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The Alumni Association is no longer presenting Alumni Achievement awards, and has made a strategic decision to focus on solely the Distinguished Alumnus and William R. Cashen Service awards. The Alumni Achievement award winners are listed here for historic purposes and to continue celebrating their success.

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.

2016

The 2016 Annual Awards were presented at the annual awards Rendezvous Dinner on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016.

2016 Alumni Achievement Award winners

 
 

Business and Professional Excellence

Sen. Lyman Hoffman `74

Lyman Hoffman has been a political and business leader in Southwest Alaska for decades, championing affordable energy, well-funded schools and healthy fisheries.

Lyman was born and raised in Bethel and has lived along the Kuskokwim River for most of his life. He and his wife, Lillian, raised two children, Trina and Doug, in Bethel. They are now the proud grandparents of Madilyn, Karis and Elizabeth.

Lyman graduated from UAF with a degree in business in 1974. He served as city manager of Bethel from 1977 to 1985. In 1986, he won election to the Alaska State Legislature’s House of Representatives, representing the Bethel area. In 1990, he won a Senate seat, representing the lower Kuskokwim River region, Bristol Bay and the Aleutian Islands. He continues to represent Southwest Alaska and a large part of the western Interior in the Senate today.

In addition to his legislative work, Lyman serves on the Orutsararmiut Native Council, the Yupik tribal government in Bethel. He has been chair of the Bethel Native Corp. and deputy director of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp. He also has held interests in several private businesses.

He served on Bethel’s planning commission and as a board member for the Bethel Family Clinic and the Bethel Prematernal Home.

An influential legislator, Lyman was co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee from 2006-2012. He helped fund a salmon stock identification program to improve fisheries management. He championed numerous changes in education funding, including an increase in the base per-student allocation, expansion of the university’s Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program and the addition of a district cost factor to new school funding. He expanded weatherization and energy rebate programs for Alaska homeowners. He was instrumental in developing an endowment fund to pay for the state’s rural power cost subsidy.


 
 

Community Support

Scott Roselius `81

After graduating from UAF in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education, Scott Roselius became a driving force behind the success of UAF’s hockey program.

Originally from Anchorage, Scott came to Fairbanks in 1977 and helped revitalize the dormant UAF club hockey program. He became team captain and was the leading scorer during the 1978-1979 and 1979-1980 seasons. The program moved to the NCAA level prior to the 1980-81 season, Scott’s senior year.

Scott’s advocacy and support of UAF hockey has never wavered. From 1981 to 1988, he volunteered to assist coaches Ric Schafer and Don Lucia. Scott negotiated the first radio broadcast contract in 1989 and then served as the color commentator for 10 years. The Alaska Broadcasters Association gave him and Bruce Cech its Goldie Award in 1994.

In 1993, Scott reformed the defunct UAF Faceoff Booster Club and served as the club’s president for several years. In 2004, Scott led formation of the UAF Hockey Alumni Association, an official chapter of the UAF Alumni Association. The chapter has raised $50,000 annually and has reconnected hundreds of hockey alumni with their alma mater. Scott is currently the chapter’s president.

Scott advocated Carlson Center improvements such as the giant player banners and the box suites, which raise money for the program. He received the Tavis McMillan Hockey Alumni Award and is a 2016 inductee into the UAF Hall of Fame.

Scott has also served on the UAFAA’s legislative fly-in team, volunteering to talk with legislators in Juneau about UAF’s value.

Scott has been a senior account executive at Tanana Valley Television since 2003. At the station, he also coordinates broadcasts of UAF hockey on KFXF FOX7 television.

Scott and his wife Tamara have two sons — Jake, 19, and Gus, 13.


 
 

University Support

Bob Mitchell `90 `98 and Heather Mitchell `96

Bob Mitchell’s giving to UAF spans more than two decades, beginning shortly after he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1990. Since then, Bob and his wife, Heather, an alumna, have supported numerous funds. They established the North Pole Patriots Scholarship in 2009.

In 2015, Bob agreed to also give his time. He co-chairs the UAF Centennial Scholarships and Fellowships fundraising initiative, which aims to make education more affordable at UAF. Through the initiative, private funds will boost existing scholarships and fellowships while also creating new sources of support for UAF students. This initiative builds off UAF’s centennial celebrations through 2017.

Bob is a second-generation alumnus. He was born in California but remembers, as a toddler, escaping from married student housing to run around campus. He later lived in Los Angeles before graduating from North Pole High School.

