I Am UAA
UAA alumni live, work and engage with communities in each of the 50 states and across the globe. Hear the amazing stories of impressive UAA alumni in our "I am UAA" story series. Read the most recent profiles below, and visit the Green and Gold website for a complete list of all our amazing 'I Am UAA' alumni stories.
Do you know a UAA alum you would like to see featured here? Email Jessica Hamlin at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Amazing Stories from the University of Alaska Anchorage
M.F.A. grad shares how to ‘Find the Good’
Heather Lende has raised a family and built a career in Haines, Alaska, where she works as the local paper's obituary writer. The bestselling author will stop at the University Bookstore this Thursday on her national book tour, sharing life lessons from her latest work on life and death in a small town.
The seedy, sudsy history of the 49th state
After transferring to D.C. 14 years ago, Doug Vandegraft stayed connected to Alaska through his personal project—a thoroughly-researched tale of the dark days and lighthearted weirdness behind the 135 oldest bars still currently operating across Alaska today.
‘You have to do the face to face’
Four years ago, Ricardo Castillo left the Army and continued exploring a career field he'd found and loved: Logistics. He helped establish a fraternity, engaged in the Emerging Leaders Program and now is preparing to join the ranks of graduates at the 2015 Spring Commencement.
Stacey Lucason: USUAA president glances back before leaping ahead
USUAA President Stacey Lucason winds down her undergraduate experience with graduation this May, but she's already focused on next steps, to a master's degree in public health or policy, and potential service as a UA student regent.
‘I found my voice in things I’m passionate about’
As a high school student, Xavier Mason kept to himself. At UAA, however, he has excelled in academics, immersed himself in the tasks involved in becoming a leader and social entrepreneur and will deliver the student speech at the upcoming 2015 Spring Commencement.
UAA Fulbright scholar Oliver Petraitis is bound for Westfalia
Oliver Petraitis is UAA's 10th Fulbright scholar in a decade. During his time at UAA he volunteered and worked at KRUA, hosted a music show called "The Mustache Petting Zoo," served on the Green Fee Board, and tutored German students at UAA and in the Anchorage School District.
Senior project becomes campground (and a career)
She turned her coursework into a career. Sarah Mobley led Phase I of the largest engineering project in Alaska State Parks history—a campground designed by her and her classmates during their senior project at UAA. Now, she's taking her talents to South Florida for a Ph.D. in civil engineering.
‘I created my home away from home’
Crystal Lemieux cried after moving from her coastal hometown to attend college in Anchorage. Six years later, she's living a life she created that's rich with possibility and experiences she will carry with her after she graduates.
Bilingual mentor aids international students
When she learned her family was moving from the Dominican Republic to Anchorage, a young Nayade Perez promptly shredded her passport. She's now spent the majority of her life up North and recently earned a Student Diversity Award for her work helping UAA's latest arrivals adjust to life in Alaska.
Nursing grad manages critical care unit at ANMC
Pedro Melgar graduated from high school in Peru before moving to Anchorage with his family. Rather than complete high school all over again in the States, he enrolled at UAA and launched into a nursing career that's led him to unit manager for intensive care at Alaska Native Medical Center.