2015 Award Recipients

UAA Alumni of Distinction Awards

The Alumni of Distinction Awards honor individual alumnus, faculty, staff, students and volunteers who have contributed their time, efforts and creativity to the advancement of UAA, the state of Alaska or the communities in which they live.

2015 Award Recipients

UAA Alumni of Achievement Award:

Viorica is a world-recognized leader in psycholinguistics, studying how multiple languages change our thoughts and behaviors. Her research shows bilingualism provides a constant brain workout, can delay cognitive declines associated with aging, and even changes the way we see the world (yes, literally). The Ph.D. graduate from Cornell—who now leads a research lab in Northwestern University's School of Communication—has presented at conferences across the continents, published over 100 scientific papers and been featured everywhere from Time to BBC to 
The Washington Post. And her academic achievements launched right here at UAA. Read Viorica's full story on Green & Gold News.

Viorica MarianViorica Marian, B.A. Psychology '94

Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University.

UAA Alumni Humanitarian Award:

As director of UAA's Student Health and Counseling Center, Georgia oversees a staff of medical experts (including several other UAA alumni) and a system of care specially crafted for college students. She believes health is a major roadblock for many students and the financial, mental and transitional dynamics of college should be part of the health conversation. That belief fuels her passion for student success, and students have a strong advocate in Georgia. It's fitting that her nomination came from the student body as well. Read Georgia's full story on Green & Gold News.

Georgia DeKeyserGeorgia DeKeyser, B.S. Nursing Science '97, M.S. Nursing Science '99

Director, UAA Student Health and Counseling Center.

UAA Alumni Emerging Leader Award:

10 years ago, while studying at UAA, Mistee joined Assets, Inc. as an employment coach. A decade later, she is now the agency's chief of services, guiding all community-based services at the 64th largest private employer in the state. Assets, Inc. provides services for Anchorage residents who experience developmental disabilities and serious mental illnesses—two populations with inarguably high rates 
of unemployment. Mistee and her staff work to boost the independence and self-worth of the city's marginalized neighbors, placing people in homes that work and jobs that matter. It's a seriously demanding role with high employee turnover, but Mistee has found her calling as an employment cheerleader. For the past decade, she has thrived in a demanding and significant field and helped place Alaska among the leaders in disability services nationwide. Read Mistee's full story on Green & Gold News.

Mistee Davis, A.A.S. Human Services '06,
B.A. Psychology '12