The Alaska Policy Frontiers course through UAA College of Business and Public Policy is offered online and can be taken by anyone anywhere in Alaska. It is a graduate course but I waivers are provided for undergraduates. No class will be more than four hours long in the new format. This class, taught by Willie Hensley, provides a panoramic picture of Alaska’s history, economics and cultures moving from the Russian Era to the American period and into the modern challenges in energy, mining, state fiscal policy, boarding schools, CDQ fisheries, Native land claims and pipeline operations. It is also approved for the Alaska history/culture requirement for new teachers so this gives them an option to take it during the school year and not have to give up time in our short summers!

For information and registration assistance, call 786-4171 or email jeburton@alaska.edu.

APF Syllabus Fall 2020 temp.docx

Flyer- Alaska Policy Frontiers Fall 2020 Final.docx

 

176_2020YearbookPromotion_blog

Meet the Doyon Foundation Class of 2020 in our interactive 2020 Graduate Yearbook! We also invite you to join us in congratulating this year’s graduates by commenting on Facebook or Instagram and tagging #DFGradLove.

 

 

Our August 2020 Native word of the month features phrases that celebrate the bounty of the upcoming fall season in Dihthaad Xt’een Iin Aanděeg’ (Tanacross) and Deg Xinag. Tsín’ęę, dogidinh, thank you to our speakers Irene Arnold Solomon and Edna Deacon.

Tanacross photo

 

Noxłuu de jah jeg tniitsiig’. = Fall time is when the blueberries ripe. (Dihthaad Xt’een Iin Aanděeg’/Tanacross)

 

 

Speaker: Irene Arnold Solomon

 

Deg Xinag

Lighan ilax tux niłyagh vitux gidendlningh. = Silver salmon come when blueberries are beginning to ripen. (Deg Xinag)

 

Speaker: Edna Deacon

 

For more translations, view our Native word of the month archives on the Foundation website.

We also invite you to access free online language-learning lessons by signing up for Doyon Languages Online! We currently have lessons available for HolikachukDenaakk’eBenhti Kenaga’ and Gwich’in, as well as a special set of Hän lessons based on the work of the late Isaac Juneby. All interested learners may sign up and access the courses at no charge – sign up today!

 

172_DLO Language Champion Promotion_KARMA_FB-INLearning the Hän language has been my passion since I was 15”

Karma Ulvi is chief of the village of Eagle, a community occupied for thousands of years by the Hän people on the south bank of the Yukon River near Canada. Karma is the daughter of Bertha Paul of Eagle and Dana Ulvi of Walnut Creek, California, and Eagle. Karma’s maternal grandparents are Susie Paul of Old Crow and Louise Paul of Eagle; her paternal grandparents are Milton and Patricia Ulvi of Walnut Creek, California.

As she pursues her commitment to the Hän language, Karma acknowledges the language revitalization efforts of her mother, Bertha, a member of the Eagle Village Council, and Ethel Beck and Ruth Ridley, who are Karma’s aunts. “I love them all very much,” Karma said.

A community health practitioner who serves as chief of the village of Eagle, Karma Ulvi believes that when Alaska Native people speak and read their language, ties to tradition and culture grow stronger. She’s eager to have Hän language conversations with her mother and aunts because, as her mother likes to say, things are just so much funnier in Hän.

“They’ll teach me things when we’re together,” Karma said, noting that Ruth Ridley, her aunt, can read and write Hän. “Learning my Hän language has been my passion since I was 15 years old.”

In her role as village chief, Karma was awarded a grant from Hungwitchin Corp. in Eagle to develop projects for Hän language learning. In addition to a stakeholder meeting planned for August, Karma is at work on a literacy class to underscore her commitment to helping people learn to read and write Hän.

“I would love to learn the literacy aspect,” Karma said. “I believe this is the tool needed to open the language.”

With her mother and aunts, Karma has done recordings in Hän for Doyon Language Online, a project of Doyon Foundation. The project is developing introductory online lessons for Holikachuk; Denaakk’e (Koyukon); Benhti Kenaga’ (Lower Tanana); Hän; Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa (Gwich’in); Deg Xinag; Denak’i (Upper Kuskokwim); Nee’anděg’ (Tanacross); and Née’aaneegn’ (Upper Tanana). Karma’s goals include working with Doyon Language Online to teach Hän.

