Black receives 2023 Bullock Prize for service to the UA system
The University of Alaska Foundation Board of Directors has awarded the 2023 Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence to Jessica Black. Black, associate vice chancellor for rural, community and Native education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, has been a faculty member since 2006. She received the award Wednesday during the Foundation’s board meeting in Fairbanks.
The Bullock Prize is awarded annually to a member of the university community in recognition that a truly great university grows as a result of personal commitments to excellence. The prize includes an unrestricted $20,000 award and is the most prestigious award presented by the UA Foundation each year.
“Dr. Black’s extraordinary contributions to the University of Fairbanks as a researcher, assistant professor and project leader, and her commitment to transforming higher education to be more inclusive and equitable, have created a welcoming environment where Alaska Native knowledge is embraced, and where Alaska Native students, faculty and staff are welcomed,” said Laura Bruce, UA Foundation chair. “While her expertise and knowledge are sought out across the globe, she is widely respected as a leader in the local community and within the university for helping others understand how we can all benefit from an indigenous perspective.”
“As an accomplished scholar and dedicated community volunteer, Dr. Black demonstrates a strong commitment to inclusion and equity in higher education and contributes to strengthening UAF’s role as a global leader in Alaska Native and Indigenous programs,” said UAF Chancellor Dan White. "Dr. Black is an accomplished researcher, educator, and administrator.”
At UAF, Black teaches courses in Alaska Native governance, policy, leadership and research. Her research focuses on Alaska Native well-being, specifically on the importance of salmon and other natural resources. She is the co-principal investigator for a National Science Foundation-funded research project titled Tamamta (All of Us): Transforming Western and Indigenous Fisheries and Marine Sciences Together. The project will transform graduate education in fisheries and marine sciences. She is also the lead principal investigator on another NSF grant, Tamamta Iqallupet Anirtungnaqlluki: We are Trying to Save Our Fish. This statewide research project aims to build relationships, gather Indigenous stewardship knowledge and practice, and document inequities in fisheries science and management.
Black is widely published in peer-reviewed journals, has contributed to several publications and is a frequent presenter on topics of Alaska Native governance and well-being.
Outside UAF, Black's community service endeavors are exceptional and far-reaching. She is president of the Fairbanks Native Association board of directors, where she supports the mission to improve the quality of life for individuals and families within the community.
Black holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from UAF, and both her master’s and Ph.D. in social work from Washington University in St. Louis.
The Bullock Prize was established with a generous gift from the late Edith R. Bullock, whose 30 years of service to the university included service on the UA Board of Regents and the UA Foundation Board of Directors. It has been awarded to 35 individuals since 1990. Faculty, administrators, students and volunteers are eligible for the prize.
The University of Alaska Foundation is an independent, nonprofit corporation established in 1974 to work in partnership with Alaska’s three universities to seek, secure and steward philanthropic support. For more information on the foundation and how to contribute, please visit www.alaska.edu/foundation.