In honor of the 2019 Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic, we’d like to introduce you to another of our amazing Morris Thompson competitive scholarship recipients: Annie Sanford. A University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) student from Tok, Annie is the daughter of Dewayne Carl Sanford and Lena Blair Sanford, both of Tok. Her paternal grandparents are Walter and Laura Sanford of Tanacross. Her maternal grandparents are Mary Jane Tom Tom Blair and William Blair, both of Snag, Yukon.
Annie is pursuing an associate degree in applied science in radiologic technology. She’s completing a summer internship for academic credit at Bassett Army Community Hospital in Fairbanks. She graduates in 2020.
Annie was the featured student speaker at the 2017 Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic. The annual fundraiser benefits Doyon Foundation scholarships and honors the memory of the late Morris Thompson, who served as president and chief operating officer of Doyon, Limited.
Doyon Foundation: Your degree program at UAA is competitive — only about a third of students who apply are accepted. What are some challenges you’ve encountered?
Annie Sanford: The biggest challenge I faced during my education would have to be starting my practicum while taking radiology courses. The practicum is building my confidence and knowledge in healthcare, but it’s also a new experience that requires learning a new environment and working with a wide range of people.
Finding a balance between hands-on radiology while learning new coursework was difficult. I was able to keep a strong head on my shoulders and kept persevering with the support of family, friends and classmates. Their encouraging words and gestures constantly remind me of the wonderful work I’ll be able to do once I complete my program.
DF: And when you’re not focused on school?
AS: I spend time with family and friends or at the student recreation center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. In April I volunteered at a conference of the Alaska Society of Radiologic Technologists. It was a good chance to meet people in my field and learn more about it.
DF: How did earning a Morris Thompson scholarship, awarded competitively by Doyon Foundation, help with your education?
AS: Education has always been part of who I am. Doyon Foundation provided enormous support, financially and through student events like a Navajo taco dinner. These gestures made gaining a higher education easier. I’m a full-time student and very much appreciate the Foundation’s efforts.
DF: You’ve mentioned that keeping a goal in sight helped relieve stress. That sounds like a success tip for other students.
AS: Yes. There’ll be times when you’ll feel overwhelmed with stress from school and life in general. That’s when it’s important to take time to surround yourself with positivity — whether that’s time with family and friends or just a day to relax.
I’ve learned that when you surround yourself with positivity, you’ll be reminded that feelings of stress are worth pushing through to reach your goal.
DF: What’s ahead for you?
AS: I’ll continue taking radiology courses in the 2019 – 2020 academic year while completing practicum hours around class time. I’m on track to graduate in May 2020. Once I’m certified as a radiologic technician, I hope to work at Tanana Valley Clinic or Chief Andrew Isaac Health Center in Fairbanks.
Named in honor of the late Morris Thompson, former president and CEO of Doyon, Limited, the Morris Thompson Scholarship, awarded by Doyon Foundation, has helped more than 200 students earn college degrees. The annual Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic raises money for this competitive scholarship fund. This year’s golf classic took place June 13 and 14 in Fairbanks.
A special thank you to all of our 2019 Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic sponsors, including our hole sponsors: Alaska Communications, Alaska National Insurance Company, Chapman Capitol Consulting Inc., Doyon Board of Directors, Doyon Senior Management, Doyon Utilities, Great Northwest Inc., Hilcorp Alaska, LLC, Kent Dawson Company, Inc., Lynden International, Marsh | Wortham, NOV Rig Technologies, Northrim Bank, Owl Ridge Natural, Resource Consultants, Inc., Pearl Meyer, Stoel Rives LLP, Texas AGA, and Ultimate Software Group, Inc. Your support makes scholarships for students like Annie possible! View all 2019 sponsors on our website.
To learn about future opportunities to support the event as a sponsor, golfer or volunteer, visit the Foundation website for details.