Born in Ukraine, raised in Russia, and currently living in the United States, Alisa Bagaeva considers herself to be a global citizen. She speaks three languages fluently, hopes to speak more someday, and dreams of visiting every country in the world at least once. Ms. Bagaeva moved to United States when she was 18 and received her Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems at the University of Alaska Anchorage. As a part of her senior capstone project, she and a group of teammates built an automated inventory system for Beans Café, a local non-profit organization that provides meals and shelter for people in need. The project was so well-done that the team was invited to the annual Association of Information Technology Professionals conference. This was a national competition with many top schools involved, where Alisa’s team placed in the top four.
Today Ms. Bagaeva is working towards her Master’s in Business Administration with an emphasis in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics. She currently works for an international IT company – Computer Task Group- and currently is involved as the youngest Business Analyst on a multi-million dollar telecommunications project in Alaska. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, attending dance classes, and spending time with her boyfriend.
Meghan Carson is currently in her final year toward her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. She first obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Economics in May 2015 from UAA, graduating with university and departmental honors. Unsure of her next steps, she returned to UAA in the fall of 2015 to supplement her degree with a handful of accounting and finance courses. Little did she know, her accounting classes would prove challenging and exciting, leading her to pursue a degree in the subject. Meghan participated in Accounting Week and recently accepted an offer from a local public accounting firm: Thomas, Head & Greisen. She plans to obtain her CPA license within the first year of employment, with her first exam already scheduled for January. Meghan was eager to participate in the Leadership Fellows Program. She saw this program as an opportunity to experience immense personal growth, to develop leadership skills, to network with prominent leaders, and to make a genuine impact on the local community. Meghan is excited to see what this year’s cohort will accomplish.
Daisey Davenport was born and raised in Alaska and is a currently working on her Bachelors of Business Administration with a major in Accounting. Daisey is looking forward to graduating in the spring with her degree and plans to return to UAA in the fall to purse a Masters of Business Administration. Daisey had the privilege of interning with Lynden Logistics this past summer working in their accounting department learning more about the transportation industry within Alaska. She would like to pursue a career in public accounting and work as a Certified Public Accountant with a focus on Auditing.
Daisey also enjoys teaching 2nd and 3rd grade girls Sunday school class and helping with the youth group at her church. She is passionate about helping young people and hopes to help them grow into strong future leaders. She also loves spending time with her family and hopes to create a way to bridge her love of accounting and helping people together in her future career.
Maria Camila De La Torre
Maria Camila De La Torre moved to Anchorage from Bogotá, Colombia, in 2010. She has always been passionate about entrepreneurship, which led her to pursue a bachelors in business management and finance at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). She later found a love for cooking and finished her culinary arts associates’ degree in the spring of 2016; where she now works as a lab aide in the Culinary Arts, Hospitality, & Restaurant Management Division of UAA while she finishes her double major in the College of Business and Public Policy. She recently worked as a management trainee intern for Enterprise Holdings, and prior to that as a marketing and public relations intern for the UAA Department of Athletics. Outside of school, Maria Camila enjoys hiking, skiing, traveling and experimenting with different cooking techniques (e.g. molecular gastronomy).
After receiving her degree in 2017, Maria Camila aspires to travel Europe and Asia to experience and learn from the gastronomical differences through the various cultures. During this time she also wants to learn more about restaurant and hotel management in hopes of opening a restaurant and hotel boutique when she returns to Colombia. Maria Camila hopes to grow and develop valuable professional skills through the Leadership Fellows Program that will allow her to be a successful leader and business owner in the future.
Ana Devic is senior undergraduate at CBPP, majoring in accounting. She holds two Associate degrees in Accounting and Arts. Prior to moving to Alaska, Ana was studying languages and language arts.
