Chancellor's Report

April 2012

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Achievements

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Computer science faculty members Jon Genetti, left, and Orion Lawlor inspect a high-resolution aerial photo of Fairbanks on the bioinformatics powerwall in the Chapman Building.

Institute of Arctic Biology director and zoophysiologist Brian Barnes was named a 2011 fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society. Barnes was recognized for distinguished contributions to leadership in arctic science and research in hibernation and cryobiology. Barnes' research focuses on physiological ecology and thermoregulation of hibernating mammals ­-- especially black bears and arctic ground squirrels.

Alumnus Ben Grossmann received an Oscar for his work on the movie Hugo at the 84th Academy Awards. He shared the visual effects award with three colleagues. Grossmann grew up in Big Delta and moved to California in 2001 to pursue a career in the film industry. He's no stranger to award ceremonies: in 2006 he won an Emmy for his visual effects work on the miniseries The Triangle. In a Fairbanks Daily News-Miner article he thanked his UAF professors, among others, for help along the way that led to the award.

Geophysical Institute Professor Emeritus Davis Sentman was elected to the 2012 class of fellows for the American Geophysical Union. Sentman was a pioneer in observing and modeling sprites -- quick red flashes that burst from the tops of thunderclouds. He was selected for the honor in recognition of his contributions to the field of atmospheric electricity shortly before he died in December 2011.

The School of Management honored Dan Gavora as UAF's 2012 Business Leader of the Year. His father, Paul Gavora, was the first such honoree, in 1977. Gavora is currently the president/CEO of Doyon Utilities LLC, which owns and operates the utilities at all three Alaska Army posts.

The Fairbanks chapter of the UAA Student Nurses Association registered 141 potential bone marrow donors during a February registry event on the Fairbanks campus. Student nurses used cotton swabs to take samples of cheek cells for determining volunteers' tissue type. That information will be used to match potential donors with patients.

A $1.6 million software donation to the Petroleum Engineering Department will allow students to learn on the same programs used by more than 350 oil and gas companies. The software, from Petroleum Experts, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, lets users model oil reservoirs, wells and pipeline networks.

In Progress

Marketing and Communications, contracting with the Nerland Agency, has completed the research phase of a branding project designed to position UAF in relationship to other universities. The research included focus groups, key-informant interviews and a survey to which 4,700 stakeholders responded.

Two UAF riflealumni will represent the U.S. at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Jamie (Beyerle) Gray will compete in both of the women's rifle events -- air and three-position. Matt Emmons made the team in the same men's events, and will compete in June for a U.S. berth in a third men's rifle event -- prone -- in which he won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics.
 

What's Next

So far more than a dozen UAF teams have signed up to participate in the May 19 Heart Walk, a community-building, heart-healthy event that increases awareness of heart disease risks and raises funds for research.

Construction projects planned for this summer include construction of new utilidor under the Nenana parking lot to expand steam heating and water lines capacity for West Ridge. Workers will also build underground electrical vaults throughout campus to house high-voltage switches, and replace a section of the campus main sewer line as part of a multiphase replacement project. The Life Sciences Facility is enclosed, warm and dry; the project is well underway and scheduled for occupancy in May 2013.

Summer Sessions and Lifelong Learning continues to support campus sustainability efforts by downsizing the summer class schedule from a 72-page booklet to a one-piece foldout brochure. Students can choose from more than 265 courses offered this summer, beginning with 14 classes available in MAYmester, the two-week intensive semester right after commencement. Summer Sessions also offers a full calendar of events four nights a week with lectures, concerts and movies.

Through the Lens: Recent Images

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Nanook captain Ron Meyers hoists the cup after receiving it from Gov. Sean Parnell. The Nanooks won a thrilling victory over the Seawolves, claiming the coveted Governor's Cup for the third time in the past four years.


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Photos, clockwise from left

Senior Klara Maisch, with one of her works in the painting studio in the Fine Arts Complex. Maisch's work is featured by the Development Office in this year's annual scholarship breakfast.

The 2012 ice arch was constructed by engineering students for National Engineers Week, and was sponsored by the Fairbanks chapter of the Alaska Society of Professional Engineers and Flint Hills Resources.

Marjorie Tahbone, left, and Kelsey Wallace, both Alaska Native Studies majors, wear their traditional beaded regalia. Wallace is enjoying her year as Miss World Eskimo-Indian Olympics. Tahbone is Miss Eskimo-Indian World for 2011.

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