UAFAA staff

Kate Ripley, ’11 MA

Alumni Relations Director/Executive Director of the UAF Alumni Association

Kate Ripley is a UAF alumna and lifelong Alaskan. She came to the university as Public Affairs Director of the University of Alaska System in November 2004. Prior to that, she had 15 years of professional experience in journalism, strategic communications, public relations and marketing. 

Kate serves as Alumni Relations Director within the Office of Development and Alumni Relations and as Executive Director of the UAF Alumni Association, a separate non-profit with a rich, 87-year history of collaborating with the university to connect alumni back to their alma mater. In her dual role, Ripley is responsible for alumni outreach, support and events and works closely with the association’s 12-member Board of Directors. With 30,000 alumni across the globe, UAF alums continue to have tremendous impact not only in Alaska, but also throughout the nation, the Arctic and the world. Kate is honored to help lead efforts to engage UAF alumni with “America’s Arctic University” and Alaska’s first university.

Kate was born and raised in Juneau and is an eighth-generation Alaskan of Russian and Aleut heritage. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, Alaska Press Club, Society of Professional Journalists and Rotary Club of Fairbanks. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Fairbanks Rotary Club.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Montana and a Master of Arts in Northern Studies at UAF. She is married to UAF Journalism Professor Brian O’Donoghue and has three children: Rory, Robin and Rachel.

Amanda Straight, ’11

Membership and Event Coordinator

Amanda has led a nomadic life. Born in West Virginia, she came to Alaska in 1998 as a “military brat,” and was left behind as her parents and sisters started a new adventure elsewhere. Poor Amanda, yay Alaska! Amanda has thrived in Alaska, earning her associate degree in applied business from UAF and being a super mom to three curious and wonderful children: Vincent, Xavier, and Alexa.   

Amanda joined the UA Foundation as gift manager in 2013 and was quickly promoted to the fund & gift service manager. Amanda moved to UAF Development and Alumni Relations in July of 2015 as the Membership and Events Coordinator, and hasn’t looked back since! 

Destiny Dowling

School of Management Intern

Destiny Dowling was born and raised in Alaska. She graduated summa cum laude from Lathrop High School in May of 2015. She is a current UAF student in her sophomore year. She started off her freshman year majoring in Economics, but has since switched over to Accounting. In addition to pursuing her BBA in Accounting, she is minoring in Finance.

Destiny serves as an the IT Officer of GAAP (Great Alaska Accounting People) and the Vice President of SWEET (Students Who Enjoy Economic Thinking). She loves being involved in clubs that the School of Management has to offer. Outside of school, she enjoys gardening, knitting, painting, and digital arts.

She has been working as a student intern for the UAF Alumni Association since July of 2016. Destiny enjoys working at the Alumni Association for many reasons. It is her favorite job in the world! She loves organizing and sorting files. Destiny also enjoys looking through old yearbooks and pictures, in addition to creating connections between Alumni. The Alumni office is the perfect place to do so!

Destiny plans on entering her career field as an accountant following graduation.

The alumni office thanks the School of Management and dean Mark Herrmann for supporting our student intern!

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