September 2013

Dear Community,

It’s amazing how fast we ramp up in the fall. Kudos to faculty, staff and students for making it go so smoothly.

Every day at UAA we strive to ensure our students are at the heart of everything  we do as we demonstrate our commitment to their success.  At Faculty Staff Convocation this month we had a chance to recognize innovative and meaningful ways  faculty & staff are helping students succeed.

Service to the community Chancellor Award winners are: (L)Prof. Osama Abaza and AHAINA student success coordinator Leo Medal. (R) Service to students Chancellor Award winners  are Prof. Patricia Fagan and academic adviser Joanne von Pronay. See all winners and nominees.

From involving undergraduate students in research  to organizing cultural events, guest speakers and workshops that engage students on important topics outside of the classroom, faculty and staff strive to make UAA a place that supports the  personal journeys of our students.

Congratulations to faculty promoted and granted tenure this year, more here.  And thank you to staff for their many years of service, more here.

We can never say thank you enough to faculty and staff for the work you do to make UAA a place where lives are changed and dreams are realized.

To our students, thank you for all of your hard work,  determination and commitment to your education. Thank you for giving us the privilege of supporting your success!

Student notes

Ground Breaking
Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program students Mike Ulroan and Forest Rose Walker (above), along with School of Engineering student John Harriss spoke at the groundbreaking for the new Engineering & Industry Building telling the audience about the importance of engineering at UAA to their lives.

Faculty notes

Andrew Romerdahl, UAA alumnus and general manager at Pacific Tower Properties,  is  serving as the first College of Business and Public Policy Weidner Chair. Full story here.

UAA Assistant Professor of Psychology, Dr. Joshua Swift won the Norine Johnson Psychotherapy Research Grant for $10,000 from Division 29 (Psychotherapy) of the American Psychological Association.

Athletic  notes

 Keith Hackett

Welcome to Keith Hackett, UAA's new athletic director, who brings 36 years of higher education experience to Seawolf Athletics.

Program Prioritization note

The chairs of both the Academic Task Force and the Support Task Force, as well as Provost Baker and Vice Chancellor Spindle, will share information about where we are in the prioritization process. They will also be available to answer questions raised by faculty and staff.

Briefings will be held in the UAA/APU Consortium Library, Room 307 on the following days:

  • Oct. 2, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 3, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 4, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

To keep up to date on the process, go to the website.

Development note

Princess Cruise Lines Ltd. and Holland America Line Inc. are donating $1 million to UA programs, a large portion of which will go to fund renovations of the Lucy Cuddy Hall, supporting the Culinary Arts, Hospitality/Dietetics and Nutrition programs.

Alumni notes

Gala collage

The Green and Gold Gala, was the most successful ever, honored 2013 Alumni of Distinction recipients Sophie Minich '89, Susan LaBelle '84 and Stephen Trimble '08 for their outstanding contributions to the university and community. The sold out event raised money for student scholarships.


Grant note

UAA is partnering with 12 other universities on a $20.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to create a research network that will expand partner universities' capacity to put clinical research into practice to addess health problems  cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and autoimmune disorders and obesity.

Publication note

The Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center (AJSAC) August 2013 Fact Sheet presents information on driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) arrests made by Alaska police agencies 2000-2011. The fact sheet is by  Brad A. Myrstol, director of AJSAC.

Program  note

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has approved the proposed Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering at UAA.

As we head into October join me at Seawolf Volleyball, Seawolf Hockey, Homecoming events including the Kendall Classic.

Keep charging on and stay safe.

Go Seawolves!

Best regards,
Tom Case
Tom Case