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First AIT Scholarship Recipient Announced

Doyon Foundation is pleased to announce that Chalisa Attla was selected to receive the very first Arctic Information Technology (AIT) competitive scholarship for the 2014 – 2015 academic year.

“I feel blessed and honored to be awarded the first Arctic Information Technology scholarship,” Attla said. “The funds invested in my education will not only benefit myself, but the Native community as a whole. Having financial support will allow me to focus my time and energy on classwork instead of stressing over tuition and living expenses.”

AIT, a subsidiary of Doyon Government Group, donated $3,000 to Doyon Foundation to establish the new competitive scholarship. “This scholarship was established to support the educational goals of a shareholder interested in pursuing a career in the information technology field,” said Kevin T. Slattery, senior vice president and general manager of Doyon Government Group. “Computers and information technology services impact every aspect of today’s world. The industry is large and will continue to support employment for many years to come.”

Attla, who is originally from Hughes, currently resides in Fairbanks, where she is attending the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) and majoring in accounting with a minor in finance. After graduating in May 2015, Attla plans to pursue her CPA license, as well as additional education including Doyon Leadership Training and a master’s degree in leadership. Eventually, Attla would like to become a corporate controller at a Native entity, such as Doyon, Limited or one of its subsidiaries.

“I’ve always known that I wanted to be within the business field. After joining the School of Management, I was assured that the accounting degree had the highest potential for me. Not only are you academically challenged more, but once you understand how the money flows and how to account for a company’s finances you can excel in just about every other department,” Attla shared. “Also, one of my first accounting instructors, Amy Cooper, hooked me in with her awesome teaching techniques and her love for the profession.”

Attla encourages other students interested in accounting to join their school’s accounting organization. “At UAF, the Great Alaskan Accounting People organization provides you with an abundant amount of information about the profession. You get to network with current CPAs throughout the state and understand the value of career planning and the diverse paths available to the accounting profession,” she said.

Attla also advises potential accounting students to make sure their chosen school is AACSB accredited. “AACSB accreditation is known, worldwide, as the longest standing, most recognized form of specialized/professional accreditation an institution and its business programs can earn,” she said.

Most importantly, Attla offers hope to students considering higher education. “I want to assure future students that earning an education is possible even when you think you aren’t capable of paying for it. All you have to do is be dedicated, do your best, and apply, apply, apply! There are tons of funds for students out there – all you have to do is pursue them,” she said.

“A love for learning is something I hope to instill in the younger generations and my 4-year-old son Allen,” said Attla, who is the daughter of Kathy (Attla) Ehlers and Dewayne “Tracy” Hailey. Her maternal grandparents are Alfred and Helen Attla of Hughes, and her paternal grandparents are Thomas Hood of Columbus, Georgia and Marie (Walker) Katcheak originally from Holy Cross.