UA Scholars Receptions

President Johnsen addresses a crowd of high school students designated as UA Scholars for being in the top 10 percent of their class, inviting them to take advantage of higher education opportunities in their home state. Nearly 200 UA Scholars Award recipents and their families attended the 2015 reception at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. Photo by Monique Musick

2015 UA Scholar Awards Receptions Near Attendance Records

Current UA Scholars address the 17th class invited into the program at receptions in Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau. Photos by Monique Musick

The University of Alaska Scholar Program, in partnership with each of the main campuses and the Kodiak campus, hosted more than 300 scholars at UA Scholars Award Receptions, the most since the initial year of the program in 1999. The receptions provide an opportunity for the scholars to hear from university representatives and UA President Jim Johnsen why they should choose to attend UA.

Approximately 1,000 UA Scholars have been designated by their high school as part of the 17th class invited to receive the $12,000 award. The Scholars Award program was designed with the purpose to inspire Alaska students to attend and graduate from college in their home state. The program draws students from every geographical region in Alaska to learn together, to share meaningful experiences, and eventually to lead Alaska’s workforce together. Since its inception in 1999, over 6,600 Alaska high school graduates have benefited from the scholarship.

At each event, attendees heard from current UA scholars, the chancellor or provost, and UA president Jim Johnsen.

Current UA Scholars profiled at the events were UAF junior, Daniel Nero of Kodiak; UAF sophomore, Aimee Bushnell of Wasilla; UAA senior, Kaitlyn Surdyk of Skagway; and UAS junior, Daniel Piscoya of Fairbanks. The current scholars represented majors in business administration, Spanish, English, secondary education and economics. The common message from these students is that UA has offered them the opportunity to obtain a high quality education with little to no debt, to see the world through study abroad and student exchange, and to reach their personal and academic goals.

After hearing from each speaker, the prospective UA Scholars were invited to cross the stage for a portrait with the president and chancellor or provost. Lael Oldmixon, who moderated each of the events noted, “The photo opportunity allows the scholar to have a take away from the night. She also noted that the program’s founder, President Mark Hamilton wanted to have a photo of his own so that he could one day point out that he met the scholar before they were famous.”

The UA Scholars Program will host a virtual event this spring via webinar to provide another touch point to those scholars who were unable to attend in person. For photos of the events, visit www.facebook.com/uascholars.

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