Student-athletes graduate and pursue diverse, post-college opportunities

The 2018-19 school year ended with the departure of 25 students from the athletic department in the spring, with 16 previously departing in the fall.


Men’s Basketball:  

Sjur Berg, Management

Jacob Lampkin, Journalism & Communication

Brian Pearson, Civil Engineering

Corey Hammell, Psychology

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Maleke Haynes, Journalism & Communication

Drew Peterson, Management

Curtis Ryan, Management


Women’s Basketball:

Kian McNair, Physical Education

*Tara Thompson, Accounting  

Hannah Wandersee, Natural Sciences

Autummn Williams, Justice


Men’s Cross Country/Track and Field:

Grant George, Civil Engineering

Darrion Gray, Physical Education

*Edwin Kangogo, Management

Daniel Remington, Mechanical Engineering

Joe Day, Psychology

*Liam Lindsay, Physical Education

*Nicholas Taylor, Anthropology


Women’s Cross Country/Track and Field:

*Kimberly Coscia, Justice

*Danielle McCormick, Natural Sciences

*Kaitlyn Maker, Elementary Education


Men’s Skiing:

**Marcus Deuling, History

*Tony Naciuk, Finance


Women’s Skiing:

**Alix Wells, Health Sciences

***Casey Wright, Physical Education



Nicolas Erb-Ekholm, Management

Tanner Johnson, Mechanical Engineering

Jeremiah Luedtke, Management

*Nils Rygaard, Management

**David Trinkberger, Management

Alec Butcher, Finance

Brad Duwe, Occupational Safety & Health

Chase Van Allen, Construction Management



Morgan Hooe, Physical Education

Tara Melton, English

Anais Vargas, Elementary Education

Erin Braun, Engineering



*Kaylin Mancari, GYM, Natural Sciences (CAS)

Kendra Daniels, Health Sciences

Kallie Randolph, Management


*cum laude (3.50-3.74 GPA)

**magna cum laude (3.75-3.99 GPA)

***summa cum laude (4.00 GPA)


Taylor, a fall 2018 track and field graduate, is finding himself back in Alaska for his life after college.

The Victoria, B.C. local graduated with his degree in anthropology only to find a perfect opportunity in state.

“I actually just got hired for an archaeology contract in Delta Junction,” Taylor said. “However, it is through Colorado State University, but they sent me here and that’s why I am back in Alaska.”

Taylor is looking forward to making new memories in Alaska, but he still has fond memories from his time at UAA.

“My favorites times were definitely track trips with my team and being able to become friends with such a diverse group of different cultures. It was also great to become exposed to Alaska Native lifestyles, as well as the nature and beauty of Alaska,” Taylor said.

In addition to his fond memories, Taylor also learned a lot during his time as a student-athlete. He explains that balance really is the key to having a successful and enjoyable college experience.

“You can’t get caught up or stressed out about the future. Just enjoy your time as a student-athlete and the opportunity you have been given before it’s gone,” Taylor said.

In contrast, volleyball graduate Vargas is staying heavily involved in volleyball. She will start as the junior-varsity volleyball coach at Service High School this fall. In addition, she hopes to continue playing sand volleyball throughout the summer for fun.

Anais Vargas and Jalisa Ingram attempt to block a spike from Seattle Pacific’s Olivia Turner in September 2017. Photo by Jay Guzman.

“Volleyball will always be my life,” Vargas said.

Like Taylor, Vargas also says she will always look back at her time on the UAA team fondly. Despite not actually playing during her junior year due to a torn ACL, Vargas was able to learn from experiencing volleyball from a different perspective.

“Although it was one of the hardest things I’ve been through, I was able to see the community come together during the championship game,” Vargas said. “Watching them cheer for the team at the [Alaska Airlines Center] as if they were there was amazing. We are lucky to play in front of great people. The volleyball community in Anchorage is like no other.”

Vargas will also be spending her days working as a third grade teacher at Government Hill Elementary, participating in the Spanish Immersion program.

Being a teacher, Vargas has valuable knowledge on how to enlighten and give advice. Similar to Taylor, Vargas would want to remind other student-athletes to prioritize self-care.

“As an athlete, you work day in and day out and it is exhausting. Working hard should and will come naturally, but remembering to take time to yourself is really important,” Vargas said. “Take a hike, have a bonfire, watch the sunset at Point Woronzof, go to Dave and Busters, have a movie night, have that tub of ice cream. It’s okay to take a break from both school and your sport every once in awhile, you deserve it.”