2013 Alumni Achievement awards

The Alumni Achievement Awards were created in 1991 to recognize outstanding contributions made by graduates and former students of UAF. The areas of recognition include community support, university support, and business and professional excellence. A maximum of five awards in each category can be presented annually. Nominations may be made by alumni, faculty, staff and by the general public. The nomination letter should include information to support the nomination.

The 2013 Annual Awards were presented at the annual awards Rendezvous Dinner on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013.

2013 Alumni Achievement award winners

Business and Professional Excellence

Pete Probasco

Peter Probasco, ’79

Peter “Pete” Probasco received his bachelor’s degree in fisheries biology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1979. Pete grew up in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley near the community of Palmer. His career in fisheries and wildlife management started in 1975 as a fisheries technician for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and retiring in 2000 as the commercial fisheries regional supervisor for the westward region of Alaska. The majority of his “first career” focused on management and research programs for commercial and subsistence use fisheries in Kodiak, the Alaska Peninsula, and Bering Sea - Aleutian Islands areas.

Pete’s “second career” placed him into positions with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service covering resource issues on a statewide level. He currently serves as assistant regional director for the Migratory Birds and State Programs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in Anchorage. He is responsible for restoration and management of fish and wildlife resources for Migratory Bird Management, the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.

Pete exemplifies fisheries professionals who have studied at UAF and made substantial contributions to management and research of Alaska’s vast fishery and wildlife resources. As a longtime Alaskan, Pete has positively affected many fishery and wildlife programs throughout the state. He has committed many years to the success of economically important commercial fisheries, and at the other end of the spectrum has skillfully guided the Federal Subsistence Board ensuring rural subsistence needs are prioritized for cultural as well as life-giving sustenance. He has used his educational experience to serve the people of Alaska by managing and regulating fish and wildlife resources for sustained yield and beneficial use.

Pete has volunteered in many community activities, notably as past president and in council positions of Saint John Lutheran Church in both Palmer and Kodiak; Kodiak wrestling coach; Alaska USA Wrestling board; Kodiak Little League coach; Palmer Youth Hockey chair and coach; State of Alaska wrestling official; Kodiak Island Booster Club past president; Kodiak Island School Board’s budget review committee member; City of Kodiak Parks and Rec board; past governor, Palmer Moose Lodge 793; and member of Kodiak Rotary and Kodiak Kiwanis.

Pete and his wife, Eileen, currently live in Palmer.

It is with great pleasure that the UAF Alumni Association awards Peter “Pete” Probasco with the 2013 Alumni Achievement Award for Business and Professional Excellence.

Doug Schrage

Doug Schrage, ’85

Douglas “Doug” Schrage began his career in the fire service as a University of Alaska Fairbanks student firefighter from 1981 to 1985, when he received an associate degree in fire science. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in fire service administration from Western Oregon University and a master’s degree in fire and emergency management administration from Oklahoma State University.

After graduating from UAF, Doug went to work for the Anchorage Fire Department where he served for more than 25 years, attaining every rank up to the deputy chief of operations. Doug left the Anchorage Fire Department to return to his alma mater as the fire chief in 2010.

Chief Schrage currently serves as the Western Fire Chiefs Association Alaska vice president and is past president of the Alaska Fire Chiefs Association. He is active in the Alaska fire service and education communities and holds several professional memberships.

Doug and his wife, Mary, have raised three sons, Calvin, Benjamin, and Aaron and currently live in Fairbanks.

It is with great pleasure that the UAF Alumni Association awards Douglas Schrage with the 2013 Alumni Achievement Award for Business and Professional Excellence.

Lorna Shaw

Lorna Shaw, ’96, ’05

Lorna Shaw graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1996 with a bachelor of business administration and in 2005 with a master of business administration. Lorna is the external affairs manager for Sumitomo Metal Mining Pogo where she oversees community, public and government affairs for Pogo Mine. A fourth-generation Alaskan, Lorna has more than 12 years of Alaska-based mining industry experience.

Prior to joining Sumitomo Pogo, she led community and government relations for Kinross at its Fort Knox mine and other North American operations. Lorna previously served as the executive director of the Council of Alaska Producers, a trade association that represents large-scale hard rock mines and projects in Alaska. She was the 2011-2012 chairwoman of the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, where she continues to play an active role. She also serves on the boards for several other industry and business organizations, including Alaska Miners Association, Resource Development Council, Alaska State Chamber of Commerce and the Alaska Center for Economic Education. Prior to joining the mining industry, Lorna served for several years as a legislative aide to members of the Alaska State Legislature and as staff for U.S. Sen. Frank Murkowski.

Lorna lives in Fairbanks with her husband, Kelly, and eight-year-old daughter, Rachel.

It is with great pleasure that the UAF Alumni Association awards Lorna Shaw with the 2013 Alumni Achievement Award for Business and Professional Excellence.

Community Support

Dick McCormick

Richard “Dick” McCormick, ’50

Richard “Dick” McCormick graduated from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks in 1950 with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education. He also left a mark as an athlete and coach, playing basketball for the
UA Fairbanks Polar Bears for all four years. In 1947, he was selected as athlete of the year and the most valuable player for the Polar Bears. After graduation, Dick was drafted into the Army during the Korean War. He served at Fort Richardson and was discharged in 1953. After leaving the Army, Dick served as an educator, coach, and administrator for more than 28 years.

In 1955, Coach McCormick was hired to teach history and coach both varsity and junior varsity basketball at Fairbanks High School. Soon after Alaska became a state in January 1959, he led the Lathrop Malamutes to the first-ever Alaska high school state championship. Dick left Fairbanks in 1960 to coach and become principal at Nome High School. Through his efforts Nome was the first area outside of Fairbanks or Anchorage to host the Class B basketball tournament.

In 1963, Dick accepted a position as principal and coach at Wrangell High School. From 1965 to 1970 he served as assistant principal at Juneau-Douglas High School and in 1970 he became superintendent of the Wrangell School District where he stayed until he retired in 1977. Coach McCormick was elected to the Alaska High School Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999.

It is with great pleasure that the UAF Alumni Association awards Richard “Dick” McCormick with the 2013 Alumni Achievement Award for Community Support.

University Support

George Plumley

George Plumley, ’90, ’98

George Plumley is a lifelong Alaskan. He grew up in Palmer and graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a bachelor’s degree in geography in 1990 and a master’s degree in geographic information systems in 1998.

George works for the State of Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development in the division of community and regional affairs as a planner. He currently focuses on reviewing and distributing community profile mapping projects and mapping for municipal land trustee transactions around the state.

Since graduating from UAF, George continues to support his alma mater. For 10 years, he assisted Nanook athletics with the Top of the World Basketball Tournament, driving to Fairbanks with his own technical equipment to provide statistics and live computer updates for the games. George also served as an elected member of the UAF Alumni Association board for two terms from 1999 to 2005, including the board presidency.

George continues to reside in Palmer with his wife, Chris.

It is with great pleasure that the UAF Alumni Association awards George Plumley with the 2013 Alumni Achievement Award for University Support.

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