Professor earns Autism Society national award

Joanne Healy, assistant professor of special education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, has been named the 2014 Autism Society Volunteer of the Year.

The Autism Society’s award is presented to an individual volunteer whose work has positively influenced the lives of individuals, parents and professionals addressing autism either in a community or nationally. The award was announced July 25 at the Autism Society’s 2014 national convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Healy was recognized for her dedication and work during the past five years with the Autism Society’s affiliates assembly, which makes strategic recommendations to the society’s board. Denise Swan Carusoe, a board member, nominated Healy.

Healy joined the UAF School of Education in 2008 to develop the special education master’s degree and related certification programs. She brings 21 years of public school teaching experience to her role as a special education instructor. She teaches a variety of special education teacher preparation courses, including two classes about autism. Additionally, Healy works to bring national and international autism experts to Fairbanks each summer to teach courses on a variety of special education topics.

For more information about the UAF School of Education special education program, visit or contact Jane Monahan at 474-5362 or