Kay L Thomas Pathfinder Award
This award honors Kay Thomas, a soft-spoken lady who gave over twenty years of herself to ensure Alaska Native student retention and success in their university studies and experience. Kay is blessed with the gift of humility, grace, and compassion, a person who does not seek praise or accolades. Through her compassionate and highly effective guidance and academic advising skills, Kay impacted the lives of over 2,000 students at the University of Alaska. Kay retired from the Department of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development (DANSRD) in January 2012.
To recognize Kay, who guided many Alaska Native and rural students to succeed through her compassion and selfless dedication to the personal and academic challenges they faced, DANSRD has established the Kay L. Thomas Pathfinder Award.
The Kay L. Thomas Pathfinder Award is an annual award established in 2012 to honor outstanding University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) staff or faculty who exemplify the compassion and dedication to student success demonstrated by Kay. This award is open to all staff and faculty employed through the University of Alaska Fairbanks, including UAF’s branch campuses.
Nomination letters may be submitted from any UAF employee or student. The selection committee will base its decision primarily on the following criteria (10 points each for a total of 40 points):
1. The nominee serves as an advocate for students
2. The nominee assisted Alaska Native/rural students to overcome personal and academic challenges
3. The nominee demonstrates a high level of commitment to the mission of student success
4. The nominee engages effectively with leadership, students and/or region to advance educational opportunities for rural students.
The award recipient will receive a framed certificate with a gift basket, tailored to the individual receiving the award. A plaque listing the annual recipients will be located in the DANSRD office on the UAF campus.
Past Award Recipients
2013 Gabby Russell
2012 Kay L. Thomas