ATIA Foundation Announces 2021 Scholarship Recipients

$19,000 Awarded to Students Across Alaska

The ATIA Foundation announced $19,000 in scholarship awards to 10 outstanding recipients from across the state. These competitive, one-year awards recognize students who have a passion to succeed in fields related to the travel industry.

“At a time when Alaska’s tourism industry is struggling due to the devastating effects of COVID-19, the ATIA Foundation scholarship awards look toward a brighter future,” said Sarah Leonard, ATIA President and CEO. “These students are pursuing degrees that emphasize leadership, business development, marketing, and hands-on skills that will greatly benefit Alaska tourism – and our communities – in the long-run. We look forward to their participation in our industry.”

Thank you to the named donors and ATIA members who support this annual program.

A Taste of Alaska Lodge Scholarship
Dylan Bender, Eagle River – $1,000

Alaska Collection by Pursuit Scholarship
Chloe Manderson, Anchorage – $1,250
Laura Geissinger, Wasilla – $1,250

Alaska Railroad Corporation Scholarship
Lucy Hankins, Seward – $1,000

Alaska Society of Outdoor Nature Photographers Scholarship
Rafael Bitanga, Kodiak – $1,000

All Alaska Tours Scholarship
For students pursuing education in Business Administration.
Chloe Manderson, Anchorage – $1,500

ATIA Anchorage Chapter Scholarship
Dylan Bender, Eagle River – $2,000

Chuck West Memorial Scholarship
Funded through an endowment established in memory of Chuck West, founder of Westours and Cruise West.
Meg Smedley, Eagle River – $1,000

CLIA Alaska Scholarship
Rafael Bitanga, Kodiak – $1,000

Holland America Line Scholarship
Jenessa Lorenz, Whittier – $1,500
Linnaea Gossard, Cooper Landing – $1,000

Kris Geldaker Memorial Scholarship
Awarded in memory of Kris Geldaker to students pursuing a tourism or maritime-related degree.
Laura Geissinger, Wasilla – $2,500

Tim McDonnell Mentorship Scholarship
Funded through the support of Alaska Coach Tours in honor of Tim McDonnell, the former vice president of Alaska operations for Princess and Holland America Lines.
Oceana Howes, Anchorage – $1,000

Tania Hancock Memorial Scholarship
Christi Cruickshank, Fairbanks – $2,000

The ATIA Foundation invests in Alaskans to ensure the quality of people employed in Alaska’s visitor industry. Scholarship recipients are enrolled in a program of study in preparation for a career in tourism. Since 2001, the ATIA Foundation has awarded scholarships to more than 175 individuals. Funds are raised from members during ATIA’s annual convention and through business sponsorships.