Without prior experience working with Alaska Native or rural communities, Leona created an award-winning strategic communications plan that is UAF's first marketing and public relations effort specifically targeted to rural Alaska communities. She splits her time between University of Alaska Fairbanks' College of Rural and Community Development and Interior-Aleutians Campus.
She interviewed Alaska Native leaders and students about the needs of the rural communities and identified ways she could promote Interior-Aleutians Campus and UAF's higher education and vocational training opportunities.
The publicity component has resulted in media placements in Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, The Council (Tanana Chiefs Conference newsletter), Cornerstone (university faculty and staff newsletter), local television news, In the Loop and public broadcasting radio stations, the primary communication method in rural communities.
Rural Alaska Outreach & PR