January 2009

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

What an exciting month we've had! From our Women's Basketball team being ranked #1 in the country in Division II to a crowd of nearly 900 staff, faculty, students and community members filling the Wendy Williamson Auditorium on January 20 for a live telecast of the inauguration of President Barack Obama, it's been a month to remember.

Inauguration We are continuing to celebrate Alaska Civil Rights Month and I hope that you'll be able to attend some of the wonderful events planned and scheduled by a team brought together by Marva Watson and our Office of Diversity and Compliance. This month's Alaska Civil Rights Month activities have included the inaugural event, a panel discussion on "What is the Future of Alaska Native Corporations" in conjunction with our Book of the Year, "Do Alaska Native People Get Free Medical Care?", keynote address "Student Appreciation" luncheon and a student roundtable discussion series on the Books of the Year. To find a complete list of events including movies and more student activities in the coming month click here (PDF) or call UAA's Office of Campus Diversity and Compliance at (907) 786-4680.

Our newly formed Childcare Task Force met for the first time this month. One of the greatest roadblocks to single parents trying to finish college degrees is the cost and availability of childcare. The new task force will consider how to make quality childcare more affordable and available to more UAA students, staff and faculty, and explore ways to integrate the Early Childhood programs at the College of Education.

About 75 people came to listen to a panel of experts discuss "The World Economic Crisis and its Ramifications for Alaska." ISER's Scott Goldsmith, Jeff Pantages of Alaska Permanent Capital Management and David Lawer of First National Bank Alaska helped explain the economy and answered many questions from the audience.

This month we wrapped up our formal participation in the 50th Anniversary of Alaska Statehood with the Conference of Young Alaskans and Statehood Gala. The events over this past year -- including a mock constitutional convention and statewide discussion of issues among young people reminded us of the dedication and service of many people required to create the state of Alaska and the dedication and service of many people required to continue to make Alaska a great place. It is my challenge to our UAA community to make 2009 a year of service!

Q: Our Seawolf athletes are achieving much success in their athletic events but how are they doing in the classroom?
A: With grades from the 2008 calendar year complete, UAA student-athletes have equaled an all-time best with a combined 3.13 grade-point average. That equals a record set in 2002 and marks the 12th time in 15 years that UAA student-athletes have combined for a cumulative 3.0 or better GPA. There were 140 UAA student-athletes above 3.0 for the Spring and Fall 2008 semesters, representing approximately 63 percent of Seawolf competitors.

Q: Who at UAA was featured in a special weekly poetry program by the Library of Congress?
A: Anne Caston, UAA Associate Professor of creative Writing/Poetry was interviewed for "The Poet and The Poem," a series of weekly podcasts that has featured such notables as Louise Gluck, Robert Pinsky, Billy Collins, and W.S. Merwin. Anne read selections from her forthcoming poetry collection, "The Empress of Longing."

Q: What were Johnny Ellis, Berta Gardner, Sharon Cissna, Bob Lind and Gabrielle LeDoux, along with staff from Con Bunde and Wes Keller's office doing at UAA on January 12?
A: USUAA students organized a legislative luncheon for state legislators. Students provided a tour of our facilities. Some of our guests had never been on UAA's campus and were happy to have the opportunity to ask questions and learn about UAA programs and priorities. Thank you to USUAA students and others who supported this effort!

Did you know these award winners?

  • UAA wins two CASE Communications Awards "Villagers in the City," produced by student Isaiah Woods received the Grand Gold (Highest honor) for multimedia for a student recruitment video. And the Integrated Science Building Naming Event DVD received the Silver award for video and multimedia.
  • Chelsey Homan, UAA sophomore, and Peter Risse, Director of the Chugiak-Eagle River Campus, were both named one of Alaska's Top Forty under 40. Chelsea was named for her small business Doggy Decadents. Pete was named for his work with UAA and the community.
  • KPC Professor Alan Boraas received the Log Cabin Award from the Kenai Chamber of Commerce for his extensive work with the Kenaitze Indian Tribe and their language preservation program.

Thank you for all you do to make this a great university!

Creative Commons License "January 2009" is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.