June 2010

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

Dear friends and colleagues,

I was honored to be appointed by President Obama to serve on the commission charged with investigating the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and recommending changes to prevent future disasters from occurring. You can read about the appointment here.

Many of you have e-mailed with your support and advice. Thank you. It is my hope to serve as a bridge between Alaskans -- those affected by the Exxon Valdez spill, along with university and area experts -- and those empowered to make changes as a result of the Gulf spill. I am holding listening sessions on University of Alaska campuses to learn more from Alaskans.

The first listening session is at UAA's Student Union on Wednesday, July 7, from 5-7 p.m. This session will be streamed with an audio link to UAA campuses in Valdez, Seward, Kenai, Kodiak and Mat-Su. Please check for the location in your area. I will visit both UAS and UAF this summer for similar sessions.

I welcome your comments and observations that will help us address this tragedy. The first meeting of the oil spill commission is scheduled July 12-13 in New Orleans. Our report to the President is due in six months. An e-mail and website are being set up to provide easy access to oil commission members and information about commission progress -- we will publicize these when they become available.

While I am grateful to use my role as UAA chancellor to make the University of Alaska a public square for this vital issue for Alaskans, the country and the world, my first priority remains working to keep UAA growing strong. As of week 12 into fall registration, UAA MAU student headcount is 10.4 percent higher than this time last year and student credit hours are 10.1 percent higher. At the current pace, UAA should see an additional 1,157 students on its campuses this fall!

We have much to do this coming year to work creatively and productively to continue to move forward!

HR director Ron Kamahele instructs Tai Chi
Did you know:
  • Evelyn Davidson, the Coordinator of the Department of Developmental Studies and The Learning Center at Kodiak College received the Staff make Students Count Award from UA President Gamble. Congratulations!

  • Governor Parnell appointed UAA School of Social Work Associate Professor Tracey Burke to the Alaska Community Service Commission. The commission prepares a national service plan for the state of Alaska and supports community-based agencies that serve underrepresented populations. Thank you for your service.

  • Congratulations to UAA students Andrew Balser, Linnea Pearson, Elizabeth Sharp, Andy Anderson-Smith, James Willacker, Cory Stantorf, Tim Stevenson and Bradi Salli on receiving 2010 Global Change Student Research Awards. These students are all being mentored by biology department faculty and ENRI faculty fellows. The areas of research span the entire Arctic from High Arctic biogeochemical studies in NW Greenland to organismic biology in Alaska.

  • UAA participated in the 8th annual Color of Justice Program that seeks to introduce students, particularly those from minorities, to careers in the legal field. UAA Justice Center Faculty Deb Periman taught classes and other UAA staff and faculty participated in the program that served about 80 high school and college students from around the state.

  • Seawolf runners captured the top five places in the Mayor's Half-marathon with UAA All-America runner Marko Cheseto clocking 1:07.47 to smash his own course record. He was followed by UAA Seawolves Micah Chelimo, Alfred Kangogo, William Ritekwiang, and Paul Rottich.
UAA alum Lyndsay Wheeles as Miss Alaska 2010

July 15 is the deadline to get your nominations in for the Chancellor's Awards for Excellence. We have two new categories this year: excellence in teaching and excellence in research, in addition to excellence in service, sustainability, service to students and small and large team collaboration. All awards are open to current UAA staff and faculty, including adjunct. Please help us recognize the many people who contribute so much to UAA. Make your nomination today.

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


Creative Commons License "June 2010" is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.