Faculty Minigrant Project Summaries

An archive of the previous faculty minigrant recipients and their projects.  Including project summaries and final reports when available.


 Fall 2013

Caroline Wilson, Biological Sciences
3rd Annual Brain Bree and Neuroscience Outreach
Community Partners: Anchorage School District and the Anchorage Museum
The Alaska Brain Bee will take place February 1st, 2014 at the Anchorage Museum,  engaging local high school students in a neuroscience education and "spelling bee" type competition.  UAA students in BIO 490 organize and proctor the event in addition to implementing other community outreach activities that increase science awareness and encourage learning about the brain and nervous system.

Soren Orley, Accounting
Justice for Fraud Victims Project
Community Partners: Anchorage Police Department, Anchorage Chapter of Certified Fraud Examiners, and Local Businesses.
Launched at UAA in the Fall of 2011,the JFVP's goal is to help victims of suspected financial fraud in cases where forensic investigation services are limited or too costly. With the assistance and oversight of Certified Fraud Examiners and state and federal law enforcement, university accounting students establish the method by which a fraud was perpetrated and quantify the damages so a case can be prosecuted. At the same time, students are able to obtain real world experience in the field of forensic accounting.

Dan Anteau, Theatre and Dance
Theatre Partnership with Anchorage School District (ASD)
Community Partner: Anchorage School District
This expanding project involves a collaboration between UAA students and ASD drama teachers to assist with drama classes and productions.  The UAA students prepare theoretical activities and lessons for weekly school visits.

Naomi Torrance, School of Nursing
Project PAK: Partnership for Alaska's Kids
Community Partners: RurAL CAP, Head Start, State of Alaska
The purpose of Project PAK (Partnership for Alaska's Kids)is to increase the number of comprehensive health screenings provided tochildren enrolled in Head Start in rural Alaskan communities.Students in the family nurse practitioner(FNP) program at UAA will travel alongside faculty to these villages to providefree screening exams.In addition, the students,faculty and community leaders will work to understand potential barriers tocontinuing to meet Head Start program requirements and ideally villages will beable to meet the compliance standards and continue to offer enriching programsto their children.


Fall 2012-Spring 2013

Audrey Taylor, Geography & Environmental Sciences
Boreal Birds and Bogs Citizen Science Program: UAA and Audubon Alaska
Community Partner: Audubon Alaska
Boreal Birds and Bogs Citizen Science Program: UAA and Audubon Alaska Community Partner: Audubon Alaska Boreal Birds and Bogs is a citizen science program designed for students and community members to work together to collect data on at-risk boreal bird species and their wetland habitats. Program development includes creating education and outreach materials, giving presentations with the Anchorage and UAA communities, designing field data collection protocols and materials, and assisting scientists with streamlining the field data collection for use by citizen scientists.  

Irasema Ortega & Cathy Coulter, Teaching & Learning
The Will of the Ancestors: A Curricular Framework for Culturally Responsive Teacher Preparation in Science, Phase Two
Community Partner: Chevak School, Kashunamuit School District
This project addresses the need to revitalize and preserve indigenous language and knowledgesystems throughout village schools across Alaska. Building on an existing partnership with ChevakSchool's teacher education program, the focus is writing curriculum that sustains the Cup'ik languageimmersion program at Chevak School by creating an alignment between the curriculum implemented in the classroom andthe elementary teacher preparation at UAA.

Maureen O'Malley, Nursing
An Academic-Clinical Practice Partnership at Alaska Native Medical Center
Community Partner: Alaska Native Medical Center
Student engagement  in Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) projects transforms both student learning and nursing practice as it immerses students in current literature and data collection. This project provides an engaged clinical experience for students while implementing an academic-clinical practice partnership between nursing students and staff nurses to improve clinical outcomes for Alaska Native and American Indian people receiving care at Alaska Native Medical Center.

Mike Mueller & Douglas Causey, Teaching & Learning and Biological Sciences
Kodiak Island Science Teacher/Scientist Partnerships
Community Partner: Kodiak Island School District
The Kodiak Island Borough School District is redesigning their science curriculum around socio-scientific issues.  This provides opportunities for science teachers and their students to analyze complex issues associated with ethical, political, and social dilemmas such as managing salmon population, regulating sport and commercial fishing, and the importance of subsistence hunting and fishing. The project partners UAA faculty with Kodiak community scientists and teachers to assess and incorporate local contexts, cultural activity, history, and physical environment into curriculum.