The love for the accounting was born when she first moved to Alaska. Wanting to learn how to prepare taxes for herself and family, she enrolled in the course offered by the local tax office where she ended up working on preparing tax returns after completing the program. During her first year at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Ana was on the chancellor’s list and year after was nominated as the AHAINA Women of Excellence.
She has successfully completed internship program for the local federal agency and currently is working as the accountant for the local satellite communication company present in Alaska for over 30 years. She also works for the Alaska Immigration Justice Project, Language Interpreter Center as the Serbian interpreter. She is an experienced interpreter in medical as well as court settings. After completing bachelor's program she plans to become Certified Public Accountant.
When she is not studying and working, she loves spending time with her family.
Katie Dillbeck was born and raised in Alaska. After graduating from Palmer High School, she began working for Matanuska Telephone Association. While working at MTA, she took classes at the Matanuska-Susitna Campus. Katie graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Business Management from the University of Anchorage Alaska. After receiving her undergraduate, she started working as a Data Clerk for the Point Thomson Project stationed out of Prudhoe Bay. Working on the North Slope is where Katie discovered her passion for logistics and the importance of the supply chain, especially in remote locations.
Katie is currently working towards her MS Global Supply Chain Management at UAA. She has been in her current role of Buyer / Contract Administrator at MTA for the past two years.
Ryan Ellison is currently pursuing his Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage, with an expected 2017 graduation date. Born and raised in Kodiak, he received his Civil Engineering degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2005. He has been employed as an engineer with a multinational oil and gas company since 2006, holding various positions within the company during that time. He is currently a Project Lead within that organization, responsible for the scope, schedule, and budget of various field and facility modification projects. During his spare time, Ryan enjoys spending time with his family and exploring the Alaskan outdoors, as well as planning his next trade in the commodity and foreign exchange markets.
Byron Lowe is a senior undergraduate in the CBPP, double-majoring in Business Management and Marketing. He is currently interning with the Anchorage School District in its Communications Department and is the Student Supervisor of the UAA Phonathon program which raises of $100,000 annually for university scholarships. Working in the UAA Phonathon program has taught him the art of fundraising and to be as philanthropic as possible at all times. He is also an active member of the Marketing and Management Club. This past summer he was a Retail Management Intern with Nordstrom. He is an employee of The Alaska Club which has given him the connections to be involved with conducting marketing and communication efforts for the World Handball tournament which Anchorage will be hosting in 2018.
Byron is extremely interested in the entertainment industry and his sophomore year he went to college in Los Angeles and plans to return once he graduates. In his free time, Byron enjoys networking outside of his regular circle of peers and playing an active role within the Anchorage Community.
Roxanne Makamson is the Retail Account Manager for Tesoro Refining & Marketing Co. LLC. She oversees all retail operations for the Alaska region. Previous to this position, she was the Regional Development Manager reporting to the Vice President of Human Resources, Business Partners and was responsible for development and training of upper level management as well as served as the change agent for the region. Previous to Tesoro Refining & Marketing Co. LLC, Roxanne spent over 10 years in the Retail Industry leading Wal-Mart and Lowes as the Store Leader. She is a member for the Society of Human Resources Management and the Alaska Chapter of Association of Talent Development. She holds a B.S. in Education from Mississippi State University with a secondary in Business Management. Roxanne has served on the board for various organizations in the Wasilla community and has coached several sports as a volunteer. Born and raised in Sturgis, Mississippi, Roxanne lives in Wasilla with her son and daughter.
Diego Perez will be a first generation college graduate for his family. He is working on graduating in the spring of 2017 with a Bachelors of Science in Aviation Technology Management and a Minor in Business Administration.
While being at UAA, he was a member of the professional aviation fraternity Alpha Eta Rho and Tau Kappa Epsilon Social Fraternity. During his time with Alpha Eta Rho, he gained leadership experience by holding the treasurer and vice president positions. In his role with Tau Kappa Epsilon he helped bring and establish Tau Kappa Epsilon as a recognized fraternity by the university. He was heavily involved in the creation of a fraternity that strives on helping student members build leadership experience, give back to their community and engage to help change the “commuter” mentality of the University of Alaska Anchorage. Also during his time at the University, he has owned two successful businesses and has gained a large sum of business knowledge. He will use this experience after college to create a business and a non-profit.
