March 2014


UAA's first Winter Design Project created a collaborative and imaginative landscape in UAA's quad during the week of Winterfest. Thank you to all who organized and participated!

Dear Community,

Thanks for joining me in the Fireside Café on Friday to "catch up" on some of the great things happening at UAA, including being accredited as a full doctoral-granting institution. This means we are approved to offer any doctoral programs approved through the regular curriculum process.  This year, we are also moving to two commencement ceremonies a year: one in December and one in May. Our first December commencement will be in the new Alaska Airlines Center opening in the fall.

The last two regular-season men's and women's basketball games to be played in the Wells Fargo Sports Complex were amazing. Kyle Fossman from Haines was named a GNAC Player of the Week for his 40-point effort that included a record 12 three-pointers in one game (breaking both UAA and GNAC records). Both teams won their matchups and are competing in the GNAC tournament this week. Go Seawolves!

extinguished cigarettes

Last week I was privileged to help launch the Fresh Air Challenge in Alaska at UAA with Dr. Ward Hurlburt, Alaska's chief medical officer and Dr. Patrick O'Carrol assistant surgeon general for our region. Our Smoke-Free Taskforce organized the event which drew 80 people and made clear the toll  smoking is taking on our community. I was particularly disappointed to learn that not only are those 18-26 years old most likely to begin smoking, but smoking and the use of tobacco products at UAA has increased 3 percent since 2009.

I've seen smoking shorten both my father and grandfather's lives. As the University of Alaska's health campus it is important for us to foster a healthy environment. I support the recommendation of our Smoke-Free Taskforce that UAA consider adopting a comprehensive smoke-free policy.  If a policy is adopted, at least a year should be spent on educating the UAA community about the policy and discussing the most appropriate and feasible enforcement. Poster available here (pdf).


Student note

Xavier Mason, a junior in the Bachelor of Business Administration program, is a national finalist for the prestigious Truman Scholar program. Xavier plans to study policy-making as it applies to homelessness.

Athletics notes

UAA Hockey

Hockey is on the path to its first winning season—the Governor’s Cup is next weekend in Fairbanks.

Our women’s track and field team successfully defended its GNAC Championship and the men’s team took second place in UAA's second year competing in this sport.

UAA’s entire ski team qualified for NCAA championships.


Alumni notes

UAA Hockey

A dozen UAA alumni were named to the ‘Top Forty Under 40.’ Read the full article in the Green and Gold.

Former UAA student-athletes Marko Cheseto and Eric Strabel were named Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Director's Award winners. The pair will be recognized along with the Class of 2014 inductees during the Hall’s annual  ceremony March 19 at the Anchorage Museum.

K-12 and Community Engagement note

High school contestants

UAA students in BIO 490 (neuroanatomy and neurophysiology) and their professor, Caroline Wilson, organized the 3rd Annual Alaska Brain Bee, a competition designed to increase the interest of high school students in studying neuroscience, through a fun and competitive atmosphere. Read more in the Green and Gold.

Research notes

Investigators in the Center for Behavioral Health Research and Services Center received a three-year $943,000 federal grant to implement a training program for students in health profession programs to conduct routine substance-and alcohol-abuse screening with their patients. More in the Green and Gold.

Jeff Welker

UAA's permafrost research program in Northwest Greenland, led by Fulbright Arctic Chair Jeff Welker and colleagues from the University of California Irvine, was highlighted in a recent issue of Nature Climate Change.

Public Square notes

UAA Justice Center and to UAA Justice Club feature panel discussion: Time Legalize? A Public Discussion on Marijuana Law and Policy, Wednesday, March 5, 6:30-8:30 at the Wendy Williamson.

Brooke Gladstone
Brooke Gladstone

UAA/APU Books of the Year brought NPR’s Brooke Gladstone to Alaska for a number of public events including a book signing and public lecture on her book, The Influencing Machine.


Faculty and staff notes

'Four Seasons apt by Ted Kincaid

Maria Bonifacio,  associate director of Residence Life, received the public service award from the American College Personnel Association’s standing committee for LGBTQAI awareness for the creation of SafeZone on campus. Read more in the Green and Gold.

"1964: Artifacts of Good Friday," paintings by Ted Kincaid, a practicing artist who works as an electronic media specialist in University Advancement (and produces this newsletter), were featured in the Arc Gallery at the Consortium Library in February.


As always, stay involved and stay safe.

Go Seawolves!

Best regards,
Tom Case
Tom Case