May 2012

Dear UAA community,

We received transformative news last month that the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities expanded UAA's accreditation to include doctoral programs.

UAA's first Ph.D. candidates

At the 2012 Commencement, UAA for the first time ever bestowed the  doctoral degree (with UAF) to two students in the UAA/UAF joint Ph.D.  program in clinical psychology. Prior to this year, only UAF has  conferred the Ph.D. The University of Alaska now has two doctoral  institutions.

This summer we welcome John Stalvey as the new College of Arts and Sciences dean. Stalvey comes to UAA from Kent State University where he served as associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences since 2003. He will begin at UAA on July 8. Read more here.

UAA staff development day

More than 600 staff participated in Development Day--geared toward personal and professional development and team building--on May 10. Jim Clemmer, a nationally recognized expert on growing and leading through change, provided the keynote.

As we enter June, I encourage you to participate in UAA's two nationally acclaimed conferences: the Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference and the Prince William Sound Community College Last Frontier Theatre Conference. The writer's conference is full, but public readings, including one Friday, June 8, with Barry Lopez are not to be missed.

2012 Commencement Notes

UAA's Class of 2012 earned 53 certificates; 573 associate degrees; 1,192 bachelor's degrees and post-baccalaureate certificates; 403 master's degrees and graduate certificates; and two Ph.D.s.

Honorary Doctorates

  • Anthony "Tony" Knowles, Honorary Doctor of Laws
  • Barry Lopez, Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
  • Al Parrish, Honorary Doctor of Laws
  • Rosita Worl, Honorary Doctor of Sciences

Meritorious Service Awards

  • Dorothy "Dot" Helm
  • Pamela Miller
  • Mary Louise Rasmuson
  • George Wayne Skladal

Professor Emeriti

  • Christiane Brems, Professor of Psychology
  • Oliver Scott Goldsmith, Professor of Economics
  • Mark Johnson, Professor of Psychology
  • Frances Lautenberger, Professor of Theatre
  • Judith Moore, Professor of English
  • Morris (Greg) Parrish, Professor of Physics
  • Gail Renardson, Professor of English, Prince William Sound Community College
  • Donna Gail Shaw, Professor of Elementary Education
  • Carl Shepro, Professor of Political Science

UAA Recognition of Community Leadership

The UAA College of Education honored Paula Dybdahl Casperson--high school teacher and assistant principal at Juneau-Douglas High School--with the 2012 William Demmert Leadership Award for her dedication to improving educational opportunities and environments for Alaska Native students.

Student Notes

Thirteen UAA undergraduate students enrolled in a microbiology class won first place in the Kodiak College 2012 Showcase of Excellence group category for their paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) research. The students tested PSP toxins using the newly developed Abraxis ELISA test kits, which provide a low-cost, on-site PSP test with real-time results.

Alyssa Bish, double major in international studies and history and minor in Spanish, Haley Dampier, major in international studies with a minor in French, and Erik Peterson, double major in international studies and Japanese, have been awarded Export Council of Alaska Scholarships.

Faculty and Staff Notes

Chef Vern

Chef Vern Wolfram from the Culinary Arts, Hospitality, Dietetics Nutrition Division at UAA was named the 2011--2012 Alaska Culinary Association Chef of the Year. The association awarded Chef Vern this recognition for his dedication to the culinary craft and the students who take culinary arts. He volunteers not only for the association but for many other events throughout Anchorage.

Susan Kalina, a faculty member of the UAA Department of Languages, has accepted the position of vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs. In her new role, Kalina will work with the provost on academic policy, including regulatory and accreditation policies, in addition to collaborating with UAA’s colleges and schools in the development and implementation of new academic programs.

Athletic Notes

UAA women's basketball coach Nathan Altenholten

UAA welcomed new Women's Basketball Head Coach Nathan Altenhofen. Coach Altenhofen brings a .793 winning percentage as a head coach and has won a national title at the junior-college level. Coach Altenhofen replaces Coach Tim Moser who led the UAA women's basketball program to an elite national status. Coach Moser resigned earlier this month. Read more about Coach Altenhofen here.

Beginning in 2012, CBS Sports Network will carry seven games from the 35th annual Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout men's basketball tournament, scheduled for Nov. 21-24 in the first year of a multi-year contract. The lineup for this year:


Sullivan Arena -- Anchorage, Alaska
All times Alaska Standard Time (4 hours behind EST)

Wednesday, Nov. 21 - First Round

  • 7:30 p.m. - UC Riverside vs. Northeastern
  • 10 p.m. - Belmont vs. Alaska Anchorage (CBS Sports Network)

Thursday, Nov. 22 - First Round

  • 5 p.m. - Loyola Marymount vs. Oral Roberts (CBS Sports Network)
  • 7:30 p.m. - Texas State vs. Charlotte (CBS Sports Network)

Friday, Nov. 23 - Consolation Semifinals & Semifinals

  • Noon - Belmont/UAA loser vs. NU/UCR loser
  • 2 p.m. - ORU/LMU loser vs. Charlotte/TXST loser
  • 5:30 p.m. - Belmont/UAA winner vs. NU/UCR winner (CBS Sports Network)
  • 8 p.m. - ORU/LMU winner vs. Charlotte/TXST winner (CBS Sports Network)

Saturday, Nov. 24

  • Noon - 7th/8th-place game
  • 2 p.m. - 4th/6th-place game
  • 6 p.m. - 3rd/5th-place game (CBS Sports Network)
  • 8:30 p.m. - Championship game (CBS Sports Network)

The Seawolf Auction celebrated its 25th anniversary May 10 with a night of fun, games and prizes at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex. All proceeds from the auction go directly to benefit UAA student-athletes.