She plans to combine time away from duties with the Eagle Village Council with leave from her work as a health aide to pursue grant writing to fund more outlets for people to speak, read and write Hän. And while grant writing and managing are a challenge, Karma wants to build on her ability to organize people and resources.

“I hope we can get everyone together and work together to save our language,” she said. “I’ve wanted to work with the language for so long. Now I’m finally in a place where I can.”

About Doyon Languages Online

Through the Doyon Language Online project, Doyon Foundation is developing introductory online lessons for Holikachuk, Denaakk’e (Koyukon), Benhti Kenaga’ (Lower Tanana), Hän, Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa (Gwich’in), Deg Xinag, Dinak’i (Upper Kuskokwim), Nee’anděg’ (Tanacross) and Née’aaneegn’ (Upper Tanana). The project officially launched in summer 2019 with the first four courses, now available for free to all interested learners.

Doyon Languages Online is funded by grants from the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) and Alaska Native Education Program (ANEP).

About our Language Champion profile series

As Doyon Foundation continues to grow our language revitalization efforts in the Doyon region, we believe it is important to recognize people who are committed to learning and perpetuating their ancestral language. We are pleased to share some of these “language champion” profiles with you.

If you know a language champion, please nominate him or her by contacting our language program director at foundation@doyon.com. Language champions may also complete our profile questionnaire here. You may learn more about our language revitalization program on our website, or sign up to access the free Doyon Languages Online courses here.

Help your student get ahead by encouraging them to apply for ANSEP’s full-time Acceleration Academy. Students learn valuable life lessons and study skills that will put them on the path to success in their chosen career field. Find out all about the application process: https://bit.ly/319ijtV.

131_Student_Promotion_LillianBorroughs_FB-IN“Doyon Foundation scholarships allowed me to focus on becoming the best nurse I can

Lillian Mandregan-Burroughs is the daughter of Joanna and Robbin Hams of Nebraska. Her biological father is Macarius D. Mandregan, Sr. of St. Paul Island. Lillians maternal grandmother is Lillian Evans and her great-grandmother is Sally Woods Hudson of Rampart. Lillians maternal grandfather is the late Ronald Long of Colorado. Paternal grandparents are Ludmilla (Bourdukofsky) Mandregan and Tracy Mandregan of St. Paul Island. 

Lillian is a member of the Fairbanks cohort in the bachelors degree nursing program at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). Shes a member of the Class of 2021. Lillian is a certified nursing assistant who has worked the past 13 years at Denali Center, a short- and long-term care unit in Fairbanks. 

Doyon Foundation: You’ve said that enrolling in the UAA nursing required a leap of faith. How did that come about?

Lillian Mandregan-Burroughs: I originally started my college education in 2006. Life happened and I ended up enjoying my time as a nursing assistant, becoming a wife and mother, buying a home and becoming comfortable where I was. But it’s never too late to pursue your passion if you’re willing to work for it.

My parents and Elders at work continued to urge me to pursue nursing. I cut my hours at work, studied a lot and soon found myself in the UAA School of Nursing, Fairbanks cohort. The hard work and countless study hours helped me pursue my dream. I had not planned on a pandemic during nursing school!

DF: Surely that’s been among the biggest hurdles you’re facing on the way to Graduation Day.

LMB: Nursing school is very challenging — its high standards require much more studying than I’d ever done before. Add Covid-19 into the mix and I’ve become a teacher for my children and myself.

To continue achieving good grades and advance myself, I’ve studied harder than ever. I hope to complete summer and fall semesters without any hitches.

DF: How have Doyon Foundation scholarships helped?

LMB: Doyon Foundation helped lessen the financial burden of nursing school through basic scholarships. I was able to focus on becoming the best nurse I can, rather than worry how I’ll come up with tuition and money to pay bills. Doyon Foundation scholarships allowed me to avoid needing student loans, which would have deterred me from accepting a seat in the School of Nursing.

DF: Your work at Denali Center and in the community sound like valuable experience for nursing, where you’ll be called on to connect with all kinds of people.

LMB: Yes. I’ve been a member of Two Rivers K-8 Parent Teacher Association for three years, including the first two years spent as the PTA secretary. Being in PTA allowed me to be involved in planning events for my children’s school and the Two Rivers community.

I love learning from and working with Elders. And I enjoy spending time with family, gardening, sewing, and caring for critters on my hobby farm.

We are always looking for inspiring students to share their stories! If you would like to be featured in an upcoming student profile, please complete our student profile questionnaire. If you would like to nominate a student for a profile, please contact us at 907.459.2048 or foundation@doyon.com.

