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Alaska Airlines helps Seawolf student-athletes soar

by Green & Gold News  |   

Reinvesting in student-athletes helps grow our communities by building our talent pipeline right here in Alaska. That is why we are proud to support UAA and the Alaska Airlines Center.

Scott Habberstad, director of sales and community marketing (Alaska), Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines student-athletes Daryl Bushnell, B.S. ’22; Tobin Karlberg, B.A. ’22; Eve Stephens, B.B.A. ’22; and Tennae Voliva, B.S. ’21 in front of the Alaska Airlines Center. (Photo by James Evans / University of Alaska Anchorage)
Alaska Airlines student-athletes Daryl Bushnell, B.S. ’22; Tobin Karlberg, B.A. ’22; Eve Stephens, B.B.A. ’22; and Tennae Voliva, B.S. ’21 in front of the Alaska Airlines Center. (Photo by James Evans / University of Alaska Anchorage)

Through decades of critical impact for our students and region, Alaska Airlines shapes premier, open-access higher education experiences and inspires student-athletes to soar to new heights.

Alaska Airlines established the Alaska Airlines Scholar Athletes Endowed Scholarship in 2013 through a $1 million gift to UAA. To date, more than 25 recipients have received over $150,000 in scholarships and student support made possible by the endowment.

“Seawolf Athletics' relationship with Alaska Airlines extends well beyond doing business together,” said Greg Myford, director of Athletics. “The point of view that they bring to our conversations usually includes, ‘How can we make a difference for you?’ When you have partners like that, you have a good chance of achieving some goals that might otherwise be too far out of reach.”

“Alaska Airlines is not simply a sponsor of UAA Athletics, but a foundational partner of the program,” Myford said. “In both a literal and figurative sense, Alaska Airlines helps get Seawolf Athletics where we need to go.”

In addition to the endowment, Alaska Airlines is a generous sponsor of Seawolf student-athlete travel, as well as a travel vouchers program that connects University of Alaska faculty, staff and students to global educational pursuits. Alaska Airlines is the lead contributor to the Alaska Airlines Center, a first-class sports arena and community center serving Anchorage and Southcentral Alaska.

Alaska Airlines student-athlete profiles
Meet a few of this year's 10 awardees.

  • Tennae Voliva, B.S. Psychology ’21, M.S. Clinical Psychology ’23 — Women’s Basketball, Forward

    Seawolf studnet-athlete Tennae Voliva
    Tennae Voliva
    B.S. Psychology ’21, M.S. Clinical Psychology ’23
    Women’s Basketball, Forward

    Career ambition
    Children’s behavioral and mental health counselor.
     
    Pregame ritual
    A nap before games, and listening to J. Cole and Meek Mill before playing.

    Best Seawolf Athletics moment
    Taking a foreign tour to Taiwan in 2018.
     
    On staying driven during the pandemic
    I have tried to stay driven as an athlete during the pandemic by finding creative ways to work out and also using this time to work on weaknesses in my game and being a strong leader for my team.
     
    On giving back
    I try to give back to my community by being a positive role model — someone young female basketball players can seek advice from.
  • Daryl Bushnell, B.S. Kinesiology ’22 — 
Track and Field, Jumps/Sprints

    Seawolf studnet-athlete Daryl Bushnell
    Daryl Bushnell
    B.S. Kinesiology ’22
    
Track and Field, Jumps/Sprints

    Career ambition

    Sports coach or a PE teacher at the high school level.

    Pre-race ritual

    I snack on Haribo gummy bears, and the hype song is “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” by The Temptations.

    Best Seawolf Athletics moment

    Winning the distance medley relay at the 2020 Great Northwest Athletic Conference indoor championships, where I ran the 400m leg. I was put in as the alternate and had to step up and run.

    On staying driven during the pandemic
    
I’ve still been able to run outside and get some solid workouts in, motivated by future races and my roommates who run with me.

    On giving back
    I enjoy sharing my love for sports and physical education with the younger generation. I volunteered with the East Anchorage High School track and cross country running programs. That’s where it all started for me, and it’s a good spot to give back.

  • Eve Stephens, B.B.A. Accounting ’22 —Women’s Volleyball,  Right Side Hitter

    Seawolf studnet-athlete Eve Stephens
    Eve Stephens
    B.B.A. Accounting ’22
    Women’s Volleyball, Right Side Hitter

    Career ambition
    Still exploring options.

    Pregame ritual
    Before every game our team will “hit that green.” Hit that green means that every player will slap the top of the door frame before leaving the locker room. This team ritual pumps everybody up before each match!

    Best Seawolf Athletics moment
    Winning against Western Washington University (No. 2 nationally-ranked) at home during the 2019 season.

    On staying driven during the pandemic
    My support system, drive to be a performance-level and thinking about playing for a championship again.

    On giving back 
    The UAA volleyball program hosts camps for kids of all ages, where I help coach along with my teammates.

  • Tobin Karlberg, B.A. Journalism and Public Communications ’22 — Men’s Basketball, Guard

    Seawolf studnet-athlete Tobin Karlberg
    Tobin Karlberg
    B.A. Journalism and Public Communications ’22
    Men’s Basketball, Guard

    Career ambition
    Coaching basketball at the collegiate level and teaching in some capacity.

    Pregame ritual
    Stretching and listening to smooth jazz before games.

    Best Seawolf Athletics moment
    Winning our game in the Armed Forces Classic and making our way to the 2019 Conference Championship.

    On staying driven during the pandemic
    Reminding myself that, at some point, the work I've put in will be brought to light and will help our team win. I am so extremely excited to play again after an entire year of practicing.

    On giving back
    As an Alaska Airlines student-athlete, I give back by participating in youth basketball camps and by being a leader on my team. I've been blessed with so many coaches that have helped me progress a ton. I have so many people to be thankful to, it's only right that I pay it forward and give back to the Alaska community that invested so much in me!


A version of this story orginally appeared in the Fall 2021 issue of Elevation.

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