AARP Alaska Announces 2023 State Walking College Fellows

Posted on 05/23/23

Anchorage, AK (May 23, 2023) - AARP Alaska today announced the names of 10 local advocates, who have received Fellowships to participate in the 2023 Alaska and New Mexico State Walking College.

Three senior women walk down the street and talk

The program is presented in partnership with AARP New Mexico and America Walks, a national education and advocacy organization which works to advance safe, equitable, accessible, and enjoyable places to walk and move by giving people and communities the resources to effectively advocate for change.

"We are delighted to welcome this group of passionate local leaders, who are working to improve walkability and livability in communities throughout the state," said Teresa Holt, AARP Alaska State Director. "The Fellows represent a range of backgrounds and experiences, including community organizing, health and wellness, economic development, and planning.”

Walking College Quote.png

The Alaska State Walking College Fellows are:

  • Julius Adolfsson from Juneau
  • Devora Barrera Gonzalez from Anchorage
  • Mary Dean Broussard from Anchorage
  • Anna Bryant from Anchorage
  • Patrick Case from Homer
  • Jessie Doherty from Anchorage
  • Linda Kruger from Juneau
  • Sandy Mixayphon-Celario from Anchorage
  • Jeff Raun from Anchorage
  • Katie Reilly from Anchorage

Fellows will complete a series of modules covering leadership development, coalition-building, walkable community design, local public policy, and strategic planning.  The instructional content includes online study materials, video-conferenced discussion forums with other Fellows, and community assignments.  Each Fellow will receive one-on-one coaching from a Personal Mentor to assist them in developing a Walking Action Plan for their community. 

The following Walking College Mentors have been appointed to provide individual coaching and facilitate group discussions among the Alaska and New Mexico Walking College Fellows:

  • Chris Schutte, a community and economic development consultant and past executive director for Anchorage Downtown Partnership, Ltd.
  • Maja Pedersen, a post-doctoral researcher and practitioner in public health with the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Stanford University
  • Sheri Bozic, Director of Planning, Development, and Transportation in Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico


About The Walking College:  The Walking College was developed in 2014 by America Walks, with funding support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The goal of the national program is to build the capacity of local walkability and pedestrian safety advocates to improve their communities.  In 2021, AARP Livable Communities partnered with America Walks to develop and implement a series of State Walking Colleges.  More info. at

About America Walks:  America Walks is a national education and advocacy organization devoted to increasing walking and expanding walkable communities throughout the U.S. With a network of more than 30,000 individuals and 700 partner organizations, America Walks’ programs include webinar broadcasts, federal advocacy initiatives, online technical assistance, community-based workshops, the National Walking Summit, and the Walking College. More info. at

About AARP:  AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit, or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol @AARPadvocates and @AliadosAdelante on social media.

About AARP Alaska: More information at:

This story is provided by AARP Alaska. Visit the AARP Alaska page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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