October 2014

10.01.2014 CaseNotes header

October means the Kendall Hockey Classic Homecoming, and the nighttime Campus Safety Walk.

Dear Community,

It’s been amazing to watch our Seawolf women’s volleyball team compete in the new Alaska Airlines Center. Just a quick walk from student housing, I’m seeing more students than ever filling the stands.  The AAC is a real game changer and great “communiversity” resource. AAC hosted the Visit Anchorage Evening Business Exchange on Thursday and the Green & Gold Gala Saturday night. And, AAC’s Raven’s Nest walking track recently opened to the public. We welcome our U-Med District neighbors and members of the community to take advantage of our great new facility!

Green and gold gala ice sculpture
More than 450 people attended the first Green & Gold Gala in the Alaska Airlines Center. The event raised about $80,000 for student scholarship.

You may have heard that the Board of Regents decided not to increase tuition for the coming academic year, which will have the effect of increasing our budget shortfall. Now, more than ever, the work that everyone has done on prioritization will help us focus our resources on programs and services that best fulfill our mission and the needs of our students and state. We will keep you informed of decisions in the next phase of our prioritization process, with the goal of beginning implementation in early 2015.

Next week, Oct. 8-9, representatives from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights will be visiting campus to learn more about how UAA handles allegations and complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence involving students. I encourage students to attend one of the focus groups or one of the open office hours to discuss these issues. The more we know and better understand our campus environment, the more we can do to keep everyone safe. Letter from the Chancellor.

There is much to be proud of at UAA, including UAA’s designation for the sixth consecutive year as a Military Friendly™ School. Thanks to UAA’s Military & Veteran Student Resource Center and our welcoming community, UAA’s nearly 2,100 active-duty service members, veterans and their families have strong support for their success at UAA.


Student achievement and success

Jordan Skan
Jordan Skan

Maria Crouch and Jordan Skan, two students in the joint UAF-UAA Ph.D. in Community Clinical Psychology program and members of Alaska Native Community Advancement in Psychology, received prestigious NIH minority research fellowship awards. Each will be working on their own developed projects as part of an NIH-funded research project entitled, "Technology Innovations for Supporting Health in Alaska Native People," with Judith Prochaska, Ph.D., MPH, from Stanford University School of Medicine as the principal investigator.

Jordan Skan
German Baquero and Sam Erickson

German Baquero and Sam Erickson won the Madison Cup, the Department of Political Science’s annual competition testing UAA students’ knowledge of the U.S. Constitution.

Faculty achievement

Faculty Showcase
Dede Allen, Dr. Zeynep Kilic, Dr. Landry Signe' and Dr. Dayna DeFeo.

UAA held its first Faculty Research and Creative Activity Showcase, featuring work from more than 60 faculty members at the opening of the Alaska Airlines Center. The UAA Faculty Senate Committee on Research and Creative Activity and the UAA Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies sponsored the Showcase.

Congratulations to Dr. Natasa Masonovic, Chair of the Department of Languages and associate professor of German, on being honored as one of the 25th Annual YWCA Alaska/BP Women of Achievement awardees. The event honoring Dr. Masonovic and other awardees is scheduled for Nov. 13.

Dr. Ryan Harrod
Dr. Ryan Harrod

Anthropology professor Dr. Ryan Harrod coauthored an article, "Peace at Any Cost: When Violence is Used as Social Control," in the September/October 2014 issue of Anthropology News. The article was originally published (and still available online) on anthropology-news.org on May 19, 2014.


Research in support of Alaskans

Investigators at the Center for Behavioral Health Research and Services received a four-year, $1.1-million federal grant to establish a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Practice and Implementation Center focused on developing a national approach to prevent, identify and treat FASDs, with a particular emphasis on prevention.

UAA hosted the initial meeting of the “Arctic-FROST: Arctic FRontiers Of SusTainability: Resources, Societies, Environments and Development in the Changing North” project, an NSF-funded research collaboration network intended to enable and mobilize research on sustainable Arctic development. This meeting included arctic researchers from seven nations across the north, including Germany, Poland, Russia, Austria, Canada, the U.S. and Finland. Read more on Arctic-FROST.


Partnerships with Alaska’s schools

JumpStart logo

A record number of Kenai Peninsula Borough School District high school students, 220, registered for Kenai Peninsula College courses for Fall 2014, almost doubling last fall’s registration of 113. The JumpStart program, funded by the Borough, expanded to include juniors. The program subsidizes up to six credits (at $55/credit instead of $174/credit) for high school juniors and seniors.

Read more about how to take advantage of the program here.


Community partnerships

Dr. John R. Nofsinger
Celebrity Chef Invitational

The 22nd-annual Celebrity Chef Invitational raised nearly $44,000 for the UAA Culinary Arts and Hospitality Scholarship Fund.

UAA is partnering with the Alaska Law Review and Alaska Bar Association to host the Alaska Law Review Symposium on opportunities and change in Alaska’s Emerging Frontiers. The symposium will feature keynote speakers Fran Ulmer, former UAA chancellor and special advisor to the U.S. State Department on Arctic Science and Policy, and Dr. William Iggiagruk Hensley, visiting distinguished professor in the College of Business and Public Policy.


It gives me great pleasure to report the Board of Regents approved the naming of the Valley Center for Arts and Learning—the new building will be called the Glenn Massay Theater. Dr. Massay left a legacy of service to Mat-Su College, beginning in 1980 as dean, becoming director in 1988 and after his retirement in 1995, when he worked as an active supporter of the college.

As the days get shorter and colder, it is good to remember to clean off your headlights and take all precautions to stay safe and sound.

Best regards,
Tom Case
Tom Case