Five UAA women to be honored in Alaska Women's Hall of Fame

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

AWHF women

In an event open to the public next week, 16 of Alaska's best will be inducted into the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame, five of whom have ties to UAA:

  • Gretchen Bersch for Achievements in Adult and Continuing Education: Bersch earned her M.Ed. in Secondary Education in 1973 at UAA and then went on to a full career that included creating a master's degree in adult education, working on the Adult Literacy Lab Project, coordinating the Credit for Prior Learning program and co-creating the UAA/Magadan student exchange program with the International Pedagogical University in Magadan, Russia. She retired from the university in 2006.
  • Carolyn Floyd for Achievements in Education and Municipal Government: This former mayor of Kodiak was also the first president of UAA's Kodiak College.
  • Irene Sparks Rowan for Achievements in Leadership and Activism in Alaska Native Affairs: Among her many advocacy activities, Rowan started the Southcentral Native Educators Association while serving as an adjunct instructor of Alaska Studies at UAA.
  • Lisa Howell Starr Rudd for Achievements in Equal and Civil Rights Advocacy: This former Alaska state legislator received her M.A. in Public Administration from UAA.
  • Susan Ruddy for Achievements in Conservation and Community Development: This former vice chancellor of UAA's Office of Advancement founded the Alaska Chapter of The Nature Conservancy in the 1980s and directed the Providence Alaska Foundation.

The Alaska Women's Hall of Fame is a collaborative project of Alaska Women's Network, Alaska Women for Political Action, Anchorage ATHENA Society, Anchorage Women's Commission, University of Alaska Anchorage, YWCA Alaska, Zonta Club of Anchorage and a large number of interested Alaska women. Together they have created a place to remember and embrace the strong Alaskan women who came before us and walk beside us today.

For full inductee bios, visit the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame online. The induction ceremony will take place on Thursday, March 1, at 5:30 p.m. in the Wilda Marston Theater at Loussac Library. Admission is free, donations are welcomed and light snacks will be served.

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