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About CAFE

Mission and Services

Founded in 2000, the Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence (CAFE) is a colleague-to-colleague teaching and learning center that promotes excellence and innovation in teaching, research, creative activity and engagement in an atmosphere of collegiality. CAFE serves faculty at all levels and academic ranks across the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), including those at its Community Campuses.

CAFE offers a wide spectrum of workshops, events and assistance designed to help faculty:

  • Engage in effective teaching that promotes student learning and success
  • Conduct meaningful research and creative activity
  • Connect to resources and services throughout the university that support student success
  • Maximize opportunities for interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship
  • Advance a community of scholars that enriches the mission of UAA and the life of our community as a whole

The Faces of CAFE


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Shawnalee Whitney
Phone: (907) 786-4645

Shawnalee holds the rank of Associate Professor in the Department of Journalism and Communication. As a facilitator and enthusiastic participant, Shawnalee has been involved in faculty development for many years. She let workshops for CAFE's precursor, the Teaching Excellence Program, and has served CAFE as a workshop facilitator, book group coordinator, Team-Based Learning faculty associate, member of the Advisory Council and more. In addition to her own CAFE presentations, she's worked on student-led sessions for CAFE on topics like academic dishonesty, communication in education, and supporting students transitioning from the foster care system. Shawnalee is a former director and co-director of UAA's award-winning speech and debate team and the Alaska Native Oratory Society. She considers it a great privilege to facilitate student learning and was thrilled to be honored with a Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2014.



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Libby Roderick
Associate Director
Phone: (907) 786-4605

Libby Roderick is the Associate Director for CAFE, focusing especially on issues related to difficult dialogues, sustainability and climate change, and effective teaching to diverse student populations. She is the editor of Alaska Native Cultures and Issues; Associate Editor of Start Talking: A Handbook for Engaging Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education; and co-author of Stop Talking: Indigenous Ways of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. She is also an internationally recognized singer/songwriter and recording artist.



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Luis Chavez Jr.
Program Coordinator
Phone: (907) 786-4644

Luis is the Program Coordinator and Administrative Assistant for CAFE and joined us from the UAA Division of Math & Natural Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences.


Contact Us

Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence
UAA/APU Consortium Library, 302F
3211 Providence Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone: (907) 786-4644
Fax: (907) 786-1834