2012 Alumni of Distinction Award Recipients

UAA Alumni of Achievement Award: Carol Comeau, M.Ed. '86 LL.D. '07, Retired Superintendent Anchorage School District

Carol Comeau has been a fixture in the Anchorage community for 38 years. Her passion for education and for children never waned as her career developed from the classroom into administrative leadership. Notably, her proudest success is having been an effective collaborator with the community and the state. From K-12 leader to university leader, Carol continually encouraged good rapport and partnership with the university’s chancellors, and she always loved opportunities to advocate for programs on UAA’s campus as an alumna.

Read Carol's full story at the Green & Gold

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UAA Alumni Humanitarian Award: Roald Helgesen, B.A. Political Science '94, Chief Executive Officer, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

Alaska is home for Roald Helgesen, a proud UAA alumnus who grew up in Sitka before venturing to Anchorage to pursue his degree in political science with scholarship support from Sealaska Heritage Institute and SitkaTribe of Alaska, where he is an enrolled member. He obtained his master’s degree in health care administration from Trinity University after meeting and marrying his wife while they were both volunteer firefighters in Sitka. Last year, following four years as president and CEO of SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, Roald became CEO of the Alaska NativeTribal Health Consortium and moved with his wife and two children to Anchorage.Working in the tribal health system for his home state is always personal and he works hard every day to meet and exceed the expectations of his customer-owners.“This is your family and friends,” he says.“It’s what brings me to work every day...and Saturday...and Sunday.”

Read Roald's full story at the Green & Gold

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UAA Alumni Emerging Leader Award: Candice McDonald, B.B.A. Business Management '05, M.S. Global Supply Chain Management '08, Owner, Salmon Berry Tours

Entrepreneurship is in the blood of the McDonald family. Candice McDonald’s father, Harry, owns Carlile Transportation Systems, and two of her three siblings also own their own business. Candice started Salmon Berry Tours, a travel tour business in Anchorage, in 2005 with one employee—herself. Now, she has eight seasonal employees and four full-time employees who stay on year-round. The business has shown substantial growth since its inception, including several partnerships in the business community that help give tourists the vacation they’re looking for, from Talkeetna to Seward to just about anywhere in Alaska.

Read Candice's full story at the Green & Gold

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