Posted: Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Alaska Bar Foundation and the Alaska Bar Association have recognized Andy Harrington, executive director of Alaska Legal Services Corp., with the Judge Jay Rabinowitz Public Service Award. The award was presented during the Alaska Bar Association's convention in Juneau.

The award is named after former Alaska Supreme Court Justice Jay Rabinowitz. Justice Rabinowitz dedicated his life to public service. The Alaska Bar Foundation established the award to recognize exceptional individuals who dedicate their life to public service. Mr. Harrington clerked with Justice Rabinowitz when he moved to Alaska in the early 1980s.

Harrington has been the executive director of Alaska Legal Services Corp., the largest and oldest provider of free civil legal service to low-income Alaskans, since 2001. Prior to that, he had served as staff attorney and supervising attorney of the Fairbanks ALSC office since 1983. He is a Harvard Law School graduate and has a degree in Physics from the University of Fairbanks. He was recently one of four candidates referred to Governor Palin by the Alaska Judicial Council to be considered for the Alaska Supreme Court vacancy after Justice Alex Bryner's retirement.

Alaska Legal Services Corporation was established in 1967 to provide high-quality free legal services to low-income Alaskans.


Jack Christiansen, facility manager at the new NOAA Lena Point facility, recently won NOAA's annual Employee of the Year award for the GS-11 to GS-15 range, administration and staff support section.

"I was suprised and very appreciative of the staff who gave me so much support to make it possible," Christiansen said of winning the award.

For his job, Christiansen performs capital, operational and maintenance duties for the Lena Point facility as well as NOAA's old Auke Bay lab, the NOAA subport building downtown, Auke Creek Hatchery and the Port Walter Hatchery on Baranof Island.

"(What I love about my job is) the opportunity to be involved in facilities and a fisheries research project with the wonderful staff out at the NOAA site," he said.


Malissa Myr Suson, of Juneau, was among the more than 2,100 graduates in the University of Alaska Anchorage's Class of 2009. She received a Bachelor of Business Administration during a celebratory ceremony on May 3 at the George M. Sullivan Arena in Anchorage. Her parents are Benjamin and Castora "Terry" Suson.


Susan Erickson, of Hoonah, earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and management at Alaska Pacific University's spring graduation ceremony on April 25. Nontraditional students like Erickson attend school while living and working in their home communities.

Erickson quit college at the University of Alaska Fairbanks more than 20 years ago when she became pregnant with her first daughter. When her daughter graduated high school and left for college four years ago, Erickson enrolled in APU's RANA Distance Education Program. Erickson continued to work full-time and care for her family in Hoonah, and met in live time with her professors and classmates via Internet videoconferences at night.

After more than 20 years since her first attempts at UAF, Erickson received her degree. This year, Erickson and her daughter attended each other's college graduation ceremonies - Erickson's at APU and her daughter's at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

According to Erickson, the professors at APU are partly to thank for her recent accomplishment.

"You get to know your professors well and they keep in contact and check in. " Erickson said. "Without their encouragement I don't know if I would have lasted."

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