As a UAF student, Bob received support through the Honors Program and the North Pole Rotary Scholarship. After graduation, he worked for UAF’s development office. In May 1993, he met Heather during a formal kickoff event for UAF’s first fundraising campaign.

Heather grew up in Maryland and New Jersey. She attended Indiana University, where she earned a degree in secondary education and English. As a national consultant for Sigma Sigma Sigma, Heather came to UAF to colonize its first sorority.

Bob and Heather married in 1994 and settled in Fairbanks. Heather earned a paralegal studies degree, and Bob completed his MBA.

They now live in Juneau, where Bob works as deputy chief investment officer for the Alaska Department of Revenue. Heather works with several nonprofit organizations and homeschools one of their two children.

In addition to supporting UAF, Bob and Heather support literacy for children and the University of Alaska Southeast. Both remain Nanooks at heart!

2015

2015 Alumni Achievement awards

 

Business and Professional Excellence

Vicki S. McConnell ’95

Vicki McConnell was named executive director of the Geological Society of America in March. With 27,000 members, GSA is one of the world’s premier geoscience organizations.

Vicki started her career in geology and volcanology soon after earning a bachelor’s degree in geology from Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado, in 1983. She began work as an assistant at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1985. One of her projects at Sandia involved magma energy research at Novarupta Volcano in Alaska.

In 1991, she left Sandia to pursue a doctoral degree in geology at UAF, studying under John Eichelberger. After graduation, she worked with the Alaska Volcano Observatory and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys. She conducted geologic mapping of Makushin Volcano on Unalaska Island.

In 1999, Vicki became a field geologist with the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries. She was named Oregon’s state geologist in 2005.

The Geological Society of America is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado. Vicki lives in nearby Lafayette, where she enjoys hiking, biking and gardening with her friends and family.

 

Rockne Wilson ’69 and Sandra Wilson ’72

Rocky and Sandy Wilson are partners in Wilson & Wilson CPAs, a Fairbanks accounting firm. Rocky founded the firm in 1980. It became Wilson & Wilson CPAs in 1991 after Sandy earned her CPA and joined as a partner.

Rocky and Sandy met while attending UAF.

Rocky, a third-generation Alaskan, was born in Palmer but grew up in Fairbanks and Chena Hot Springs, where he learned to run sled dogs, trap, hunt and live a rural lifestyle. His early schooling came through correspondence courses taught by his mother in the hot springs lodge’s kitchen.

Rocky graduated from Lathrop High School in Fairbanks as a boarding student and then majored in business management at UAF. After graduating with a U.S. Army commission as second lieutenant and receiving training at the infantry officer basic course in Georgia, he completed a tour of duty in Vietnam as a military intelligence officer and earned several service medals.

Sandy, née Kennedy, was born in Pennsylvania and grew up in Fairbanks. At UAF, she majored in art and minored in education. After graduation, she continued her studies in accounting and computer science.

Sandy loves crochet, gardening, crafts, family, reading, traveling, and collecting Native artwork from the gifted and talented people in the rural communities she visits.

Rocky and Sandy are looking forward to their 50th wedding anniversary in just a few years. They have two children and two granddaughters.


 

Community Support

Toni Mallott ’72

Toni Mallott taught for more than 20 years in Alaska’s public education system while volunteering with numerous organizations.

Toni’s childhood began in the small village of Rampart on the banks of the Yukon River. She lived a traditional Athabascan lifestyle with her extended family. Like many Alaska Native students, she was sent to boarding school in Wrangell. After graduating from high school in Citrus Heights, California, she attended UAF and received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She then earned a master’s degree in education from UA Southeast.

Toni serves on the board of Baan O Yeel Kon, the Alaska Native village corporation established by Rampart residents. As a board member, she serves as chairperson of a post-secondary education scholarship committee for shareholders. She served on the board of the public radio station in Juneau and the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council. She was chairperson of the Juneau School District’s Indian studies program in the early 1980s.

Toni and her husband Byron, Alaska’s lieutenant governor, have five children, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Now retired, Toni remains active in community service projects in Juneau. She boats, hikes, travels and creates traditional Tlingit regalia for her grandchildren to wear while participating in dance groups.


 
 

University Support

Libby Eddy ’92

Libby Eddy retired as registrar and director of admissions in May 2015 after 28 years with UAF.

Libby was born in Texas and grew up “everywhere” as her dad moved with U.S. Air Force assignments. She came to Alaska in 1977 when her new husband, Ray, was stationed at Fort Wainwright.