BOZEMAN, Mont. — Backed by $2.5 million in new federal grant funding, Montana State University plans to offer full-ride scholarships to American Indian and Alaska Native students who enroll in its College of Nursing. 

See more at https://tinyurl.com/y43galce.

Tohono O’odham Community College is excited to announce that they will continue Free Tuition for all Native American students for the Fall 2020 semester. Students will be required to provide proof of tribal enrollment to be eligible for free tuition.

95% of courses will be delivered in an online format.

Non-Native Students can enroll at our low tuition rate of $34.25 per credit hour.

All Students will be responsible for the cost of books and fees.

Please visit their website, tocc.edu, to apply to be a student and register for classes.

For questions, please contact: Admissions@tocc.edu or 520-383-8401.

Non-Native Students can enroll at our low tuition rate of $34.25 per credit hour.

All Students will be responsible for the cost of books and fees.

Please visit their website, tocc.edu, to apply to be a student and register for classes.

For questions, please contact: Admissions@tocc.edu or 520-383-8401.

Our July 2020 Native word of the month features a fun video made by Deloole’aanh Erickson, Dewey Kk’ołeyo Hoffman (with daughter Telele Iŋmaġana), Kimberly Me’enh Nezoonh Nicholas, and Anna Nelaatoh Clock.

Baahaa Nek’edenledegee = Pencil

Denaakk’e

Click the image below to view our July Native word of the month video!

July NWOM

For more translations, view our Native word of the month archives on the Foundation website.

We also invite you to access free online language-learning lessons by signing up for Doyon Languages Online! We currently have lessons available for HolikachukDenaakk’eBenhti Kenaga’ and Gwich’in, as well as a special set of Hän lessons based on the work of the late Isaac Juneby. All interested learners may sign up and access the courses at no charge – sign up today!

172_DLO Language Champion Promotion_GeorgeHolly_FB-IN“Dina xiyo ngitlith: Our thoughts are powerful”

An artist and songwriter who grew up in Ts’eldahthnu (Soldotna) on the Kahtnu (Kenai) River, George Holly is a content coordinator with Doyon Languages Online whose learning is guided by the wisdom of Chief Peter John: “God has given us each a language to praise Him with.”

George’s parents are the late Joanne Holly of Holy Cross and the late George Holly, Sr., who came to Anchorage, Alaska, when he was 11, in 1951. George’s maternal grandparents are the late Nick and Nellie Demientieff of Holy Cross. Nellie Demientieff grew up in Anvik and together Nick and Nellie raised 10 children, including Sam Demientieff, Irene Catalone, Sugar Merculieff, Tiny Devlin and Lolly Demientieff.

George is the owner of Holly House, a guest house on the Kenai River. His language is Deg Xinag, the language of Alaska Native people of the Lower Yukon and Innoko Rivers.

Doyon Foundation: Take us back to early days of learning your language. Who and what inspires you?

George Holly: My first language teacher and mentor was Ellen Savage, wife of my grandpa’s first cousin, Pius Savage. I was 24 years old when Ellen taught me my first words. She took my hands into hers and told me to never let her words fall from me.

I learned from Ellen that language can be what she would call dinayetr — our breath — and what she’d refer to simply as the good life. I’ve learned that language is not only a vehicle of communication but a good work. It affirms community life, service and time-tested generational experience for good thought.

DF: In addition to providing learning units since joining Doyon Languages Online last year, you remain a diligent student of Deg Xinag. How do the two roles fit together?

GH: I’ve been learning my language for 25 years, sometimes through weekly distance education classes, sometimes listening to and studying the printed text of oral histories, and sometimes through university courses or language development institutes. In 1999 I moved to Shageluk, near Holy Cross in our cultural area of Western Alaska, to be nearer to speakers of Deg Xinag. I stayed nine months.

My teachers have included many Elders, among Deg Xit’an people and also Tlinglit and Dena’ina people. I’m amazed to hear the same spirit of loving guidance in each. (When performing at Camai a few years back, I heard Yup’ik Elders speak to their dance groups backstage and was stunned to hear that same uplifting and ennobling speech there. We all share it.) The Elders pass down what they had learned about life from their own “old people” about community traditions and right living with the world.

DF: That seems like your main point — that language is much more than getting across our thoughts.

