April 2010

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

This is the busiest time of year on campus as classes wrap up and we recognize the many accomplishments of our students -- honors, service and research to mention a few. This weekend we celebrate our graduates with a hooding ceremony (10 a.m. Saturday, May 1 in the Wendy Williamson) and commencement (3 p.m. Sunday, May 2 in the Sullivan Arena). Please join us for the festivities!

On Wednesday, I attended one of the hallmarks of April -- a finals presentation. Students in Jim LaBelle's "Tribes, Nations and Peoples" class presented their analyses of challenges faced by indigenous people around the world.

Tribes, Nations and Peoples with Jim LaBelle

The Alaska Native Studies program (including Jim's class and many others) is extremely important to us at UAA. It is currently undergoing a routine review, along with nine other programs and, according to Dean James Liszka, the College of Arts and Sciences has no intention of eliminating the program.

I am proud that UAA is supporting programs like ANSEP, RRANN, ANPSCYCH and Alaska Native Studies, that foster a sense of community. Our students, faculty and staff are passionate about these programs and their importance to student success. They help us appreciate the history and culture of the place we all live. This shared experience and understanding is vital to the progress of our state.

Our legislators are also helping us make progress. Please thank your legislators for their support for the University of Alaska. At UAA we are particularly grateful that the bond bill includes funding for the sports arena, and that the capital budget includes $5M for planning our next priority project, a new engineering building to accommodate the dramatic growth of our engineering program. For more information about the legislature's budget for UAA please go to www.alaska.edu/state/updates/.

UAA offered resources and events to generate awareness of domestic violence

Click here to listen to a podcast of the panel discussion.

I'd like to suggest a couple of books for your summer reading. UAA's Books of the Year theme is Service in a Foreign Land and the books are: Mountains Beyond Mountains: the Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World, by Tracy Kidder and This is Not Civilization: A Novel, by Robert Rosenberg. I hope you enjoy these books, among others, and have time to rest and recharge over the summer months!

Did you know:
  • Melanie Parrett (mentored by Professor Susan Kalina) has been awarded a Research Fulbright for China. Robin Ford has been selected as an alternate Research Fulbright awardee for Germany. Congratulations to you all!

  • Science Education faculty, Dr. Donna Gail Shaw represented College of Education and UAA at the Anchorage School District's National Lab Day this week. Thank you!

  • UAA Justice Center Director Andre Rosay was appointed to the Alaska Native Justice Center Board of Directors

  • UAA Seawolves Men's Track team was ranked No. 3 in the nation this month!

  • Associate Professor of Nursing Cathy Sullivan is the winner of the 2010 Selkregg Community Engagement and Service Learning Award. The award will support her work with Catholic Social Services, the Refugee Assistance and Immigration Services (RAIS) program, and the newly formed Refugee Youth Choir in Mountain View.

  • Spring phonathon has completed and has raised $125,000, a 25 percent increase over last year. Since it began in 2005, the Student Caller program has raised more than $500,000. Thank you so much to all of our student callers!

  • Ron Spatz, editor of UAA's Alaska Quarterly Review (AQR), was notified this month that an essay originally published in AQR has been selected for the Best American Essays 2010 (Mariner Books, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). This is just the most recent success of many over the past year. Congratulations!

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


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