LS students sponsor on-campus panel on Alaska Native leadership

Students from a Liberal Studies class on the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act hosted business executives for a discussion on second-generation leadership of Alaska Native corporations.

The event April 7 was part of APU’s Engage public education program, sponsored by the Business Administration Department and Liberal Studies Department.

LS Assistant Professor Victoria Hykes Steere, whose class organized the ANCSA panel as a group project, said the goal was to let students demonstrate leadership while they gained insight into workplace and Native business issues. Students researched and delivered questions, several of them focusing on the role APU could play in preparing second-generation Native leaders.

Most students are majoring in business administration and have ties to Native corporations.

“These are very capable APU students who’ll become the second-generation leaders that indigenous business people are looking for,” said Hykes Steere. “The Engage seminar gave our students lots of active-learning practice in strategic planning skills. They really did well.”

Sheri Buretta, board chair, Chugach Alaska Corp.; Jeff Kinneeveauk, president and chief executive of ASRC Energy Services; and Jason Metrokin, president and chief executive officer of Bristol Bay Native Corp., took part in the Second Generation panel. Metrokin earned his master’s degree in business administration from APU in 2009. He advised students to earn management degrees and gain real-world experience while they’re still in school.

“It’s what I’d call the business-social side,” Metrokin said. “You need to be networking and getting up and out of the classroom.”