What’s New At Mat-Su?
We invite you to stay connected with your campus and read the “What’s New at Mat-Su” Newsletter below:
Christine S. – Scholarship RecipientJanuary 21st, 2014
“Thank you for the opportunity you have given me with this scholarship.”
Christine is the first student to receive the Alvin S. and Gloria M. Okeson Scholarship. A lifelong Alaskan, she has always had strong ties to the Mat-Su community. So when she decided to return to school, Matanuska-Susitna College was an easy choice. But working full time and supporting a family while attending school isn’t so easy.
“My husband and I are on a limited income. Without this scholarship I would not be able to buy the books and supplies I need for my classes.”
The Okeson Scholarship provides support to Christine and students like her, by relieving some of the financial burden and allowing them to focus on making the most of their educational opportunities. Thanks to her hard work and the support of donors like you, Christine will graduate this December with her associate degree in accounting.
“Thank you for this generous scholarship. Without it, life and school would be much more difficult.”
Amos Secoy – MSC Graduate Giving BackJanuary 17th, 2014
“Computers have always been a hobby of mine. I also knew Technology wasn't going to be effected by the market and would always need people to manage it.”
As a non-traditional student seeking a degree for a second career, Amos found the program at MSC very welcoming with many other non-traditional students looking for a new path. After being in the construction business for 8-10 years and the housing market dying off in 2008, Amos knew he needed a degree for a new career.
“Things fell perfectly into place for me.”
Amos graduated from MSC in May of 2012 with an Associates of Applied Science in Computer Systems Technology (CST). While working toward his degree, he began working part-time at Matsu Services for Children and Adults (MSSCA) and quickly took over as head of MSSCA's IT system, which comprised of 17 servers and supports 280 employees.
“I have obtained more information and achieved a lot since my time at Mat-Su College. I want to make sure that knowledge is passed on.”
Amos values education and the opportunities he has worked hard for since his time at MSC. As a way to give back, Amos teaches at MSC as an Adjunct Professor within the CST Department to pass on what he has learned. Amos also sits on the CST Advisory Council and has donated an IBM AS400 to the program for students to see the evolution of the equipment. This past Winter Break, Amos also spent a full week of his vacation time on a time-consuming special project for the department. After many hours of work on the advanced equipment, Amos had it programmed and up and running. He has also built a new rack for the whole system.
“Amos is very supportive of the school and excited to help. He believes in reinvesting in this program through teaching, donating time and more.” – Professor Harry Banks.
Okeson Family – Scholarship FoundersJanuary 16th, 2014
“I’m just hoping I can help as many people along the way as I’m able.”
Gloria and Alvin Okeson have been a part of Matanuska-Susitna College since the very beginning, and played a pivotal role in the growth and development of the college. For more than 20 years Alvin served as director of Mat-Su College, while Gloria volunteered her time as a bookkeeper when there were no funds to hire more staff. In fact, the whole Okeson family has been involved with the college over the years. All three of the Okeson children (Phil, Mark and Pam) took classes at Mat-Su College while in high school to better prepare them for their transition to university studies.
“[The scholarship] was one of those things we were building and growing and working hard to keep afloat.”
Although Alvin passed away in 2011, the legacy of his commitment to Mat-Su College lives on in the Okeson family through their support of the Alvin S. and Gloria M. Okeson Scholarship. Endowed in 2010, the Okeson Scholarship provides vital financial assistance for non-traditional students at Mat-Su College.
“You can never go wrong giving to a scholarship. It gives students an extra incentive that they can’t get elsewhere. If you’re in a position to help, contributing to the success of young people is very rewarding."
Recent Alumni Making Firsts in the CommunitySeptember 12th, 2013Alumni Emily Gelino-Bequette won Best in Show at the 2013 Alaska State Fair for her impressive Art Drawing. Emily, a 2012 graduate, also took a first in 3-D Stain Glass, Northern Lights and Kitsune Mask art work. Emily’s impressive art work is well known on campus; she created a 3-D sculpture of our now famed mascot the Arctic Dragon. The dragon was a hit at the Mat-Su College Cabin Display at this year’s Alaska State Fair. Well Done Emily! Go Arctic Dragons!
Alumni BBQ 2013September 12th, 2013Matanuska-Susitna College hosted its 2nd Annual Alumni Barbeque on Tuesday July 16, 2013. A Hot Dog Bar and Potluck were done and all that attended brought their favorite side dishes. See the fun photos on the Matanuska-Susitna College Pinterest site. We are looking forward to hosting an even bigger event next year, our 3rd Annual Alumni Event –save the date- July 8th 2014- and bring your family and a side dish to share. See you then!
Importance of Giving to ScholarshipsSeptember 12th, 2013 "I can’t stress enough how your support of scholarships makes such a great difference in the lives of the students who receive them. My Mat-Su College scholarships have allowed me to pursue my educational and career goals while continuing to be involved with the community." Nick, Matanuska-Susitna College student and scholarship recipient. In these hard times, students are in need of scholarships to achieve their educational goals. Please consider donating.
Ground Breaking for the Valley Center for Arts and LearningJuly 19th, 2013 On July 18, 2013 - About one hundred faculty, guests, staff and other dignitaries gathered for the ground breaking of the twenty million dollar Valley Center for Arts and Learning at Mat-Su College. Various representatives from Earthscape, a landscape architect, Kumin & Associates, Inc. – the architects, BBFM Engineering, Inc., RSA Engineering Inc., Landry & Bogan – theater consultants, MCH, Inc. and Contract Hardware, Inc., as well as the main contractor Roger Hickel Contracting, Inc. were present for the ceremony. College Director Talis Colberg introduced speakers: State Senator Charlie Huggins, Chancellor Tom Case, State Representative Bill Stoltze and Associate Chancellor Chris Turletes. Gloria Okeson, the spouse of former longtime director Al Okeson was on hand to help with the official shovel ceremony.
Welcome AlumniJune 7th, 2013
Mat-Su Alumni are making a difference across this state and across the globe. We now serve over 2,000 students in a modern and expanding facility. An energetic and talented faculty and staff work hard to create a positive atmosphere to facilitate the development of scholars and workers for the future of Alaska. There are few places in the world as majestic as this valley and the Matanuska-Susitna Campus of the University of Alaska Anchorage is the gem in the statewide system of higher education.Please come join us in our 2013 Giving Campaign. Through your giving we can expand educational opportunities for more students at Mat-Su College.
2013 Alumni BBQJune 7th, 2013
Share your favorite side dishes!
Date: Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Time: 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Where: Mat-Su College in the Cafe (weather permitting outside)
Bring your family and a side dish to share. The college will supply the meat, beverages, and dessert.
RSVP by July 12, 2012 to Courtney Brooke Smith 907-746-9317 or email@example.com
Congratulations Graduates!June 7th, 2013
87 graduates attended Commencement which included UAA, UAS and Taft Law School graduates.View the Graduates HERE