November 2013

Dear Community,

It's not just turkey being served up this week – UAA is serving up outstanding basketball at the 26th annual Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout. Last night Seawolf women posted a come-from-behind 83-75 double-overtime win over UC Riverside. Tonight they meet Georgetown in the Championship game. Just one more amazing story at UAA!

Men's competition begins tonight with Tulsa vs. Indiana State. Visiting squads from Denver, Green Bay, Harvard, Pepperdine, and Texas Christian complete the roster with Seawolf men. UAA athletes, coaches, and staff along with dedicated volunteers make this the big event of the season. I'll be there an d hope to see you at the games!

Michael Friess who led Seawolf men's and women's  to  Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) team titles and national Top 10 finishes this fall has been voted the GNAC Men's Team and Women's Team Cross Country Coach of the Year for the fourth year in a row.  He has received a total of 16 Coach of the Year awards overall.

Seawolf athletics continues on a hot streak with cross country women finishing a program-best fourth place at the 2013 NCAA Div. II Championships, while the men's team finished seventh. Seawolf hockey is tied with Northern Michigan for No. 4 in the WCHA standings. UAA volleyball, ranked No. 7 in  the NCAA Div. II West Region poll, will take its fourth playoff berth in five years.

Phyllis Fast gave the keynote address at Yagheli Jan — the 2013 Alaska Native and Native American Heritage Month reception on the UAA campus. This month we also celebrate the publication of "Transforming the University: Alaska Native Studies in the 21st Century." The book is an important follow up from the first Alaska Native Studies conference held at UAA last spring.

I am proud of the many ways  UAA faculty, staff and students are supporting those in need in our Anchorage community, and communities throughout the world.

Mark your calendars:

topping out ceremony

The Topping Out Ceremony for UAA's new Engineering and Industry Building is Friday, Dec. 6. Come sign the beam and stay for refreshments in the Student Union.

This year's Chancellor's Holiday Party is Tuesday, Dec. 17 from 3-5 p.m.  Join me in  Gorsuch Commons to celebrate the season and catch up with colleagues and friends.

Alumni  note

Brit Szymoniak, a 2010 alumna, started the Boardroom, a company that rents out office/meeting space for people who are independents or small companies.

Innovate note

Intellectual property is on the rise at UAA with 29 invention disclosures filed since January 2012 and 12 evolving into patents.  The Office of Research received 37 competitive proposals from faculty across UAA's campus and a community campus for the 3rd annual Innovate Awards. To date, the Innovate Awards are providing a three to one return on investment.

Publication note

Ryan Harrod, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, is the  author of two books released this year: Bioarchaeology: An Integrated Approach to Working with Human Remains  and Bioarchaeology of Climate Change and Violence: Ethical Considerations.

Faculty & staff notes

Nancy Jane Shelby, Ph.D., professor and director of the Alaska WWAMI School of Medical Education, has been named to the Louis L. Kralick, M.D. Alaska WWAMI Professorship. Dr. Shelby will serve as the Kralick Professor for a term of three years.

Dr. Steve Langdon, chair of the UAA Department ofAnthropology, made the presentation Spiritual Connections and Obligations: the Foundation of Tlingit Existence at the Sealaska Heritage Institute on Tlingit Spirituality as part of a series of five presentations during Alaska Native and Native American Heritage Month. 

Katherine Rawlins of IceCube Collaboration

Associate Professor of Physics Katherine Rawlins, Ph.D., is part of an international research group, the IceCube Collaboration, that has recently discovered evidence of high-energy neutrinos (subatomic particles) of astrophysical origin at a South Pole test site.

Dr. Sharon Chamard, Justice Center faculty, was elected to the office of vice-chair of the Municipality of Anchorage's Public Safety Advisory Commission. The commission advises the mayor and Anchorage Assembly on public safety issues.

James Muller, professor of political science and Andre Thorn, director of the Multicultural Center, have been selected through a competitive process to represent UAA at "open house" style site visits abroad.  Upon their return, Muller and Thorn will work with UAA colleagues and students to promote study abroad programs and enhance the international and intercultural components of their courses and programming.

Program  note

"Peonies rising star of Alaskan Agriculture," in the September/October issue of the national Rural Cooperatives magazine highlights the success of Alaska's peony growers to fill a gap in the world supply of peonies. Peony growers received support from the UA Center for Economic Development.

It is with sadness that I received Barbara Bolson's letter of resignation as director of Kodiak College. During her seven years as director Barb has done an extraordinary job of leading the college and partnering with the Kodiak community. During her tenure the college grew by almost 300 students, online classes were added as well as a four-year teaching degree.  Barb plans to stay through spring graduation and will then leave to be closer to family and a new grandchild.

I know that you join me in wishing her well.

Stay safe and have a great Thanksgiving!

Go Seawolves!

Best regards,
Tom Case
Tom Case