Nancy Nix, Public Health
Public Health Community Research
Community Partner: State of Alaska Dept. of Health & Social Services
This project addresses the need for community-initiated efforts to make Alaskan communities healthier. Outreach and research methods are based on stories shared by community members.  The approach celebrates and honors community voices, while recognizing their unique strengths. Students enrolled in HS 624: Circumpolar Health Issues conduct individual inquiry projects of communities to better understand the needs and existing resources, and to develop unique and specific strategies to educate and promote healthier communities.

Gabrielle Barnett & Kimberly Pace, Humanities and Women's Studies
WCF: Women. Culture. Film.
Community Partner: Out North Contemporary Art House
WCF: Women. Culture. Film is a series of monthly screenings featuring independently produced contemporary films written and directed by women. The series expands the potential of film on the one hand, and the diversity and commonality of human experience, on the other. Supplemental programming, developed in collaboration with UAA faculty, fosters dialogue about film-making,women's roles, cultural identity, and social justice issues within and outside of the Anchorage community. This project builds community and encourages reflection about local identity, women's accomplishments, and the perspectives of women film-makers around the world.

Caroline Wilson, Biological Sciences
2nd Annual Brain Bee
The 2nd Annual UAA Brain Bee was held Saturday, February 16, 2013, and the winner attended the National Brain Bee to compete. As the community engagement component of Biology 490:Neuroanatomy & Neurophysiology, UAA students visited Anchorage School District high schools to engage high schoolers in the subject of neuroscience, and also to encourage and prepare them to participate in the Brain Bee. The culminating event was a "brain facts" competition.


Fall 2011-Spring 2012

Frank von Hippel, Biological Sciences
Chester Creek Watershed Water Quality Assessment
Community Partners: Anchorage Waterways Council, Russian Jack Community Council
This service-learning project was a component of Biology 373 and built upon the existing community partnerships and six previous years of data collection, to evaluate changes to the watershed. Students re-assessed the water and habitat quality of Chester Creek and presented the findings and recommendations to the Anchorage Waterways Council, Russian Jack Community Council at the end of the semester.

Shannon Gramse, College Prep and Developmental Studies
Smart Start "Food for Thought"
Community Partners: Rempel Family Farm, Alaska Farmland Trust
The "Food for Thought" project incorporated hands-on service opportunities for UAA's Smart Start students focusing on current topics related to food. The students gained a direct knowledge of the issues surrounding local agriculture, food production, and sustainability through fieldwork at local farms and by producing a community education campaign to raise awareness. Along with these tangible experiences, the student group built a greater sense of civic engagement and connection with the UAA community.

Gennady Gienko, Geomatics
3D Photo-Modeling for Arts & Sciences
Community Partner: Sealaska Heritage Institute
3D modeling was the focus of Gienko's project which aimed to develop innovative techniques, methodologies, course material and implementation strategies for creating and using 3D photo-realistic models in various arts and sciences subdisciplines. The first stages of this project involved research and development of the 3D photography using Alaska Native cultural items and art objects.

Kevin Dow, Accounting
Justice for Fraud Victims
Community Partners: Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Anchorage Police Department
This is a new and innovative program assisting fi nancial fraud crime victims, modeled after a successful project at Gonzaga University. The program partners law enforcement and ACFE mentors with UAA students in a group independent study course. Students conduct victim (client) interviews, prepare work papers and a fi nal work product, draft expert and internal control recommendation reports, and provide a formal presentation on the findings to local anti-fraud professionals.

Caroline Wilson, Biological Sciences
1st Annual Alaska Brain Bee
Community Partner: Anchorage School District
The inaugural Alaska Brain Bee was hosted at UAA on March 31. As the service learning component of Biology 490, UAA students visited local high schools to engage high schoolers in the subject of neuroscience, and also to encourage and prepare them to participate in the Brain Bee. The culminating event was a "spelling bee" type competition around neuroscience topics along with a poster presentation by the 490 students. This is the fi rst Brain Bee in Anchorage. The intention will be to continue and for next year's winner to go to a national Brain Bee to compete!

Dorn Van Dommelen, Geography and Environmental Studies
Enrichment GEOG/INTL 101 with African Case Studies
Community Partner: Heifer International
For the past fi ve years Dorn Van Dommelen has partnered with Heifer International (HI) to develop curriculum and a service-learning component in GEOG/INTL 101. During the fall semester, his sabbatical focused on furthering this relationship by helping HI to develop university program plans. Van Dommelen visited two of HI's country-level program offi ces (Canada and Senegal) to have a more intimate look at the organization's work in the fi eld. The in-country fi eld visits are intended to lead to strategic opportunities for further service-learning, including student research and short-term study abroad opportunities.