2023-24 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 Alumni of Distinction Celebration Banquet on March 29, 2024.

Alumni of Distinction 2023-24

Alumni of AchievementA. Janelle Pfleiger — 2023-24 Alumni of Achievement Award
B.B.A. Real Estate '78
Former national president of the Residential Real Estate Council

Purchasing a home can be one of the biggest, costliest transactions a person or family can make. A. Janelle Pfleiger understands the enormity of such a decision and ensures the real estate agent guiding clients through the homebuying process is beholden to the highest code of ethics. In 2016, Pfleiger served as national president of the Residential Real Estate Council, during which she championed the continuing education of real estate agents and included awarding the coveted certified residential specialist designation — considered to be the doctorate of the real estate industry. Outside her work supporting fellow real estate agents, Pfleiger has served as board chair for the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and the Providence Alaska Children’s Hospital, and board member of the Alaska Botanical Garden. She currently sits on the board of the Better Business Bureau western region and is a member of the Anchorage Athena Society. In 2006, she was named CRS REALTOR of the Year and Anchorage REALTOR of the Year, followed by Alaska REALTOR of the Year in 2010 and YWCA Alaska Woman of Achievement in 2007. Read more about A. Janelle Pfleiger >>

Alumni HumanitarianCeleste Hodge Growden — 2023-24 Alumni Humanitarian Award
A.A. General Program '92, B.S.W. Social Work '96
President and CEO of Alaska Black Caucus

By focusing on the four core areas of justice, education, economics and health, Celeste Hodge Growden works toward enacting racial equity through institutional reform. Since joining the Alaska Black Caucus in 2019, Growden has convinced the Anchorage Police Department to implement mandatory body cameras for officers, get the Anchorage School District to adopt Anti-Racism and Instructional Equity Policies, launch annual Blackout Days to spotlight local Black-owned businesses, and produce Alaska’s first Black health needs assessment. Before her tenure at Alaska Black Caucus, Growden worked as a family service counselor for the Anchorage Health Department before retiring as deputy director for the mayor’s office of equal opportunity. Growden also served as past president of the NAACP Alaska chapter for nearly a decade. Read more about Celeste Hodge Growden >>

Alumni Emerging LeaderAmie Collins — 2023-24 Alumni Emerging Leader Award
B.A. Political Science '13, M.B.A. General Management '17
Executive director of Best Beginnings

Growing up an avid reader, Amie Collins works to pass on that passion to future generations of children and parents by developing early literacy and education initiatives in partnership with school districts, Head Start programs and municipal and state departments. The largest of these initiatives is the administration of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a national service that partners with local literacy organizations to mail free books monthly to children from birth to age five. In Alaska, Best Beginnings has offered Imagination Library to more than 14,000 children in 129 communities. In addition to her work with Best Beginnings, Collins sits on the Family Advisory Council for the Clinton Foundation's Too Small to Fail organization. Read more about Amie Collins >>