UAA to graduate over 1,000 students this spring

by Austin Osborne  |   

This spring, the University of Alaska Anchorage will host in-person ceremonies to honor the accomplishments of over 1,000 certificate, undergraduate and graduate students from the Anchorage campus. The graduates will be recognized at the Alaska Airlines Center on Sunday, May 1.

The celebration will be split into two separate ceremonies, one at 11 a.m. and one at 6 p.m. Graduates and their families and friends can also participate virtually. The university expects over 500 students to participate in the in-person ceremonies.

The morning ceremony will celebrate graduates from the College of Business & Public Policy, the College of Arts & Sciences and the School of Education. The afternoon session will feature graduates from the Community & Technical College, the College of Engineering and the College of Health

"We are excited to come together and celebrate our graduates and their tremendous achievements," said UAA Chancellor Sean Parnell. "As this chapter of their educational journey comes to a close, we are proud to welcome them to our alumni community. There is no doubt in my mind that they will go on to accomplish great things while positively impacting our community, our state and beyond."

Teresa Novakovich, who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, is this spring’s student commencement speaker. Novakovich began her undergraduate education 35 years ago but took a break to run a small family business and raise five children. She began working for South Central Alaska Area Health Education Center and dedicated herself to the mission of the local nonprofit. She returned to school to finish her degree in order to land a new position at the organization. Her message to other prospective and current students is that it’s never too late to pursue an education or go after your dream job.

Tia Hale will serve as the speaker for the graduate degree hooding ceremony. Hale holds undergraduate degrees in exercise sports science and nursing and has previously worked in the Alaska Native Medical Center’s labor and delivery wing. She is graduating with an M.S. in nursing science. This August, Hale will begin a new position at Southcentral Foundation in inpatient pediatrics, and she has applied to join the Commissioned Corps as a public health officer.

The commencement program also showcases the biographies of Anne Zink, who is being awarded an honorary degree, and Tina DeLapp, who will receive a Meritorious Service Award.

The countdown to the graduation ceremonies has begun. More information is available at

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