Libby started working for the Tanana Valley Community College in 1978. The college offices were in Constitution Hall, where the alumni office is currently located. She was accepted into a short-term program that trained high school graduates for office work.

The short-term position became permanent, and she slowly chipped away at her degree requirements while working and raising her children — Jason, Sarah and Adam.

Over the years, Libby supervised the admissions processing staff as well as the records department. She became the registrar and director of admissions in 2012. She considers herself fortunate to have seen the institution from inside both the classroom and the office.

She and Ray plan to spend winters with family in the Lower 48 and summers with friends and family in Fairbanks. She’ll be supporting UAF and the Nanooks at every opportunity.

 

Ann Ringstad ’06

Ann Ringstad has been one of the university’s most effective advocates in recent decades.

A lifelong Alaskan, Ann spent more than 10 years as a state legislative aide, learning the University of Alaska budget in the process. She became the university’s state relations director in 1997 and worked as assistant to President Mark Hamilton. In 2004, she was hired as UAF’s legislative liaison and associate vice chancellor for university relations. She has been the development officer for the UAF College of Engineering and Mines since 2012.

Ann worked off and on for 30 years to secure her bachelor’s degree in business and history from UAF. Two years later, she received her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Washington.

Ann has served on the boards of numerous organizations, including the Alaska Center for Children and Adults and Mt. McKinley Bank. She co-chaired the Tanana Valley United Way campaign while also leading the UAF campaign. While on the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce board, she earned the organization’s Shining Star Award for starting a high school leadership program.

Ann and her husband, John, live in Fairbanks. They have three children and three grandchildren.

2014

2014 Alumni Achievement awards

 
 
 

Business and Professional Excellence

C.B. McNeil

C.B. McNeil , ’59

Judge C. B. McNeil was the 1959 president of his senior class at the University of Alaska, now the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He received a juris doctor degree from the University of Montana School of Law in 1966 and is admitted to practice before the Montana Supreme Court, U.S. district courts, U.S courts of appeal and the U. S. Supreme Court. A resident of Polson, Montana, he was elected Lake County District judge in 1984 after 18 years in private practice. He retired in 2013. 

C.B. was designated a distinguished military graduate, obtained a regular Army commission and attained the rank of captain before being honorably discharged in 1963 to attend law school.

He served as the president of the Polson Rotary, Polson Jaycees, Flathead Lakers, Polson Outdoors, Polson Chamber of Commerce, Salish Shrine Club and Montana’s Legion of Honor (Shriners who are military veterans). He is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

C.B. and his wife JoAnn have two children. Son Charles “Chuck” McNeil is a partner in the Garlington Lohn Robinson law firm in Missoula, Montana, and daughter Jolie is western regional manager for the publisher McGraw-Hill.

 
 

Jeff Roach, ’87

Col. Jeff Roach entered the Alaska Army National Guard in 1981 as a helicopter mechanic and UH-1 crew chief with the 1898th Combat Support Assault Company. He attained the rank of sergeant before attending the Alaska Officer Candidate School, where he received the Commandant’s Award for Academic Excellence. He was commissioned on May 5, 1989, as an aviation second lieutenant. After attending the aviation officer basic course and flight school, Jeff served as an aviation section leader, aviation platoon leader, medical evacuation detachment commander, aviation company commander, public affairs detachment commander, 207th Group public affairs officer, aviation battalion S3, 207th Infantry Brigade S3 (FWD) and the Joint Forces Headquarters aviation branch chief. He served as the 1-207th Aviation Regiment commander from January 2008 to February 2011. Roach also served as the Alaska Army National Guard chief of staff. He currently is commander of the 38th Troop Command, an Alaska Army National Guard brigade.  

During his career as an Army aviator, Roach has flown the UH-1H/V, OH-58A/C and the UH-60A/L helicopters. His deployments include a tour in Europe in support of Operation Joint Guard, as well as tours in Afghanistan and Kosovo in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  

He has a bachelor’s degree in natural resource management from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, a master’s degree in management from Webster University, and a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Air Force Air University.   

Jeff’s awards include the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Combat Action Badge. 

Jeff is married to Sherilyn and has three children: Amber, Daniel and Victoria. He lives and works in Fairbanks, where he is the Northern Region planning manager for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

 
 

John Power

John Power, ’88, ’98

John Power is a volcano seismologist and scientist-in-charge at the Alaska Volcano Observatory. He is supervising geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Anchorage. 

