Dean's Dispatch Issue 7

Dean's Dispatch Header

July 2023, Issue 7

Dear Alumni and Friends,

I am excited to announce the 2023 CAS Community Lecture “Alexander Hamilton: The America We Are Building” by New York Times columnist David Brooks. This presentation will include a discussion of Hamilton’s ideas for our country, both structurally and in terms of an educated and engaged citizenry. These ideas of an educated populace parallel the core mission of the College; to provide a broad education, to create civically minded citizens who are lifelong learners, and to meet the workforce needs of our state.

The event also exemplifies our goals to be a valuable resource to our community and to be a good community partner. Our event is supported by our community partners, The Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, who is hosting this event, Alaska Airlines, Alaska Public Media, the Atwood Foundation, and many more. I hope you can join us on August 24, for this unique event. Our 2023 Community Lecture will also give the College an opportunity to share our many areas of excellence with our community. We will have information and exhibits in the foyer, the hallways, and the lobby of the PAC for patrons to view before and after the lecture. 

David Brooks Flyer

In this copy of the Dean’s Dispatch, we provide a preview of the excellence of our students, faculty, alumni and donors. This spring we held our annual Celebration of Students, in which we recognize the accomplishments of one student from each department, both at the celebration and through a $1000 scholarship. This scholarship and others are made possible through the generous donations of people like Fran Rose, who we highlight below. Throughout her life, Fran both studied and worked at UAA,  ran several of her own businesses, worked as a public servant for the state, and has been a long-time Anchorage resident and leader. I thank Fran for her continued support of CAS.

Celebration of Students
This past year, CAS students received over three hundred and forty-two thousand dollars in scholarships. Awardees included incredible students like Ludek Wojtkowski who excels in both the arts and the sciences, exemplifying the College’s mission to educate students broadly. As a UAA student, Ludek is a physics and mathematics minor, engineering major and is involved in undergraduate research. Outside of the university, he is an outstanding violinist who serves as the ConcertMaster of the Anchorage Symphony. Ludek excels in the classroom, in the lab and on the stage.

Students, like Ludek, have opportunities to work on research projects and other creative endeavors because of the excellence and dedication of our faculty. CAS faculty routinely receive national recognition for their work - whether it is receiving national grants, authoring peer-reviewed journal articles, publishing books with a distinguished publishing company, or performing or exhibiting in a prestigious venue. Dr. Eric Klein, an Assistant Professor of Geological Sciences, exemplifies the excellence of CAS faculty. Dr. Klein was recently awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER award for his work in hydrogeology.  NSF CAREER awards are highly competitive awards to “early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education.” The award provides funding for Eric not only to do important research, but also to develop new classes for students.  I am excited for our students and for Eric.

Eric Klein in the field

We are in the process of developing a strategic plan for the College of Arts and Sciences that will guide us in the coming years and that aligns with UAA 2027.  We would like to hear your thoughts on the future of the College and ask that you complete this brief survey. The CAS Strategic Planning Group will be working on the plan over the coming months. We’ll be sure to share this with you when it is complete.


Dr. Jenny McNulty, Dean


Ludek Wojtkowski

Student Spotlight: 
Ludek Wojtkowski
Physics & Astronomy
Ludek Wojtkowski, a Physics & Astronomy minor in the College, has been conducting computational research in the UAA Plasma Physics Laboratory with Dr. Nathaniel Hicks since Fall 2021. When asked about coming to UAA, Ludek said, "UAA is a great place....there are great opportunities for students to work right with the faculty, you just have to look.”

Eric Klein Photo

Faculty Spotlight: 
Eric Klein
Geological Sciences

Dr. Eric Klein is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences, and was recently awarded the National Science Foundation CAREER award. “There is a clear connection between the research that I conduct and my role as a professor. One of the best aspects of all this is bringing students into the investigation of the questions research poses."

Fran Rose photo

Donor Spotlight: Fran Rose

"I believe in education, but more than that I believe the university needs to grow and develop. In particular, I support the College of Arts and Sciences. In my opinion, the College of Arts and Sciences is the most important part of the university."


CAS Celebration of Students 2023

2023 Celebration of Students

The College of Arts and Sciences hosted the second annual CAS Celebration of Students in the Fine Arts Recital Hall. In the presence of friends and family, CAS honored one student from every department with a scholarship for the next academic year. The College also recognized recipients of CAS Named Scholarships.