Alumni Humanitarian Award
The Alumni Humanitarian Award is awarded to an alumnus or alumna who has strived to make a positive and significant impact in the life of others. This may be through voluntary service or a chosen profession. The recipient exhibits integrity and a commitment to service that is long standing.
Josie Wilson — 2018 Alumni Humanitarian
M.B.A. Business Administration ’09
Director of strategic communications, HDR Inc.
Originally from southern California, Wilson relocated to Anchorage for a year-long work assignment managing UAA’s food and beverage program. She stayed when she fell in love with the university and the community and has been giving back ever since. Her philanthropic efforts are as wide-ranging as her interests, which include playing violin for patients at Alaska Regional Hospital, founding leadership programs for the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, and raising $11 million to expand Alaska’s only family homeless shelter, just to name a few. Read the full story.
Cessilye Williams - 2017 Alumni Humanitarian
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 more…
Sammye Pokryfki, 2016 Alumni Humanitarian
B.S.W. ’98, M.S.W. ’99, B.A. English ’06
Senior Vice President, Rasmuson Foundation
Pokryfki leads Rasmuson Foundation’s grant making initiatives, which invested $28 million in 53 communities just last year. She exemplifies the Foundation’s mission—”To promote a better life for Alaskans”—in her personal volunteering and outreach as well. Read more…
Georgia DeKeyser, M.S. Nursing Science '97, M.S. Nursing Science '99.
Director, UAA Student Health and Counseling Center.
Cristy Hickel, B.Ed. Physical Education '86, M.S. Interdisciplinary Studies '89,
Program Director, SPYDER (Sports Programs for Youth Development, Education &Recreation)
Susan LaBelle, B.S.W. '84, M.S.W. '97,
More than 35 years of professional and volunteer service to the Alaska Native and non-Native community
Roald Helgesen, B.A. Political Science '94,
Chief Executive Officer, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
Joan Fisher, M.B.A. '99,
Director of Strategic Initiatives, Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center
Gloria O’Neill, B.A. ’96,
President/CEO, Cook Inlet Tribal Council