Public Square Note

American Astrological SocietyThe UAA Department of Physics and Astronomy is hosting the 220th national meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Anchorage June 10-14. Approximately 1,200 astronomers from around the world will be in attendance. The conference will be held downtown at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center.

 Chad Carpenter

Chad Carpenter selected winners in the Spring 2012 Juried Student Art Exhibit and delivered a Juror's Lecture paired with a slideshow. If you missed it, catch it on the UAA YouTube channel.

Grace Kari

Mat-Su College's art portfolio contest drew high school students from Palmer and Wasilla. First place winner Grace Kari of Colony High School received a full year's tuition to Mat-Su College and a permanent bronze plaque with her name on it in the art department.

Iditarod Elementary School 5th graders visited Mat-Su College for a day of age-appropriate classroom and hands-on activities through the "I'm Going to College" program, a partnership between the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education and UA College Savings Plan.

mammothUAA is hosting the 6th International Conference on the World of Mammoths and Their Relatives, set to run May 26-June 3, 2013.

Community Service Notes


Kodiak College Director, Barbara Bolson, along with Kodiak College's Evelyn Davidson and Barbara Brown participated with style in Kodiak's Morning Rotary Club's First Annual Kentucky Derby Party. The three participated as a panel of judges in the Derby "Hattitude" Contest. Proceeds benefit the Rotary college scholarship fund.

Kodiak College's Jared Griffen highlighted Kodiak College courses and programming while helping to raise $7,000 for KMXT radio station in Kodiak. She serves on KMXT's board of directors.

Publication Note

The Winter/Spring 2012 issue of the Alaska Justice Forum features articles on self-protective behaviors in Anchorage, the 2012 Alaska Dashboard of indicators of issues that impact domestic violence and sexual assault, and definitions, measures and predictions of recidivism among Alaska’s misdemeanor and felony offenders.

Liberty and Justice for All

Alaska Quarterly Review's 30th anniversary edition, "Liberty and Justice (For All)", will be on display for another week at VII Gallery in New York City. The exhibit featured renowned media professionals David Hartman, founding host of Good Morning America, senior Getty photographer John Moore; Phillip Gourevitch of The New Yorker and ABC Senior Foreign Affairs Coorespondent Martha Raddatz. Full descriptions of the panel participants can be found at

University Relations Note

University Relations received three 2012 Hermes Creative Awards (Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals):

  • Platinum: I AM UAA Campaign (Integrated Marketing Campaign)
  • Gold: UAA Website Redesign (Website Overall/Educational Institution)
  • Honorable Mention: Simulation in Action at UAA Video (Video/Public Relations)

Campus Award Note

UAA named Tree Campus USA for third year

The University of Alaska Anchorage earned Tree Campus USA recognition again from the National Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters for its dedication in 2011 to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship. This is the third year UAA has been named a Tree Campus USA -- the only one in Alaska.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Note

Lemonade Day Alaska won this year's U.S. SourceLink Innovative Practices Challenge and the grand prize of $2,500. More than 2,500 children around the state participated in the program this year on May 6.

Remote aerial vehicle services, Alaska grown aeroponic produce and an electronic gaming establishment received winning nods in the 2012 Alaska Business Plan Competition. The business plan competition was the final event this year in the Entrepreneurial Edge free speaker series and entrepreneurs boot camp, hosted by UAA College of Business and Public Policy, University of Alaska Southeast and Alaska Pacific University. Team Inc. was also a co-sponsor, and financial support for the speaker series was provided by Northrim Bank and First National Bank of Alaska.

Development Notes

Machetanz prints

(left-to-right) Machetanz's "Start of the Hunt" (1965), Mat-Su Director of Library Services Craig Ballain, Assistant Professor of Art Suzanne Bach, Mat-Su Director Talis Colberg, and the lithograph "Seal Hunter."

Matanuska-Susitna College received an extraordinary bequest from the Estate of Nadine Beacock of London, Ontario, Canada: An original oil painting by Fred Machetanz "Start of the Hunt," a lithograph of "The Seal Hunter," a framed Machetanz print and two Eskimo prints by Emerak.

"An Evening with the Honors College" at the end of March, celebrated  the experiential learning and student success made possible by great mentorship and philanthropy. The event raised over $25,000, with approximately $20,000 for funding the Fran Ulmer Transformative Research Award.

Recent gifts include:

  • BP Exploration contributed $80,000 to the School of Engineering's Summer Engineering Camps and $70,000 to Alaska Native Science Engineering Program General Support.
  • An anonymous donor contributed $55,000 to establish the Distinctive Design as a Collaborative Player in the Performance Arts Endowment, supporting students studying design in the Department of the Theatre and Dance.

Safety Note

In April there were three injuries to UAA staff: Two were falls in parking lots due to slippery conditions (neither employee was wearing Spikies) and one was a non-work related cut finger.

Safety Tip

Summer in Alaska is synonymous with fishing. If you are boating, wear a PFD or Float Coat. Few survive a plunge into the cold waters of Alaska without one of these basic boating safety tools.

Take Note

Please help us celebrate UAA's progress and take a moment to nominate an individual or group for the Chancellor's Awards for Excellence. Nominations are open through June 29, 2012.

Enjoy your summer and be safe.


Tom Case

Tom Case