Rasmuson Foundation announces 2022 sabbatical awardees

At left: Eileen Arnold, the Executive Director of the Tundra Women's Coalition and at right is Joann Horn, Executive Director of the Emmonak Women's Shelter.

Leaders of five Alaska nonprofit organizations and a federally recognized tribe have been named as recipients of a 2022 Rasmuson Foundation Sabbatical Award. The program provides leaders time away to rest, reflect and rejuvenate.

Congratulations to Eileen Arnold of Bethel and Joann Horn of Emmonak who are 2022 Sabbatical Award recipients and to the other awardees.

Each recipient will have three to six months in the coming year to unplug from demanding jobs. Awards of up to $40,000 are grants to the individual’s employer to help cover the leader’s salary and costs of travel and other experiences during the time off work.

The Rasmuson Foundation Sabbatical Committee, which includes prior recipients, recently met to select the 2022 awardees. Those selected represent two Southeast communities, two Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta communities, one from the Copper River region, and an Aleutian Islands tribe with offices in Anchorage.

Each recipient brings a long history of community service. They demonstrated a pressing need for time away and recognized that their organizations will benefit by allowing others to step up. Leaders get time with families, a chance to pursue personal interests, and an opportunity to decompress.

“The program helps protect and strengthen one of Alaska’s very best resources — the exceptional people who devote their hearts and lives to helping their communities,” said Tanya Dumas, the Rasmuson Foundation senior program officer who oversees the Sabbatical Program.

Since the first awards in 2005, the Foundation has funded 101 sabbaticals counting the 2022 cohort.

Meet the 2022 sabbatical recipients:

Eileen Arnold, executive director, Tundra Women’s Coalition. Based in Bethel, the shelter provides services for those experiencing sexual and domestic violence. Arnold has led the coalition since 2015 and has spent 12 years in the nonprofit sector. During her sabbatical, she wants to reconnect with her cultural background by traveling to her ancestral lands in Europe, visit family she hasn’t seen in 18 months and focus on hobbies including playing the mandolin and learning French.

Lisa Busch, executive director, Sitka Sound Science Center. She has worked in the nonprofit sector for 34 years and has led the science center for 11 years. Busch plans to spend her time with older family members, travel to destinations around the world to pursue rowing, and attend a meditation retreat.

Nicole Cabrera, tribal administrator, Ivanof Bay Tribe. She has been in her position for 13 years and is the only full-time employee. Her work as tribal administrator encompasses everything from handling tribal member relations and payroll to managing day-to-day office needs. During her sabbatical, Cabrera plans to spend time with her husband and five children and hopes to take a family vacation to South or Central America. She also plans to catch up on her reading list and volunteer in her children’s classrooms.

Joann Horn, executive director, Emmonak Women’s Shelter. She has been with the organization since 1989 and is ready to take some time for herself. Though the shelter mainly helps women experiencing domestic and sexual violence, people also rely on it for other needs due to limited services in the community. Horn hopes her time away will help her team grow and become more empowered. She looks forward to finishing sewing projects, picking berries and engaging in other subsistence activities. Horn also plans to learn more about medicinal uses of plants on the tundra.

Mariya Lovischuk, executive director, The Glory Hall. Under her 11 years in leadership there, the organization has continued to operate an emergency shelter while coordinating development of the Juneau Housing First Collaborative project as well as its new facility. During her sabbatical, Lovischuk wants to travel with her family, including her 4-year-old son.

Robin Mayo, executive director, Wrangell Institute for Science and Environment. She has led the institute in Copper Center for nine years. She wants to use her sabbatical to rediscover the joy of the outdoors with her partner and go on hiking trips in the Lower 48. Mayo looks forward to quality time with family and reconnecting with old friends. She hopes her sabbatical will help empower staff to take on leadership roles, creating a more sustainable organization.