The Network

Beginning with the Alaska College Access and Success Summit in November 2013, a diverse group of leaders from across Alaska began exploring ways to facilitate partnership, communication and advocacy to positively influence the growth of a culture of postsecondary attainment in Alaska. The effort is currently organized by the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE) and funded by the U.S. College Access Challenge Grant program, with the support of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). 

Planning team participants agree that a well-designed statewide network can facilitate partnerships and produce collective energy and action focused on improving postsecondary access and success in Alaska. Network objectives are to create synergy, reduce duplication of effort across membership, disseminate best practices and develop complementary messaging by state programs, agencies and organizations to encourage and support attainment. The Network can begin to address Alaska’s gaps and dissonance in statewide messaging, partner communication, professional development, and data utilization around postsecondary attainment.

The Alaska Postsecondary Access and Completion Network planning team has taken major strides in Network development since its inaugural meeting in January, 2014.  In that time they have: set a statewide postsecondary attainment goal; crafted a mission statement; begun the strategic planning process for affecting change in Alaskan postsecondary access and completion; elected an Executive Committee to serve as the Network’s interim leadership body; and hosted the “65 by 2025 – Alaska Can” conference in March 2015.  

Executive Committee

Executive Committee Seat - Postsecondary Education

Saichi T. Oba is the Associate Vice President for Student and Enrollment Services at the University of Alaska. In this role he advises the University President, campus executives and Regents on systemic issues pertaining to student services and enrollment. He has worked for the University since fall 1990 when he was hired to work at UAF for Registrar Emeritus Ann Tremarello in the Office of Admissions and Records. Tapped to head the Office of Admissions, Saichi was appointed the Interim Director of Admissions at UAF in 1996. Saichi returned to Oregon as the Director of Admissions at the Oregon Institute of Technology in 1998. He returned to Alaska in 2000 as the Program Manager for Banner Student. Promoted to the Director of Enrollment Services in 2002 he returned to his passion: working on strategic enrollment management and helping students find success at UA.

Saichi has served on executive committees for several professional organizations including the National Student Exchange, the College Board, and National Association for College Admissions Counseling and the Pacific National Association for College Admissions Counseling. He holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Eastern Oregon University and an MBA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Executive Committee Seat - Rural Alaska

Joe is the Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS). Born and raised in Yakutat, Alaska. Lives in Juneau with wife and three kids.


  • Yakutat High School (1988)
  • BA in Political Science, UCLA (1996)
  • MA in American Indian Studies, UCLA (1998)
  • Juris Doctorate, Loyola Law School (2001)
Recent Work Experience:
  • Positions at UAS since 2004, PITAAS Program Director, Associate Vice Provost, Director of Admissions, Dean of Enrollment Mgmt, Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management/li>
  • Assistance City and Borough Attorney
  • Attorney, private practice
  • Commercial Fisherman
Current (for-profit) Board Service:
  • Sealaska Corporation since 2003, currently Chairman
  • Yak-tat Kwaan since 2002, currently Chairman

Executive Committee Seat - Vocational/Tribal Institutions

Coming Soon...

Executive Committee Seat - At Large

Coming Soon...

Executive Committee Seat - At Large

Mary Gower is the Director of Enrollment Services at the University of Alaska system office.  In her 15+ years working for the university Mary has enjoyed the breadth of work she encounters in Enrollment Services (no two days are the same!), her friendships with colleagues across the state, and ultimately that her work and that of her colleagues has positively changed students’ lives. Mary’s perspective reflects her diverse work background  - she held corporate, small business, education, and healthcare positions.

Mary is a University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) alumna, ‘94 BBA, ‘95MBA, and taught for six years as a UAF adjunct faculty member at UAF School of Management and also at the UAF Community & Technical College.

Executive Committee Seat - Postsecondary Student Services

Coming Soon...

Luisa Machuca

Executive Committee Seat - Alaska Natives

My name is Luisa Machuca, Inupiaq Eskimo from Council, Alaska. I am currently the Vice President of the Education, Employment & Training Division with Kawerak, Inc in Nome, Alaska. I have been with Kawerak since 2009, working with many bright students from the Bering Strait region preparing them for post secondary training or college, careers, and equipping them with employment skills. I currently hold M.S. in Clinical Psychology, a B.A. In Psychology, and A.A.S in Accounting.

I am actively involved in educating and training youth and adults of all ages in the communities I serve. I am a current a board member for the Native Village of Council, appointed member for the University of Alaska Fairbanks Northwest Campus and the Northwestern Alaska Career and Technical Center Advisory Council, and the representative for Kawerak on the Alaska Native Coalition for Education and Training.

Executive Committee Seat - State Agencies

Rebekah Matrosova first served the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education 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.

Kacey Miller

Executive Committee Seat - Students

Kacey Miller was raised in Dillingham and is an alumni of Dillingham High School. She completed her postsecondary degree with UAA earning a Bachelors of Arts degree in Elementary Education, Minoring in Alaska Native Studies. Kacey currently resides in Nome where she works at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Northwest Campus as the Student Services Manager. Kacey is active in statewide CTE Taskforce efforts and serves as a rural representative on several university policy committees and student enrollment initiative workgroups. Kacey also serves on various regional advisory boards and education consortiums. Kacey is especially passionate about and interested in distance education and successful student transitions to postsecondary education. She appreciates and enjoys a tasty homemade mooseburger, watching her children compete in sports, relaxing by a bonfire and being with her husband, three children and two labs at their cabin north of Nome.

