseling from Liberty University, and completed his Doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Argosy University in Seattle. Professor Palmer and his wife, Greta, have four adventurous kids and a Chocolate Labrador named Grizzly Jack.
Assistant Professor of English
Our new Assistant Professor of English, Dr. Satwik Dasgupta, comes to us from his recent stint at Victoria College in Texas. He holds a PhD in English Language and Literature from Middle Tennessee State University, with a specialization in nineteenth-century American History and Visual Culture, an MA in English Language and Culture from the University of Calcutta, and a BA from Saint Paul’s Cathedral Missions College. Secondary interests include popular visual culture with reference to post-September 11 movies dealing with issues of race, color, and immigration.
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Joining us from Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, Elizabeth Ballou has been appointed to the tenure-track position of Assistant Professor of Psychology. Prior to teaching, she worked as an Outpatient Therapist in both Florida and Massachusetts, clinical experience that she brings into the classroom. She is completing her dissertation as a doctoral candidate at the Boston School of Psychoanalysis, toward a PsyaD in Psychoanalysis and Culture. She completed her MS in Mental Health Counseling at Central Connecticut State University and her BS in History at St. Joseph’s College.