2005 Alumni Achievement awards


Business and Professional Excellence

Edward Thomas

Edward Thomas

Edward Thomas graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1973 with a bachelor's degree in education. Through his professional career he has become one of the most powerful business leaders in Alaska today. Thomas has been president and CEO of the Tlingit & Haida Central Council since 1984 where he is responsible for over 200 employees, $24 million in programs, $10 million in the Tribal Trust Fund and the implementation of general administrative policies of the tribe of over 25,000 citizens. Thomas has also met with five sitting U.S. presidents between 1988-2004 on Native issues. He was selected to meet with Secretary General of the United Nations Boutros Boutros-Gali in 1993 and 1994.

Before Thomas became president of the Central Council one could say he lived a rich professional life already as he was director of Indian education for the Ketchikan School district, executive director of the Ketchikan Indian Corporation, president of the Klawock Island Dock company, seine boat skipper for Columbia Wards Fisheries and a high school counselor for the Craig School District.

Thomas was recognized with the Kake Tribal "Top Dog" Award in 1996. He was the 1995 keynote speaker for the Alaska Federation of Natives Conference, he received the Tlingit Haida Citizen of the Year Award in 1991 and the Ketchikan Native Citizen of the Year Award in 1978.

Elaine Woodruff

Elaine Woodruff

Elaine Woodruff graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1969 with the institution's first master's of fine arts degree in creative writing. She has continued to enhance her learning and the learning of others. In 1989 Woodruff received her Ph.D at the University of Denver with an emphasis on poetry. She became an assistant professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1989. In 1993 Woodruff became an assistant professor at Colorado Christian College where she was promoted to full professor of English in 2004.

Woodruff has published one book, is awaiting publication of her second book and nine of her poems have been published. She has been invited to present papers and hold poetry readings at more than 15 conferences including the Third International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities at Cambridge University in 2005, the Mount Hermon 35th Annual Christian Writers Conference in Santa Cruz, Calif., in 2004, the International Conference on Short Fiction in Salamanca, Spain, in 2004 and at the Iowa Writer's Workshop in 2004.

Some of Woodruff's honors includes two nominations for Poet of the Year in 1996 and 1997 from the International Society of Poets, induction into the International Poetry Hall of Fame in 1997, nominated Poet Laureate of Colorado, 1996. She received the Outstanding Achievement Award in Poetry from the National Library of Poetry and the Editor's Choice Award in 1996.

It is with great pleasure that the UAF Alumni Association awards the 2005 Alumni Achievement Awards for Business and Professional Excellence to Edward Thomas and Elaine Woodruff.


Billie Blanchard

Billie Blanchard

Billie Blanchard graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1989 with two associate's degrees and in 1995 with a bachelor's degree in business administration.

She is currently the president and CEO of the Military and Civilian Credit Union (MAC), a position she has held since 1999.

Blanchard is known for her active involvement with the military community in Fairbanks. She currently serves as the president for the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) - Polar Bear Chapter, the co-chairperson of the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee and as a member of the Civilian Advisory Board to the Alaska Congressional Joint Armed Services Committee. Blanchard has helped spearhead efforts to organize military appreciation events including Project Partnership which matches civilian organizations with military units.

Charlie Dexter

Charlie Dexter

Charlie Dexter graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1977 with a theatre degree and in 1983 with a master's degree in business administration. He is currently a full professor of applied business at UAF's Tanana Valley Campus in downtown Fairbanks.

Dexter has been a very active member of both the university and Fairbanks communities. He was the recipient of the 2001 Usibelli Distinguished Teaching Award, the 1999 Associated Students of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Faculty of the Year Award and the 1998 College of Rural Alaska Nancy Mendenhall Award for Exemplary Leadership/Service Awards.

Dexter serves on the Fairbanks North Star Borough Early Childhood Development Commission, the Salvation Army Corps Council, the Northern School Federal Credit Union Board of Directors and he has a bi-weekly business column in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

It is with great pleasure that the UAF Alumni Association awards Billie Blanchard and Charlie Dexter with the 2005 Alumni Achievement Award for Community Support.


Richard Caulfield

Richard Caulfield

Richard Caulfield graduated from the University of Alaska in 1986 with a master's degree in education. He has been a very active member of the university community as his list of accomplishments continues to grow. During Caulfield's 21 years of service to UAF he has helped students, staff and faculty succeed and has assisted in making the university more user-friendly.

Caulfield began his career at UAF as a professor in the Alaska Native and rural development department. He later became associate dean of the College of Rural Alaska and was recently selected to lead the Tanana Valley Campus. Caulfield has served on the UAF Master Planning Committee, the UAF Strategic Planning Committee, Chancellor's Task Force on Enrollment Management, UA Statewide Research Advisory Committee, UAF Graduate School Steering Committee on Leadership, UAF Provost's Marketing Alaska Committee, College of Rural Alaska Faculty Council and UA Learning Cooperative Distance Learning Committee. He has also been a faculty advisor for the Alaska Native Leadership Project field study courses, the College of Rural Alaska Curriculum Council and was chair of the School of Education dean search committee.

Some of Caulfield's honors include UAF Honors Program recognition for teaching excellence 2000, UAF Outstanding Advisor Award 1996 and he was awarded the student-nominated Dennis Demmert Award for Excellence in serving Alaska Native Students in 1996 and 2000.

Scott McCrea

Scott McCrea

Scott McCrea graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. Since 2000 he has been the marketing and community relations coordinator at UAF's Tanana Valley Campus. Since McCrea's arrival back on campus he has stayed involved and engaged in campus activities.

McCrea has served as president of the UAF Staff Council, been a member of the UA Staff Alliance, former UAF Alumni Association board member and president of the Fairbanks chapter of the Alumni Association, former chairperson of the UAF Athletic Director Search Committee, UAF representative and vice chairperson of the Carlson Center Advisory Board, member of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee and Top of the World Classic Organizing Committees. He was former chairperson, UAF Advocacy committee, member of the organizing committee, UA Museum of the North Chocolate Bash and member of the organizing committee for the Association of College Unions international region 14 conference.

McCrea did not just sit on committees though--he has also been the master of ceremonies for the UAF rifle team fundraiser, the UAF College of Fellows fundraiser in 2004 and the UAF student awards ceremony twice, in 2003 and 2005. He also developed and organized the Welcome to UAF new employee orientation and developed community outreach events including UAF Day at the JP Jones Community Center in 2001-2002 and the annual UAF Day at North Pole to bring the university closer to the Fairbanks North Star Borough community. In 2002 McCrea was a member of the Provost's Academic Leadership Academy and in 2003 he received the Chancellor's Recognition Award for Employee of the Year.

It is with great pleasure that the UAF Alumni Association awards Richard Caulfield and Scott McCrea the 2005 Alumni Achievement Awards for University Support.

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