Q & A with Student Regent Cachet Garrett
Cachet Garrett takes the road less traveled (and likely always will!). Her life’s journeys have led her around the world to 23 countries, with plans to visit many, many more. One of those paths led her to walk a 500-mile spiritual pilgrimage from France to Spain on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, a journey that has transformed the lives of thousands of pilgrims over millennia.
Garrett says pilgrimage is a fitting metaphor for her life. Pilgrimage is when you
emerge transformed at the end of an endeavor from who you were at the beginning. In
June she began her two-year term as the student representative to the Board of Regents,
and she is fully expecting to emerge transformed by the end, primarily, into a stronger
leader for the people. Now she is representing students’ voices and interests as we
work together to reenvision and transform UA to better serve Alaskans, our needs and
What was your first experience with the University of Alaska?
You could say I started college in Palmer, Alaska, at Mat-Su College at the age of five. I would go to classes with my mom from time to time and I absolutely loved it! I thought it was so fun, learning side-by-side with adults, being exposed so early to subjects like Greek and Literature. I love learning and have been an avid learner my whole life. I plan to always be learning!
My mom’s example inspired me to choose the University of Alaska. I began my college career at the University of Alaska Southeast, Juneau Campus, at 17 where I earned my bachelor’s degree in Human Communication with emphases in Intercultural and Interpersonal Communication, and a minor in French. My undergraduate experience was epic! My time was filled with extra-curriculars like environmental activism, student leadership opportunities and volunteerism, such as providing service as an Americorps member and becoming a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska.
Now I am working toward my master’s degree in Arctic and Northern Studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, focusing on leadership, adaptation and resilience. I am excited to be studying the challenges and policy issues facing the circumpolar North. I know that what I learn about the environmental politics and policies of northern regions, and psychology of life on northern frontiers, will help me better serve our state and our fellow Alaskans as a future state leader. It’s my calling! A vocation, if you will.
How can we support the University of Alaska?
Get back into classes! The best thing people can do right now is to enroll as a student and engage in the study of topics that one is interested in. If you already have a degree you can come back and learn something new, or start on a second degree!
The University of Alaska’s 16 campuses offer more than 5,000 classes each semester. You can take classes in person, over the telephone via audio conference, or online.
From acting to Yup’ik, there is a class that will spark your interest. There are so many great classes at UA that it may be difficult for you to choose just one. Myself, I am incredibly excited about my upcoming courses. I will also be taking yoga!
What is your focus as a student regent?
My role as the student regent is to be the voice for our collective student body. I would like, specifically, to connect with each and every student and to touch and uplift their lives and aspirations in a positive, inclusive and supportive way. I aspire to be a source of light and inspiration for Alaskans. I also want to encourage folks to stay enrolled at the University of Alaska. Now is the time for UA students to come together strongly so that we can grow together as we uncover our greatness as the future leaders of Alaska!
How can UA faculty and staff help our students navigate these difficult times?
Many of our students feel uncertain about how UA’s current transformation is going to affect them and their degree program. It’s now more important than ever to reach out to the students we serve to let them know that we care and have their best interests at heart. I have confidence that the University of Alaska will emerge stronger and better after going through this evolutionary process. Our faculty and staff will continue to inspire our students to flourish academically and personally. On behalf of more than 26,000 students, thank you for all that you do to help us reach our academic and personal goals! Your mentorship and student-centeredness are celebrated among those of us who have benefited from your active participation in our experiences at our campuses.
I encourage correspondence from all of our Alaska Community, and especially from my fellow students! Please reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.