AIS Welcomes Two Amazing New Faculty Members

Submitted by Kai Wise on
Dr. Jessica Bissett-Perea
Dr. Jen Rose Smith

AIS is thrilled to announce not one, but two, amazing new faculty who will be joining our department this Autumn 2023. We want to thank our campus community who helped us through this process, especially the Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies. As our support for Native students, faculty, and staff grows on campus, we are able to build to even bigger and better things, including new courses and opportunities for students in our department.

Please join us in welcoming our new AIS Associate Professor, Dr. Jessica Bissett Perea (Dena’ina)! 

Dr. Bissett Perea’s research, teaching, and service priorities are informed by her lived experiences and academic training. She was born in Anchorage, Alaska and raised on her ancestral Dena’ina homelands forty miles north in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. She is an enrolled member of the Knik Tribe and a shareholder in Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (an Alaska Native Corporation). Dr. Bissett Perea studied double bass and vocal performance, music education, and history at Central Washington University before pursuing an MA in Music at the University of Nevada, Reno. She completed her Ph.D. in Musicology at the University of California, Los Angeles and was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Music at UC Berkeley.

Please join us in welcoming our new AIS Assistant Professor, Dr. Jen Rose Smith (dAXunhyuu (Eyak, Alaska Native))!

Dr. Rose Smith is a dAXunhyuu (Eyak, Alaska Native) geographer interested in the intersections of coloniality, race, and indigeneity as read through aesthetic and literary contributions, archival evidences, and experiential embodied ​knowledges. She received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in Comparative Ethnic Studies and her Master's Degree from the same department and holds a BA in English Literature and the Environment from the University of Alaska, Southeast.

Dr. Rose Smith serves on an all-Native women advisory board for the Eyak Cultural Foundation, a non-profit that organizes annual language and cultural revitalization gatherings, and directs a Cultural Mapping Project in their homelands of Eyak, Alaska. She is also an Editor as part of the Editorial Collective at the journal ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies.