2020 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 most recent recipients, honored at the virtual Homecoming Breakfast on Oct. 9, 2020.

Alumni of Distinction 2020

Alumni of AchievementLaurie Fagnani — 2020 Alumni of Achievement Award
B.A. Journalism and Public Communications '86
Founder and President, MSI Communications

Established in 1995, Laurie Fagnani grew MSI Communications from a home business with herself as the sole employee to the go-to marketing agency for Alaska’s resource industry. Fagnani attributes her agency’s success to staff with an intuitive understanding of Alaska’s industries, a quarter of whom come from UAA. Additionally, Fagnani has grown her business' digital services capacity to better aid clientele as they also adapt to an increasingly web-dependent business modelRead more about Laurie Fagnani.


Alumni of AchievementLeverette Hoover — 2020 Alumni of Achievement Award
B.S. Technology '97
National Operations Manager, Siemens

After serving for eight years in the United States Air Force, Leverette Hoover pursued a civilian career in electronics and engineering, consisting of various positions with Siemens over the last 20 years. Hoover is a past recipient of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Top Forty Under 40, a Gold Pan Award winner for community service, served as the chairman of the Anchorage School District School Business Partner board of directors, was a founding member of the UAA Alumni Association and is an honorary commander for the 176th Alaska Air National Guard WingRead more about Leverette Hoover.

Alumni HumanitarianGhazal Ringler — 2020 Alumni Humanitarian Award
B.S. Biological Sciences '01
Chief Dental Officer, Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center

For more than 14 years, Dr. Ghazal Ringler has dedicated her career to providing dental care to children and adults who are uninsured or low-income. In addition to her position as chief dental officer at the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center, Dr. Ringler donates her time and expertise by serving on the Anchorage Project Access board of directors, where she was critical in establishing the donated dental program and pro bono oral health programRead more about Ghazal Ringler.

Alumni Emerging LeaderReem Sheikh — 2020 Alumni Emerging Leader Award
B.S. Biological Sciences '07
Podiatric Surgeon and Attending Faculty, New York College of Podiatric Medicine

As a podiatrist working in New York City, Dr. Reem Sheikh witnessed firsthand how the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) affected health care workers in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. After assembling volunteers that she met through parenting Facebook groups, Dr. Sheikh raised more than $18,000 to alleviate PPE shortages for New York City health care workers, and coordinated the donation of thousands of PPE across the countryRead more about Reem Sheikh.