Rural Alaska Honors Institute will celebrate 42nd graduation

students stand in front of a mountain view
UAF photo by Naatanii Mayo
RAHI students pose at the first peak on their hike from Angel Rocks to Chena Hot Springs, one of the weekend outdoor adventures they are taken on.

The Rural Alaska Honors Institute will hold its 42nd annual graduation July 11 from 1-2:30 p.m. in Schaible Auditorium on the University of Alaska Fairbanks Troth Yeddha’ Campus. The ceremony will stream live on Facebook.

RAHI, a competitive program offered by the UAF College of Indigenous Studies, lets rural and Alaska Native students discover what it's like to attend college. 

student stands working on a pipe-cutting machine
UAF photo by Elvie Underwood
RAHI students learn to operate pipe-cutting equipment at the Pipeline Training Center in Fairbanks as part of their Introduction to Process Technologies class. UAF photo by Elvie Underwood

For six weeks this summer, students lived in dorms on the Troth Yeddha' Campus in Fairbanks while taking an average of nine college credits. They learned about writing, library sciences, process technology, chemistry, math, Alaska Native cultures and language, research, leadership and education. On weekends, students explored Interior Alaska through hiking, canoeing, rafting and volunteering.

Since its inception in 1983, over 1,800 students have graduated from the Rural Alaska Honors Institute. Alumni have earned more than 1,400 degrees from the University of Alaska and other institutions around the U.S. and beyond.

Rural Alaska Honors Institute students attend at no cost, thanks to support from Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., Arctic Slope Community Foundation, ConocoPhillips, Donlin Gold LLC, First National Bank Alaska, the UAF College of Indigenous Studies, the University of Alaska Fairbanks and private donors.

students laugh laying in the grass
UAF photo by Marina Santos
RAHI students get ready to play a human conveyor belt game during the Fun Olympics at Bingle Camp near Harding Lake on Saturday, June 22, 2024.

The RAHI Class of 2024 includes: Luois Amora (Unalaska), Mary Ash (Kodiak), Jadyn Barr (White Mountain), Magen Barr (Kiana), Holly Beeman (Tok), Kylene Berlin (Kasigluk), Brenaye Berlin (Bethel), Momsy Booth (Noatak), Qapqan Brantley (Anchorage), Pretty Chayalkun (Chevak), Travis Chiu (Fairbanks), Selena Cleveland (Ambler), Justine Correira (Wasilla), Ellenia Dommek (Anchorage), Timothy Garcia (Wrangell), Elle Garnie (Teller), Saylor Gronholdt (Sand Point), Nikyla Gueco (Barrow), Katie Hunt (Kotlik), Milo Huntington (Galena), Lena Ivanoff (Unalakleet), Sage Ivey (Anchorage), Scarlett Johnson (Kodiak), Brandy Jones (Bethel), Matthew Lawhorne (Delta Junction), Charlene Lockwood (St. Michael), Brielle Lorentzen (Port Alsworth), Bella Marks (Tanana), Leanne Mateo (Unalaska), Nathaniel McNabb (Delta Junction), Yagnnesis Mejias (Cordova), Adi Michael (Kwethluk), Julia Nabua (Sitka), Ethel Nazuruk (Noorvik), Dawn Nazuruk-Brown (Noorvik), Tyson Nicholai (Nunapitchuk), Thomas Olsen-Phillips (Petersburg), Sasha Panningona-Doyon (Utqiagvik), Aaliyah Petersen (St. Michael), Rosalind Peterson (Mountain Village), Trinity Pitka (Beaver), Nalaysia Raymond (Craig), Shirley Roberts (Quinhagak), Natalia Slim (Kasigluk), Teagann Smith (Port Alsworth), Noah Spencer (Anchor Point), Trenton Towarak (Unalakleet), Seamus Vallely (Wasilla), Jess Vong (Ketchikan), Roxann Weyiouanna (Shishmaref), Elias Wigg (Juneau) and Morgan Wuya (Bethel).