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2019 Alumni Impact Award Winner Announced

Congratulations to Len Necefer ‘07 the recipient of the 2019 Giulio Regeni Alumni Impact Award. Len has been a strong advocate for Native nations and the environment since graduating from UWC-USA. Congratulations are also in order for finalists Rick Rowley ‘94 and Shiva Gurung ‘84.

Len Necefer ‘07 (2019 Winner) is an assistant professor with joint appointments with the American Indian Studies program and the Udall Center for Public Policy. He is also the CEO of NativesOutdoors, a Colorado-based outdoor apparel company. Len has worked with Allegheny Science & Technology as an energy manager and the Department of Energy’s Office of Indian Energy in Golden, Colorado. Len has become a strong young voice in the debate about public lands and national monuments, as well as an enthusiastic advocate for native communities. He regularly consults and serves on panels for the outdoor and native communities. Len participated in the 2016 Annual Conference on campus. Len is passionate about the environment, the land we inhabit and has, throughout his years as an alumnus, fought to protect and represent the voice of Native Nations.

Rick Rowley ‘94 (2019 Finalist) is a filmmaker devoted to telling the stories of people who fight for truth, for freedom, and against war. Rick also uses film to tell stories about those who struggle against unfair capitalistic systems in developing countries. His work not only shows commitment to the UWC mission but also shows how important it is to engage the public and to share the stories that Giulio Regeni was exploring at the time of his death. Through his art, Rick is able to help change the way we see the world by humanizing the stories of real people. All his films, from Zapatista up until Dirty Wars, focus on unveiling atrocities while celebrating the power that we all have to fight back.

Shiva Gurung ‘84 (2019 Finalist) comes from a very small village in Northern Nepal (Badagun, Besisahar). When he graduated from UWC-USA, he chose to return to Nepal, refusing a scholarship for university study, in order to “give back” to his country the fantastic opportunity he had acquired through his UWC education. Shiva started his career in Kathmandu as a successful computer scientist in one of the biggest banks in Nepal. While working there he became an inspirational leader for his team members. In time he also became an inspirational leader of his village Badagun, taking over from his father’s leadership. He created a new vision for the valley that led the 22 villages to form an agricultural cooperative. Shiva has been a tremendous supporter of Badegun’s initiatives including promoting sustainability and encouraging the involvement of women in village projects.

The Giulio Regeni Alumni Impact Award is conferred annually on a UWC-USA alumna/us whose work and life are exemplars of the UWC mission. The winner each year is a featured speaker at graduation. Learn more about the Giulio Regeni Alumni Impact Award here.

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