Staff Make Students Count

Congratulations to Statewide's Dory Straight

2014 UA Staff Make Students Count awardees are:

  • University of Alaska Fairbanks: Leah Aronow-Brown, Administrative Assistant, English Department
  • University of Alaska Southeast: Elizabeth Spence, Coordinator Career Education
  • University of Alaska Anchorage: Christine Volk, Head Athletic Trainer, Athletic Department
  • University of Alaska System: Dory Straight, Scholarship Officer, UA Foundation

The 2014 Statewide recipient of the Staff Make Students Count award—scholarship officer Dory Straight— is responsible for administering the UA scholarships and awards programs, along with increasing private support for existing UA scholarships. She assists students throughout the system in applying for scholarships, answering questions and providing support in countless ways. Her courteous, caring demeanor is appreciated by students and co-workers alike.

As said in one nomination letter, "It might be the thousandth time she has answered the same question, yet that student gets treated like an individual by a supportive, positive and helpful Dory... EVERY TIME. EVERY DAY. EVERY YEAR."

Congratulations Dory, thank you for your great service to UA students.

Dufseth Earns CAP Designation

Morgan Dufseth, executive assistant to Dana Thomas, academic affairs operations, was recently designated a Certified Administrative Professional, through the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP).

The prestigious CAP rating certifies that an individual carries a high level of knowledge and mastery of the administrative support profession. To attain the CAP rating, an individual must meet prescribed requirements for education and work experience, and pass a comprehensive examination covering such subjects as communication, organization and planning, information distribution, records management, physical and information resources, document production, financial functions and human resources.

Public Affairs Welcomes Olivia Baker!

Started June 23, 2014

Olivia Baker
Administrative Assistant
Office of Public Affairs

Olivia Baker is the new administrative assistant for Public Affairs, providing general support for the director and department staff, assisting in event planning, proofreading and updating publications and websites.

Baker comes to UA from Massachusetts where she worked as a student manager at the Wellesley College Library. She also worked as an outreach intern for the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women.

At Wellesley College, Baker earned a Bachelor of Arts in Peace and Justice Studies with a minor in Psychology.

Born and raised in Vermont, Baker arrived in Fairbanks late June, 2014.

She enjoys hiking, running, reading and knitting in her free time. She looks forward to exploring Fairbanks and the surrounding area!

Internal Audit Welcomes New Auditors!

Colleen O'Neill

Started May 27, 2014

Colleen O'Neill
Assistant Auditor
University of Alaska Audit and Consulting Services

As assistant auditor, O'Neill helps investigate and evaluate the adequacy and effectiveness of the university's systems of internal accounting and operations controls.

Prior to this position at UA, O'Neill was a health insurance navigator with United Way of Anchorage. She also worked in volunteer capacity as a tax-aide with AARP of Alaska and PTA treasurer at Pearl Creek Elementary School.

O'Neill earned a bachelor's in liberal arts at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting through the UAF School of Management.

Originally from Minnesota, O'Neil came to Alaska 25 years ago to work in tourism. She now lives in the Goldstream Valley with her husband Rory and four daughters.

Kris Larson

Started June 2, 2014

Kris Larson
Assistant Auditor
University of Alaska Audit and Consulting Services

Kris Larson will also be providing assistance to senior auditing staff in audits of internal control and procedures and financial reporting of the UA system. He will also work with external auditors to assist in completion of annual external audits.

Born and Raised in Fairbanks, Larson held student positions at the University of Alaska Fairbanks while he worked on a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting including three years in UAF Central Receiving and a year with Statewide Financial Systems. Larson graduated this spring.

Larson is happily married to his wife, Brandi. He also teaches and plays drums in several groups around town. He loves to bike, ski, play ultimate frisbee and to be outdoors. He hopes to obtain a CPA and an MBA from UAF in 2016.

Niki Countryman

Started June 1, 2014

Niki Countryman
Senior Internal Auditor
University of Alaska Audit and Consulting Services

Niki Countryman, the new Senior Internal Auditor for Statewide Audit and Consulting Services, is working out of the Bragaw building in Anchorage. 

Countryman is a graduate from UAA with a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting. She holds both Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA) licenses.

Countryman's experience in academia includes transferring from UAA where she was the staff accountant, interim property coordinator and interim fiscal manager of the College of Engineering. Prior to that, she was the accounting supervisor at Kenai Peninsula College. Previously she worked as a CPA for four years with a public accounting firm in Soldotna and as a consulting accountant for a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Indonesia for six years.

Although born in Oregon, her family moved to Alaska when she was three. She's lived all over the state, including many Bush communities. She graduated from North Pole High School.

She loves Alaska and the people here. She has two wonderful daughters both currently in college. She looks forward to working with the Statewide team alongside her colleagues in the Auditing and Consulting Services Department.  

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