The spring 2021 edition of Alumni Spirit magazine is now available

Spring 2021 Alumni Spirit magazine cover

In this recovery-themed issue of UAA's premier publication, read about the students and alumni who are making an impact for Alaska and in their communities amid an era of unprecedented pandemic and social change.

Nine UAA alumni named Top Forty Under 40 in 2021

Top Forty Under 40 2021 logo

The Alaska Journal of Commerce released its annual list of the top young professionals in the state. Selected from a field of 114 nominations, the 2021 Top Forty Under 40 recipients exemplify excellence in professional and community service.

UAA sociology major is the university’s first Beinecke Scholar


For Beinecke Scholarship recipient Christina Hailperin, the award is a pathway for her to help Indigenous students successfully navigate their own education.

Paving the way in problem-solving diseases


UAA junior and recent Goldwater Scholarship recipient Cora Lyon hopes her love of puzzles and problem-solving will help her continue her undergraduate research in decoding the mystery of diseases.

BMW Group and UAA team up to research sustainable lithium extraction

UAA geological sciences professor LeeAnn Munk

UAA geological sciences professor LeeAnn Munk is a lead investigator on a new study commissioned by BMW Group to research how lithium extraction may impact Latin America, where two-thirds of the world’s lithium reserves are located.

Celebrating the spring 2021 Honorary Degree and Meritorious Service Award recipients


UAA will honor Heather Flynn and Susan Malutin with the title of Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters and will award Doug Pope, Gary Turner and Lila Vogt the Meritorious Service Award at the virtual spring commencement ceremony.

Cultivating curiosity

Jennifer O'Neal

Human services alumna Jennifer O’Neal will serve as student speaker for the spring 2021 graduate degree hooding ceremony — a far cry from when she was a teenager, unsure if she would or even could pursue higher education.

The power of yes

Jessica Reisinger

For commencement speaker Jessica Reisinger, her final year at UAA was all about saying yes to every opportunity that came knocking on her door. As it turned out, the simple power of yes ended up transforming her senior year in ways she never imagined.

Enthusiasm for research benefits undergraduates in the Department of Economics

UAA Associate Professor Of Economics Alexander James photographed outside Rasmuson Hall.

“We really feel like we’re building something here,” said Alexander James, associate professor of economics. “We’re a teaching department and also a nationally and internationally recognized research department, and we’re bringing our students with us in some respects. For students that want to do real research, UAA provides an opportunity to discover something and contribute to the existing body of knowledge in economics, and that’s exciting.”

WATCH: The secrets of rat laughter

UAA psychology senior Tucker Sawyer with one of the rats being used in his research on rat laughter

Psychology senior Tucker Sawyer is studying rat laughter for his senior thesis. It’s no joke. In fact, identifying and categorizing the ultrasonic vocalizations of lab rats could change the way we interpret drug research, care for lab animals and understand the origins of our own sense of joy.