Alumni Humanitarian Award

Humanitarian-logoThe Alumni Humanitarian Award honors an alumnus or alumna who has strived to make a positive and significant impact in the life of others. This may be through voluntary service or a chosen profession. The recipient exhibits integrity and a commitment to service that is long standing.

Previous Winners

2013

susan-labelleSusan LaBelle, B.S.W. '84, M.S.W. '97, More than 35 years of professional and volunteer service to the Alaska Native and non-Native community

Susan LaBelle has shown steadfast leadership, compassion and dedication for building healthy communities in rural Alaska, for underserved populations and for Alaska Native people over the past 30 years. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in social work from UAA. She was an influential advocate for establishing the M.S.W. program at UAA, and was a member of the first cohort of graduates from the program. Through her work, Susan has brought a rural Alaska perspective to some of the state's most important discussions and decisions surrounding mental illness, dementia, substance abuse, traumatic brain injury and developmental disabilities. She has created a legacy of advocating for Alaska's children, helping ensure they grow up to be healthy adults. She has worked tirelessly to build connections between tribal corporations, the State of Alaska and professional organizations to expand behavioral health programs and services statewide. Read Susan's full story at the Green & Gold

2012

2012-Roald-HelgesenRoald 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

2011

Joan FisherJoan Fisher, M.B.A. '99, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center

Since earning her M.B.A. from UAA in '99, Joan served as the executive director of Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center (ANHC). Joan, who recently took on the new role of director of strategic initiatives, has been instrumental in raising funds to build a new $28.3M health center in Anchorage--set to open in summer 2012--that will more than double ANHC's capacity to serve the city's health care needs.

2010

2010-Gloria-ONeillGloria O’Neill, B.A. ’96, President/CEO, Cook Inlet Tribal Council

Gloria O’Neill is president and CEO of Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC), a position she has held since 1998. Under her leadership, CITC’s budget has increased from $8M to $46M, and its staff has expanded from 70 to 300 employees. Today, CITC provides social, educational and employment services to 12,000 Alaska Natives and Native Americans annually, and is widely recognized for its innovative and effective approaches. Beyond her work at CITC, O’Neill has made significant contributions locally, regionally and nationally. She currently serves as Chair of the Anchorage Museum Association Board of Directors, and is a board member of the Anchorage Community Land Trust, Cook Inlet Housing Authority, Chanlyut Inc. and Alaska Federation of Natives. O'Neill is originally from Soldotna, Alaska and is of Yupik and Irish descent. She graduated from UAA in 1996 with a B.A. in Sociology, and a minor in Business Administration, and later earned an MBA from Alaska Pacific University.