Listen: Finding the untapped talent in Alaska’s immigrants and refugees

Cover of Welcoming Anchorage’s roadmap manual. (Courtesy of Welcoming Anchorage)

Alaska’s ethnic and cultural diversity has grown significantly as more immigrants and refugees make Alaska their home. How are new Alaskans adjusting? How can the government help in their transition? What are the ways through which immigrants and refugees enrich Alaska? Join host E.J. David for conversation about a collaborative community project called “Untapped Talent.”

HOST: E.J. David


  • Nyabony Gat, Health Education Coordinator with Southcentral Alaska AHEC & APCA, focusing on workforce development of community health workers and integrated health career pathways for the ESL population. In addition, she is a Program Coordinator for the Peer Leader Navigator Program at Alaska Literacy Program which focuses on health outreach, connection and navigating healthcare and social services. She received a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences from UAA in 2019 and is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®). She is very passionate and driven to work on immigrant and refugee integration and addressing issues of health equity through community-based efforts.
  • Dr. Amana Mbise, Assistant Professor of Social Work in the School of Social Work at UAA. He has over ten years’ experience in social work, global health and community development in three countries: Tanzania, Denmark, and the U.S. His research interests are around immigration, human trafficking and rights-based approaches to social work. This research has so far focused on integration and inclusion of immigrants and refugees in Alaska, human trafficking and labor exploitation, and the rights of children.
  • Dr. Sara Buckingham, Dr. Sara Buckingham, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Her research examines the intersection of culture and wellbeing among people whose cultures have been oppressed alongside multilevel strategies for creating more welcoming, inclusive spaces. She is a licensed psychologist who specializes in multilingual culturally-congruent psychological services for forced migrants, including refugees and asylum-seekers.
  • Dr. Tzu-Chiao Chen, Assistant Professor of Communication at UAA. His teaching and research areas are in intercultural communication, interpersonal communication, conflict and negotiation, and research methods. Before joining UAA, he taught at an American University in Kuwait for two years. Experiencing the cultural differences is his main goal for traveling.


Welcoming Anchorage Roadmap

“Creating a more welcoming city through research”


  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752 (statewide) during the live broadcast (10-11 a.m.)
  • Send e-mail to before, during or after the live broadcast (E-mails may be read on air).
  • Post your comment or question below (Comments may be read on air).
  • LIVE: Monday, September 13, 2021 at 10 a.m.
  • RE-AIR: Monday, September 13, 2021 at 8 p.m.
  • PODCAST: Available on this page after the program.

E.J.R. David was born in the Philippines by Kapampangan and Tagalog parents, and grew up in Pasay, Las Pinas, Makati, and Utkiagvik, Alaska. He lives in Anchorage, Alaska or Dgheyay Kaq – the traditional homelands of the Dena’ina Athabascan People – with his wife Gee’eedoydaalno (Koyukon Athabascan) and their four children – Malakas Betlee’ hoolaanh, Kalayaan Neełnohʉłno, Kaluguran Hoozoonh ts’e kk’ohoo’oyh, and Tala Nodoyedee’onh – and countless relatives and friends.

Dr. David obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Alaska Anchorage (2002), and Master of Arts (2004) and Doctoral (2007) Degrees in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a tenured Professor of Psychology at the University of Alaska Anchorage, with his primary duties being with the PhD Program in Clinical-Community Psychology that has a Rural, Cultural, and Indigenous Emphasis.

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