GH: Learning and speaking one’s language has the potential to open things inside you, connect you in untold ways to the prayers and hopes, joys and knowledge of those who came before.

DF: You stress the value of listening when it comes to language learning.

GH: Listening, doing activities in the language, being open to what’s being said — these have all helped me learn my language. And working with kids. “Going North Song” and “The Squirrel Love Song” and “Naqanaga” are some of the songs I’ve written being sung across the state and the Yukon Territory.

Growing up outside of my cultural region I didn’t take part in much of the ceremonial life of our community. But I’m Deg Xit’an — one of “the local people” — and I’ve joked that it means wherever I was, I was one of the locals. It works to take part in the local life— supporting the local language is something needed, necessary and good.

How can you say you really lived in a place or really loved a place if you haven’t heard, supported, loved and spoken the language of a place?

DF: You are a talented songwriter; “Naqanaga (Our Language),” “Chenh ditr’al iy (Until We See Each Other Again)” and “Ani Chonh Igili’eyh (Over the Rainbow in Deg Xinag)” are some examples of songs you’ve worked on. What role do you feel music plays in language learning?

GH: I feel strongly about using my talents to support language revitalization. I write music for schools, with teachers, students in small groups and individuals – all with local language. Lorna Vent from Huslia said “music is for building a spirit.” I write music to help build that spirit and the intangibles to experience language in a personal way. Students I’ve worked with usually like to try to add more Native language once they feel it for themselves. 

DF: Where does your work with Doyon Languages Online fit in to your goals as a language learner?

GH: Distance is a big challenge when it comes to being among speakers, learning the language and using it frequently. When I travel anywhere I try to visit places where I know language learning is happening and spend good time with folks.

Helping people overcome these challenges by developing units to people have online access to our language is part of why working for Doyon Languages Online has been so poignant and purpose-driven for me.

DF: You want to become more methodical about language learning. What would that look like?

GH: I’d like to learn more about moving beyond working with individuals. For instance, what can be done so that language takes on more life in a family context? How can culture camps and weekly or monthly or quarterly community events support intergenerational interaction in the language?

How could parents be empowered to use the language with their young ones and other family members? And since kids learn so quickly, how might roles be maintained when a child advances faster than adult family members? How can a social environment be built and supported so that local language use is favored and preferred?

Moreover, regarding language in groups: How does a community experience hope?

I believe the arts help in this area.

These are things I’d like to address. There’s so much to learn and share. Ting getiy dixet’a. Xogho ntr’ixetonik. The trail is awfully rough. We’ll work at it together.

DF: Any closing thoughts?

GH: When it comes to involving Elders working on Doyon Languages Online, Edna Deacon and Jim Dementi deserve mention. It wouldn’t happen without them. And I thank Doyon Foundation for the confidence it has in my role with Doyon Languages Online.

My language learning efforts are dedicated to Ellen Savage, my first teacher, and in memory of my dear folks who allowed me to be a person in my own skin and who were and are such encouragers of art and “the good life.” Dogidinh, xisrigidisddhinh sidithnaqay neg! “Thank you, I’m grateful, my dear parents!”

About Doyon Languages Online

Through the Doyon Language Online project, Doyon Foundation is developing introductory online lessons for Holikachuk, Denaakk’e (Koyukon), Benhti Kenaga’ (Lower Tanana), Hän, Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa (Gwich’in), Deg Xinag, Dinak’i (Upper Kuskokwim), Nee’anděg’ (Tanacross) and Née’aaneegn’ (Upper Tanana). The project officially launched in summer 2019 with the first four courses, now available for free to all interested learners.

Doyon Languages Online is funded by a three-year grant from the Administration for Native Americans (ANA), awarded in 2016, and an additional three-year grant from the Alaska Native Education Program (ANEP), awarded in 2017.

As Doyon Foundation continues to grow our language revitalization efforts in the Doyon region, we believe it is important to recognize people who are committed to learning and perpetuating their ancestral language. We are pleased to share some of these “language champion” profiles with you.

If you know a language champion, please nominate him or her by contacting our language program director at haytona@doyon.com. Language champions may also complete our profile questionnaire here. You may learn more about our language revitalization program on our website, or sign up to access the free Doyon Languages Online courses here.

