Kuskokwim Campus 2022 Commencement

by Greg Lincoln

The Kuskokwim Campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Rural and Community Development celebrated their Forty-Eighth Commencement on April 29th, 2022.

The graduates clad in their graduation gowns, mortar boards, and tassels entered the room at the Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center. Friends and family were present to witness this momentous day and to share in the joy of their loved ones’ accomplishments.

Carolyn Goolsby, the new Director of the Kuskokwim Campus gave the welcoming address. Pastor Bob White and Rachelle White performed the Invocation with prayer. This was followed by the presentation of the colors and the Pledge of Allegiance by the Bethel Regional High School JROTC.

The keynote address was given by Ben Kuntz of Bethel, Associate Professor of English for KuC. Student addresses were delivered by Lucy Jayne Martin – Associates Degree, James C. Ay’aqulluk Chaliak – Bachelors Degree, and Leanna Kaligtuq Isaac – Masters Degree.

The graduation speeches were followed by the conferring of certificates and degrees.

A hooding ceremony took place for Masters Degree recipient Leanna Kaligtuq Isaac to acknowledge the hard work and dedication she demonstrated while working towards her degree. She received an M.S. in Social Work. Performing the hooding honors were Dr. Diane McEachern, Dr. Demientieff, and Dr. George-Bettisworth.

In closing, the newly graduated marched in the recessional to the sound of an Eskimo drum played by Panuk Agimuk. The ceremony was followed by a reception with cake and punch.

Congratulations to the graduates and we wish them all the best and that many benefits and privileges may be bestowed upon them for their hard work to earn their degrees, certificates, and diplomas.

Kuskokwim Campus UAF College of Rural and Community Development 48th Commencement

Occupational Endorsements


Oona Martin, Anchorage

Raven Aihs Palmer, Fairbanks

Supervision and Personnel Management

Jessica L. Glore, Bethel


Community Health

Brittany D. Akaran, St. Mary’s

Tamara J. Ayapan, Kwethluk

Desiree A. Coffee, Bethel

Renae M. Keene, Kasigluk

Katherine Martin, Kasigluk

Jeremy R. Woods, Bethel


Peter Gooseberry, Fairbanks

Pierette Nicole Imbriano, Brooklyn NY

Associate Degrees

•Brent Guard

Summa Cum Laude

A.A.S. Human Services

Larsen Bay

•Jennifer Ella Kameroff

A.A.S., Applied Accounting

A.A.S., Tribal Management


•Kimberly A. Kozevnikoff

A.A.S. Early Childhood Education

Russian Mission

•Lucy Jayne Martin

Cum Laude

A.A.S. Community Health


•Ann J. Neglaska

A.A.S. Human Services


•Allen Abraham

A.A. General Program


•Hazel Alstrom

A.A. General Program

St. Mary’s

•Jaden Anaver

A.A. General Program


•Albina Andy

A.A. General Program


•Elliott Ray Hoffman

A.A. General Program


•Virginia Ann Howard

A.A. General Program


•Brianna Norton

A.A. General Program


•Bertha N. Therchik

A.A. General Program

Toksook Bay

•Alice M. Tulik

Cum Laude

A.A. General Program

Toksook Bay

Baccalaureate Degrees

•Sylvia I. Andrew

B.A., Special Education

University of Alaska Southeast


•Diane M. Atti

B.A., Social Work


•James C. Ay’aqulluk Chaliak

Cum Laude

B.A., Social Work


•Thomas Andy Ruby Mianaq Daniel

B.B.A., Business Administration:

General Business


•Isabelle Dyment

B.A., Elementary Education

Toksook Bay

•Ann Marie Tinker

B.A., Elementary Education


Master’s Degree

•Leanna Kaligtuq Isaac

M.S., Social Work

University of Alaska Anchorage College of Health


Honorary PhD

•Michael Williams Sr.

Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree

University of Alaska Fairbanks


Michael Williams, Sr. from Akiak, AK, grew up attending the two-room BIA Day School in Akiak, the Wrangell Institute boarding school in Wrangell, and the Chemawa Indian School in Salem, OR, where he graduated. Though he planned to enter college after high school, he was drafted into the US Army and served a stint in South Korea. Both Chemawa and the Army exposed him to leadership training and experience, factors that shaped the rest of his life.

After the deaths of his six brothers to alcohol abuse, Mike turned his efforts to the sobriety movement, modeling and advocating a healthy, substance-free lifestyle. When he began mushing and racing in the Iditarod, Mike carried tens of thousands of signatures in his sled from people pledging sobriety. Mike has been involved in many organizations locally, statewide, and nationally, serving on the boards of the Kuskowkim Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Association of Village Council Presidents, Yukon Kuskowkim Health Corporation and many others.

Most recently, Mike as Chief of the Akiak Native Community, spearheaded the efforts to bring high speed internet to every home in the village – the first village in the YK Delta to do so. Though he is a leader and strong advocate for subsistence rights and sobriety, he is most proud of having found and married his wife Maggie. “The best decision I ever made,” he says.

-Exerpt from the Kuskowim Campus graduation booklet.