Some of his favorite activities are being outdoors and exploring the world. He enjoys running, playing soccer, skiing and playing a game of chess. Diego is also very passionate about the arts and plans on shocking the world around him by developing a new art form that hits more than just the five common human senses. Diego believes that with a good heart, respect, ambition and drive, anyone can do, create, or become whatever they set their mind on and are only limited by what they believe.
Evgeniia Sezionova is an international student who came to Alaska in 2010 to continue pursuing her bachelor degree. Originally from the Far East, Russia, she was interacting with people from China, Japan, and South Korea in her everyday life. So when she decided to take part in students exchange program to get more cross-cultural communication experience, she moved to Alaska and immersed herself in the American life. In 2013, she received a bachelor degree in Accounting with minor in Economics.
Currently, she is working as an Accounting Specialist at Alaska based company TruVIm CPA. She prepares taxes, provides full bookkeeping and payroll services, and performs financial statements analysis to the variety of clients. Besides developing herself professionally, Ms. Sezionova is studying at the University of Alaska MBA program. She is planning to graduate in Spring 2017 with Accounting and Business Intelligence/Business Analytics emphases. After graduation, Evgeniia will continue working on getting her professional experience as an accountant or business analyst. She hopes that participating in the Leadership Fellows program will help her to connect with many interesting people and to become a better leader.
Paul Shadura III
Paul is currently a Fleet Manager for one of the largest seafood companies in the state and a lifelong Alaskan. Growing up in a Commercial Fishing family has instilled a high level of work ethic, determination, and character to which he relies upon in his professional career. Paul completed his Bachelor of Business Administration in Global Logistics and Business Management in 2005 through the University of Alaska Anchorage and has been employed in the fields of Marine Operations and Logistics for the last ten years.
Building on a passion for business and entrepreneurialism, Paul is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree through his Alma Mater. He has discovered an interest in real estate and is building a new business after recently passing the State of Alaska Real Estate Salesperson Exam.
When not traveling to various seafood ports or tending to business endeavors, Paul can be found spending quality time with his family, enjoying the Alaskan outdoors, or rowdily cheering for his favorite sports teams.
Carissa grew up in Alaska and was a graduate of Clark Middle School and Bartlett High School. In 2007 she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a minor in Spanish from the University of Central Missouri. As part of her undergraduate coursework, she studied two semesters at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Querétaro, México. She returned to Alaska in 2012 and am currently working as an assistant clinical manager in an adult intensive care unit.
The last few years have been very busy for Carissa. She earned a Master of Science in Nursing Leadership and Management from Western Governors University in 2016. Carissa entered the UAA MBA program in 2014 and is having a wonderful time raising her 2-year-old son. The MBA program has exposed her to such a wide variety of educational and professional opportunities. It has given her a community of support in a way that she never experienced in other universities. Participating in the Leadership Fellows Program in her final year is an honor and a wonderful way to close out her MBA studies.
Larissa Tapia - a Business Management major with an emphasis in Leadership. She currently works at Southcentral Foundation on the Alaska Native Medical Center campus, as an administrator. Larissa has worked there for the past four years and has been in management for over 15 years. She loves living in Alaska and has been here since 2004. Larissa enjoys playing hockey, hiking outdoors, and training for a half marathon coming up soon. Her hobbies include volunteering at the performing arts center, holding babies in the NICU, and building a miniature doll house. Larissa completed her Bachelors in Management from UAA earlier this year and started the master’s program this summer with a graduation date of May 2018. She enjoys all the opportunities this Leadership fellows program has offered her thus far, and looks forward to what the next several months will bring. A great big THANK YOU to Dr. Nelson for making this possible!