Alaska Communications looking for the good in Alaska. Tell them about a child or teen who has made a positive difference in the community. Whether it was to support others during the pandemic or an ongoing effort to support the community, we want to hear about young people who have made their Alaska community better. Their Summer of Heroes program is partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs – Alaska to celebrate 10 years in honoring youth! Local heroes can win $1,500 scholarships. Learn more and nominate someone here: www.alaskacommunications.com/summerofheroes 

159_MT_Spencer_FB-IN

Doyon is supporting my endeavor toward a career in the electrical field”

We’d like to introduce you to one of our amazing Morris Thompson competitive scholarship recipients: Spencer Brown. Even though we are unable to hold the Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic scholarship fundraiser this year, we still want to highlight our 2019 – 2020 Morris Thompson students and honor their hard work and achievements.

A Doyon Foundation student pursuing his certificate in industrial electricity, Spencer is scheduled to graduate from the Alaska Vocational Technical School (AVTEC) in June 2020. His parents are Nadene and Chad Brown; Nadene is from the McGrath area and Chad is from Anchorage. His maternal grandparents are Alice Verdene and Richard Anslement; both are from the McGrath area. His paternal grandparents are Gloria and Howdice Brown; Gloria is from Elim and Howdice is from Benson, Minnesota.

Spencer, a 2019 – 2020 Morris Thompson committee’s choice scholarship recipient, is a 2019 high school graduate from Enlightium Academy. He currently lives in Seward, where AVTEC is located.  

Spencer understands the power of setting goals. “My plans for the next several months are to stay focused on school, work hard and finish at the top of my class,” he says. Beyond that, he’s eager to enter the workforce and keep learning.

“Doyon Foundation graciously offered to help support my endeavor,” Spencer says. His scholarship helped cover costs of tuition as well as tools needed for AVTEC classes. “Doyon helped me overcome this challenge.”

A tour of AVTEC introduced him to the range of topics covered in the industrial electricity certificate. Day-to-day homework involves Spencer in practical applications of mathematical principles and theory.

“I love that I’m able to figure out such things as superposition, sine waves and Thevenin and Norton equivalents,” he says. “Everything I learn has a reason and a purpose. It’s an incredibly interesting and diverse field.”

Graduates in industrial electricity are in demand as construction and maintenance electricians, controls technicians, and marine engineers, among other careers. AVTEC’s program attracts detail-oriented students who enjoy solving complex technical projects – a passion Spencer discovered when he was 14 and helped his father with a building project.

Spencer continues to value teamwork. “I’d say the most fun part of industrial electricity is the cooperation among my peers to complete various labs and projects,” he says. Among the most challenging tasks was memorizing complex diagrams and functions in a mathematical logic class.

Students in Spencer’s field demonstrate proficiency in circuit analysis, including an ability to design, build, test and troubleshoot circuits and devices. Industrial electricity classes involve physics; industrial safety and health; renewable power; and an understanding of the National Electrical Code for construction and maintenance projects.

Founded in 1969, AVTEC is the only career and technical education center for post-secondary students statewide. “I would absolutely recommend AVTEC to anyone interested in the trades,” Spencer says.

While his time away from studies is limited as graduation day approaches, Spencer says that taking a break helps. “I’m putting all my efforts into studying,” he says, “but I do allow myself downtime.” He enjoys reading, hiking, fishing and composing music.

“Whenever the going gets tough, ask for help, whether it’s from family, peers or Him up above,” Spencer says. He encourages other students to get enough rest, eat healthy foods, and avoid drugs and alcohol.

“Respect your body,” he says. “The effort you put into your studies will determine how successful you are at them. You are accountable for your actions.”

Named in honor of the late Morris Thompson, former president and CEO of Doyon, Limited, the Morris Thompson Scholarship, awarded by Doyon Foundation, has helped more than 200 students forward their education. The annual Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic raises money for this competitive scholarship fund. And while the event itself is not happening this year, we still welcome your support! You may make a secure online donation on our website or mail a check to Doyon Foundation, 615 Bidwell Ave., Suite 101, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701. To direct your donation to the Morris Thompson scholarship fund, simply note “Morris Thompson scholarship fund” in the notes section of the online form or on the memo line of your check. Thank you for supporting our students!

159_MT_Rebekah_FB-IN‘I want to work on stories that are inclusive and meaningful’

We’d like to introduce you to one of our amazing Morris Thompson competitive scholarship recipients: Rebekah Hartman. Even though we are unable to hold the Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic scholarship fundraiser this year, we still want to highlight our 2019 – 2020 Morris Thompson students and honor their hard work and achievements.

