All of her professional life, Heather Alberts has been devoted to helping women develop their leadership, educational and political capabilities. Heather received her undergraduate degree in political science from Connecticut College in New London, and her Master’s degree in career counseling from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. She began her professional life as an American history teacher for middle school children. When her family moved to Tucson in the 1970s, she began to develop the New Frontiers program, focused on helping women and minority students seek professional careers requiring math and science education. As New Frontiers grew, she opened offices in Flagstaff, Phoenix and Tucson to better serve the entire state, including the Native American reservations. Each year between 1978 and 1999 New Frontiers, one of the longest running equity programs in the U.S., sponsored the “Expanding Your Horizons” conferences across the state with thousands of girls meeting women in non-traditional careers as inspirational role models.
Upon retiring, Heather developed “”Better Than Ever” a program within the University of Arizona Cancer Center to encourage fitness through walking, jogging and bicycling in non-competitive, fun and supportive environments. This all volunteer effort , now in its 16th year has trained over 4000 participants in Sedona, Phoenix and Tucson to complete a 10K, a half marathon, or a component of the Tour De Tucson perimeter bike race. During this time, Better Than Ever has raised $2 million and supported more than 50 pilot research grants for women’s cancer prevention and treatment within the University of Arizona Cancer Center. Heather continues to follow her passion for encouraging everyone to be “Better Than Ever.” For all of this and so much more that Heather has done for the community around Southern Arizona, Arizona List is extremely proud to recognize Heather Alberts as our Tucson honoree of 2016!