The Alutiiq Museum has seen quite a few changes in the past few months. Long-time Director Sven Haakanson retired in June, and in August the museum welcomed Alisha Drabek as its new director. Now, the organization will start seeing less of another decade-long employee, Katie St. John.
St. John has served the Alutiiq Museum for the past 12 years in a number of roles, including museum manager and interim executive director. Her current position, director of operations, will only be part time as she takes on a new role at Kodiak College.
“My title at the college is the project manager for one of the Title III Department of Education grants, the Sea Change grant, which is focused on enhancing and really improving the distance education opportunities through Kodiak College.”
She said the position at the college has actually been vacant for almost nine months.
“They’ve been holding on and doing an amazing job of keeping going without a project manager, but once it became available I applied and with my experience here at the museum with grant management and with my degree in organizational leadership it was a good fit.”
St. John will receive her masters in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University in December, a degree that is being made possible through distance learning.
“So while I am looking to enhance the distance education program at Kodiak College I am a distance education student myself. So it’s, that’s also something that is very close to my heart because it has been such a wonderful experience for me and so I am looking at ways to make that better and more available for more people.”)
Her new role at the college means St. John will split her time between there and the museum.
“With Alisha Drabek, our new executive director, on staff now, it’s a pretty wonderful time for me to change my role as well, just because we’re adjusting who does what around here. So I was here for 12 years with Sven, and so my job is changing anyway, so this is a good opportunity for us to look at ways we can change it.”)
St. John said her ultimate plan is to phase out of the museum over the next year and help train and work with a new director of operations for the organization.