Transitions and Recognition

Send us your employee news!

The Transitions section is a popular part of the Statewide Voice, allowing an opportunity to meet new employees, say good bye to parting co-workers and celebrate awards and recognition. Please contact mmusick@alaska.edu with employee news to see it listed in this section.

Bon Voyage Mike O'Brien!

The General Counsel's office invited Statewide staff to join in celebrating Mike O'Brien's departure. O'Brien and family will be hitting the road for a travelling homeschool experience for his son's junior high years. He will return to Statewide after the journey. In the mean time he will continue to work with the Office for Civil Rights on behalf of UA and our Voluntary Resolution Agreement.

Announcing new executive assistant to University President

Teresa Thompson was selected to serve as executive assistant to University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen in July 2018. Thompson brings to the position more than 10 years of experience in university fundraising, six years in non-profit management and 25 years of administrative expertise in the private sector.
Thompson has held a variety of positions, including development officer for the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, director of recruitment and partnership development for Big Brothers Big Sisters and community development manager for United Way.
As project lead for the state-of-the-art Research Vessel Sikuliaq outreach and education efforts, Thompson led a team that organized events in both Wisconsin and Alaska to raise awareness of the vessel’s importance. The team also created the year-long UA Museum of the North special exhibit entitled “Arctic Odyssey: Voyages of the R/V Sikuliaq.”
Thompson was also an integral team member in establishing the University of Alaska Center for Salmon and Society (CSS). The mission of the CSS is to make meaningful and lasting contributions to long-term conservation of wild Pacific salmon, salmon-dependent communities and cultures and Alaska’s economy.
Thompson earned an associate’s degree in secretarial science at SUNY Canton in 1983 and a bachelor’s degree in communication from UAF in 2004.

Teresa has been married to Todd Thompson for 25 years. Teresa and Todd serve on the local Young Life committee and for ten years were a “big couple” to a little brother in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Teresa was a Rotarian for 14 years and has served on the local Relay for Life committee.

Dana Merriman joins UA legal team

Dana Merriman has joined the UA legal team as associate general counsel. Merriman has practiced law in Fairbanks and Seattle for the last seventeen years.  During that time, she has served in a variety of positions, including assistant district attorney for the State of Alaska, code department director for the Northwest Intertribal Court System, and founder of Merriman Law, PC. Most recently, she served as a civil rights investigator for the UAF Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity. Merriman joined the UA Office of the General Counsel in late June, replacing Mike O’Brien.

Prior to earning her juris doctorate from Cornell Law School, Merriman received a bachelor of arts in English literature from the University of Washington. She is a member of the Alaska and Washington state bar associations and has practiced in both state and tribal courts.   

Merriman was born and raised in Fairbanks. In her spare time, she enjoys far-flung travel, cooking from scratch, and spending time with her husband Frank. 

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