Debbie Mekiana is Assistant Professor with the Department of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Debbie teaches online courses that fulfill the requirement for all UAF undergraduates to complete an Alaska Native Themed class. She is the former director of UAF’s Rural Student Services, which is an academic advising program that meets the needs of Alaska Native and rural Alaskan students through comprehensive advising, social support and cultural programming. She is a native and former classroom teacher of her home village, Anaktuvuk Pass, AK which is an off-road, Alaska Native community of approximately 300 people. She continues to advocate for Alaska Native students at UAF by participating in the UAF Chancellor’s initiative to increase the retention rate of Alaska Native students. As part of this initiative, Debbie is creating a workshop that will give tools to non-Native faculty and staff to work with Alaska Native students.