Devin Hansen is an Environmental Scientist and has been using her scientific knowledge professionally since 2012. She recently began working as a consultant in September of 2017. Devin has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Environmental Science from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and forestry where she specialized in Watershed Science and Geospatial Information and Mapping. For her Master’s Degree she studied Forest and Natural Resources Management where she refined her management skills. Devin is a member of the Society of American Foresters, the American Fisheries Society and ArcGIS Professionals. Devin maintains her skills by using online platforms to learn new and creative ways to effectively convey scientific environmental information to her clients. Devin Hansen resides in Syracuse, New York and is continuing to learn about natural resources.
Joseph Campbell wrote, “If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”Contact Email: devinjhansen(at)gmail.com
Diana Velez was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. Her mother is from Old Harbor, Ak and her father is from Arecibo, PR. Diana has two older brothers and one younger sister. Currently she works at Southcentral Foundation Detox as a Program Coordinator full time and attending Alaska Pacific University (APU) part time.
Her educational and career goals include graduating from APU with her Master’s in Business Administration and a Bachelors in Business Administration and Management. She has worked at Southcentral Foundation for 9 years and will remain with them after she graduates in hopes of promoting into a leadership position.
She is passionate about giving back to her community and seeks out various ways to donate her time. She loves volunteering in classrooms with Junior Achievement, serving dinner at Beans Café during the holidays, and helps out with events and fundraisers she finds meaningful.
In her free time she likes to hang out with family and friends, hike, travel, bead, sew, paint, and go outside with her pup Leroy Brown the min pin!Contact Email: DCVelez(at)SouthcentralFoundation.com
Sylvia King’s family (King and Petellin) go back a number of generations on Kodiak and Afognak Island. Although Slyvia was born in Seattle, Kodiak has always been in her DNA. Her family lived on their floating cannery on Kodiak in the early 1950’s for two fishing seasons and then on the Kodiak Naval Station for a year when she was 12. Since then, she’s spent decades in the San Francisco Bay Area, including college – a Bachelor of Arts degree at UC Berkeley and a Master of Arts at Stanford University in Speech and Language Pathology.
Professionally, Sylvia has worked and still works as a speech therapist, private academic tutor, writing tutor for college students and accent reduction therapist for non-native English speakers. She is married with two sons, (one living in Japan and one in Arizona) and four grandchildren. As she continues to tutor students locally, she looks forward to connecting with and mentoring KEF scholarship recipients who share her Alutiiq background.Contact Email: Sylviaking(at)aol.com
Laura Thornquist is proud to join the Koniag Education Foundation as a pre-med mentor. Born and raised in Seattle, Laura graduated from the University of Washington Honors Program with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and a Bachelor of Arts in Medical Anthropology. Between undergraduate and medical school, she worked as a microbiologist and taught MCAT prep classes with Kaplan. Currently, she is a third-year medical student at the University of Washington and is planning to specialize in urology. Laura holds a particular interest in the health and well-being of Native American and Alaska Native populations. She has completed Indian health & history classes while in medical school and done clinical work with the both the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community in Washington and with Alaska Native patients in Sitka, AK.Contact Email: laurat4(at)uw.edu
Kelly McCracken is an athletic training and pre-physical therapy mentor. Born and raised in Seattle, her Alutiiq heritage stems from her grandfather. Kelly is currently a junior at Washington State University and is working to earn her undergraduate degree in athletic training with a pre-physical therapy specialization and a minor in psychology. After completing her undergraduate degree Kelly plans on attending physical therapy school to earn her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, and has a goal to specialize in sports physical therapy.Contact Email: kellymccracken241(at)gmail.com
Born in Maine, Flora moved to AK at the age of 2 with her family. She attended Bartlett High School and went on to the University of Alaska Anchorage, where she graduated with a degree in Finance & Economics.
In 2002, Flora was hired as an intern at Junior Achievement of Alaska, Inc. From there after various roles, she worked for 3 years in Development, and in 2008 was appointed the youngest President in the organization’s history (inc. 1919).
Professionally, Flora works with a local board of directors to implement JA’s statewide, K-12 economics education curricula, which reach over 8,400 students in Alaska in over 35 local communities, with the support of 2 additional staff members. Primarily Flora’s duties include fund development, board development, advocacy, strategic planning, budgeting, and public engagement. Flora has been awarded the JA ‘Summit’ Award for the past 2 years, and was awarded recognition during course work at the Penn State University Executive MBA program.