A University of Alaska student graduating in 2021, Rebekah Hartman is the daughter of Michael and Angela Hartman. Her maternal grandparents are Alice and Rudy Demientieff of Holy Cross. Rebekah’s hometown is Wasilla. 

When Rebekah Hartman discovered the award-winning animated children’s program “Steven Universe,” a world opened up to her.

“Those are the types of shows I want to work on,” she said. The Cartoon Network adventure series tells the story of friends protecting their own kind in a fictionalized world. “Growing up, I did not really know anything about LGTTQ+ people — I thought they were strange. It was shows like ‘Steven Universe’ that made me realize I was wrong.”

Rebekah has earned Doyon Foundation scholarships throughout her college years as she pursues a bachelor’s degree in printmaking from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF).

“What attracts me to animation is that, first of all, it’s beautiful and second is the impact that animated stories can have,” she said. “I want to work on stories that are meaningful and inclusive.”

An active volunteer focused on projects to benefit Alaska Native people, Rebekah served as student club secretary of the Alaska Native Social Workers Association in the 2019 – 2020 school year. The UAF group’s purpose includes service to others and promoting awareness of Alaska Native cultures in the state. At the winter holidays, Rebekah helped make greeting cards for the Fairbanks Native Association Elder Program. She has volunteered with First Alaskans Institute, an Anchorage-based public policy and research group, and with the Elders and Youth Conference sponsored by Alaska Federation of Natives.

She hopes other students will be attentive to mental health, especially if interest in school or self confidence starts to slip. “What I’ve found helpful to address these emotions is going to counseling,” she said. “It helps clear my mind and to understand myself better.”

Rebekah plans to return to UAF in the fall to complete her bachelor’s degree and then attend art school to earn a master’s degree in animation.

“I want to work on a show that includes Indigenous people,” she said. “We are constantly forgotten in television and when we are included, there are usually stereotypes.”

Among her favorite animated series is “Molly of Denali,” a first-of-its kind children’s show whose main character is an Alaska Native person. “My goal,” Rebekah said, “is to create meaningful stories for people to watch.”

Named in honor of the late Morris Thompson, former president and CEO of Doyon, Limited, the Morris Thompson Scholarship, awarded by Doyon Foundation, has helped more than 200 students forward their education. The annual Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic raises money for this competitive scholarship fund. While the event itself is not happening this year, we still welcome your support! You may make a secure online donation on our website or mail a check to Doyon Foundation, 615 Bidwell Ave., Suite 101, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701. To direct your donation to the Morris Thompson scholarship fund, simply note “Morris Thompson scholarship fund” in the notes section of the online form or on the memo line of your check. Thank you for supporting our students!

4E43AF6E-80C9-4DD9-B4CB-55ED6C13A31AToday we are excited to announce the winners of the drawing as part of our 2020 language revitalization interest survey, in partnership with Tanana Chiefs Conference. We were so happy that we had over 1,000 respondents. Baasee’ to everyone who shared their thoughts on how we can work together to lift up our languages in the Doyon region.

We randomly selected six winners of $50 gift cards and three winners  of $100 gift cards using the website, Wheel of Names. Congratulations to our $100 winners:

  • Stephanie Blue
  • Christine Erhart
  • Carra Geary

And our $50 winners:

  • Samantha J Quinn
  • Kelly Lincoln
  • Charles Wulf
  • Janet Wallace
  • Natalee Smoke
  • Allison Huntington

We will be sharing the results from the survey shortly, so please keep an eye on our blog, website and social media channels. Thank you again to everyone who participated!

159_MT_Noah_FB-INYou have to know who you’re not to know who you are”

We’d like to introduce you to another one of our amazing Morris Thompson competitive scholarship recipients: Noah Lovell. Even though we are unable to hold the Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic scholarship fundraiser this year, we still want to highlight our 2019 – 2020 Morris Thompson students and honor their hard work and achievements.

A University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) student graduating in May 2020, Noah Lovell is the son of Patrick and Sallie Lovell of Fairbanks, Alaska. Noah’s maternal grandparents are Lilian Evans of Rampart and Joseph Watson Burns of Fairbanks; his maternal great-grandparents are Thomas G. Evans of Rampart and Sally Woods Evans Hudson of Rampart. Paternal grandparents are Yoshiko Yamamoto of Kyoto, Japan, and John Lovell of Chelan, Washington. 

Noah earned Morris Thompson competitive scholarships throughout his college years; he is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing. Noah’s hometown is Fairbanks, Alaska.

