UAA announces 2016 Alumni of Distinction recipients

Stuart, Pokryfki and Rose will be honored at UAA’s Green & Gold Gala Oct. 1 at the Alaska Airlines Center

Sept. 14, 2016

The University of Alaska Anchorage Office of Alumni Relations and the UAA Alumni Association are excited to announce the recipients of the 2016 UAA Alumni of Distinction awards. These three distinguished UAA alumni will be honored for their outstanding contributions to their chosen fields and communities at the seventh-annual Green & Gold Gala on Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Alaska Airlines Center on UAA’s campus.

Elizabeth Stuart — Alumni of Achievement Award

B.B.A. Accounting ’94
Office Managing Partner, KPMG LLP

With more than 20 years of experience in audit and accounting services, Stuart leads KPMG’s Anchorage office, overseeing client service, market strategy and talent development. She has significant experience working with Alaska Native corporations and has served clients in industries ranging from construction contracting to natural resources to government. Stuart also serves on several nonprofit boards, including the UAA College of Business and Public Policy Advisory Board.

Sammye Pokryfki — Alumni Humanitarian Award
Bachelor of Social Work ’98, Master of Social Work ’99, B.A. English ’06
Senior Vice President, Rasmuson Foundation

Pokryfki is a lifelong Alaskan with more than 20 years of leadership experience in the nonprofit sector. Her work has focused on nonprofit organizational development, as well as high-impact initiatives designed to curb domestic violence and substance abuse in the state. She serves on the Foraker Group Governance Board, as well as other nonprofit committees. Pokryfki is a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in foster care.

Michael Rose — Alumni Emerging Leader Award

B.A. Political Science ’09
Law Office of Ralph Ertz

Following his graduation from UAA, Rose attended Seattle University where he earned his law degree. A former member of the Seawolf Debate team and a 2005 U.S. Universities Debating National Champion, Rose has leveraged his oratory skills in the courtroom. In 2014, he was a key member of a litigation team responsible for winning a $51.3 million verdict in a high-stakes corporate civil action.

These award recipients will be honored at the Green & Gold Gala, an evening that brings UAA alumni and friends together to celebrate alumni achievements and university successes. This year’s gala will feature a cocktail-party experience at the city’s premier event space, the Alaska Airlines Center.

So far, the annual gala has raised more than $400,000 in support of UAA students.

UAA alumni and community members are invited to attend this year’s gala. Proceeds will benefit the UAA Fund for Excellence to support student success, teaching and research. The event begins with a champagne reception at 6 p.m. followed by hors d’oeuvres, awards program and silent auction.

Sponsorships and tickets for the Green & Gold Gala are available now. Buy tickets and learn more at or (907) 786-1701.

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