July 2012

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

Dear UAA community,

We've been busy this summer with construction projects underway on all of our campuses including the Paramedic Facility and Mat-Su Valley Center Arts and Learning Center at Mat-Su College; Kenai River Campus' Career & Technical Education Center and Student Housing; Wellness Center renewal at Prince William Sound Community College (PWSCC); and the UAA Sports Arena in Anchorage. If you want to see work on the Sports Arena, check out the feed from the on-site webcam here.

In Anchorage, you've probably noticed the parking lot between the Consortium Library and the ConocoPhillips Integrated Science Building is torn up. We are replacing the old parking lot and installing a lighted pedestrian walkway that will provide a safe corridor through this busy lot. Read the details about this improvement here.

It is great to see so many middle and high school students at UAA participating in summer camps and programs like Della Keats for those interested in health careers and the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp inspiring our next generation of innovative scientists.

David Stevenson and Gary SnyderAnd, of course, July brings the Northern Renaissance Arts and Sciences Series, which this year featured Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, essayist, lecturer and environmental activist Gary Snyder. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Gary at the public lecture and hope you had a chance to hear some of the nationally renowned writers who read from their work nightly as part of our MFA Summer Residency Program.

You can hear these readings as podcasts on the Creative Writing and Literary Arts website.

UAA Green and Gold Gala

UAA alumni, more than 40,000 strong, are leaders in their fields and having an impact on all levels. Stay tuned as we take steps to better engage UAA alumni in all that we do. You can help now by making your reservation to attend the Alumni Association's annual Green and Gold Gala on Sept. 29! Contact Rachel Morse at rlmorse@uaa.alaska.edu or Betty Hernandez at bahernandez@uaa.alaska.edu for details and reservations.

Student notes

2012 Bernard Harris Space Camp

Fifty-four Alaska middle school students are participating in the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp founded by astronaut Dr. Bernard A. Harris Jr. The camp is one of 20 camps nationwide designed to increase environmental awareness and explore how math impacts daily life. Read the rest of the story here.

Seawolf men's and women's track and field teams each earned All-Academic team honors, while a program high 11 student athletes (6 women 5 men) received individual All-Academic status from the U.S. Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association.

Faculty and staff notes

Jane Shelby
Jane Shelby

Jane Shelby is the new director of the Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho and the University of Washington School of Medicine medical education program in Alaska, (WWAMI). Dr. Shelby was the executive director for Health Sciences at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, where she worked with WWAMI students and chaired the WWAMI Montana medical information and decision-making course.

Ed McLain, Ed.D., is interim dean of the College of Education.

Bruce Schultz, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, was recognized by the United States Office of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve program as a patriotic employer for extraordinary support of employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve and for fostering a culture in which supervisors support and value the employment of military service members. To learn more about UAA's Veterans Work Here and UAA Bootcamp programs, visit the UAA veterans website.

Rachel Epstein, special events coordinator for the Campus Bookstore, received the 2012 Contributions to Literacy in Alaska Award from the Alaska Center for the Book for her promotion of Alaska writers and writing.

Mark Madden renews CFI accreditation
Mark E. Madden

Mark E. Madden, professor of aviation technology and an independent Merrill Field (PAMR) flight instructor, renewed his accreditation as a Master Certified Flight Instructor through Master Instructors LLC, the international accrediting authority for Master Instructor designations as well as the FAA-approved Master Instructor Program. He is one of only 106 worldwide to earn the credential three times.

Dalee Sambo Dorough, assistant professor of political science and one of 16 Expert Members of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), brought four UAA students to the Eleventh Session UNPII in New York in May. Professor Dorough also conducted a live television interview with Democracy Now!

Alumni notes

Rachel Morse has taken the position of interim director for alumni relations while we conduct a national search for an associate vice chancellor for alumni relations. A graduate of UAA's MBA program, Rachel was a co-founder of the UAA MBA alumni club.

UAA emeritus Professor Tom Sexton was awarded a Contribution to Literacy in Alaska Award from the Alaska Center for the Book. In addition to teaching, professor Sexton is a former poetry editor of the Alaska Quarterly Review and served as Alaska's poet laureate in 1995. He is the author of 11 collections of poetry; "Bridge Street at Dusk" is his most recent.

Grants and awards notes

In FY12, UAA received 334 awards for a total of $56,049.672. This includes awards for research, public service, academic support, student services, institutional support, scholarship/fellowship and federal financial aid and is $4M more than last year.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded $20M to the "Alaska Adapting to Changing Environments (ACE)" collaborative project between UAA, UAF and UAS. Lilian Alessa, professor of biology and director of the UAA Resilience and Adaptive Management Group, is co-principal director with UAF anthropology professor Peter Schweitzer and Sanjay Pyare, associate professor of geography at UAS. Read more here.

UAA receives NSF fundingDr. Patrick Sullivan, research scientist with the Environment and Natural Resources Institute (ENRI), and Dr. Bjartmar Sveinbjörnsson, Interim Director of ENRI, have been awarded $680,900 from the NSF Arctic System Science Program for their "Longitudinal variation in the physiology, growth and reproduction of white spruce at the Arctic treeline in Alaska" research project.

The Consortium Library is managing a $20K grant awarded by the National Library of Medicine to license and promote the use of the Rosen Teen Health and Wellness database for residents, teenagers, health care professionals, teachers, and librarians in Alaska. You can access the database at www.sled.alaska.edu next month.

Diversity note

National Coalition Building InstituteA campus affiliate of the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) since 2008, UAA conducted its 18th NCBI Welcoming Diversity Prejudice Reduction workshop for faculty, staff and students in June. Workshops further cultural competence, collaboration and create communities of belonging. A "Welcoming Diversity, Everyone Counts." module is also integrated into New Student Orientation.

Program note

The UA Center for Economic Development was successful in maintaining EDA University Center status through a national competition that will provide the center with funding for another five years. The center provides a venue for students, faculty and staff to work with the community to build a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem in Alaska and strengthen Alaska's regional competitiveness.

Public square note

MSC held its second annual Machetanz Art Festival in June with 255 people participating (up from 210 last year).

Take note

UAA campus kickoff is Aug. 25

Freshman Convocation is Aug. 25 with keynote speaker Yoky Matsuoka, Ph.D., former head of Innovation at Google, a MacArthur Foundation genius grant recipient and president of the YokyWorks Foundation, a nonprofit that builds devices for people with disabilities.

Help us welcome our new freshmen by attending Freshman Convocation and Campus Kick-Off on Aug. 25!

Discover more about Freshman Convocation here.

Be safe and enjoy all that UAA and the summer have to offer!

Creative Commons License "July 2012" is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.