Kinross Establishes New Resource Development Scholarship for UAF
UAF Chancellor Dan White stands with Anna Atchison, Terence Watungwa, and Brenna Schaake from Kinross Alaska at the Blue & Gold Celebration on May 11, 2023.
The operator of the Fort Knox gold mine northeast of Fairbanks is endowing a new scholarship at UAF to diversify the resource development workforce. Kinross Alaska presented the $350,000 gift at the semester-ending Blue & Gold Celebration.
The Kinross Alaska Future Leaders Endowed Scholarship will provide up to four years of financial support for vocational and baccalaureate students who are historically underrepresented in mining or resource extraction. It’s the first scholarship of its kind at UAF.
“For twenty-six years, Kinross Alaska has been investing in Alaskans and building partnerships in the communities we serve. We are proud of our partnership with UAF,” says Terence Watungwa, vice president and general manager of Kinross Alaska. “Through the creation of the Kinross Alaska Future Leaders Scholarship, we hope to foster an inclusive culture in the mining industry where those people who are historically underrepresented feel included and welcomed to contribute their perspectives, their values, and their cultures.”
The gift Watungwa announced makes up the bulk of more than $435,000 contributed to scholarships at the event. The total is more than double the amount raised at previous Blue & Gold Celebrations.
“I firmly believe that student scholarships are one of the most important investments we can make in our future,” says Samara Taber, UAF executive director of advancement. “Scholarships give students the tools they need to succeed, and they benefit our entire society by creating a more educated and equitable population.”
The event also saw the presentation of awards for Distinguished Teaching, Research, and Service, all named in honor of the founder of Usibelli Coal Mine, Emil Usibelli.
Amy Cooper, assistant professor and accounting program director at the College of Business and Security Management, received the Distinguished Teaching Award. Steffi Ickert-Bond, professor of botany in the College of Natural Science and Mathematics and curator of the UA Museum of the North herbarium, received the Distinguished Research Award. John George, professor and head of the fire science program at the UAF Community and Technical College, received the Distinguished Service Award.