Rural Human Services Statewide Program Manager
Annie has worked for the University of Alaska, Fairbanks since 2006 when she helped develop Behavioral Health career classes for rural and urban high schools. This path lead her to the Tech Prep programs, developing health career pathways for distance education for rural high schools. The place where she is most at home is the Rural Human Services program where she worked as the Statewide Director for three years, and then returned to this position in October of 2012. With an emphasis on rural students, this 22 year old program is a gateway for students entering the behavioral health field. The mission of RHS is to “grow your own” and put a counselor in every village! RHS has three campuses in Fairbanks, Anchorage and Bethel.
Annie drew on her rural Alaskan experiences, when she came to Alaska in 1986 as the Director for the Upper Yukon Behavioral Health program in Ft. Yukon, Alaska. Annie also provided parenting classes and on-call mental health services in Barrow, AK. She arrived after finishing her Master’s degree at the University of Denver in Colorado where she lived in the Rockies for over a decade. A love of the wilderness grew from the time spent in Colorado, working as an outdoor educator the Breckenridge Outdoor Education center, and as the Alcohol and Drug Coordinator for Summit County. Skiing and hiking became a passion and the transition to Alaska was seamless..
Annie spent several summers in Alaska, working on a commercial fishing boat and on the Glacier Queen in Prince William Sound. Raised as an Army brat, Alaska is now her home. Annie has worked with an array of populations including Vietnam Vets, military personnel and their families, Alaska Natives, substance abusers, families receiving welfare, persons experiencing disabilities, the elderly, and victims of sexual assault and teens. For many years, she worked as the Director for the Fairbanks Native Association serving homeless and runaway teens and their families. She provided ongoing professional development for the social workers as the Northern Region Representative for NASW. Annie has served on the board for “Stone Soup” and helped found the “Soup Off” annual event. She is known for her creativity, and also started the Gala Hat Affair, while serving as the Executive Director of the Breast Cancer Detection Center. She is resilient, resourceful, energetic, loves to play guitar and sing, hike and ski. Annie is well known for her newly acquired culinary skills.
Annie is married, to Michael Hopper, a local psychologist and builder, and they have two children, a son, Huckleberry (18) and Katie (16). Their dog, Rowdy, is well known and adored by all.