Kuskokwim Campus 2022 Students of the Year Awards

by Cindy Andrecheck

University of Alaska Fairbanks Kuskokwim Campus (KuC) is pleased to announce its Student of the Year Awards. Full-time Student of the Year Award was presented to Theresa J. Arnaqulluk Hooper, originally from Tununak, AK, where she earned her high school diploma in 2015.

Theresa received her Associate of Arts degree from KuC in 2019 and hopes to earn her Bachelor’s degree next spring, along with a certificate in Information Technology. After graduation, she hopes to get a job working in the IT field, preferably working on the hardware end of the spectrum, fixing and repairing physical computer parts.

When asked what she likes about KuC, Theresa stated that, even though she is shy, the staff and faculty are very friendly and helpful. KuC is just a short plane ride from home and the subsistence activities she loves. Theresa has been especially motivated to stay in school by her sister Vivian, her parents, and her advisor, Agnes McIntyre, who, when times were difficult, all encouraged her to continue and not give up. Theresa’s advice to students entering college is “don’t be afraid to leave home; your family will be there for you, pushing you to complete whatever you started.”

KuC’s Part-time Student of the Year Award was given to Jim C. Ay’aqulluk Chaliak, currently residing in Bethel but originally from Nunapitchuk, AK. After graduating from Nunapitchuk High School in 1980, Jim earned his RHS certificate in 2016 and HUMS AAS degree in 2018, both from KuC; he received his Bachelor of Social Work degree this spring.

Even though it has taken Jim many years to complete his bachelor’s degree, he says that for him, going to school part time allowed him to find a balance between home, work, and school.

Jim likes KuC because it is at home, has a welcoming spirit, and is part of the YK region. When he entered the RHS program, another student told him, “You’re going to make lifelong friends there.” That turned out to be true. Jim’s advice to beginning college students is to make your goals “real and achievable for yourself,” and “keep attending even when life events come up.”

Jim would like to thank Dr. Diane McEachern and the RHS/HUMS program “for all the inspiration provided, along with Yup’ik Elders, especially Esther Green.”

Congratulations Theresa and Jim from all of us at Kuskokwim Campus.