Social Work Program Alumni

Alumni information needed for newsletter

We are currently updating our contact information for alumni that have graduated from the Social Work Program here at UAF. We would love to find out what our graduates are up to these days. If you would like to update your alumni information, please email Carol Renfro at and provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Date graduated
  • Contact information (address, email and phone numbers)
  • What you are doing now in the way of work and education and family
  • Anything interesting in the way of stories and experiences
  • Things you were involved in (Clubs like OSSW/ANSWA, Phi-Alpha, Student of the Year, etc.)

We would like to add the information to our website under Alumni information, if you agree to have it there (we would not add contact information, just your stories).

The newsletter is a fun way to see what others are UAF Social Work alumni are doing and helps the department to stay in contact with everyone!

Hope to hear from you soon!


Alumni at the Office of Children's Services

Alumni group photo
Picture provided by NaTosha Malone

Field of Child Protection

Back Row: Linette Torres, NaTosha Malone, Tammy Decker, Tisha Simmons, Sara Alden, Nora Skow

Front Row: Jon Markkanen, Mindy Swisher, Christy Lawton, Joanne Simmerman, Rosalie Rein


Alumni testamonials

A Bachelors of Social Work degree is versatile, allowing you to work with a variety of populations in a variety of different settings. UAF’s Social Work program is grounded in theories and practice, preparing you to become a change agent within your own community.NaTosha (Davis) Malone, Class of 2006, Campus Graduate
Completing my Social Work was one of the best decisions I have made for my career!  Not only do I get to work with amazing people, but I get to help families and I gain valuable experience working with other nonprofit agencies.  I have worked for OCS for the past five years.   I was hired as a Social Worker shortly after I completed my Social Work practicum at the agency, and was recently promoted to a supervisor.  I currently look forward to completing my MSW and continuing my journey as a Social Worker in the State of Alaska.Mindy (Uher) Swisher, Class of 2006, Campus Graduate

2011 Graduates

I am a non traditional student and being able to take the opportunity to join the Social Work program was a dream come true!  I was given a second opportunity to further my education and work full time from my rural community.  I was fortunate to grow up in a culture that taught me strong values and to believe that I can make a change if I become part of the issue. Now that I have graduated with my BA in Social Work, I feel that I’m more than ready to help others in my community, region and state.  Thank you ( Basee’ and Quyana) to UAF and its staff, my family and community, plus all the students I had the privilege to meet from all over the State of Alaska!Shannon Nanalook-Johnson, Class of 2011, Distance Cohort Graduate
When I came to UAF as a transfer student in 2008, I was studying biology and music and couldn't decide on medicine or music education as a profession.  I was feeling lost, and I decided to take Introduction to Social Work with Professor Shepherd to learn more about what my grandmother had done for work.  After that, there was no turning back.  Social work combines the best aspects of my previously considered professions - helping and teaching - with empathy and learning.  Furthermore, after studying in various departments and colleges, I can say that the social work department at UAF has given me more than any other.  Each professor is a compassionate individual with a wealth of unique knowledge, and each student is someone I have learned to trust with my successes and struggles.  During my time as a social work student at UAF, I have learned and grown more than I imagined possible, and I'm excited about my future.Jordan Rodgers, Class of 2011, Campus Graduate