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.
2015As director of UAA's Student Health and Counseling Center, Georgia oversees a staff of medical experts (including several other UAA alumni) and a system of care specially crafted for college students. She believes health is a major roadblock for many students and the financial, mental and transitional dynamics of college should be part of the health conversation. That belief fuels her passion for student success, and students have a strong advocate in Georgia. It's fitting that her nomination came from the student body as well. Read Georgia's full story on Green & Gold News.
Cristy Hickel, B.Ed. Physical Education '86, M.S. Interdisciplinary Studies '89, Program Director, SPYDER (Sports Programs for Youth Development, Education &Recreation)
Athletics has always been a large part of Cristy's life. Recruited to join the inaugural ski team at UAA, Cristy
made a name for herself as a student athlete and community organizer and, since graduation, has been singularly focused on
expanding sports in the city. Cristy founded SPYDER to provide league sports for thousands of youth since the late 1980s. She's organized local
fundraisers and wrote grants to expand access to sports throughout Anchorage. In her years of coaching, she's
worked with future Olympians and helped dozens of students earn athletic scholarships to college. She's just
as dedicated to coaching her elite girl's hockey team in nationwide tournaments as she is organizing backyard
youth soccer leagues in Anchorage, and she continues to train, educate and inspire young Alaskans today. Read Cristy's full story at Green and Gold News.
Susan LaBelle has shown
compassion and dedication for building healthy
communities in rural Alaska, for underserved
populations and for Alaska Native people over the
past 30 years. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees
in social work from UAA. She was an influential
advocate for establishing the M.S.W. program at
UAA, and was a member of the first cohort of
graduates from the program. Through her work, Susan has brought a
rural Alaska perspective to some of the state's most
important discussions and decisions surrounding
mental illness, dementia, substance abuse, traumatic
brain injury and developmental disabilities. She has
created a legacy of advocating for Alaska's children,
helping ensure they grow up to be healthy adults.
She has worked tirelessly to build connections
between tribal corporations, the State of Alaska and professional organizations to expand behavioral
health programs and services statewide. Read Susan's full story at the Green & Gold
2012Roald Helgesen, B.A. Political Science '94, Chief Executive Officer, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
Alaska is home for Roald Helgesen, a proud UAA alumnus who grew up in Sitka before venturing to Anchorage to pursue his degree in political science with scholarship support from Sealaska Heritage Institute and SitkaTribe of Alaska, where he is an enrolled member. He obtained his master’s degree in health care administration from Trinity University after meeting and marrying his wife while they were both volunteer firefighters in Sitka. Last year, following four years as president and CEO of SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, Roald became CEO of the Alaska NativeTribal Health Consortium and moved with his wife and two children to Anchorage.Working in the tribal health system for his home state is always personal and he works hard every day to meet and exceed the expectations of his customer-owners.“This is your family and friends,” he says.“It’s what brings me to work every day...and Saturday...and Sunday.” Read Roald's full story at the Green & Gold
2011Joan Fisher, M.B.A. '99, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center
Since earning her M.B.A. from UAA in '99, Joan served as the executive director of Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center (ANHC). Joan, who recently took on the new role of director of strategic initiatives, has been instrumental in raising funds to build a new $28.3M health center in Anchorage--set to open in summer 2012--that will more than double ANHC's capacity to serve the city's health care needs.
Gloria O’Neill, B.A. ’96, President/CEO, Cook Inlet Tribal Council