Alaska's Cooper Earns GNAC SAAC Faculty Mentor Award

Friday, July 22, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. – Amy Cooper, a University of Alaska Fairbanks accounting instructor, has been selected as the recipient of the 2015-16 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee’s Faculty Mentor Award.

In its third year, the Faculty Mentor Award is awarded to a faculty member outside of athletics at a GNAC-affiliated university who not only serves as a valued advisor to student-athletes, but someone who also embodies the NCAA’s core values of learning, passion, service, resourcefulness, sportsmanship and balance.

“I have been lucky at UAF to have some amazing student-athletes in my class,” Cooper said. “A lot is required of them to be successful – organization, great time-management skills, strong communications skills, a desire to succeed – both in the classroom and in their respective sport.”

Cooper was nominated by members of the Alaska Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for the award and was selected for the award by the GNAC SAAC’s awards committee in May.

“Amy has consistently gone out of her way for students by offering extended office hours, hosting study sessions and holding each of us accountable in unlocking our full potential when it comes to academics,” Alaska ice hockey player Alec Hajdukovich wrote in Cooper’s nomination. “Whether is it by helping review resumes, apply for internships or just be somebody to talk to, it is clear that Amy genuinely cares about her students and is willing to go above and beyond to ensure future success for each one of them. There is no doubt in my mind that Amy embodies the Faculty Mentor Award and is more than deserving of receiving the honor.”

Cooper, who recently finished her fifth year on the Alaska faculty, works in the UAF School of Management as an accounting professor and also serves as the faculty advisor for the Great Alaskan Accounting Students group.

“Our student-athletes not only have the demands of a normal student-athlete, but because of where the university is located. Their travel schedule can be quite demanding,” Cooper said. “I try to work with the students as much as I can so they feel caught up in class and prepared for the current class material. I am honored and proud of this award because I feel it is a reflection of the hard work, effort and energy of our student-athletes.”

Cooper’s nomination will now be forwarded on to the Division II National SAAC for consideration for the group’s Dr. Dave Pariser Faculty Mentor Award. The national winner will be selected during the National SAAC’s meeting in Indianapolis in November.

Past recipients of the GNAC SAAC Faculty Mentor Award include Bill Rapp of Northwest Nazarene (2013-14) and Laura Reid of Simon Fraser (2014-15).