Ana moved to Alaska with her family in 2009 and graduated from West Anchorage High School in 2011. She is a Tongan descendant and a first generation college student. Ana was admitted into the undergraduate Accounting program within the College of Business & Public Policy at UAA in Fall 2011. Since then, she has been tremendously blessed with such a wonderful college experience. She worked as an Orientation Leader for the New Student Orientation office. She took advantage of an opportunity to go on a Study Abroad to Guanajuato, Mexico focusing on language and culture. Ana is currently involved with the Student Support Services program and also the Accounting and Spanish student organization. She paused her education to serve an 18-month Latter-day Saints charity mission and she re-enrolled at UAA in Fall 2015. Ana is currently a Senior and a full time student. One of her goals is to stay determined and motivated to excel in all of her classes so she can graduate in Spring 2017 with a Bachelor in Accounting. Following her graduation, one of her career goals is to work or get an internship at one of Alaska’s accounting firms. Furthermore, with her experiences, she intends to be a Certified Public Accountant. Ana is proud to be a part of the Leadership Fellows Program. She is humbled with her overall experience of working with a mentor and she is looking forward to learn and grow from the program.
Michaela grew up in Seward, Alaska, and spent her summers salmon fishing in Prince William Sound and Southeast Alaska on her dad’s 58-foot commercial fishing boat. Her interest in accounting began in high school when she took an introductory accounting class and realized her brain naturally organized information in debits and credits and t-accounts. Michaela is now a senior in the accounting program and will be graduating in May. On top of being a full-time student, she works 3 jobs: as the student worker for UAA’s Alaska Native Business Management minor program, as an AK Starfish Co. employee, and as a nanny. During the (little) free time that she has, Michaela enjoys getting outside with her golden retriever puppy Odin, eating sushi, and crafting! Before becoming a “real adult” and working towards becoming a Certified Public Accountant, Michaela plans on spending some time abroad in Europe; starting with Scandinavia in June of 2017.
Mackenzie Tubbs was born and raised in Alaska, middle child of 5. She graduated in 2012 from Wasilla High School. Spent Formative years involved in music, choir, varsity dance team, competitive soccer, varsity cheer, volunteering for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, Co-Occuring Disorder Institute (CoDi)’s Sexual Health program, and Rotary International. More recently also coached Houston High Football and Basketball Cheer. Passion for music, event planning, & the outdoors. Transferred between colleges in Oklahoma, Texas, and California, before coming back home to UAA to finish her Bachelor’s degree. She is a Management and Marketing major due to graduate in Fall 2017. The Leadership Fellows program has given her the opportunity to be mentored by Hellen Payares (Fleming) and Ray Flores of Showdown Productions. They then offered her a promoting internship through Showdown Productions, and hired her as Sales Manager at Ray’s other business, Shirts Up Serigraphics and Solutions.
Mel Vesco was born and raised in Alaska. She joined the Navy immediately after high school, attended "A School" in Virginia, after which she had the opportunity to travel to South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, and Guam. In 2001, Mel returned to Alaska, and affiliated with the Navy Reserves.
Mel began working in the petroleum distribution industry, first with Petro Products, and later with Shoreside Petroleum. Her career was put on pause in 2005, when she was deployed to Iraq. During her tour, she had the opportunity to work with several multinational militaries. She was awarded a Joint Commendation Medal and Combat Action Ribbon, promoted to Chief Petty Officer, and mentored 22 junior sailors upon her return.
In 2007, Mel resumed her career in the petroleum distribution industry, gaining experience in accounting, fuel inventory, and marketing. She is due to graduate from UAA in December with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a major in Marketing.
Like many Alaskans, Mel has a passion for hunting, kayaking, and archery, which she shares with her husband Brian. She is grounded in her Christian faith and her love of community. “I’ve been very blessed, particularly when I have had the opportunity to serve others.”