UAA Alumni Association announces 2010 Alumni of Distinction award recipients

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

Dana Stabenow, Gloria O'Neill and Linda Leary to be honored at Green & Gold Gala

The UAA Alumni Association will honor three outstanding Alumni of Distinction at its upcoming Green and Gold Gala on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010 at the Anchorage Marriott Downtown. 

The Green and Gold Gala will bring together alumni, friends and the community in support of UAA. The elegant evening kicks off Homecoming Week at UAA and will celebrate achievements of alumni, showcase University success and raise important student scholarship support. 


Alumni of Achievement Award: Dana Stabenow, MFA '85, Author
Awarded to an alumnus who has attained prominence in his or her industry or profession, and that has had a demonstrated impact on their community and enhanced the reputation and image of UAA.

Dana Stabenow is an Alaska author who has produced literary works in the science fiction, mystery and suspense/thriller genres. Many of Stabenow's books are set in her home state of Alaska, where she was raised on a 75-foot fish tender in the Gulf of Alaska. Stabenow received a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Alaska in 1973 and graduated in 1985 from UAA's MFA program. She published her first novel, Second Star, in 1990. Her first Kate Shugak book, A Cold Day for Murder, won the Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original in 1993 and her 27th novel, Though Not Dead, comes out in February 2011. Her proudest achievement is two successful Authors to the Bush programs in 2001 and 2007, which sent a hundred published authors to communities from Unalaska to Anaktuvuk Pass to talk to kids in the Bush about reading and writing.

UAA Alumni Humanitarian Award: Gloria O'Neill, B.A. '96, President/CEO, Cook Inlet Tribal Council
Awarded to an alumnus who has contributed to their community and who has strived to make a difference in the life of others. This could be through voluntary service or their profession.

Gloria O'Neill is president and CEO of Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC), a position she has held since 1998. Under her leadership, CITC's budget has increased from $8M to $46M, and its staff has expanded from 70 to 300 employees. Today, CITC provides social, educational and employment services to 12,000 Alaska Natives and Native Americans annually, and is widely recognized for its innovative and effective approaches. Beyond her work at CITC, O'Neill has made significant contributions locally, regionally and nationally. She currently serves as Chair of the Anchorage Museum Association Board of Directors, and is a board member of the Anchorage Community Land Trust, Cook Inlet Housing Authority, Chanlyut Inc. and Alaska Federation of Natives. O'Neill is originally from Soldotna, Alaska and is of Yupik and Irish descent. She graduated from UAA in 1996 with a B.A. in Sociology, and a minor in Business Administration, and later earned an MBA from Alaska Pacific University.

UAA Alumni Emerging Leader Award: Linda Leary, M.S. '04, President, Carlile Transportation Systems
Awarded to an alumnus who has made a significant impact in their industry or profession or contributed to the community and has strived to make a difference in the lives of others. The nominee must have received their degree within the past 10 years.

Linda Leary is the president of Carlile Transportation Systems, a company she's been with since the mid-1980s. Founded in 1980, Carlile has grown from two tractors to one of Alaska's largest trucking companies. Today, Carlile's wholly owned terminals serve Alaska from Anchorage, Fairbanks, Kenai, Kodiak, Prudhoe Bay and Seward, as well as Seattle, WA, Houston, TX, Blaine, MN, and Edmonton, Alberta. As president, Linda has recently added several value-added aspects, such as logistics services for its customers, and additional shipping and forwarding service to Hawaii. She received her M.S. in Global Supply Chain Management from UAA in 2004.

The 2010 Nominating Committee for the Alumni of Distinction awards includes Jim Hemsath, M.S. '01, Chair, 2010 Green and Gold Gala, Alumni Association Board of Directors; Laurie Bruce, BBA '81, Alumni Association Board of Directors; Mike Driscoll, Provost, University of Alaska Anchorage; Kirk Wickersham, B.A. '66, University of Alaska Board of Regents; Jo Michalski, University of Alaska Foundation, Board of Trustees; and Julia Martinez, Senior Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, University of Alaska Anchorage.
Sponsorships and tickets for the Green and Gold Gala are available until Oct. 1.

For ticket information, visit, or contact University Advancement at (907) 786-1733 or

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