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UAF to honor the year's outstanding students

Submitted by Marmian Grimes
Phone: (907) 474-7902


More than six dozen students will be honored at the University of Alaska Fairbanks' annual student awards breakfast Saturday, April 28, 2007 at 9:30 a.m. in the Wood Center Carol Brown Ballroom. Each spring, UAF honors students who have distinguished themselves throughout their academic careers.

Among those to be honored are the winners of the Joel Wiegert Award, the Marion Frances Boswell Memorial Award and the Gray S. Tilly Memorial Award. The awards recognize the accomplishments of three top graduating seniors each year.

Michael Wilkinson will receive the Joel Wiegert Award, which recognizes the outstanding graduating senior man. Wilkinson is slated to receive a bachelor's degree in biological sciences, with a minor in chemistry, at UAF's commencement ceremony May 13. He has been active in multiple extra- and co-curricular activities during his tenure at UAF. He is in the UAF Honors Program and is a member of the UAF Pre-med Society, and he volunteers with United Campus Ministries, the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. From August 2006 to January 2007, he participated in a medical internship exchange to India and he spent the 2004-2005 academic year on a national student exchange to Western Washington University. Academically, Wilkinson has maintained a 4.0 grade point average and has been an active researcher in his field, earning more than $10,000 in undergraduate research awards for his work studying dietary differences and health issues in Alaska Natives. After graduation, Wilkinson plans to attend medical school, where he hopes to study pediatrics and family medicine.

Kelsey Alexander is this year's recipient of the Marion Frances Boswell Memorial Award, which recognizes the outstanding graduating senior woman. Alexander will receive an interdisciplinary degree in experimental neuroscience, with a minor in mathematics, at this year's commencement ceremony. Her career at UAF has been marked by the diversity of her endeavors. Alexander's academic emphasis has been on neuroscience and her research has focused on compulsive disorders. During the summers, she has also worked as a research assistant in various laboratories at UAF and as a research intern at the Alaska Sea Life Center. She recently participated, with Wilkinson, in a medical internship exchange to India, and has been a regular volunteer at Science Potpourri, the College of Natural Science and Mathematics' annual community outreach event. In addition to her scientific pursuits, Alexander has been actively involved in the Honors Program and Pre-med Society at UAF, has been an orientation leader and peer mentor, and plays the violin with the North Star Strings, a nonprofit community orchestra. After graduation, she plans to work as a research assistant and apply to medical school.

Crystal Narow will receive this year's Gray S. Tilly Memorial Award, which recognizes a graduating senior whose education has been interrupted by family responsibilities. Narow is receiving a bachelor's degree in psychology at this year's commencement ceremony. Since she first started attending UAF in January 2002, she has intermittently taken on the care of her school-aged sister and has assisted her biological grandparents, who raised her and whom she considers her parents, with caring for her brother. Throughout her time at UAF, Narow's younger siblings have lived with multiple instances of traumatic change and Narow has worked with her parents to mitigate that trauma. Oftentimes, that meant her academic work had to take the back seat to family. Since January 2006, Narow and her husband, Justin Earl, have been caring for her sister full time and recently welcomed a son to their family. While pursuing her studies and caring for her family, Narow has also been active both on campus and in the broader community. She served as a peer advisor at the Academic Advising Center, is a board member for the Resource Center for Parents and Children, and volunteered her time at her sister's elementary school and with Santa's Clearing House. She is also a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society and the Delta Epsilon Iota Academic Honor Society.

Two UAF employees will also be recognized Saturday for student advocacy. The Associated Students of the University of Alaska Fairbanks will present the outstanding faculty award to Terrence Cole, history professor and director of the UAF Office of Public History. J.J. Boggs, coordinator of the UAF Leadership Program, is the recipient of this year's outstanding staff member award.

Student athletes Matt Rawlings from the rifle team and Rebecca George from the women's swim team will also be recognized for their accomplishments as scholars and athletes.

After the university achievement awards are presented, deans and directors will recognize students by colleges and professional schools. Following is the list of students to be honored:

School of Education: Jennifer Wasson, elementary education.

College of Engineering and Mines: Margaret Cysewski, civil and environmental engineering; Matthew Posey, electrical and computer engineering; William Robinson, geological engineering; Larae Minteer, mechanical engineering; Gregory Broline, mining engineering; and Kelly Lyons, petroleum engineering.

School of Management: Andrea Gerard, accounting; Natasha Lee Larry, business administration; and Daniel Knudson, economics.

School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences: Jason Mercer, forest sciences; Ben Christian, geography; Jacquelyn Goss, plant, animal and soil sciences; and Melissa Deiman, resources management.

School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences: Adam Merriman, fisheries.

College of Rural and Community Development: Ashley Napier, allied health - rural; Geraldine "JD" Cross, Bristol Bay Campus; Arlene Farmer, Interior-Aleutians Campus-construction trades technology; Nicole Gregory, Interior-Aleutians Campus-tribal management; Clara Journey, Interior-Aleutians Campus-educator paraprofessional; Nancy Radtke, Interior-Aleutians Campus-rural human services program, Monica Thompson, Kuskokwim Campus; Cathryn J. Foster, Northwest Campus; Jenny Bell-Jones, rural development; David W. Drexler, developmental education; and Timothy Johnson, rural human services technology.

Tanana Valley Campus: Kelli Yeomans, allied health dental assisting; Michael Annunziato, aviation maintenance; Andrea Braham, child development and family studies BA; Anna Garcia, early childhood education; Michael Able, fire science; Tina Holland, safety, health, and environmental awareness; Alina C. Pena, human service technology; Jim Goodness, instrumentation; Ted Tisdale, microcomputer support specialist; Wilma Vinton, paramedic program; N'Kanza "Nikki" Flores, paralegal studies; and Doug Chichester, process technology; Marita Tolson, professional piloting

College of Natural Science and Mathematics: Danielle Mondloch, biological sciences; Amy Rask, chemistry and biochemistry; Troy Lawlor, computer science; Jason Hoisington, general science; Matthew Jones, geology and geophysics; Troy Lawlor, mathematics; Christopher Granade, physics; Rachel Krieg, Statistics; and Chad W. Bieberich, wildlife biology.

College of Liberal Arts: Davina Alexie, Alaska Native languages; Keri Iles, anthropology; James Stugart, art; Marsha A. Shirack, communication; Lauren D. Leslie, English; Katie Mohrmann, foreign languages; Stephen Krutko, history; Nate Raymond, journalism; Harvey Templeton, justice; Sean Holland, linguistics; Stephen Krutko, military science; Amy Horstman, music; John Martin, Philosophy; Joanne Sipes, political science; Elizabeth S. Focella, psychology; Savannah Ebanez, social work; Elizabeth S. Focella, sociology; Anna Gagne-Hawes, theatre; and Cody Rogers, women's studies.

CONTACT: Lydia Anderson, Wood Center director, at (907) 474-7037. UAF public information officer Marmian Grimes at (907) 474-7902 or via e-mail at marmian.grimes@uaf.edu.

If a student or department is not listed in this release, it may be that the outstanding student for that department has a confidential hold on his or her academic record.