Volunteer Bios


Kelley Ryan lights up at the prospect of a new service project! A junior from Boston, MA, Kelley has coordinated and participated in numerous volunteer opportunities in Fairbanks, Arctic Village, and now Moab. Before coming to UAF, Kelley served for a year as a VISTA volunteer in Ketchikan, AK running a Boys and Girls Club.


Haley Hanson “loves dirt and bringing new ideas back to my community.” A double major in Geography and Political Science, Haley hails from Bethel, AK and volunteers with the LIVE program.

Tachit (Tay) Chairat , originally from Thailand, came to the United States six years ago and has been a student at UAF for a year and a half. Since arriving in the US, Tay has participated in numerous volunteer events and discovered that “by helping those who are in need, I feel my life has become more meaningful.”

JaredConrad: I am currently in the general studies program trying to get a feel for what I want. I have become interested in possibly pursuing a degree in Natural Resource Management with a concentration in Forest. I spend Summers working for T.J.'s Landclearing and this past semester worked for the Riverboat Discovery part time during school. I went on the Alternative Break trip last year and liked it enough to sign up again.

Lakeidra Chavis: Hey! My name is Lakeidra Chavis and I'm an freshman at UAF. I'm originally from Arkansas but came to Alaska because of the military (no, it was not a choice). I plan to earn a BA Double Major in Psychology & Foreign Languages. I like to write poetry, watch movies, attempt to play the guitar and partake in moments of random awesomeness. I joined the Alternative Break team to help make a difference, learn something about the world and hopefully, learn something about myself in the process.

Tori Middlestadt: I am a senior graduating in May with a degree in Photojournalism and a minor in Business. I did AB El Salvador a few years ago which as a blast work with people and being in a totally new environment. I to photograph while I travel. Next fall I plan to join the MBA program through the UAF School of Business.

Sarah Walker:  I am a first-generation, low-income student in my second year at UAF and am going for a double-degree in Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development with a Yup’ik minor.   My concentration in Alaska Native Studies is Alaska Native Law, Government, and Politics; and my concentration in Rural Development is Tribal and Local Government Administration.  

I currently serve as the president of two student organizations: Native Alaskan Business Leaders (NABL) and Festival of Native Arts (FNA or Festival).  I participate in the Inu-Yupiaq Eskimo dance group, the UAF LIVE program, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Natives for Positive Change, SOM Student Advisory Council, Student Support Services and Rural Student Services. 

I am also a student employee, employed with the Department of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development as the Student Coordinator for the Festival of Native Arts.  I was hired in January and had less than two months to coordinate the 38th Annual Festival; which involved recruiting about 50 volunteers, scheduling the 27 performance groups, and organizing the 35 vendors.  I have returned as the student coordinator for the 39th Annual Festival; and have recently been awarded the Fall 2011 UAF Exceptional Student Employee Award. 

My UAF education is enhancing my life by allowing me to learn my heritage language (Yup’ik Eskimo) and to celebrate my heritages (I am Yup’ik and Inupiaq Eskimo) every day.  UAF is also giving me a chance to develop on-the-job skills by offering the leadership programs and opportunities for networking with future employers.  

Denali Critchett: Hi!  I’m Denali Critchett and am currently pursuing a degree in Petroleum Engineering.  I am a third generation Alaskan and love the outdoors, having fun, meeting people, and going skiing.  I was raised in Homer, AK, and volunteering in the community has always been something I love to do.  I have taken a lot out of past volunteering experiences and I can’t wait to immerse myself in the prospect of volunteering with people from all over the country.  I look forward to helping with the Gulf Coast restoration and seeing the affects of a disaster in the Petroleum Industry, where I plan to base my career. 


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