Flora resides in Anchorage, AK, along with her 2 children. Flora enjoys outdoor sports such as snowboarding, cross country skiing, snow machining, hiking, fishing, and enjoys reading (Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Journal, the Economist, and local publications such as ADN, Alaska Business Monthly). Flora plays an active role in the community by serving as a Mentor for KEF, a committee member for the Anchorage Opera, Alaska Business Week advisor, volunteer for United Way, Northern Lights ABC PTA Board Member and Treasurer, and a JA Volunteer at West High School to teach Business Economics and JA’s GLOBE International trade program.Contact Email: Fteo@ja-Alaska.org
Andrea Kavlaq Van Ravenswaay is Inupiaq, Hopi and Luiseno and grew up in Kotzebue, Alaska. She recently became a full-time stay-at-home mom to her 9 month old son and 12 year old daughter. Before that she worked in Anchorage at the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education for six years. She also worked in Kotzebue at Nikaitchuat Ilisagviat Inupiaq immersion school as Curriculum Developer, and in Anchorage at the Alaska Native Heritage Center as Programs Developer. Andrea graduated from Dartmouth College with a bachelor’s degree in English modified with Education.Contact Email: ndgnsgirlak(at)yahoo.com
Gordon Pullar, Jr. is the President of Kadiak, LLC, a Koniag, Inc. subsidiary that is an SBA 8(a) participant specializing in legal services, and cultural & environmental resource management. He is also the Director of Business Operations at Koniag, Inc., and has been with the company since 2010. His Koniag role includes preference program certifications and compliance (8(a), MBE, DBE, HUBZone), business startup and development, subsidiary support, annual operating plan production, and merger & acquisition due diligence. Other roles with Koniag have included Assistant Facilities Security Officer, and Director of Operations for the Kodiak Brown Bear Center. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Rural Development from the University of Alaska Fairbanks; and an undergraduate degree from Florida State University in Political Science.
Mr. Pullar currently serves on the Boards of Leisnoi, Inc., an Alaska Native Village Corporation representing 408 Alaska Native shareholders, the Alutiiq Heritage Foundation which governs the Alutiiq Museum on Kodiak Island, and the Koniag Education Foundation. He is the current President of Tangirnaq Native Village aka the Woody Island Tribal Council, which is a federally recognized tribe. He is a recent recipient of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development Top Forty Under 40 Award which recognizes young leaders in business and government from across Indian Country.Contact Email: email@example.com
LaRita Laktonen-Ward is from Kodiak Island, the village of Larsen Bay. She grew up in a large commercial fishing family, her mother a teacher and her father an Alutiiq carver. She currently lives in Virginia at Fort Lee with her beautiful daughter, Ravenna, a dancer, and husband Truman Ward, who has served over 24 years in the US Army. She is a certified personal trainer, enjoys spending time with her family, focusing on education and new career opportunities.
LaRita’s educational background is in Kinesiology, Exercise Physiology with an emphasis in Physical Education. She graduated from Humboldt State University in Eureka, CA from the Indian Teacher and Educational Personnel Program meanwhile studying American Indian and Alaska Native Education. She worked for Southcentral Foundation as a Health Educator promoting exercise, nutrition, tobacco cessation and injury prevention. She had the opportunity to work closely with providers in a clinical setting, speak and train at various functions, work one on one with Native customer owners and teach various classes. LaRita has a passion for art, children and culture. She left Southcentral Foundation in 2010 to take a management position at Cook Inlet Native Head Start (CINHS). She treasured this opportunity, because it is a positive place for Native Families to realize and reach their potential. She misses hearing success stories and assisting staff and families in problem solving and process improvement to make CINHS and its services better and better.
LaRita believes exercise and nutrition are the keys to disease prevention and staying healthy both physically and mentally. She enjoys helping others set goals and pursue them, to accomplish what you set out for in this area reflects in all other areas, teaches work ethic, discipline and dedication. She’s happy to share ideas and tips to promote balance in life while pursuing higher education.Contact Email: LaRitaWard(at)gmail.com
Tyan (Selby) Hayes grew up on Kodiak Island and upon graduation attended Seattle Pacific University before graduating from University of Alaska Anchorage with a Bachelors in Business Administration. During school, she commercial fished, worked as a barista and interned with the Alutiiq Museum doing archeological digs and working in the museum. After graduation, Tyan began working for Koniag, Inc. and moved through different departments of the corporation, spending time as Office Manager, Accounting Specialist, Shareholder Relations, KSI Government Contracting, and Executive Assistant before serving as KEF’s Executive Director for the twelve years. Tyan lives in Corvallis, Oregon and would love to get together and visit with students attending colleges nearby like OSU and UofO.Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah is an active member of the Kodiak community whose passions and involvements are centered around community wellness and storytelling. A member of the Sun’aq Tribe and registered learner of the Alutiiq Language, our Alutiiq culture has been the driving force in her pursuit of higher education and involvement in the community.
Her path that was due largely to significant and meaningful volunteerism that fueled her commitment to a degree program. Paying for school is a time and emotional investment that can feel risky if you don’t know exactly what you want to do. Sarah chose to experience different career options by getting involved in volunteer efforts before committing to coursework. Through her service as a director for the Kodiak Public Library Association, Kodiak Community Foundation, and Kodiak Historical Society, Sarah found her place in the community as a storyteller and cultural steward which helped to make college coursework interesting and engaging. When she found opportunities to apply her coursework in meaningful ways to her daily life, academic success became more meaningful.
