Northwest Campus celebrates Class of 2021 commencement
By Diana Haecker
On Wednesday, May 13, the sound of Pomp & Circumstance filled Old St. Joe’s Hall at Anvil City Square and ushered UAF Northwest Campus graduates into their future enriched by academic achievements, ranging from General Education Diplomas to Master’s Degrees.
The commencement ceremony was held privately with 12 of the 48 graduates present, Northwest Campus faculty and a few honorary guests attending. The graduation was livestreamed via Zoom. GED graduates as well as those who earned Occupational Endorsements were recognized in a video, due to COVID-19 precautions.
Northwest Campus Director Dr. Barb Amarok hosted the ceremony and began her remarks with a land acknowledgement to the Inupiaq, Siberian Yupik and Yup’ik peoples.
All graduates present wore red sashes signifying their Alaska Native or Native American heritage. Dr. Amarok explained that those wearing orange cords “are trailblazers who are the first in the family to graduate with a college credential.” Graduates wearing a teal colored cord are the first in the family to earn a baccalaureate degree.
The ceremony included an invocation given by Pastor James Ventress and remarks delivered in person by Chair of the Northwest Campus Advisory Council Luisa Machuca and Kawerak’s Executive Vice President Mary David. The interim vice chancellor for Rural, Community and Native Education Charlene Stern delivered remarks via video. The internet connection failed and so did an attempt to play a video message by University of Alaska Fairbanks Chancellor Dan White. But without losing a step, the ceremony continued.
Dr. Amarok went on to describe the typical Northwest Campus student as one who is a parent, sometimes a grandparent, someone who works part-time or full time and who has responsibilities in the community such as serving on IRA corporation or City Council or regional boards. “The fulfilling of these responsibilities on top of taking courses makes what you’ve accomplished all the more awe-inspiring,” she said.
This notion was reflected in remarks that some graduates gave upon receiving their blue UAF envelopes containing their degrees. Some thanked their families, children and partners for their support; some dedicated their academic achievement to serve as an example and inspire their children to strive for higher education. Most had to juggle family with job obligations while studying.
Degrees conferred ranged from bachelor degrees in biological sciences to Alaska Native Studies, Associate degrees in Early Childhood Development and Education to Certificates in High Latitude Range Management, Pre-Nursing, Community Health and business management. As the degrees were conferred, graduates posed for a photo, they walked by a camera set up to stream the proceedings live on Zoom.
In her parting words, Dr. Amarok encouraged graduates to continue to learn in all ways open to them. “Consider and learn from the past; maintain what is important for future generations to keep. We are who we are because of those who preceded us. Let everything you learn guide your work in advocacy for others. Continue to serve your families, your extended families, your community, your region and all the communities you are a member of,” she said.
The Class of 2021:
Lisa Ellanna - Master of Arts, Rural Development; Ian Foster* - Master of Social Work (UAA); Teriscovkya Smith- Master of Education, Educational Leadership; Kendra Kookruk Nichols Takak - Master of Arts, Rural Development.
Post-Baccalaureate and Graduate Certificates
Yvonne Greg - Gr. Licensure., Elementary Education Certificate; Dawn Hendrickson - Gr. Cert., Educational Leadership (UAA); Cirilo Tormis - Post-Baccalaureate Licensure Secondary Education; Adriana Woolschlager - Gr. Cert., Language Education (UAA)
Allaryce Agloinga - Bachelor of Arts, Legal Studies (UAA); Carl Crockett - Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering; Amber Cunningham - Bachelor of Arts, Political Science (UAA); Marla Grant - Bachelor of Arts, Political Science; Nolan Horner - Bachelor of Arts, Geography & Environmental Studies (UAS); Jobina Ivanoff - Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting (UAS); Ethan Kelso - Bachelor of Science, Biological Science; Rayna Moore - Bachelor of Science, Biological Science; Marie Otten Pete - Bachelor of Arts, Elementary Education; Stephanie Sampson - Bachelor of Business Administration, Management (UAA); Joanne Semaken - Bachelor of Science, Natural Science (UAA; Rebecca Sherman-Luce - Bachelor of Arts, Alaska Native Studies; Kathryn Tomter - Bachelor of Arts, Alaska Native Studies
Daniel Hobbs - A.A.S., Nursing (UAA); Lori Hughes - A.A.S., Tribal Management; Melissa Ingersoll - A.A.S., Tribal Management; Kallie King - A.A.S., Nursing (UAA); Ryan Meeks - A.A.S., Nursing (UAA); Cecelia Mike - A.A.S., Human Services; Alyse Morris - A.A.S., Nursing (UAA); Cheryl Nagaruk - A.A.S., Early Childhood Development (UAA); Vanessa Thalhofer - A.A.S., Nursing (UAA); Karen Tocktoo - A.A.S., Early Childhood Education
Michelle Adams - Cert., High Latitude Range Management; Alice Amaktoolik - Cert., Pre-Nursing; Joseph Kingeekuk- Cert., Rural Human Services; Marina Koonooka - Cert., Community Health; Charla Koozaata - Cert., Community Health; Tiffany Martinson - Cert., Tribal Management; Robert Nelson - Cert., Rural Human Services; Jolene Okleasik - Cert., CommunityHealth; Beverly Tran - Cert., Applied Business Management
Brooke Anungazuk - O.E., Certified Nurse Aide; Linda Cooper - O.E., Administrative Assistant; Kristen Daniel - O.E., Certified Nurse Aide; Jessica Gologergen - O.E., Administrative Assistant; Dorothy Ivanoff - O.E., Administrative Assistant; Maggie Miller - O.E., Administrative Assistant; Talitha Thompson - O.E., Supervision & Personnel Management; Teresa Trigg - O.E., Administrative Assistant
General Education Diplomas
Traci Karmun, Nome; August Tyler Krutzch, Nome