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Women of Distinction to be honored March 22

Posted: March 18, 2013 - 3:16pm  |  Updated: March 18, 2013 - 3:22pm
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Amy Bollenbach
Woman of Wisdom
Amy Bollenbach Woman of Wisdom

South Peninsula Haven House has announced the three winners for this year's Women of Distinction Awards, plus the "Hero of the Heart" award. The awards dinner, with music by Hallie Hudson, will be at Land's End Resort at 5:30 p.m. March 22. Tickets are $35 each or $265 for a table of eight. They are available at the Homer Bookstore.

Amy Bollenbach:Woman of Wisdom

One of Amy Bollenbach's first life lessons was that boys and men were more important than girls and women. Small wonder the accomplishment of which she is most proud is founding the Anchorage Women's Liberation Group in 1970.

Awarded a bachelor of arts in history from Indiana University in 1959, she earned a master's degree in counseling psychology in 1973 from the University of Alaska Anchorage and taught psychology for the Anchorage Community College from 1973-1989 and at UAA from 1989-1991. Bollenbach organized the first Women's Studies committee at ACC and, in 1982, received the Soroptimist's "Women Helping Women Award" for her contributions to women's education.

She continued her post-graduate studies and experiments in cognitive psychology for depression at the University of London, Bedford College, London, England, and wrote three professional articles on that subject with UAA professor Robert Madigan.

After illness caused her to retire in 1991, Bollenbach moved to Homer with plans to focus on her health, enjoy nature and do some creative writing. However, concerned by actions of the Legislature, Bollenbach once again became involved in progressive causes. She spearheaded a petition drive for Kachemak Heritage Land Trust to conserve Overlook Park, and continues to work for human rights.

Ingrid Harrald:Woman of Distinction

Ingrid Harrald's parents strongly believed in public service and encouraged her and her sister to volunteer at local organizations beginning at an early age.

Harrald attended Virginia Tech, studying biology and psychology. After graduation, she moved to California and worked in wildlife rehabilitation and education.

Her first job in Alaska came in 1996, and involved studying seabirds for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She fell in love with Alaska and returned for seasonal jobs until she finally moved to Homer in 2000. Harrald remains thankful for the opportunities she found here to grow and learn.

Harrald works at the Kachemak Bay Campus, Kenai Peninsula College-University of Alaska Anchorage, running the science lab and working with the Youth Job Training Program. During the summer, she coordinates the USFWS Youth Conservation Corp. She is studying toward a master's degree in social work from the University of Alaska.

Harrald has volunteered for the Homer Volunteer Fire Department and with Big Brothers Big Sisters. She advocates for bike safety, believes parks are vital to the sustainability of life in Homer and started "Bike to Work Day." Harrald also volunteered on Homer's Parks and Recreation Commission to work on the Kachemak Drive Bike Path. Harrald can frequently be found at the Kevin Bell Arena, playing or watching hockey.

Katherine Dolma:Young Woman of Distinction

At age 10, Katherine Dolma wrote a book, "Women Scientists of Kachemak Bay," which earned her a Girl Scout bronze award. At 12, she earned a silver award for cleaning Homer's beaches. In 2012, her efforts to implement recycling programs for schools and businesses earned Katherine the Gold Award, Girl Scouting's highest achievement.

In middle school, Katherine's commitment to recycling made her a driving force in "EcoLogical Girls," advocating with the Kenai Peninsula Borough for a recycling program at the Homer landfill, inspiring Homer Middle School's switch to reusable plastic trays and raising recycling awareness with fashion shows featuring items made from recycled materials. The group earned first place in the EPA Region 10 President's Environmental Youth Award. Katherine's efforts to educate others about recycling and advocating for school and government policy changes earned her the Action for Nature's 2011 International Young Eco-Hero Award.

Katherine is on the Homer High School Swim and Dive Team and has competed nationally in synchronized swimming.

She was an intern aboard the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge's research vessel, the Tiglax. As teen delegates to the Rotary Global Peace Forum in Honolulu, Hawaii, Katherine and Taylor Ellison presented plans for an outdoor camp for children with adverse childhood experiences.

Kris Holderied:Hero of the Heart

Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Kasitsna Bay Laboratory since 2005, Kris Holderied is responsible for science planning, facility operations and coordinating research and education activities. She also is the science lead for Gulf Watch Alaska and co-lead investigator on the Cook Inlet oceanography and plankton-monitoring project in the program. Her research interests focus on estuarine ecosystems, including coupling between oceanography and biology and linkages to adjacent watersheds and the ocean.

Previously, Holderied worked for the Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment in Silver Spring, Md., developing satellite-based products to help coastal managers and focusing on benthic habitat mapping, harmful algal bloom detection and the impacts of climate change. Before that, she worked on environmental compliance and navigation projects for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Norfolk, Va.

Holderied served in the U.S. Navy, providing weather and oceanographic forecasts in the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. She has a bachelor of science degree in oceanography from the U.S. Naval Academy and a master's degree in physical oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program.

She enjoys the outdoors, softball and playing hockey with the Homer Divas. Holderied is organizer of the Ski for Women, is a Pratt Museum board member and on Kachemak Bay Water Trail's steering committee.

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