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Statewide Service Awards for 2015

Outstanding Employee Awards

Outstanding Non-exempt Employee of 2015

Laurie Fowler
Program Specialist
UA College Savings Plan & UA Scholars

Laurie Fowler is recognized for her willingness to step up to take on new duties and meet new challenges.  She was instrumental in instituting payroll deductions for the college savings plan and offering it not only to UA employees, but to new business partners. She is outgoing and friendly and even willing to wear the cumbersome and uncomfortable “Dash” mascot costume for College Savings. She is enthusiastic about college savings and UA– which is beneficial when promoting the program at venues like the Tanana Valley Fair or the Golden Day’s Parade– and is known to be easy to talk to and connects easily with many different people. She takes on new projects with enthusiasm and works on varied tasks and balances them all easily.

Outstanding Exempt Employee of 2015

Alison Hayden
System Coordinator
Financial systems

Alison Haydon has balanced taking on additional duties as her department has gotten smaller while maintaining a positive attitude and calm hard-working demeanor. She is constantly trying to learn more about the organization and processes and is always willing to take on more work and responsibilities. She worked extremely hard with JP Morgan and the campus procard/travel card administrators to streamline the process of the campuses receiving cards for distribution. As a result she has built a strong relationship with campuses regarding procards and the processes around them. She is well known for her diligence and strength in character.

Outstanding Student Employee of 2015

Mary Jo Skaggs
Student Assistant
OIT Business Office

Mary Jo is recognized as being an exceptional student assistant and for her outstanding job performance, team approach to her work and willingness to be flexible and step in where needed. Mary Jo's willingness to help across departments is great asset. Not only has she stepped into many roles in the OIT Business Office, covering duties for various staff employees during absences or vacancies she has also helped the Office of the President with various projects and preparing information for BOR meetings. She is a very dependable student assistant, always happy to be at work and helps out whenever possible. She is a hard working mother of three with a full time school schedule and a part time job. She is completing her associates degree in accounting this summer and is enrolled to the bachelor's degree program in anthropology next semester.

Outstanding Department of 2015

UA College Savings Plan

The UA College Savings Plan offers one of the best 529 programs in the country, has received local and national recognition, and has a dedicated, innovative, and creative staff. The team has had many accomplishments, growth and innovative initiatives, and partnerships. Here are a few examples of the department's 2015-2016 achievements: 1. Alaskan's putting half of the PFD into college savings accounts reached an all time high which demonstrates a continuing and growing commitment from Alaska families to higher education. 2. Dash, the UA College Savings mascot, made his grand debut in June at the Fairbanks Children's Museum during the 5/29 Day Celebration. He made public appearances throughout Alaska and has even been asked to fly to Nome for next year's Iditarod finish. The staff have graciously adopted the mascot as one of their own and are willing to wear the mascot suit to advance the mission of the program. 3. The UA College Savings Plan added the Imagination Library programs in Anchorage and Fairbanks as partners, sponsoring events in both locations and helping the non-profits to get over 14,000 books into the hands of Alaska children and in support of early literacy and learning efforts. 4. The department disseminated over 2000 t-shirts to kids around the state with the simple messages "I'm going to college" and "Watch out college here I come." This expectation setting campaign has worked to engage families across Alaska to start the conversation about going to college.  Each staff member in this department has used their unique talents and skills to collectively work to better the university by supporting pathways to higher education in Alaska, encouraging families to save for college, and inspiring young people to go to college. The UA College Savings Plan staff has conducted significant outreach within the community to partner with businesses, non-profits, and organizations committed to creating a college going culture. Nearly $3.5 million in tuition revenue was generated from students with ACT accounts. This is a significant reflection on the long term impact of the program -- and the program's effectiveness.

Statewide Service Awards Ceremony featured music, food, prizes and community

The smooth notes of the Musical Rumors, featuring two Statewide employees, greeted staff as they gathered to recognize the outstanding employees and service awardees for 2015. A buffet featuring an amazing array of homemade desserts and other snacks was waiting for staff as Statewide staff took a moment to recognize hard work and dedication among their peers.

SW employees Lisa Sporleder and Jo Knox are joined in singing by members of their group Musical Rumors.
Too many delicious options faced staff!
SAA President Tom Langdon was emcee for the Service Awards event. Special thanks to the donors of door prizes, the Office of the President, Human Resources and the awards committee Buffy Kuiper, Lisa Sporleder, Linda Hall, Monique Musick, Dana Platta, Arthur Hussey, Morgan Dufseth and Danielle Nelson for putting together a wonderful recognition event!

Service Awards for 2015

Service anniversaries achieved between Jan. 1 - Dec. 31 2015

5 years of service

  • Laurie Fowler
  • Russell Gillmore
  • Adam Koegle
  • Sam Phillips
  • Mark Anderson
  • Sue Ann Denny
  • Aida de L’Isle
Russell Gillmore receives recognition for five years of service. For a five-year anniversary, Statewide staff receive an engraved name plate.

10 years of service

  • Amber Gichard
  • Dianne Milke
  • Ole Seim
  • Christopher Young
Dianne Milke receives an engraved ulu in recognition of ten years of service at UA.

15 years of service

  • Gwendolyn Gruenig
  • Eric Jensen
  • Ken Jernstrom Jr.
  • Martin Miller
  • Saichi Travis Oba
  • Laurie Swartz
  • Jarkko Toivanen
Employees achieving fifteen years of service receive an engraved clock. Gwen Gruenig accepts her recognition from President Jim Johnsen.

20 years of service

  • Myron Dosch
  • David Hill
  • Martha Mason
  • Daniel White
  • David Woodley
Martha Mason accepts a engraved marker of her twenty years of service. Mason, like the majority of 20-year recipients, declined a recognition gift and instead donated to the UA Foundation.

25 years of service

  • Connie Hooper
  • Lisa Sporleder
  • Erika Van Flein
Connie Hooper (above) and Lisa Sporleder accept Alaskana art for their 25 year service recognition. Erika Van Flein donated to a UAF scholarship for women in business.

35 years of service

  • James Lynch
Jim Lynch accepts an ivory carving in recognition of 35 years of service to the University of Alaska.
Anchorage employees David Woodley, Sam Phillips and Amber Gichard were honored for 20-, 5-, and 10-years of service respectively. Photo by Nicola Pearson-Allen
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