Guest Lecturers

Our professors are excited to provide lectures to middle and high school students on a wide variety topics with the hopes of not only imparting new knowledge, but to also get more youth excited about careers in clinical, community, and behavioral health. Use the menu below to view topics currently being offered.

Don't see what you're looking for? Let us know and we'll see what we can put together for you! Contact Vicki Nechodomu, UAA College of Health Communications Director, vnechodomu@alaska.edu.

Lecture Topic Grades Duration Discipline Format
Answering Questions about Crime and Justice: do we trust our sources? 9-12 20-30 min Justice F2F
The Criminal Justice System's VIP 9-12 30 min Justice Virtual or F2F
Disrupt Aging Classroom 11-12 2 hrs Health Science Virtual
Enteric Pathogens: Why you should think twice before eating leftover takeout 8-12 30 min Health Science Virtual
Exploring Health and Social Service Careers 8-12 20-30 min All Virtual or F2F
Exploring the Social Determinants of Health 8-12 30-45 min Health Science Virtual or F2F
Health is everything: An introduction to careers in the Health Sciences 6-12 30-45 min Health Sciences Virtual
Illness outbreak at the potluck: who ate the salmon spread? 9-12  30 min  Health Sciences  Virtual
Is There a Legal Defense for Cannibalism? 11-12 30 min Legal Studies Virtual or F2F
Participating in the Health Policy-Making Process 6-12   30 min  Health Sciences  Virtual
Police use of Lethal Force in Alaska 9-12 30 min Justice Virtual or F2F
What is "Ageism?" 6-12  30-45 min Health Sciences Virtual 
What’s Greta grousing about? 9-12  30 min  Health Sciences Virtual 
Why are there no Reservations in Alaska?  11-12 30 min Legal Studies Virtual or F2F

Request a Guest Lecturer

 

Answering Questions about Crime and Justice: do we trust our sources?

stack of newspapersDiscipline: Justice
Grades: 
9-12
Duration: 20-
30 minutes
Presenter: 
Dr. Ingrid Johnson

For this activity, students will collectively sort sources of information (e.g., newspaper articles, public radio broadcast, activist website, Reddit) from most reliable to least reliable based on wanting to answer the question "Does the death penalty deter crime?" The students will be challenged to consider a number of factors, including the motivations behind the creation of the information within each source, how systematically the information is gathered, and how the information is vetted. This activity provides an opportunity to not only question one's own trusted sources but also learn about how others educate themselves on important social issues that can literally be a matter of life and death.


The Criminal Justice System's VIP 

crime scene tapeDiscipline: Justice
Grades: 
9-12
Duration: 
30 minutes
Presenter: 
Dr. Ingrid Johnson

Abstract: This interactive lecture will introduce the importance of the victim to the criminal justice process. Most crimes are not "discovered" by the police and instead come to the police through reports, often from victims themselves. Victims are therefore the "gatekeepers" to the criminal justice system, deciding whether these cases will even have a chance of being investigated and prosecuted. But how many victims report to the criminal justice system? What does non-reporting mean for how we understand crime and crime prevention? Why do so many victims not report to the police?


 

Disrupt Aging Classroom

an elderly couple with their hands resting on the head of a caneDiscipline: Health Sciences
Grades: 
11-12
Duration: 
2 hours
Presenter: 
Dr. Britteny Howell

Abstract: Disrupt Aging Classroom is a two-hour, interactive curriculum that challenges students to examine their aging perceptions and think about how the growing aging population is relevant to their personal lives and future careers. The Disrupt Aging Classroom curriculum is presented by UAA's Dr. Britteny Howell along with an AARP volunteer facilitator to cover five themes using several interactive activities: describe demographic trends in aging, define and discuss examples of ageism, recognize older adults as multi-dimensional individuals, examine your personal stake in the aging trend, and Identify opportunities for your future career from the aging trend. 


 Enteric Pathogens: you should think twice before eating leftover takeout

two boxes of takeout food sitting out on a counter

Discipline: Health Sciences
Grades: 8-12
Duration: 
30 minutes
Presenter: 
Grace Leu Burke, Clinical Microbiologist and Assistant Professor

Abstract: This topic relates to food borne pathogens common in everyday food, diagnosis of a food borne outbreak, and how to prevent infection. We will identify common food pathogens and causes of infection, discuss laboratory diagnosis and epidemiology, and determine safe food handling practice to avoid infection.

This virtual lecture will include microscopic images and case studies along with an introduction to basic microbial techniques. 


Exploring Health and Social Service Careers

a dental student adjusts the light in the UAA dental clinicDiscipline: All
Grades: 6-12
Duration: 
30 minutes
Presenter: 
Andrea Jones, Recruitment Manager, UAA College of Health

This presentation explores the different types of health and social service careers and how they all work together for the health and safety of communities. Students will learn what skills and interests align with the different professions and will be introduced to tools and resources to help them start their journey in finding the right career pathway for them.


