Nov. 2011

Dear UAA community and friends,

UAA's Athletics team worked overtime to make the 34th annual Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout basketball tournament a great event for our Anchorage and Alaska communities. I am very proud of our Seawolf basketball players and want to thank Carrs/Safeway for its longstanding sponsorship, as well as the volunteers, and many partners and state legislators who make this super tournament possible. Steve Cobb is already lining up next year's roster and promises another big weekend of basketball in 2012!

UAA celebrates Alaska Native and Native American Heritage Month

Celebrations of Alaska Native/American Indian Heritage Month took place across our campuses throughout November.

UAA hosted a Veterans Resources Fair

UAA Student Affairs and UAA Student Veterans Association organized a week of events recognizing our veteran students and their families, providing resources and culminating in UAA participation in Veterans Day National Roll Call. During National Roll Call students, community members, faculty and staff  read the names of the 6,200 people who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn.

Senator Ellis, Chancellor Tom Case and UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers at the SOE 50th

UAA School of Engineering alumni, donors, and friends attended the School's 50th Anniversary celebration and open house. UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers and Sen. Johnny Ellis joined me in updating the nearly 200 attendees on UAA/UAF's joint commitment to new engineering facilities at our campuses. Sen. Ellis also noted the bipartisan support of this initiative.

Regent Fuller Cowell and Chancellor Case at the UAA Aviation Center open house

Regent Fuller Cowell helped us thank our President's Associates individual and corporate donors at an event held at the Aviation Center.

Student Notes

Fifty-four students at Mat-Su College have made the Stay on TRACK "Finish in Four" promise to complete 30 credits a year, choose a major, see an advisor and finish their degree in four years.

UAA students voted to approve a $3 sustainability fee for students enrolled in 3 credits or more at UAA. The Green Fee referendum passed with a vote of 167-122. As a proposed new student government fee, USUAA will finalize the Green Fee board composition and award guidelines in the coming weeks. Thank you to our UAA students for your commitment to making UAA more sustainable!

The Northern Light, UAA's student newspaper, received an Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker Award, one of college journalism's oldest and most prestigious awards for general excellence.

Jessica Kazmierczak crowned Miss AlaskaResident Advisor and UAA student Jessica Kazmierczak was crowned Miss Alaska USA 2012. Jessica is a former intern to the late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and reigned as Miss Fur Rondy 2010.

Faculty Notes

Environment and Natural Resources Institute (ENRI) Research Scientist Dr. Paddy Sullivan and ENRI Director Jeff Welker are receiving $500,000 of a $1.2M award from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Office of Polar Programs. ENRI faculty fellows and research scientists submitted seven research proposals in October 2011 to NSF Office of Polar Programs for $3.9M. Liliya Vugmeyster, ENRI faculty fellow, received a $201,369 NSF research award.

Heather Nash, Kenai Peninsula College (KPC) curriculum designer and Title III activities director, has been certified as Alaska's sole Quality Matters "Master Reviewer." Master reviewers verify and review distance delivered courses to determine whether they meet stringent Quality Matters standards.

Jennifer Burns, ENRI faculty fellow and a research team including Masters and Ph. D. candidates from UAA and UAF are traveling to McMurdo Station, Antarctica, to work on a National Science Foundation study of Weddell seals.

Prince William Sound Community College's (PWSCC) Julie Fronzuto and Don Bickley presented a keynote at the Oregon Immersive Education Days summit (OiED) about their virtual lab environments that enable students to access labs and attend class in 3-D real time anywhere in the world.

Staff notes

UAA track and field coach Michael FriessCross-country and track coach Michael Friess   received the Great Northwest Athletic Conference men's and women's Cross-Country Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season. He also earned the men's and women's NCAA Div. II West Region Coach of the Year. This makes it 12 cross-country Coach of the Year awards in a 22-year career. Way to go!

Program Notes

The Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies (ICHS) has received nearly $440,000 from social service agencies to fund partnerships with the Alaskan Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) and Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation (BBAHC) to develop and evaluate interventions to address sexually transmitted diseases (with ANTHC) and reduce youth suicide (BBAHC), as well as fund an assessment of obstacles to self-sufficiency among Tribal recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

Women and men's cross-country teams are Great Northwest Athletic Conference and West Region Champions for the second year in a row. Women's Volleyball made their third trip to the NCAA tournament this year. The Seawolves have signed Alaska's best high school volleyball and women's basketball players.

UAA is one of only five institutions nationwide selected to participate in the RAILS (Rubric Assessment of Information Literacy Skills) project to help librarians and academic faculty develop and test rubrics that evaluate student learning and information literacy.

Research and Publication Notes

The Justice Center released the most recent publication from its Community Indicators Project: The Matanuska-Susitna Borough Community Survey 2011 and Trends 2007–2011, which will be used by decision-makers to better plan for the future growth of the Mat-Su Borough. The Center also released the summer/fall 2011 issues of the Alaska Justice Forum including articles on immigrants in Alaska, Village Public Safety Officers and violence against women cases, and Alaska's Five-year Prisoner Reentry Strategic Plan.

Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) researcher Sharman Haley has two chapters in North by 2020: Perspectives on a Changing North, (University of Alaska Press).

Steve Calatrello, Kenai Peninsula College (KPC) English adjunct faculty, published an article outlining the important choices that students make and the effect of those choices on their success in Innovations Abstracts.

Safety Note

In October, UAA had two reportable injuries. One involved an employee who aggravated an existing knee injury and the second was an injury to an instructor’s back. Neither involved lost time. Proper body mechanics can help prevent lifting related injuries. If you need help, ask for it!

Safety Tips--The entrances to all UAA buildings have buckets of sand with a scoop for to improve traction. If you encounter a slippery area, please use the sand that is provided.

Help us keep the university warm and safe during the winter months by making certain doors and windows are not left open.

"Safety is Everybody's Business!"

Development Notes

DAT/EM Systems International donated 16 licenses of their SUMMIT Evolution professional software, valued at $312,000, to the Geomatics Department in the UAA School of Engineering. The software donation will allow Geomatics students to conduct 3-D image analysis in a new state-of-the-art lab. DAT/EM is also providing training.

Public Square Note

UAA's Early Childhood Education Program and Anchorage Parks and Recreation Department sponsored a Creative Activities Fair for more than 300 caregivers and children, and more than 70 early childhood and elementary education students from UAA participated. Thank you to professor Robert Capuozzi who organized the event.

The International Student Association sponsored the second annual Oxfam  Hunger Banquet, which gave students, staff, faculty and guests an  opportunity to "eat like the world."

Take Note

Mat-Su College received a 2011 Davey Award for its 30-second commercial, "A Day in the Life." The Davey honors the finest creative work from the best small firms, agencies and companies worldwide. You can see the commercial on Youtube.

Have a safe and happy holiday season,

 

Tom Case 

Tom Case