John received his PhD from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1998. He has a bachelor of arts in geology and geography from the University of Montana and a master of science in geophysics from UAF. 

 

 

Community Support

Lynda Sather

Lynda Sather, ’98

Lynda Sather began working for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District as the community and public relations director in 1985 and served in that position for 22 years. In 2008, Lynda joined Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. as the Fairbanks communications manager. She retired in June 2013.

Lynda has served on the United Way of the Tanana Valley board of directors since 2008 and has been board president since 2011.  She has served on the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce board of directors. She also has been a Sunday school teacher, Cub Scout leader, Fairbanks Curling Club Women’s Association board member, Lathrop High School PTA president and UAF Community and Technical College advisory board member.

Lynda graduate from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in French and English literature and from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1998 with a master’s degree in communication.

 

 

University Support

Gene Therriault

Gene Therriault, ’80, ’83

Gene Therriault was first elected to the Alaska House of Representatives in 1992 at the age of 32. He served in the Legislature for the following 17 years. While in office, his colleagues chose him to serve two terms as co-chair of the House Finance Committee and one term as president of the Alaska Senate.

Following his legislative service, Gene was employed by Gov. Sean Parnell as a senior policy advisor on in-state energy. He worked closely with the governor and agency personnel in efforts to help Alaska navigate toward a more certain energy future.

In January 2011, Gene joined the management team at Golden Valley Electric Association as vice president of resource development and external affairs. He participated in efforts to develop the Eva Creek Wind Project, restart of the Healy Clean Coal Plant and develop natural gas generation in Fairbanks. He also interacted with the state team working on the Susitna/Watana hydroelectric project. Since 2012, he has worked as the Alaska Energy Authority’s deputy director for statewide energy policy development. 

Gene is a lifelong Alaskan. He was born and raised in North Pole and is a 1978 graduate of North Pole High School and a 1983 graduate of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He holds an associate degree in computer information systems and a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Gene and his wife Jo Kuchle, a fellow 1983 graduate of UAF, have two children, Justin and Jordyn. In his free time, Gene enjoys traveling, particularly internationally. He is always on the hunt for the world’s best roller coaster.

2013

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.

2012

2012 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 2012 Annual Awards were presented at the annual awards Rendezvous Dinner on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012.

 

2012 Alumni Achievement award winners

 
 

Business and Professional Excellence

Robert Ritchie

Robert Ritchie, '76

Robert "Bob" Ritchie established himself as a biologist and small-business owner in Alaska in the mid 1970s. His interests focused on conservation of endangered birds, especially Peregrine Falcons. Ritchie received his Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife biology from UC Davis in 1972 and, mentored by David Klein, his Master of Science degree in natural resource management from UAF in 1976. That same year, Bob co-founded Alaska Biological Research, becoming the sole owner in 1986. Today, ABR, Inc.—Environmental Research & Services employs 60 scientists and staff (including 25 UAF graduates) in offices in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Oregon, and Massachusetts.

One of Ritchie’s passions is his 37-year relationship with ABR. Supported by great employees and business partners, including his wife, Bobbie, Ritchie’s responsibilities include scientific research, company leadership and monitoring the company’s triple bottom-line: economic success, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility. Although many of ABR’s studies have been environmental assessment studies for industrial developments, others have included long-term monitoring of wildlife and land restoration. ABR is a vibrant research firm offering unique employee benefits: socially-responsible retirement investments, profitsharing bonuses, volunteering support, rebates for hybrid-vehicle purchases, and pay for biking or walking to work. ABR has received numerous awards and commendations from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, the Alaska State Legislature, and the Alaska Public Health Association for its creativity in the workplace.

Ritchie also is active in the Fairbanks community through work with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and supporting and volunteering with organizations like Fairbanks Counseling and Adoption, the Alaska Bird Observatory and the Calypso Farm and Ecology Center. Bob and Bobbie raised three children (Amy, Jacob and Chad) and have been foster parents for a few more in Fairbanks. They regularly mix family vacations with volunteering activities in Australia, Papua-New Guinea, and Africa and now hope to do the same with their grandchildren.

It is with great pleasure that the UAF Alumni Association presents Robert Ritchie with the 2012 Alumni Achievement Award for Business and Professional Excellence.

