Movers & Shakers 05/26/13



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AMC Engineers has hired mechanical engineer Grant Birmingham and accountant Cory Crawford. Grant is a University of Alaska Anchorage graduate with bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. As part of the ASHRAE Undergraduate Senior Project, he participated in building an Air Duct Simulator on the UAA campus. Grant is currently working on the King Career Center Remodel, the Dena’ina Health and Wellness Clinic, and Service High School Renewal. Crawford graduated from Montana State University with a bachelor’s degree in business management. He has more than 2.5 years of experience in accounting and previously worked for the Municipality of Anchorage and Kiewit Infrastructure.

Dr. Roland Torres has been appointed Clinical Director for the Alaska Native Medical Center Department of Neurosurgery. Prior to joining ANMC, Torres was a clinical associate professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University Medical Center, where he was also a site director for the Neurosurgery Residency Training Program. He served as the chief of neurosurgery and director of neurotrauma at Stanford’s Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, Calif. Prior to that, he held several positions at the State University of New York, including: director of Neurosurgical Step-down Unit, director of Neurotrauma and Critical Care and director of Neuro-Oncology and assistant professor of neurosurgery.

Executive Chef Erik Slater of Resurrection Roadhouse Restaurant, Seward Windsong Lodge and Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge, has been honored as one of the country’s top culinary talents in the inaugural edition of Best Chefs America. This is the first-ever peer review guide of U.S. chefs, who were chosen after extensive interviews between their fellow chefs and Best Chefs America analysts. Slater has been showcased in the informative and exquisitely produced 386-page coffee table book that was released on March 1.

University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus Associate Professor of Marine Biology Jan Straley became the first Sitka resident in 18 years to be honored with the University of Alaska’s Meritorious Service Award during the UAS Sitka Campus graduation ceremony on May 3. The award is given by the University of Alaska Board of Regents and honors “evidence of significant public, academic, volunteer or philanthropic service to the MAU (major administrative unit) or one of its community campuses, or to an Alaska community.” Straley holds a bachelor’s degree in fisheries from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in biological oceanography from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She has studied whale population dynamics, feeding ecology, human interactions and the social structure of large whales. Her research includes working with the fishing industry to minimize interactions between sperm and killer whales and Alaska longline fisheries. Straley has been with the UAS Sitka Campus since 1994, and also serves as associated faculty with UAF.

David Gillespie and Susan Reeves were elected to three-year terms on the Chugach Electric Association board of directors. Gillespie is the CEO of The Aleut Corp. Reeves is an attorney and the managing member of Reeves Amodio. She has served on the board since 2010. Immediately after the annual meeting, the board met to elect new officers to serve for the next year. Janet Reiser was elected board chair, Reeves was elected vice-chair, Jim Henderson was elected secretary and Sisi Cooper was elected treasurer.

Annaleah Ernst of Nikiski and Aidan Bobbitt of Unalaska have been named Alaska’s 2013 Presidential Scholars by the U.S. Department of Education. They will be invited to attend the program’s national recognition weekend in Washington, D.C., in June, and receive medallions. Presidential Scholars have demonstrated leadership, scholarship, contributions to school and community, and outstanding accomplishments in the arts, sciences, humanities and other fields.

Longtime Alaska educator James A. Seitz of Anchorage has been named executive secretary of the Alaska Professional Teaching Practices Commission. He will replace Patricia Truman, who retires effective May 31. Seitz has more than 35 years of education experience in Alaska. He taught secondary mathematics in the Anchorage School District; served as department chair; sat on mathematics curriculum committees at the school, district and state levels; and served on the gifted and talented advisory committee for the district. He was employed by the University of Alaska Anchorage as the professional development school coordinator for the Alaska Partnership for Teacher Enhancement. He also coordinated the University of Alaska Anchorage Master of Arts Teaching Program. Seitz holds the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, among other awards. Seitz holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s degree in gifted and talented education from the University of Denver.

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