Posted: Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailers Association Education Fund Inc. (CHARR Ed Fund) awarded 13 scholarships totaling $19,000 for the 2007 Spring academic semester.

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The following Southeast applicants received 2007 scholarship awards: Amanda Behrends, of Juneau, attending the Western Culinary Institute of Portland; Tram Ngyuen, of Ketchikan, attending the University of Alaska Anchorage; Jeren Hunt, of Sitka, attending the Alaska Culinary Academy at AVTEC; and Taylor McDonald, of Ketchikan, attending the University of Alaska Anchorage.

The Alaska CHARR Scholarship Fund Program was created to encourage academic achievement and educational opportunities for Alaska students in the hospitality industry. Alaska CHARR awards scholarships once a year. Applications are available year round and are open to all Alaska residents. The application deadline for the 2007 fall semester is May 15. The next round of Alaska CHARR scholarships will be awarded in August 2007. For more information please contact Alaska CHARR. Alaska CHARR is a member of the Alaska Beverage Council.


Dr. Pamela Steffes, of the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Eye Clinic in Sitka, has been awarded Fellowship in the American Academy of Optometry. She earned the honor during the Academy's annual meeting Dec. 7-10 in Denver.

In order to become a Fellow of the Academy, professionals must pass a rigorous candidacy process that includes extensive written work and an oral examination. A panel of leading optometrists and vision scientists must approve both sections of the test, and fewer than 10 percent of practicing optometrists become Fellows of the Academy.

Dr. Steffes grew up in Sitka, graduating from Sitka High School in 1990. She earned her Doctor of Optometry degree from Pacific University College of Optometry in Forest Grove, Ore., and completed internships at Teplick Laser Center in Portland, Ore., and The Children's Eye Doctors in Redmond, Wash. She has been at the SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Eye Clinic for 712 years. She joins Dr. Tim Strand, OD, of the SEARHC Juneau Medical Center, as a Fellow of the Academy.


Mel Punongbayan, a 2005 graduate of Juneau-Douglas High School, made the dean's list for outstanding academic performance during the fall 2006 semester at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz. He is the son of Melo and Tessie Punongbayan of Juneau.

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