2007 Alumni Achievement awards


Business and Professional Excellence


Kelly Drew

Kelly Drew

Kelly Drew graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1981 with a bachelor degree in psychology. She received her doctorate in pharmacology from Albany Medical College. Following postdoctoral work at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, she joined UAF in 1990, was appointed assistant professor in 1998 and promoted to associated professor in 2002.

Kelly has had a tremendous impact nationally in the field of neuroscience for her work on neurodegeneration and stroke, especially the development of hibernation as a model of neuroprotection. Kelly has more than 45 publications including five major book chapters. She was highlighted in both Scientific American and US News and World Report. She also organized eight national and international conferences and serves as a reviewer and consultant for many organizations.

In addition to Kelly's professional achievement in neuroscience, she works to improve Alaska and UAF by training the next generation of scientists. She has helped multiple students clarify their goals about health careers or science majors by providing information about programs on campus and intern opportunities at other universities including the National Institutes of Health. She presents options at the local American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) meetings and assists students who want to create their own degree through the undergraduate interdisciplinary option.

Kelly is a member of multiple professional and academic societies. She has received the Sven Ebbesson Award for Excellence in Neuroscience, the Dennis Demmert Award for Mentoring, the Carol Feist Advising Award and the 2006 Emil Usibelli Distinguished Teaching Award.


Thaddeus Dumas

Thaddeus Dumas

Thaddeus Dumas graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in education and in 1972 with a master's degree in educational administration. He received a doctorate of educational administration at the University of San Francisco in 1990.

Upon graduation, Thaddeus stayed in Fairbanks and worked as a teacher at Fort Wainwright and Main Junior High School. He later became both an assistant principal and principal at Ryan Junior High School eventually working his way to principal of his alma mater, Lathrop High School in 1974. After leaving Alaska in 1976, Thaddeus was selected by the Rockefeller Foundation as one of five individuals chosen nationally for training as a large system superintendent. He served as an administrative intern for district superintendents in Berkeley and Oakland Unified School districts. He then led middle school education (500 middle schools) and the high school partnership network in 180 high schools. He also served as "chair of chairs" for the National Middle School Association (NMSA) directing and providing input to all NMSA standing and ad hoc committees.



Community Support

Marvilla Davis

Marvilla Davis

Marvilla Davis graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1987 with a master of art degree in music. She recently retired after teaching music for more than 41 years in public schools in Montana and Alaska, at UAF, and through private voice lessons.

Marvilla came to Alaska in 1974 to teach in the Fairbanks school system. After earning her degree at UAF, she accepted a part-time position in general music at Weller Elementary School while also teaching as an adjunct professor at UAF.

In 1992 Marvilla sought permission to start a new group, initially called the UAF Chamber Singers. After several years the name was changed to the Alaska Chamber Chorale. She provided expert leadership and training to the group that has garnered national attention for its beautiful performances. Under her direction the group performed not only in Alaska but also in Portland and New York City. The executive director of the American Choral Directors Association (ACA) stated that the Alaska Chamber Chorale under the direction of Marvilla Davis was one of the top five community choirs in the nation.

It is with great pleasure that the UAF Alumni Association presents Marvilla Davis with the 2007 Alumni Achievement Award for Community Support.



University Support

Sue McHenry

Sue McHenry

Susan I. "Sue" McHenry graduated from University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1970 with a bachelor's degree in psychology, and in 1976 with a master's in education focusing on college student personnel administration. She has taught student success courses geared toward college first-year students and has been a Rural Alaska Honors Institute instructor.

Sue has been with Rural Student Services for 29 of the 32 years of its existence. She has made an impact on literally hundreds of Alaska Native people and rural Alaskans. She has represented the university at rural college and career fairs and is involved with the UAF American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) as an advisor raising the stature and self-image of aspiring students. She is constantly engaged in the efforts that create a network of support for students.

Sue received the 2001 Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence from the University of Alaska Foundation. She received the Denali Award from the Alaska Federation of Natives for her efforts as a non-Native person whose work has been of great benefit to the Alaska Native community. She received the UA President's Make Students Count Award in May 1999, the Associated Students of UAF Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award in April 1994 and the UAF Outstanding Advisor Award in 1993 and 1996.

It is with great pleasure that the UAF Alumni Association presents Susan I. "Sue" McHenry with the 2007 Alumni Achievement Award for University Support.

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