 

Charles Swanton

Charles Swanton, '83, '84

Charles "Charlie" O. Swanton came to Alaska in 1979 from Lexington, Massachusetts, driven by an interest in salmon. In 1981 he began his career with ADF&G as a fisheries technician, progressing to area and regional research and management positions after completing his formal education. Swanton earned Bachelor of Science degrees in biology in 1983 and in fisheries science in 1984 from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a master’s degree from the University of Washington-Fisheries Research Institute with an emphasis in salmon population dynamics and statistics. His graduate and subsequent research efforts involved sockeye salmon but shortly after transitioned to the other salmon species as well. Swanton has served as the director for the Division of Sport Fish for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game since August 2007, before which he was involved with field activities and commercial and sport fisheries throughout the state while residing in Kodiak, Fairbanks, and presently Juneau. He met his lovely wife, Deborah Uotila, ’82 while attending UAF. They were married at Harding Lake in 1989 and have two sons, Gus, born in Kodiak, and Owen, born in Fairbanks.

It is with great pleasure that the UAF Alumni Association presents Charles Swanton with the 2012 Alumni Achievement Award for Business and Professional Excellence.

 

 

Community Support

Terese Kaptur

Terese Kaptur, '76, '86

Before coming to Alaska in 1970 to fight forest fires and live in the woods, Terese Kaptur never wore blue jeans or had tasted moose. She transferred to the University of Alaska at Fairbanks in 1971, lived in a dry, walk-in cabin for 10 years and earned her Bachelor of Music in 1976 and Master of Arts in Music Composition in 1986 at UAF while being the General Manager of the Fairbanks Symphony. In 1980 she moved to Anchorage for a job in opera and then ran the Bach Festival. A job with an orchestra took her to North Carolina where she instantly realized she had to find her way back to Alaska.

While Outside, she used what she had learned at UAF in North Carolina, Pittsburgh, and Colorado. “UAF provided me with the job skills and educational foundation to work in arts administration and composition with world-renowned artists at major institutions including The Pittsburgh Symphony, North Carolina School of the Arts, Sphinx Foundation and Bravo! Vail Music Festival,” Kaptur notes. Kaptur was delighted with the opportunity to return to Fairbanks as Director of the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival in 2009. The intense abundance of arts and culture, the incredibly warm community, the beautiful land and radical weather revived a love affair with Fairbanks that had never waned. In December 2009, Kaptur established the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Caroline A. Kaptur Memorial Scholarship in honor of her mother to benefit UAF’s talented music students.

Kaptur has spent her entire career in arts administration and music composition. Passionate about the use of music as therapy for healing, pain management, relaxation and rehabilitation, she has composed music for use in her own surgery without anesthesia. Her dream for UAF is to someday grow the music program by offering an arts administration and music therapy concentration.

Recently married to UAF alumnus Mark Sherman, ’80, ’83 at the UAF fire station where he worked when they first met as students in the 70’s, Kaptur is the mother of two daughters. She still enjoys cabin solace, plays piano, writes some, composes a little, and enables the artistic growth and appreciation of others at Festival. She indulges her passion for advocacy for arts and cultural tourism as an economic driver in Alaska through her work with the Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Alaska Travel Industry Association.

It is with great pleasure that the UAF Alumni Association presents Terese Kaptur with the 2012 Alumni Achievement Award for Community Support.

 

 

University Support

Dan Flodin

Dan Flodin, ’94, ’97

Daniel "Dan" Flodin is a lifelong Alaskan. Flodin grew up in Chugiak and graduated from UAF with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree in Finance and a Master’s of Business Administration. While at UAF, Flodin was involved in the launch of the UAF Student Ambassadors and was heavily involved in campus life with various roles in Residence Life. Dan was president of the UAF Student Investment Fund in the School of Management and received the Blue and Gold award as a student. Dan’s academic career spanned 10 years in student, staff, and adjunct faculty roles at UAF. Flodin’s professional career includes 10 summers commercial fishing in Bristol Bay, Kodiak, and Prince William Sound, and 12 years working in business planning and supply chain management at Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. Since graduating from UAF, Flodin has served for six years on the UAF Alumni Board and five years on the Business Advisory Committee for UAF’s School of Management. Flodin has recommended several UAF graduates for hire at Alyeska (with several landing positions and internships with the company) and has actively encouraged and supported Alyeska’s support of UAF scholarships.

Flodin’s most important achievement at UAF was meeting his wife Debbie while they were students living on campus. They have been married for 19 years and have three beautiful children ages 12, 10 and 8. Flodin and his family currently reside in his hometown of Chugiak.

It is with great pleasure that the UAF Alumni Association presents Daniel Flodin with the 2012 Alumni Achievement Award for University Support.

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