As the chief executive of the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE) and the Alaska Student Loan Corporation (ASLC), Diane Barrans leads an organization committed to providing Alaskans with information and services that enable them to access and succeed in education and training beyond high school.
Ms. Barrans assumed Executive Director duties in July of 1995. She previously served for twelve years in a variety of Commission operations and management positions, most recently as program coordinator from 1989 to 1993 and director of student financial aid programs in 1994/1995. Ms. Barrans earned her bachelor of arts degree from Barnard College of Columbia University in 1982.
Currently in her fourth term, Ms. Barrans is one of three Alaska members of the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE). She was reappointed by Governor Parnell in July 2011. In 2004-05 she served as Chair of the WICHE Commission, and currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee and Programs and Services Committee. Alaska has participated in the 15-state regional education compact since 1955, providing residents with reduced-cost access to higher education programs throughout the west, many of which are not available in the state.
As ACPE's executive, Ms. Barrans also represents Alaska as a member of the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) Association. SHEEO was created in 1954 to assist states in developing and sustaining excellent systems of higher education and serves as a liaison between the states and the federal government.
ASLC is a member of the Education Finance Council (EFC), an association of nonprofit and state-based student loan providers, public purpose organizations dedicated to the single objective of making college more affordable. Ms. Barrans is currently a member of EFC's Board of Directors.
Human Resource Officer
Worth Barthel joined the Commission in July of 2010 as the Human Resource Officer. Prior to joining the Commission, Mr. Barthel was the Assistant HR Manager for six State of Alaska executive branch departments. Mr. Barthel has worked in various HR capacities since 1999 in both the private and government sectors. Mr. Barthel holds a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Seattle University, and a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Management from San Diego State University. Mr. Barthel is also a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).
A member of the agency's Executive Team as Human Resource Officer, Mr. Barthel is responsible for agency human resources and personnel matters in accordance with the Commission's Personnel Bylaws, state statutes, and regulations. He makes recommendations for revisions to Personnel Bylaws as necessary for Commission approval. Mr. Barthel provides guidance in career development and training initiatives, and assists management with employee relations, including the hiring, reassignment and separation of staff. As head of Administrative Services, Mr. Barthel also oversees the agency's mail services, records retention, and procurement activities, as well as building management and security protocols for the Juneau operations center.
Director of Program Operations
Stephanie Butler first joined the Commission in 1997 as the institutional authorization program coordinator. In 1998, she was promoted to director of institutional relations, and, in 2001, was appointed by the Executive Director to her current post. Prior to joining the Commission, she worked for the University of Alaska Anchorage as information/support services manager from 1990 to 1992, and was administrative manager from 1992 to 1997. Ms. Butler is a Certified Internal Auditor and a Certified Government Auditing Professional. Her education credentials also include a Master of Science in business administration and management from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Barry University.
Ms. Butler leads the loan servicing operations, the largest single operational unit of ACPE, and assists with the development and implementation of statewide outreach services. Ms. Butler's staff delivers high-level centralized service to the agency's borrowers from the servicing center in Juneau, from loan originations to loan repayment. Ms. Butler assists with program development, and coordinates program operations internally, with borrowers, and with the various institutions.
Director of Information Support Services
Kenneth Dodson has been with the Commission as Director of Information Support Services since 1994. Prior to coming to the Commission, he was employed from 1988 until 1994 by UNIPAC Service Corporation in Denver, Colorado, first as a programmer and then advancing to the information services supervisor by 1990.
Mr. Dodson’s unit is responsible for development and support of all electronic services, including the Higher Education Loan Management System (HELMS) mainframe application on which the agency’s loan portfolio is serviced. Mr. Dodson is past president and current member of the HELMS User Group, a consortium of lenders and servicers. Mr. Dodson received a certificate in Computer Information Systems from Tucumcari Area Vocational School in Tucumcari, New Mexico in 1988.
Director of Outreach & Early Awareness
Rebekah Matrosova first served the Commission from 2007 to 2008 as the Outreach division K-12 Program Specialist. Ms. Matrosova returned to the agency in 2010 as Outreach Program Manager and was promoted to her Director position in June 2013. Ms. Matrosova’s professional experience includes serving as International Exchange Programs Coordinator for the University of Alaska Anchorage’s American Russian Center and as Team Lead of a technical writing team for a major financial software platform. Ms. Matrosova holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism & public communications, as well as languages, and a Master of Public Administration in public management from the University of Alaska Anchorage.
As Director of Outreach & Early Awareness, Ms. Matrosova oversees the agency’s initiatives to promote successful career & education planning statewide, including: programs to establish early awareness of the individual and collective benefits associated with postsecondary attainment; career & education planning tools, resources, and direct services; and public messaging to promote awareness of resources including state financial aid programs. Ms. Matrosova directs the activities of the outreach team and coordinates development and delivery of agency and multi-partner collaborative initiatives aimed at developing Alaska’s capacity to produce college and career-ready citizens.
Chief Finance Officer
Charlene Morrison served the Commission and the Corporation as Chief Finance Officer from 1994 to 1998, and rejoined the agency in the same capacity in March 2007. During the intervening years she worked as Chief Finance Officer for the True North Federal Credit Union (formerly, Alaska State Employees Federal Credit Union); as the Accountant for the State of Alaska's Enterprise Technology Services Division (formerly, Information Technology Group); as Assistant Comptroller for the Treasury Division within the Department of Revenue; and, most recently, as the Chief Finance Officer for the Division of Retirement and Benefits in the Department of Administration where she was responsible for the financial aspects of seven pension plans and two health plans for the State and other participating public employers. Prior to 1994, Ms. Morrison was an audit manager with the firm of KPMG LLP. Ms. Morrison received a bachelor of science degree in business administration with an accounting emphasis from the University of Montana, and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Under the direction of the Executive Officer and Board of the Alaska Student Loan Corporation, Ms. Morrison oversees the Corporation asset management and financing activities. This encompasses the portfolio and cash flow analysis to support the annual bond issues which fund the various education loan programs. Additionally, Ms. Morrison's duties include ensuring that the Corporation maintains compliance with federal and state law, as well as bond-related covenants. Other research, reporting, and accounting duties of her division include; preparation of quarterly unaudited and annually audited financial statements, investments, procurement, and responding to requests of legislators and their staffs, and the general public. Finance staff is also responsible for preparing the agency's annual budget and the monthly tracking and reporting of expenses to assure budget compliance.
Kerry Thomas joined the Commission in June 2007. Previously she was an Accountant IV with the Department of Health and Social Services. She also worked in the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities as an Accountant IV and Accounting Supervisor, and was a Staff Accountant and Auditor with Walsh, Kelliher & Sharp APC of Fairbanks, Alaska. Ms. Thomas graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a bachelor of business administration with a concentration in accounting, and later attained a Master's in business administration in service management from the University of Alaska Southeast.