Meet wendy johnston, kitchen manager and shipping receiving supervisor for iḷisaġvik college in ba

Video Shot in: 2009

Wendy Johnston, originally from Anchorage, moved to Barrow (Utqiaġvik), Alaska, nearly 15 years ago for a rotational program at the local college. Discovering that full-time employees received free tuition, she pursued the unrestricted CDL program at the college and obtained her CDL, a notable achievement, especially as a female in Alaska at that time. She recalls an incident where her CDL skills were unexpectedly called upon to assist a local elder, a task that garnered attention and respect within the community. Wendy continued her education in business administration while working at the college and now manages two departments: the kitchen and shipping/receiving. She describes the unique challenges of living in Utqiaġvi, such as starting cars 30 minutes before use due to extreme cold and being vigilant for polar bears. Wendy also highlights the cultural diversity in Utqiaġvi, with a mix of Iñupiat Eskimo, Tongan, Samoan, Filipino, Mexican, and other communities, making it a culturally rich and varied environment. She reflects on her journey from Anchorage to Barrow, emphasizing the differences even within Alaska and the enriching experience of working with diverse staff and cultures at the college.