2017 Award Recipients

The Alumni of Distinction awards provide the UAA Alumni Association the opportunity to recognize and celebrate alumni who have made important contributions in their communities and whose actions honor the legacy of excellence at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Congratulations to the 2017 recipients, honored at Homecoming Breakfast on Oct. 13, 2017

Alumni of Distinction 2017

Beth Stuart VideoTim Gravel - 2017 Alumni of Achievement Award
B.B.A. Accounting '90
Owner and CEO, Kaladi Brothers Coffee

Gravel has kept Kaladi Brothers grounded on its road to expansion without losing sight of its “catalyst for community” mission. The company had one café and six employees, all fun-loving 20-somethings with a gift-giving habit, when Gravel joined more than 20 years ago. Today, he leads more than 200 employees, roasting 1.2 million pounds of coffee each year, at 15 cafés and one restaurant across the Pacific Northwest. Read Tim's story...

Sammye Pokryfki VideoCessilye Williams - 2017 Alumni Humanitarian Award
M.Ed. Educational Leadership ’02
Principal of Clark Middle School, Anchorage School District

As principal of the most diverse middle school in the nation, Williams encourages and inspires nearly 1,000 students each year. Alaska’s principal of the year for 2015-2016, Williams has built unique, purposeful learning pathways—including several UAA-partnered academies—for her Mountain View students. Read Cessilye's story...

Michael Rose VideoMichelle Sloper — 2017 Alumni Emerging Leader Award
B.A. Psychology ’08
Senior evaluation fellow at the Claremont Evaluation Center

Since earning her Ph.D., Sloper has been making a nationwide difference from her hometown of Haines. As a professional evaluator, Sloper partners with community-based programs across the country to assess and improve their impact. Whether she’s guiding grad students at Claremont or developing a program’s impact elsewhere, Sloper is personally and professionally invested in helping others achieve. Read Michelle's story...