Posted: Sunday, December 20, 2009

The National Student Exchange will announce at its annual Placement Conference in March that Keith Underkoffler, on exchange during the 2008-2009 academic year from Iowa State University to the University of Alaska Southeast, is one of two winners of the Bette Worley NSE Student Achievement Award.

The award recognizes a student annually who demonstrates the best use of their participation in the National Student Exchange. Underkoffler was selected from among the nearly 3,000 students who participated in NSE for the 2007-2008 exchange year. He will receive a cash award of $500.

When asked what motivated you to participate in the National Student Exchange, Underkoffler replied, "I participated in NSE because I had become worried that I was seeing the world through a narrowed perspective." Going to Alaska uniquely changed Underkoffler's engagement with and perspective of the world.

Underkoffler became involved with Students in Free Enterprise and set up a project that would address energy/cost issues in rural Alaska. The project resulted in furnishing every home in the rural town of Port Alexander with five CFL bulbs, which are estimated to reduce energy bills by as much as 15 percent. Underkoffler was able to facilitate distribution and a collection center that will ensure the bulbs are disposed of in a safe manner.

Underkoffler completed an intensive study on the culture of the Tlingit North Americans, who welcomed him into their lives by sharing many stories and inviting him to their sacred rituals and ceremonies. As a result, he was invited to present his project at the annual meeting of the Alaska Anthropology Association in Juneau.

In addition to those projects, Underkoffler was accepted for an internship program that allows students to work as full-time employees in the Alaska State Legislature in the office of a State legislator.


Former longtime Juneau resident Karen Hansen, Anchorage resident and registered representative with Woodbury Financial Services Inc., was named to Top 100 Independent Advisors list, published in the August issue of Registered Rep. magazine.

Hansen has 20 years experience as a financial services professional and joined Woodbury in 2005. She resides in Anchorage and is a three-time Eagle's Circle member, the highest designation Woodbury bestows on its producers.

Prior to her career in the financial services industry, Hansen owned The Pianoforte for 18 years in Juneau, a teaching studio specializing in voice, piano and music theory. The Pianoforte also served the community with a classical music inventory and piano sales and service.

Prior to coming to Alaska, Hansen worked for 10 years in the political arena as a legislative aide in the Iowa Legislature in Des Moines while attending Drake University and as a Congressional aide in the United States House of Representatives and a Senatorial aide in the United States Senate in Washington, D.C., while attending George Washington University.

Hansen is also very active in her community, serving on the Anchorage and Juneau Estate Planning Councils. She is a long-standing member of the Anchorage Opera Board, chair of the Repertoire Committee, and for many years a chorus member; was a founder of the Juneau Lyric Opera in 1974, board president and member for 12 years; is a Salvation Army Booth Memorial Home Council member of 15 years; music director and conductor for the Alaska Performing Artists for Peace tour of the Soviet Union; conductor of the Anchorage International Women's Choir at the International Women's Conference in Bejing; Chancel Choir director Resurrection Lutheran Church in Juneau for 18 years and First Methodist in Anchorage for two years; performer and director in Juneau Little Theater productions for 15 years.

She holds several professional designations, including being a Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow. She is a member of the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting, Million Dollar Round Table's Top of the Table (three times) and Court of the Table (once), Society of Financial Service Professionals, and National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. She has been honored with MONY's prestigious Triple Crown Award recognizing exceptional achievement in three areas critical to outstanding success in the financial services profession.

Hansen is an Investment Adviser Representative of Woodbury Financial Services. She conducts educational seminars on overall financial services, estate, tax, and retirement planning. Her specialty seminars are "Taking Control," a seminar to empower women, and "Boomertirement," a seminar to assist Boomer transition from the workforce to retirement living.

She has clients across the country in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, Texas, Washington D.C. and Washington state.

She is finishing her Master of Financial Services, which is one of the most selective degrees administered by The American College in Bryn Mawr, Penn. In addition, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree, a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Master's of Music Education. She holds Series 6, 63 and 65 FINRA licenses.

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