UAA seeks nominees for 2018–2019 Meritorious Service Award

January 26, 2018

On Sunday, Dec. 17, at the fall 2017 UAA Commencement ceremony, Diane Kaplan and Rick Goodfellow of Anchorage each received UAA’s Meritorious Service Award. This award is bestowed to an individual who has demonstrated significant work in the area of public, academic, volunteer or philanthropic service to UAA or one of the community campuses, or to an Alaska community.

The university recognized Kaplan for her work through the Rasmuson Foundation, benefiting individuals, organizations and communities throughout Alaska. Her longstanding support of the Experimental Economics Program, ANSEP and the Honors College has had a profound impact on UAA.

Goodfellow is recognized for enriching the lives of many people through his work as owner, founder and general manager of local radio station KLEF 98.1 FM. He has also served on advisory boards for UAA’s College of Arts and Sciences and Department of Journalism and Communication, guiding the curriculum to better train graduates for Alaska’s industry needs.

Nominations for the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 Meritorious Service Awards are currently being accepted. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 9, 2018. Learn more about how to nominate someone here.


Diane Kaplan

As President and CEO of Rasmuson Foundation, Diane Kaplan embodies the organization’s mission: To promote a better life for Alaskans.

Kaplan became president and CEO of Rasmuson Foundation in 2001. She served as the first employee of the Foundation for six years before assuming the presidency.

Diane Kaplan

Before joining the Foundation, Kaplan provided consulting services for philanthropic organizations, Native corporations and broadcast nonprofit organizations. Prior to that, she served as CEO of Alaska’s 28-station public radio network.

Kaplan earned a degree in communications and women’s studies from the University of Pennsylvania, graduating summa cum laude.

At the University of Alaska, Kaplan has made a major impact on programs like ANSEP, UAA Honors College, and UAF’s School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. Kaplan served on the committee that created the Rasmuson Chair, and recruited Dr. Vernon Smith as the first Chair, giving UAA students the opportunity to learn from a Nobel laureate. Thanks in large part to her support, UAA is ranked among the top 25 percent of all business school economics programs in the world; the Experimental Economics Program is ranked in the top 10 percent worldwide. Under her leadership, Rasmuson Foundation has contributed over $11.4 million dollars to UAA.

Diane Kaplan, left, accepts her Meritorious Service Award at the UAA Fall 2017 Commencement ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017. (Photo by James Evans / University of Alaska Anchorage)

Kaplan serves on the boards of the International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics, The Alaska Community Foundation, United States Artists, The Foraker Group the President’s Council of the ArtPlace national funding collaborative, and is a member of Philanthropy Northwest Honorary Council. Kaplan’s efforts have been recognized by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Athena Society, The International Economic Development Council, and YWCA. In 2013, Kaplan received the First Alaskans Institute Ted Stevens Award. She was named the Council on Foundations Distinguished Grantmaker of the Year in 2007 and in 2006 received the Alaska Federation of Natives prestigious Denali Award. In 2010 she was recognized with the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women Shining Star Award.

The myriad aspects of Kaplan’s work have benefited individuals, organizations and communities throughout the state. In recognition of her ceaseless support for her fellow Alaskans, the University of Alaska Anchorage proudly awards Diane Kaplan the Meritorious Service Award.

Rick Goodfellow

Rick Goodfellow

You likely know Rick Goodfellow, even if you haven’t met. His voice fills the airwaves at KLEF 98.1 FM, Anchorage’s classical music radio station, you may have seen him from afar leading Ghost Tours of Anchorage, his top hat silhouetted against the low summer sunlight downtown. And if you studied journalism and public communication, he likely had an impact on your education at UAA.

Goodfellow started work in the radio business as a high school student in Juneau. After graduating from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, with degrees in journalism, political science and theater arts, he returned to Alaska to start his media career. Along with his wife, Dr. Jan Ingram, he founded KLEF in 1987.

Goodfellow has accepted numerous local and national awards during his 30-year career as station manager at KLEF. He formerly served as president of the Alaska Broadcasters Association, and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2012. In addition, he received a Governor’s Award from the Alaska State Council on the Arts and earned classical station of the year recognition from the National Association of Broadcasters.

Rick Goodfellow, center, accepts his Meritorious Service Award at the UAA Fall 2017 Commencement ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017. (Photo by James Evans / University of Alaska Anchorage)

Encouraged by the impressive UAA contacts he made through his work in radio, Goodfellow reached out to the university to offer his career expertise. He joined the College of Arts and Sciences advisory board in 2011, assisting in the selection of current dean Dr. John Stalvey. He also served on the Journalism and Public Communication Advisory Board, guiding the curriculum to better train graduates for industry needs in Alaska. In addition, both his parents are graduates of the university.

Long a vocal advocate and valuable industry connection for UAA students, the University of Alaska Anchorage proudly awards Rick Goodfellow the Meritorious Service Award.



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