A lifelong Alaskan, Nicole Deren has an academic background that is as varied as her hobbies and interests. She received her Bachelor of Arts with a dual major in Philosophy and Journalism and Public Communications from UAA in 2015. Her career has spanned a range of fields from graphic design to event management, leading to her current position as project coordinator at an engineering firm. She will graduate with a Master’s of Business Administration from UAA in Spring 2021. After graduation, she aspires to assume a leadership role in which she can further hone her skills and to continue expanding her community involvement in Anchorage.
Her compulsion for extracurriculars, such as volunteering as an annual judge at the UAA Ethics Bowl and serving as a member on multiple work committees, led her to the Tom Case Leadership Fellows program. When she is not reading philosophy, travelling to a concert, or playing disc golf, she can usually be found in the mountains or woods hiking, backpacking, or camping.
Grant Humphreys comes from a background in engineering having obtained his B.S. in Civil Engineering from The University of Notre Dame 2017. He worked as a project engineer for a few years in the lower 48 before returning home to Alaska. He is in his second year of the Master’s Business Administration program at the University of Alaska Anchorage and plans to use his degree to better serve the Alaskan community.
Grant is interested in the Tom Case Leadership Fellow Program because he wanted to connect with the community here in Anchorage and better understand how he can make a positive impact. Professionally, Grant is interested in pursuing a career in design engineering, specifically in the ecological, hydrological, and structural fields and is currently working as a Junior Project Manager with UAA's Applied Environmental Research Center.
Minuk Kim is in his first year of the Master’s Business Administration program at UAA. Working in Accounting and Finance in the Republic of Korea Army led Minuk to major in Accounting as an undergraduate. Minuk has been dedicated to public service and volunteering since he has been participating in volunteering programs and charity campaigns held by NPOs, NGOs, and Christian organizations traveling various places in North America such as Mexico and Haiti.
Minuk’s professional goal is to continue in the nonprofit sector and develop more ideas and programs that could be helpful for those in need. He joined the TCLF because he believes that it is the perfect opportunity to get connect to professionals in his field and obtain essential business insights.
Eric Lacher received his Bachelor of Business Administration, Finance from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2018, and is working as the Assistant Finance Director at a non-profit in Anchorage. He plans to graduate in the spring of 2021with a Master of Business Administration and professional certificates in the fields of data visualization and data analysis.
Eric sees the Tom Case Leadership Fellows program as a valuable opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with both his peers and his mentors. In the future, he would like to work in the field of business intelligence and to research and publish articles about Social Return on Investment.
Beyond work and school, Eric is an ordained minister and member of the local Selective Service board, and he enjoys Alaska’s hiking trails and breweries.
Erickson is an active duty Army logistics officer in his eighth year of military service. He is currently enrolled in both UAA's MBA and MS in Global Supply Chain Management programs.
Upon graduation, Erickson plans to pursue a career in Alaska's logistics industry. In joining the TCLF program he hopes to learn from a local industry leader, gain a better understanding of logistics and business, and continue developing as a leader.
As former high school social studies teacher Lauren has over a decade of experience building curriculum, teaching diverse learners, and helping staff achieve programmatic and learning objectives. Currently, she is the Director of Educational Programs for Boys & Girls Clubs – Alaska.
Lauren will graduate with a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Public Sector and Non-Profit Management in the spring of 2021. She believes in the transformative power of education and joined the Tom Case Leadership Fellows program to learn from her mentor and peers and hopes to gain further insight into what it takes to run and sustain a successful business. After graduation, she hopes to lead an education and youth focused non-profit organization.
In her spare time, Lauren enjoys spending time with her husband and dog, and reading everything she can get her hands on.
Morris L. Pickel III
Morris L. Pickel III has worked in the Information Technology field for 20 years and currently works at Chugach Electric Association as an Applications Manager. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Technology and a Master of Science in Project Management with a certification in Project Management Professional.
Morris currently in the Master’s of Business Administration program at UAA with an emphasis on Leadership. His professional goal is to pursue a position in executive leadership after graduation.