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The Alaska Travel Industry Association (ATIA) awarded $10,000 in scholarships to three Southeast students, Jacob Sullivan of Hoonah, Kelsey Korpela and Erik Anderson of Juneau. The scholarship program offers assistance to promising students in order to help create a well-prepared tourism work force and perpetuate tourism's high resident-hire rate, currently 78 percent.
Jacob Sullivan of Hoonah was presented with a two-year $5,000 ATIA Scholarship. Sullivan, who is earning a bachelor's degree of business administration with an emphasis in marketing at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, said he plans to have a guiding business that would incorporate fishing, hunting and ecotourism.
Kelsey Korpela of Juneau was selected as the recipient of the $2,500 ATIA Scholarship to complete her education in Hospitality Management at Lane Community College in Eugene, Ore. Korpela said once she has completed her program, she will move back to Alaska and continue working with the growing visitor industry.
Erik Anderson of Juneau was selected to receive the new $2,500 Kris Geldaker Memorial Scholarship to apply it toward a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems at the University of Alaska Southeast. Anderson would like to apply his education to learn new and emerging methods of customer conversion in order to further Alaska's tourism industry.