Boraas Receives 2009 Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence
Alan Boraas, professor of anthropology at Kenai Peninsula College,
University of Alaska Anchorage, is this year's recipient of the
University of Alaska Foundation's prestigious Edith R. Bullock Prize
"The accomplishments of Professor Boraas exemplify the excellence of
the Edith R. Bullock Prize. The University of Alaska Foundation
recognizes Dr. Boraas' 35 years of research and publication on the
history and culture of the Dena'ina people on the Kenai Peninsula and
Russian culture," said Sharon Gagnon, chair of the foundation's board
of trustees. "His selfless devotion to teaching students of all ages
Kenai Peninsula College Director Gary Turner nominated Boraas. "Dr.
Boraas has set the standard that others will be judged by in the
future. The University of Alaska System is fortunate to be able to
count him as a distinguished faculty member and well deserving of the
Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence," Turner said.
This year's award was made possible by a charitable gift from First
National Bank Alaska. The bank stepped forward when it appeared this
year's award would not be possible due to worldwide market conditions.
Boraas received his bachelor's degree from the University of
Minnesota, his master's degree from the University of Toronto and his
doctorate from Oregon State University. He has taught at KPC since
His awards for teaching, research and public service include the Book
of the Year at the American Book Awards by the Before Columbus
Foundation for A Dena'ina Legacy, K'tl'egh'i Sukdu: The Collected
Writings of Peter Kalifornsky; the Greater Soldotna Chamber of
Commerce's Devoted Service to Young People and Youth Activities Award;
and Faculty of the Year at KPC. He also is an honorary member of the
Kenaitze Indian Tribe.
Boraas has written 70 opinion columns for the Anchorage Daily News
editorial page, is author of 15 scholarly articles, numerous articles
and two books. During the past six years alone, Boraas taught 18
different courses in anthropology at KPC.
Boraas was presented with the Kenai Chamber of Commerce's Log Cabin
Award, given to those who exemplify the ideals of community spirit, in
January, 2009. He received the award in recognition of his extensive
work with the Kenaitze Indian Tribe and their language preservation
program, as well as for his work in establishing the Tsalteshi Trails.
His research has focused on the anthropology of Cook Inlet with a
particular emphasis on the Dena'ina culture and language and early
Russian inhabitants of the region. Boraas is known as one of the
foremost Dena'ina scholars and one of a few Dena'ina language speakers
of Caucasian heritage.
His service to the university is further exemplified by his 30
presentations to public school students and teachers as he enhanced
their knowledge of the Kenai Peninsula, the State of Alaska and its
earliest inhabitants. He serves as an ambassador of the university and
has given more than 50 public lectures across the state in his
The Bullock prize, which provides a $20,000 cash award, is the largest
single award made annually by the UA Foundation's Board of Trustees, a
non-profit entity that raises, invests and manages privately donated
funds for the sole benefit of the University of Alaska. The award was
established by the late Edith R. Bullock, who served the university
for 30 years as a member of the UA Board of Regents and the
foundation's Board of Trustees. Bullock was also a member of the
Alaska Territorial House of Representatives and Senate.