Doyon Foundation: Congratulations on becoming a member of the UAF Class of 2020. Spring semester in Alaska and around the world was upended because of the coronavirus pandemic. How did life change for you?

Noah Lovell: The pandemic and everything going on with it has been the biggest challenge I’ve faced during my education. For a social person like me, distancing because of the virus was difficult. I don’t know where I’d be without my family, friends and faith. I went from having most of my classes held in person to all of them being online.

But it’s also been an amazing reset: UAF is using technology so that students can continue to see their professors and classmates weekly. This challenging time shook the university and all of Alaska, but it has also revealed our resilience.

DF: Like a lot of us, you’ve used this upheaval to take stock of life.

NL: I’ve found a lot of wisdom in these words: “You have to know who you are not to know who you are.” What this means to me is to know what you like but focus more on what you love. I like to paint, and I love to write and play the violin. I’m also very happy and joyful and love to encourage others. I have figured out that I am not a mean person, but extremely easy-going with a lot of dedication to the things I love. I have found my identity and that makes everything else worthwhile.

Don’t let anyone box you in and don’t put anyone else in a box. Take a step back and evaluate the current situation of your life. Ask yourself what could be changed for the better and write it down. Give yourself time to be a student as well as to have fun with family and friends. It’s a balance, for sure.

DF: Does an example come to mind? Maybe a time when you’ve achieved that balance between school and time with friends?

NL: I’m a full-time student but I still manage to get involved in my community. One of the rewards is that you never know who you’ll meet.

For instance, it was a friend’s birthday back in the fall and he wanted to celebrate by having a group of us spend time at a local soup kitchen. I thought we were going to get dirty and work in the kitchen, but they had enough volunteers and so we were invited to sit and talk with people who were eating that day.

I met this awesome guy who truly knew the art of storytelling. A while later, when my mother, grandma and I visited the Fairbanks Correctional Center as part of a prison ministry, there was the man I met at the soup kitchen, visiting an inmate just like in the story he told me. We joked with each other and then he went his way and I went mine. You truly never know who you’re going to impact, and that kind of surprise keeps life interesting.

DF: Is taking time to evaluate life helping shape your plans after graduation?

NL:  My current long-term goal is to earn a master’s degree from the College of Theology and Ministry at Oral Roberts University and work in ministry. I would love to continue on to get a Doctorate in Theology, but it’s always one step at a time. This past year I’ve grown in my faith and because of this I’ve decided I’d like to further my education in something I’m truly passionate about.

DF: What’s it like spending summers among Alaska visitors? You’re an Alaska Native tour guide on the Riverboat Discovery, based in Fairbanks. The tour typically includes a visit to the Chena Indian village.

NL: The Riverboat Discovery is a wonderful opportunity that provided a strong foundation for me.

It’s an amazing job that allowed me to share the Alaska Native culture, specifically the Athabascan culture, with guests of Alaska. As a guide, I performed demonstrations in front of 300 to 800 people and learned valuable skills to carry into my future. The Riverboat has strong leadership and invested in developing its employees. As a guide I was provided customer service, leadership and mentoring training. I’m very thankful for the work experience and I believe it has helped me to develop skills to take into my future.

DF: How has earning a Morris Thompson competitive scholarship benefited you? Has it helped in ways that you didn’t anticipate?

NL: The Doyon Foundation has truly lifted me as a student. Receiving the Morris Thompson competitive scholarship was an honor and true blessing.

Being awarded scholarships from Doyon Foundation provided me with the resources to succeed in my degree and the confidence to excel in school. I was able to pay tuition, buy textbooks and other course-related expenses, and focus on my course load.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank God, my family and my friends who have continued to encourage and support me through my undergraduate education. A big thank you to Doyon Foundation and everyone who has helped me these past four years; here’s to the class of 2020!

Named in honor of the late Morris Thompson, former president and CEO of Doyon, Limited, the Morris Thompson Scholarship, awarded by Doyon Foundation, has helped more than 200 students forward their education. The annual Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic raises money for this competitive scholarship fund. While the event itself is not happening this year, we still welcome your support! You may make a secure online donation on our website or mail a check to Doyon Foundation, 615 Bidwell Ave., Suite 101, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701. To direct your donation to the Morris Thompson scholarship fund, simply note “Morris Thompson scholarship fund” in the notes section of the online form or on the memo line of your check. Thank you for supporting our students!