Farewell and good luck Paloma Harbour!

Dear Statewide Staff,
I wanted to say thank you to all of the wonderful staff here at UA Statewide.  It will be so very hard for me to leave.  The care and support I’ve witnessed and received myself make it hard to imagine working anywhere else.  In fact I wouldn’t have this opportunity today if it wasn’t for the encouragement I’ve received to grow and develop.  I truly believe that I will return to serve this university again as a more valuable asset due to the experience I will gain through this opportunity.  Thank you so much for all that you do to make this such a special place.
Warmest regards,
Paloma Harbour

Jan Coker accepts position in Tyler, Texas

Jan Coker’s final day as Statewide Fund Accounting Director was July 23. Coker has been with the University of Alaska for years. She started in Statewide Cost Analysis, moved to Internal Audit and finally to Statewide Fund Accounting. She has accepted a position as an Audit Director with a school district in Tyler, Texas. The new position is a great advancement opportunity for her. The move will bring her closer to her parents and other relatives.

Jan Coker's husband, Kent, will retire from the National Guard in 18 months. He will remain in Alaska with their two sons, Peter and Dan, until his retirement, and will be busy selling their house. Jan will visit as opportunity allows. She will stay with her mother-in-law for several months as she begins her new job. She will also begin the process of having their new home built near Tyler, Texas, on land that her husband inherited. They have dusted-off and added the finishing touches to their dream-house plans that they have designed over the years, and she is looking forward to selecting colors and furnishings.

Coker is known for her meticulous attention to detail, her pleasant personality and her professionalism. In Fund Accounting, she will be remembered for her creation of the celebration dance known as the "Gopher Dance" (copied from the gopher in the movie Caddy Shack). The dance is still performed by the staff in celebration of balancing figures and audit completions.

A farewell brunch was held for Coker on her final day. Myron Dosch presented a speech of thanks for her good work, and wished her well in her new position. She was also given a gift of a carved, wooden bowl from The Great Alaskan Bowl Company filled with goodies to remember Alaska. It included: postcards, tea samples, bear-claw salad forks, a 'forget-me-not' cup, and jelly beans in her favorite soda flavor (Dr. Pepper). Her staff also presented her with roses and a photo of them performing the "Gopher Dance."

Erica Fitchett transfers to Risk Services

Erica Fitchett
Claims Technician
UA System Office of Risk Services

Erica Fitchett came to UA in September 2008 from Williamsburg, Va., to work as the administrative assistant for the Land Management Office in Anchorage. In July 2009, Erica made the transition to the Risk Services department as the new claims technician in the Anchorage office. 

Erica has been active in the UA system during her short time here. She was the Anchorage cabinet member for the 2009 Statewide Staff Campaign and is currently serving on the Statewide Administrative Assembly. Although she is only one floor away, she will miss working daily with the Land Management staff. She is not only excited for this new opportunity, but also working with, and getting to know, everyone in Risk Services.

New Student Services Manager

Cathy Ewing
July 24, 2009

Cathy Ewing comes to UA from Iowa State University's extension mentoring program. She's also worked at the University of Colorado back in the 1980s (housing/bursar's).  Ewing was the executive director of the Colorado Software and Internet Association. She has a strong technical and marketing professional background.

A unique work history note is she was the vice president of the International Association of Brewers, where she led them to double revenue to $5 million in five years. (And, yes, she can brew beer and is a beer tasting expert). Her references raved about her and want her back. She recently moved with her husband and daughter to Alaska to live closer to extended family. She replaces Mike Earnest, who recently left Statewide to accept a position at UAF.

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