Rising Leaders in Public, International, and Arctic Affairs Program

Preparing the next generation of visionary and high-impact leaders

In today’s context of global interconnectivity, the Rising Leaders in Public, International, and Arctic Affairs Program is a University-level initiative poised to play a major role in positioning UAA as Alaskan pioneer in developing the next generation of public and international affairs skillful leaders committed to improving the state of Alaska, the Artic region, the United States, and contribute to a better world. 

The Rising Leaders Program helps students hone their leadership skills to accelerate their personal development and maximize their impact and success in public, international, and arctic affairs.   

The Rising Leaders Program provides students across multiple disciplines the opportunity to engage in life changing experiential learning while developing real world problem solving skills so that they can participate and ultimately become leaders in local, national, and international decision-making processes in our diverse, multicultural and globalized world.


Lecture Series 
Students interact and network with local, national, and global leaders, during private meetings specially organized for them. 

Skill Development Activities 
Students will develop effective public speaking, writing, networking, and professional skills. Deliverables will include high quality professional documents (strategic notes, policy memos, briefing notes, business strategies, etc.) in order to facilitate acquisition of skills necessary for a successful and high-impact career.  

Students will identify and develop a close relationship with a mentor, signing a mentorship agreement with specific goals. 

Practicum and Real-Life Impact 
Students will practice implementing what they have learned in a real life context while maximizing their impact in public and private projects or organizations. The practicum may include, but is not limited to local, national, or international internship, volunteering, work, travels, or research projects which are internationally oriented but with local impact, or locally oriented but with international impact.

Three concentrations are available to students: Rising Leaders in Public Affairs; Rising Leaders in International Affairs; and Rising Leaders in Arctic Affairs. 

Selection process:

Dr. Landry Signé 
Assistant Professor of Political Science 
Director of the Rising Leaders Program

Social Sciences Building-362 
3211 Providence Dr. 
University of Alaska Anchorage 
Anchorage, Alaska 99501 
T: 907-786-4549 
E: lsigne@alaska.edu 

Testimony: What Students Think

Xavier Mason
“His guidance and advice really helped me improve my competitiveness for the competition, assisting me in building a strategy on how to showcase my intellect and complementing it with my social businesses. My extensive sessions with Professor Signe proved to be of great value, with his guidance, I ultimately became a Finalist for the third most competitive scholarship in the United States.”  

“Professor Signe helped me develop a step-by-step plan of action that I could execute. Not only did he assist me in the developing of the executive committee, but he created more value to the initial plan, by providing his personal insight. Now, I have a better Youth Council and a far greater vision that the organization now lives up to.”

“By watching Professor Signe work, I am now more purposeful in my work-habits so that I waste less time and get more done. My grades have improved, my ability to maintain my work load is  more secure than before, even though it is fuller than it has ever been. I am excelling in numerous organizations on campus such as: The College of Business and Public Policies Leadership Fellows Program, Emerging Leadership Program, Golden Key Honors Society, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Community Engaged Student Assistants, and my own companies VisualAid, HandMade, and CurrrentEnergy. It is hard for me to overstate the significance Professor Signe’s mentorship has had and the impact it has made on my life. I am really humbled and grateful that he has enough confidence in me to have time set aside for me, despite his many responsibilities on campus and the international community.” 

Matthieu Ostrander
“As a mentee of Professor Signé, my personal, academic, and professional development has been marked by notable accomplishments that have opened doors to my future. In April, I was ranked in the top ten debaters in the United States at the US Universities Debating Championship at Purdue—an accomplishment that stemmed from performing exceptionally strong in a round about settlement construction in the Palestinian territories, where I employed what I had learned in PS 490. In April, I was also accepted and given a grant to attend a human rights intensive at Stanford University during the summer, which I was regrettably unable to attend. Instead, over the summer I participated in an academic internship program at The Washington Center, an opportunity that only became possible after receiving a $10,200 scholarship to fund my tuition and housing. Professor Signé provided vital support and advice throughout the application process, both helping me prepare the application itself, but also by writing an extremely strong letter of recommendation on my behalf that stood out because of his detailed knowledge of my skills and strengths. In June, I received a $10,000 scholarship towards graduate school after winning the Global Debate and Public Policy Challenge in Budapest, Hungary. Professor Signé reviewed my written submissions throughout Fall 2013, and helped me strategize my approach to the various portions of the competition during Spring 2014. Going forward, I am pleased that Dr. Signé has agreed to review and help me revise my applications for graduate school. As it is my goal to enter a highly ranked program, his experience will really be valuable.”

Curtis Leitch
“Looking back at the senior year of my undergraduate at the University of Alaska Anchorage, one of the most (if not the most) life changing decisions I made was agreeing to a mentorship with Dr. Landry Signe.  Although I am no longer formally enrolled in any classes taught by Dr. Signe, or at UAA for that matter, I continue to learn from my teacher and mentor on a regular basis throughout life’s course.  Throughout my mentorship with Dr. Signe, I have learned about what it means to be a political scientist in the field; what it takes to successfully obtain your career goals; the importance of being an engaged citizen, and what it means to be a leader. 

In addition to growing as an academic, Dr. Signe helped me create a plan to successfully pursue my career goals and develop from a professional standpoint.  When talking about my summer plans, I had mentioned to Dr. Signe that I needed to take credits over the summer to graduate.  Dr. Signe responded by urging me to apply to Stanford’s Summer Semester Program.  I couldn’t have even fathomed the idea of acceptance into said program; however, Dr. Signe had faith in my abilities.  I decided to apply after talking with Dr. Signe and was later accepted into the program.  I ultimately declined the offer after pursuing another opportunity; however, Dr. Signe showed me that I was able to accomplish much more than I had previously thought was possible.  I declined the offer to Stanford because I pursued another option Dr. Signe had opened me up to.  Dr. Signe had posted on blackboard a scholarship opportunity with The Washington Center.  With my confidence level boosted, I applied to the program and was accepted and given a scholarship to attend the semester in Washington D.C.”

Emily Fredenberg
“This time last year I was in the throes of the graduate application process.  Making a transition from a very different undergraduate background into the study of international development was quite an undertaking.  Finding Dr. Signe as my University of Alaska mentor was instrumental to the success I experienced in the application process.  Without his intense coaching I certainly wouldn’t have been standing where I am now, a year later.  Thanks in no small part to Dr. Signe’s assistance, I was accepted into a number of reach graduate programs including Columbia University’s Development Practice program.  Upon being offered a substantial scholarship, I accepted my offer to attend Syracuse University where I am currently studying.  At Syracuse University, I also have the esteemed opportunity to work as a graduate assistant for Catherine Bertini, former CEO of the World Food Programme.  Dr. Signe has quite the way of making the unbelievable possible, but only if you’re willing to meet him with equal determination and effort.”