McConnell picked for MBA excellence

The University of Alaska Southeast recently named Ptarmica McConnell as its 2011 outstanding Master of Business Administration graduate.

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles about students recognized as ‘Outstanding Graduates’ in the 2011 University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) class. The UAS 2011 commencement will be held at 2 p.m. May 1 at the UAS Recreation Center.

The University of Alaska Southeast recently announced Ptarmica McConnell received its 2011 Master of Business Administration Excellence Award.

Ptarmica McConnell was born in a little log cabin in Dyea. Her parents moved to Port Alexander in 1976 and staked their land as part of the Homestead Act. During her younger years, she lived a subsistence lifestyle and learned the value of hard work early on. The oldest of nine children, she is the daughter of Karen and Ole Taug of Juneau and Steve and Robin Garnick of Sitka. McConnell’s Tlingit name is KaaKaltin and her moiety is Raven/Coho.

She attended school in both Juneau and Port Alexander. Upon graduating high school, she attended UAS for a short time before realizing she wasn’t ready. She worked and lived in Juneau and Seattle for a number of years before returning to Port Alexander in 1998.

McConnell lived with her husband, Luke, a commercial fisherman, in Port Alexander from 1998-2007. During this time she earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from UAS via the distance education program while working both as an instructional aide at the Port Alexander School and as the city clerk. She also served on the City Council and Planning Commission.

After graduating in May 2006, she began looking for jobs in Sitka. Shee Atiká hired her as an accountant in May 2007, so she and Luke packed up and moved. In the spring of 2009, she applied and was accepted into UAS’ Master of business Adminsitration program as a member of the Ghoeley Cohort.

“The UAS MBA program has been a very rewarding experience,” saidMcConnell. “I have learned so much from both the teachers as well as my cohort. What I found most helpful is that I was able to use my organization for projects and papers, which helped link concepts to real-life situations. I would encourage anyone that has been considering getting their MBA to go with UAS.”

McConnell is now the corporate controller for Shee Atiká and holds the office of treasurer for the Greater Sitka Chamber of Commerce. McConnell credits her husband, Luke, for helping her through the busiest two years of her life.

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