March 2009

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Last week Deana Glick, a junior in the University Honors College majoring in biological sciences, became the fourth consecutive Truman Scholar from UAA. This highly competitive honor goes to only 60 scholars out of 601 candidates nominated by 289 colleges and universities. Each scholarship provides up to $30,000 for graduate study. Four in a row is amazing and so are our students!

Melanie Parrett, an International Studies major in the Northeast Asia track, received the U.S. Department of State 2009 Critical Languages Scholarship in Advanced Chinese.

Jessica Allman, a double major in English and French, and Renata Ballesteros-Lopez, an Honors College student with a double major in German and International Studies, were both awarded Congress Bundestag scholarships. This is the fourth consecutive year that students of Dr. Natasa Masanovic have won this prestigious scholarship which provides for a year of study in Germany -- another amazing record!

Congratulations to Deana, Melanie, Jessica and Renata. You are terrific examples of the many students who are achieving great things at UAA. Such accomplishments would not be possible without the support of faculty and staff who mentor students and help them achieve their dreams. Thank you to all those who are contributing to student success at UAA!

This month the Institute for Social and Economic Research published "How Hard is it for Alaska's Medicare Patients to Find Family Doctors?" ISER researchers found that there is a major problem in Anchorage, a noticeable problem in the Mat-Su Borough and Fairbanks, and almost no problem in other areas finding doctors who will take Medicare patients. The report also found that there was no significant impact upon the practice of doctors when Medicare payments for Alaska doctors increased in 2009.

Students are also providing important research to our community. A group of students and faculty researched local community-based policy responses to climate change and presented their Climate Action Plan to Acting Mayor of Anchorage Matt Claman this month. The 60-page plan focused on outreach and education, waste management, transportation, energy efficiency, energy production and city planning and provides the framework for a municipal Climate Action Plan that can guide the Municipality of Anchorage in years to come.

I want to congratulate Coach Tim Moser and the UAA Women's Basketball Team for their record setting year: ranked No. 3 in the final USA Today/ESPN D-II Top 25 poll; posted the nation's second most victories (31-4) behind No. 1 Minnesota State (32-2) which defeated UAA in the national semifinals March 25; winners of 22 straight from Nov. 15 through Feb. 14; four weeks at No. 1 in the WBCA national rankings; and West Region champions for the second straight year and earned the program's first league title in 20 seasons. Come celebrate their success at the Student Union Den tomorrow, April 1, from 4-6 p.m. Go Seawolves!

Q: Where will UAA faculty, students and staff be serving next week?
A: UAA Assembly is planning a UAA Day of Service on Saturday, April 11 from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Bean's Cafe. There will be shuttle service from UAA to Bean's for several shifts. E-mail if you'd like to join UAA on this fun day of service!

Q: Is the U.S. system poorly equipped to face the current economic crisis?
A: Find out when defending champions Gunnar Knapp and Steve Colt, both of ISER, take on challengers Frank Jeffries and Rashmi Prasad, both of the Department of Business Administration in CBPP, in this year's "Sophist Salmon" Debate. The faceoff will occur on Friday, April 3 from 1-3 p.m. in Rasmuson Hall 110. You get to judge the winners!

Q: What new partnership is taking place between UAA and the U.S. Army?
A: After two years of planning, the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) Program has found a new home in UAA's Community and Technical College. Army ROTC is a cooperative effort by the U.S. Army and UAA to educate, train and prepare students to serve as officers in the Army, Army Reserve or Army National Guard.

Q: What will Scott McKim be doing in Costa Rica?
A: The math and science teacher from Nicholas J. Begich Middle School and graduate student in the UAA College of Education received a competitive study tour opportunity through Toyota International Teacher Program. Scott will travel to Costa Rica and collaborate with U.S. and Costa Rican educators on ideas for the study and teaching of environmental conservation and sustainability.

Q: What milestone did Tim Hinterberger achieve for the WWAMI program?
A: Tim just received notice that his research proposal to NIH will be funded for three years. This means that every Alaska WWAMI faculty member with a research component to his or her workload has funding at either the national or international level. Congratulations to you all!

Q: Where can you go to read Winston Churchill's papers?
A: Jim Muller, professor of political science at UAA, donated to the UAA/APU Consortium Library 722 reels of microfilmed documents pertaining to the life and career of Winston Churchill valued at more than $70,000. Professor Muller, a noted Churchill scholar, received the documents in connection with his role advising the company that microfilmed the Churchill papers. Thanks you so much for sharing them with us at UAA!

Q: What were high school students from China, Shishmaref, Juneau, Healy and Anchorage doing at UAA?
A: Participating in the 27th Annual Model United Nations of Alaska organized and hosted by UAA students and faculty. More than 300 mostly high school students debated the topic, Climate Change and Sustainability.

Did you know...

  • UAA gymnastics earned its first-ever conference title on March 20
  • UAA set the WCHA record this year for the most hockey players to make the academic all conference team -- 14 out of 26 players had a grade-point average above 3.2
  • The entire ski team qualified to compete in the NCAA Championships and had their best finish ever
  • Fourteen UAA ski team members also made academic all-conference
  • Student-athletes at UAA had a combined 3.13 grade-point average, equal to the all time best
  • UAA's Track & Field athletes are breaking records and winning GNAC honors

We are very proud of the success of all our student-athletes. Go Seawolves!

As always, thank you for all you do to make UAA a great university!

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