Robyn Callahan Honored by UA Board of Regents

Robyn Callahan Awarded the UA "Staff Make Students Count Award" 2023

Kodiak, Alaska - In recognition of her dedication and exceptional contributions to the students of Kodiak College and the University of Alaska, Robyn Callahan, Kodiak College’s High School Initiatives Coordinator, has been selected as one of four statewide recipients of the University of Alaska Staff Make Students Count award for 2023.  Started in 1999, this award recognizes staff who have provided outstanding service to UA students.  

Part of the nomination process is a formal nomination letter supported by letters of endorsement from those knowledgeable of the contribution made by the nominee.  Callahan received multiple letters of endorsement from parents, community members, colleagues at the high school, faculty from Kodiak College, and students she has helped over the years. 

Upon receiving the UA Staff Make Students Count Award on Thursday 31 August at the University of Alaska Board of Regents meeting in Juneau, Callahan discussed her own path to education and what inspires her to create change for students in Kodiak.  “I am honored to receive this award and want to say thank you to all my students who make me look so darn good.”  

Callahan consistently goes above and beyond in her role, creating an environment that fosters innovation, engagement, growth, and success for high school students as they explore college and career.  Her infectious enthusiasm and steadfast belief in equity and creating opportunity for students has left an indelible mark on both her colleagues and the students she serves.  

The list of impacts Callahan has had on Kodiak College and its students is extensive: she created the first Kodiak Island Scholarship Fair, the first UA Scholars event at Kodiak College, visioned, lobbied for and implemented the Persistence Pays administrative scholarship, has been a critical force in the work of Kodiak Early Middle College, and founded the non-profit organization Island Grad Project whose mission it is to “increase postsecondary attainment on Kodiak Island through community partnership, resource connection, process navigation, and student empowerment.” 

In her letter of nomination, Kodiak College Director Jacelyn Keys, wrote, “Robyn brings heart, honesty, and authenticity to her work.  Her goal?  To be the support she didn’t have in high school, and to provide the opportunity and encouragement she didn’t have until later in life.  This isn’t just work for Robyn - this is heart-work for Robyn and it comes from a place so deep and so pure it imbues every ounce of what she does with a special kind of magic.  Each student has individualized guidance and resources to help them persist, be challenged, and find support and success. Robyn absolutely makes students count - every single day.  Every. Single. Student.