Exploring the Social Determinants of Health

Wooden houses on a tabletop

Discipline: Health Sciences
Grades: 
8-12
Duration: 
30-45 minutes
Presenter: 
Kristin Bogue, Assistant Professor 

Abstract: Students will learn about the positive and negative impacts that community infrastructure and broad social factors can have on an individual’s health and wellbeing.


Health is everything: An introduction to careers in the Health Sciences

a lab with scientific instruments and computer

Discipline: Health Sciences
Grades: 
6-12
Duration: 
30-45 minutes
Presenter:
 Dr. Travis Hedwig

Abstract: This session will introduce the essential services of public health with emphasis on the many different ways people in public health work to make our everyday lives possible. Students will have opportunities to connect their own lived experiences with careers in a variety of health professions. The last 10 minutes will be set aside for a Q&A with participants.


Illness outbreak at the potluck: who ate the salmon spread? 

salmon spread in a bowl 

Discipline: Health Sciences
Grades: 
9-12
Duration: 
30 minutes
Presenter:
 Dr. Lisa Schwarzburg

Abstract: After a quick rundown on food safety, a mock Food Safety Agency and public health taskforce will be finding out where this fictitious outbreak of foodborne illness originated; learn what processes we should exercise to determine that; and devise a plan for how to deal with it effectively from a community and public health standpoint. With a little bit of epidemiological calculations thrown into the mix (like learning about finding ‘patient zero’ and calculating transmission rates), this unit should appeal to CSI-enthusiasts in the crowd.


Is There a Legal Defense for Cannibalism?

a small fishing boat alone in the oceanDiscipline: Legal Studies
Grades: 
11-12
Duration: 
30 minutes
Presenter: 
Dr. Ryan Fortson

Abstract: Imagine you are on a small boat stranded in the middle of the ocean with no food. Except possible other desperately ill sailors. Are you justified in eating one of the other sailors so that you can survive? How does the answer to this question relate to various theories of criminal punishment and what does this say about criminal law more broadly? What legal questions arise in interpreting laws against cannibalism under these circumstances? Whose role is it to determine if clemency should be granted? This scenario (based on an actual historical case study) will be used as a lens to introduce the theoretical underpinnings of the American legal and judicial system.


Participating in the Health Policy-Making Process

a man with a briefcase standing in the snow

Discipline: Health Sciences
Grades: 
6-12
Duration: 
30 minutes
Presenter:
 Dr. Corrie Whitmore

Abstract: This presentation will define health policy, demystify Alaska's policy process, and help students identify actions they can take to participate in policymaking.


Police use of Lethal Force in Alaska

police car with lights onDiscipline: Justice
Grades: 
9-12
Duration: 
30 minutes
Presenter:
 Dr. Troy Payne

Abstract: This lecture introduces students to a defining feature of American police - the authority to use lethal force - and summarizes what is known about police use of lethal force in Alaska. Topics covered include the types of incidents and the situational characteristics that give rise to police uses of lethal force; the demographic characteristics of the people involved in police lethal force incidents; and, the importance of continued research on this topic in Alaska and beyond.


What is "Ageism?" 

An elderly woman sitting at a table

Discipline: Health Sciences
Grades: 
6-12
Duration: 
30-45 minutes
Presenter:
 Dr. Britteny Howell

Abstract: This lesson provides an opportunity for students to understand the stereotypes we may all hold about old people and the many ways it manifests (ageism). Students will have an opportunity to reflect on specific examples and consider ways we can all be allies and take action to confront and challenge ageism.

 


What’s Greta grousing about? How a ‘One Health’ approach can help answer some of these environmental issues in the world and Alaska.

a young woman holding a "we need change" sign at a rally

Discipline: Health Sciences
Grades: 
9-12
Duration: 
30 minutes
Presenter:
 Dr. Lisa Schwarzburg

Abstract: This lecture draws from the attention focused on the speeches of young environmental activist Greta Thunberg and introduces the concept of One Health to address some of the topical environmental issues she presents in her talks, with activities that connect the network of impacts on and from humans, animals, and our environment in the world, US, Alaska, and locally.  


Why Are There No Reservations in Alaska?

village of Toksook BayDiscipline: Legal Studies
Grades: 
11-12
Duration: 
30 minutes
Presenter: 
Dr. Ryan Fortson

Abstract: There are many similarities but also many differences in the historic treatment of Alaska Natives and Native Americans in the Lower 48. This presentation looks at that history to explore differences between the political and legal treatment of Alaska Natives and Native Americans outside of Alaska. An overview of the land rights of Alaska Natives will be provided leading up to the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act in 1971. This Act establishes the legal framework for the political and economic rights of Alaska Natives today. The legal rights of Alaska tribes will be explained by way of understanding Alaska’s alternative framework to reservations.