Sarah is currently working towards a Master’s in Public Administration through UAS, having received her B.A. in Liberal Arts from the University of Alaska Southeast in the Spring of 2014 with a focus in Anthropology, History & Sociology. Achieving a degree is a challenging and rewarding process, one that Sarah believes everyone can do with support, patience, and perseverance.
The Koniag Education Foundation’s mentoring program allows students the opportunity to share struggles and successes in the pursuit of a degree, an effort that Sarah is proud to be a part of. Sarah applauds the efforts of our students and welcomes the opportunity to talk with them about academia and life learning. Sarah currently serves as the Executive Director of the Baranov Museum, where she is proud to share Kodiak’s rich history and diverse community with locals and tourists alike.Contact Email: padooda(at)gmail.com
Kristy serves as a director and the corporate secretary at Afognak Native Corporation. As part of a nine-member Board, she provides oversight on governance matters, strategic planning, and management of the Chief Executive’s performance. Kristy also serves as the chair of the compensation committee.
The majority of Kristy’s employment has been in the healthcare industry. She worked in the Tribal healthcare system for many years as a Health Systems Administrator with Southcentral Foundation (SCF) in Anchorage, Alaska. In this role, she managed an outpatient pediatric clinic and led numerous corporate-wide projects to provide quality healthcare to the Alaska Native/American Indian (AN/AI) community. She also served as CEO at Avante Medical Center, a private primary care clinic, prior to relocating to Washington.
In addition, Kristy lead the start-up of a non-profit Tribal Head Start program, Cook Inlet Native Head Start (CINHS). CINHS was awarded federal and state grants to provide early childhood education, health services, and social services to over 200 children and their families. Kristy has been an advocate for the health and social well-being of the AN/AI community.Contact Email: email@example.com
Alex Cleghorn is an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Alaska where he focuses on Alaska Native and rural justice issues. He works directly with the Attorney General as a Special Assistant and serves as the Department of Law’s Tribal Liaison.
Prior to his work for the State, he was General Counsel for Business and Intergovernmental Affairs at Southcentral Foundation. Before returning to Alaska he owned and operated his own law office and served as Directing Attorney of California Indian Legal Services’ Sacramento office. He previously worked as an Associate with Sonosky Chambers LLP.
While he has primarily represented Indian Tribes and Alaska Native interests, Alex has also worked on a variety of legal matters, including litigating civil rights and employment law cases. Alex also served as a Staff Attorney at the ACLU of Northern California where he wrote an amicus brief to the California Supreme Court on behalf of a woman denied medical treatment because of her sexual orientation. While at the ACLU he also worked on the cases challenging California’s exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage.
Alex received his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and earned his juris doctor from Northeastern University School of Law in 2003.
Alex was born and raised in Alaska and is grateful for the support he received from many people and organizations including the Natives of Kodiak and the Koniag Educational Foundation while in law school. Alex was elected to Koniag Board of Directors in 2015.
Peter Boskofsky currently works as Corporate Counsel for Afognak Native Corporation. As an attorney, Peter works primarily on corporate and business transactional matters, in the area of government contracting, and on issues related to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Peter’s father, Alvin (“Abby”) Boskofsky, is from, and grew up in, Afognak and Port Lions.
During law school, through Koniag Inc., Peter interned at a Washington D.C. based trade association, The Coalition for Government Procurement. He also interned with Koniag’s attorney at the Anchorage law office of Stoel Rives LLP, in the summer of 2010.
Peter received his Juris Doctorate from Gonzaga University School of Law and his undergraduate degree from the University of Hawai’i. Before attending law school, Peter worked for the Alutiiq Language Revitalization Program at the Alutiiq Museum in Kodiak.
Currently, he serves as a volunteer Director on the Koniag Education Foundation Board. He is also a member of the Alaska Bar Association, including the Sections for Alaska Native Law, Corporate Counsel, and Public Contracts Law.Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Peggy was born and raised in Kodiak and returned to the Kodiak Island Borough School District upon completing her Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Oregon. For thirteen years, she lived and worked in Old Harbor where she served as the Special Education Teacher. For the past two years, Peggy has worked with AKTEACH as the 7-12th Homeschool/Correspondence Virtual Academy Coordinator in Kodiak. In 2015, she completed a Master’s Degree in Applied Linguistics from UAF which had a focus on Computer Aided Language Learning (ANE CALL), and teaches Alutiiq 101, 102, Alaska Native Language Apprenticeship and Alaska Native Language Conversational Fluency Intensive at Kodiak College.
Over her years with KIBSD, she has served on a number of committees, some include the World Language Curriculum Committee, the Teacher Evaluation Committee, and the Native Education Parent Committee. She represented rural educators on the Teachers on Critical Assignment (TOCA) team in 2010 and 2011 and is happy to be a part of the newly reformed Teacher Technology Committee. During the 2017-2018 school year, Peggy will serve as KIBSD’s Director of Rural Schools. She has recently been accepted to George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development program in Educational Leadership & Administration.Contact Email: pazuyak01(at)kibsd.org