2020 Usibelli award winners


Diane McEachern

Dr. Diane McEachern

2020 Emil Usibelli Distinguished Teaching Award

WHEREAS Dr. Diane McEachern has served the University of Alaska Fairbanks with distinction since 2004; and, as a teacher of rural human services, her clarity of instruction and incorporation of Indigenous perspectives earns the deep appreciation of her students; and

WHEREAS Dr. McEachern joined the Lower Kuskokwim School District in 1998 as a social worker, serving communities throughout western Alaska; and, as a UAF faculty member and program head at the Kuskokwim Campus, she has taught thirty-two courses in social work and human services, led behavioral health camps for teens, and participated in two large community-based research projects; and

WHEREAS Dr. McEachern teaches groups of primarily Indigenous students who seek to help their communities; and her classes feature hands-on work, small groups, discussion of students’ own experiences and the participation of Indigenous elders;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the University of Alaska Fairbanks takes great pride in the achievements and contributions of its faculty, and extends its sincere appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Diane McEachern; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the University, in recognizing the extraordinary excellence in teaching demonstrated by Dr. Diane McEachern, bestows upon her the Emil Usibelli Distinguished Teaching Award on this day of February 8, 2020.


Katrin Iken

Dr. Katrin Iken

2020 Emil Usibelli Distinguished Research Award

WHEREAS Dr. Katrin Iken has served the University of Alaska Fairbanks with distinction since 2002; and her prolific research has established her as a leading authority in the study of high-latitude benthic ecology; and

WHEREAS Dr. Iken began working in the early 1990s in both Arctic and Antarctic waters, where she has since completed almost 40 marine research expeditions; and she has published more than one hundred peer-reviewed papers and helped secure more than $18 million in funding while also guiding multiple graduate students; and

WHEREAS Dr. Iken’s studies have illuminated numerous features of northern and southern marine ecosystems, particularly the food webs that support them; and she and her students have recently established the importance of terrestrial material washed into northern oceans as a food source for benthic organisms; and she leads efforts to establish long-term monitoring projects that track northern marine biodiversity; 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the University of Alaska Fairbanks takes great pride in the achievements and contributions of its faculty, and extends its sincere appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Katrin Iken; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the University, in recognizing the extraordinary excellence in research demonstrated by Dr. Katrin Iken, bestows upon her the Emil Usibelli Distinguished Research Award on this day of February 8, 2020.


Jaunelle Celaire

Dr. Jaunelle Celaire

2020 Emil Usibelli Distinguished Service Award

WHEREAS Dr. Jaunelle Celaire has served the University of Alaska Fairbanks with distinction since 2003; and, as a professor of voice, her numerous activities have enriched communities across the state; and

WHEREAS Dr. Celaire, after earning her doctorate in Michigan, wholeheartedly joined the Fairbanks musical arts community; and she has presented or participated in dozens of recitals, concerts, productions and competitions not only in Fairbanks but across the globe, all while leading the Choir of the North, teaching, providing private instruction and volunteering on multiple fronts; and

WHEREAS some of Dr. Celaire’s activities include organizing an annual concert by local school music teachers, adjudicating state high school competitions, directing high school honor choirs across the state, teaching opera and gospel choir at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, and leading the UAF Summer Music Academy’s voice and choral program;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the University of Alaska Fairbanks takes great pride in the achievements and contributions of its faculty, and extends its sincere appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Jaunelle Celaire; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the University, in recognizing the extraordinary excellence in service demonstrated by Dr. Jaunelle Celaire, bestows upon her the Emil Usibelli Distinguished Service Award on this day of February 8, 2020.