William R. Cashen Service award

William R. "Bill" Cashen '37 was a former alumni director, professor, and marshal emeritus, historian, public servant, family man, proud alumnus and friend to many Alumni. Cashen set the example for service to the university and its alumni association. This award is designed to recognize and perpetuate his example and inspire all those associated with the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Eligibility: Alumni and non alumni qualify for the award. Only employees of the UAF Alumni Association are excluded.

Criteria for Selection: Nominees will be judged on the basis of meritorious service at more than one level of alumni activity. This could include, but is not limited to, serving as a chapter officer, serving on the board of directors, assisting with a project, setting up a scholarship, serving on a UAF selection committee or an advisory council.


2015 William R. Cashen Service award winner

DeShana York ’95

DeShana York grew up in Soldotna, where she learned a strong work ethic while commercial fishing in Cook Inlet with her family. She graduated from UAF, the first in her family to do so, with a degree in speech communication.

DeShana has worked for UAF and the UA statewide system for the past 19 years and currently is director of the Cooperative Extension Service’s Anchorage District office. 

A lifetime member of the UAF Alumni Association, DeShana served as president of the Southcentral chapter from 2006-2013. She has served on the UAFAA Board and was secretary from 2011-2012. She also has participated in UAF and UA statewide governance, supporting the staff and representing her peers.

DeShana shows her Nanook pride whenever possible and encourages other alumni to do the same. She has made many trips to Juneau to share the UAF story with legislators, supporting university funding and programs.

DeShana is married to Shane York, who works at UA Anchorage Facilities Maintenance. They often attend UAF-UAA sporting events, supporting both universities but always sitting on the Nanook side! DeShana enjoys kayaking, fishing and other outdoor water sports, as well as spending time with friends and family.

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