Executive Committee Seat - Secondary Education

Coming Soon...

Executive Committee Seat - At Large

Lael Oldmixon, a graduate of St. Michael's College (BA) and the University of Vermont (M.Ed), is the Executive Director of the University of Alaska's UA Scholars Program and UA College Savings Plan. Her career in higher education began 15 years ago as an admissions counselor at St. Michael's College. Since then, she has held positions in admissions, career services, and residence life with a focus always on access, retention, and attainment. Oldmixon serves on the boards of two Alaska non-profits, the Fairbanks Children's Museum and the Spirit of Youth. She spends her down time gardening, running, and wrangling her two children. The summer she's training to run the Equinox Marathon and raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Brenda Riley

Executive Committee Seat - Community Org/Non-Profit

Brenda Riley is the Executive Director of the Fairbanks Children's Museum, which opened on January 31, 2015 in downtown Fairbanks. As an avid proponent of educational investment, particularly focused on early childhood development, Brenda is the co-chair of the Fairbanks North Star Borough Early Childhood Development Commission. She is the president-elect of Arctic Alliance and is a board officer of the UAF Alumni Association Fairbanks Chapter, among leading and participating in many other community efforts. She was named an Alaskan Journal of Commerce Top 40 Under Forty recipient in 2014. Born and raised in Alaska, Brenda received her BA in Anthropology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Executive Committee Seat - Business

Patrick Rose was raised in Soldotna, Alaska. He graduated from Soldotna High School and then graduated from Charter College with Honors with a Bachelors Degree of Science in Business Management and Technology with concentrations in Computerized Accounting and Business Management Practice. He has worked in the postsecondary education industry for over eight years with a broad range of experience, from students services and admissions to financial aid and community outreach. In his current position as Student / Client Outreach at Northern Industrial Training Patrick works on increasing awareness of vocational training opportunities to community groups, schools and villages around Alaska. Another critical aspect of his role is to develop and maintain relationships with Alaskan employers to quickly respond to industry training needs as well as aid students obtaining employment with Alaskan businesses.

Network Publications

NEW! The 2015 Alaska Postsecondary Access & Completion Program Inventory, commissioned by the Network through ACPE, and developed by the McDowell Group, LLC. provides the most comprehensive overview of Alaska's postsecondary access and completion environment available to date. DOWNLOAD THE REPORT HERE.

Upcoming Events

Network Executive Committee meetings are open to any individual interested in the work being done to increase postsecondary access and completion in Alaska to attend and observe (in person or telephonically). The next Executive Committee Teleconference meeting takes place on September 17, 2015.  
Meeting Agenda:  Network_Agenda_Exec_Comm_Sept_15.pdf

Network Planning Team meetings are open to any Network member to attend as an active participant, in person or telephonically (RSVP to required)   The next Planning Team meeting takes place on October 14, 2015.

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Network Member Webinars are scheduled periodically to address topics of interest. No webinars are currently scheduled.

Current Activity

Both the Executive Committee and the planning team last convened on February 3, 2015, and outlined the following next steps:

1. A bylaws committee consisting of Executive Committee and Network planning team members will be formed to review and edit the current draft bylaws, as well as secure external review.

2. The grant director will prepare a budget presentation for the Executive Committee's review at the next meeting.

3. ACPE will supervise release of the completed Programs & Policy Inventory by McDowell Group, LLC. to Network members.

4. As a result of the Collaborative Assessment Tool online survey, all Executive Committee members will participate in additional outreach to promote attendance by a broad constituent group at the March "65 by 2025 - Alaska Can!" conference. 

5. The Conference subcommittee will continue planning for the March conference for postsecondary access and completion professionals.


About the Network

Handout: About the Network - Need, Mission & Goals (2-pager) - Last Update 12/1/14

Draft Strategic Plan - Last Update 11/24/2014

Network Development - Last Update 9/4/14



Member Directory Now Available 



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Meeting Presentations

Alaska Postsecondary Access & Completion Inventory - Scott Miller, MPPM, Senior Consultant, McDowell Group, LLC.

Getting to 65 by 2025: Understanding the Demographic Landscape - by Dan Robinson, Research Chief, Alaska DOLWD, Research and Analysis

Structure Subcommittee Recommendations & NCAN Training Debrief - Network Planning Team Members

Looking Ahead to 2020: Occupational Projections and Training Needs - Dan Robinson, Research Chief, Alaska DOLWD, Research and Analysis

Structure and Funding for College Access Networks - Carrie Warick, Director of Partnerships and Policy, NCAN

College Access and Success in Alaska: Data Analysis - Patrick Kelly, NCHEMS

Building College Access Partnerships: State and Regional Networks - Carrie Warick, Director of Partnerships and Policy, NCAN

From the Field: Bethel's "Missing Piece" - Janelle Vanasse, Principal, Bethel Regional High School & Nathaniel Betz, ACAC Guide, Bethel Regional High School