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Lawrence Millman: First Reader in the 2011-12 Series

photo of Lawrence Millman

Lawrence Millman, noted travel writer and essayist, will be the first reader in the 2011-12 Midnight Sun Visiting Writer Series, which brings writers of national significance to Alaska each year. Millman's reading will be Friday, September 9th at 7pm in the Wood Center Ballroom on the UAF Campus. Millman has written 15 books, including such titles as Last Places, A Kayak Full of Ghosts, and Lost in the Arctic. He has made over 40 trips and expeditions to the Arctic and Subarctic.

Millman has won numerous awards, including a Northern Lights Award, a Lowell Thomas Award, and a Pacific- Asia Gold Travel Award; he has been anthologized in the Best American Travel Writing (Houghton Mifflin) three years in a row.

Since the 1970’s, the Midnight Sun Writers Series has brought many of the nation’s finest writers to Alaska, and the writers scheduled to appear this year will add to that proud tradition. All Midnight Sun Visiting Writers readings are free and open to all. For more information, visit our website:

Congratulations to 2011 journalism graduate Brianna McNall! Brianna won first place in a national journalism competition, the 2011 Communications Contest of the National Federation of Press Women, for her article Mars Power which was published in the December 2010 edition of Idaho Magazine. Additional details about the contest can be found at

Oldest subarctic North American human remains found, February 24, 2011

picture of excavation
Photo courtesy of Ben Potter Joshua Reuther, Ben Potter and Joel Irish excavate the burial pit at the Upward Sun River site in Alaska.

A newly excavated archaeological site in Alaska contained the cremated remains of one of the earliest inhabitants of North America. The site may provide rare insights into the burial practices of Ice Age people and shed new light on their daily lives.

University of Alaska Fairbanks archaeologist Ben Potter and four colleagues published their discovery in the Feb. 25 edition of the journal Science.

The skeletal remains appear to be that of an approximately three-year-old child, found in an ancient fire pit within an equally ancient dwelling at the Upward Sun River site, near the Tanana River in central Alaska. Radiocarbon dating of wood at the site indicates the cremation took place roughly 11,500 years ago, when the Bering Land Bridge may still have connected Alaska and Asia. Initial observations of the teeth by UAF bioarchaeologist Joel Irish provide confirmation that the child is biologically affiliated with Native Americans and Northeast Asians.

The apparent age of the remains from the site, researchers said, would certainly make them the oldest human remains found in northern North America as well as the second-youngest Ice Age child on the continent.

The find is also notable because archaeologists and Alaska Natives are working hand-in-hand to ensure the excavation and subsequent examination of the remains will benefit science and heritage studies in a way that is respectful of traditional Athabascan culture.

“This site reflects many different behaviors never before seen in this part of the world during the last Ice Age, and the preservation and lack of disturbance allows us to explore the lifeways of these ancient peoples in new ways,” said Potter.

Both the burial and the house itself are the earliest of their kind known in subarctic North America, according to the researchers. Discovery of burial sites of this age in North America is very rare; the buried remains of children are even more so.

The discovery of the remains was unexpected, Potter said. In fact, it was evidence of an older occupation at the site—about 13,200 year ago—that first attracted the researchers to the site. Only while investigating this earlier occupation did evidence of the burial come to light.

The initial excavation of the site was supported by the National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs with funds awarded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“This exciting, groundbreaking and multi-faceted research is in the best traditions of the social science research that NSF supports in the Arctic,” said Anna Kerttula de Echave, the project’s program officer at the NSF Office of Polar Programs. “Equally significant is that the approach taken by the researchers reflects the importance, in modern arctic science, of collaborating with Native people as full partners in discovery.”

In the paper, the researchers note that the pit contained not only the child’s remains—the researchers estimate less than 20 percent of the skeleton survived the cremation—but also remains of small mammals, birds, and fish as well as plant remains. Because the human remains were in the uppermost part of the pit, above the animal remains, the researchers suspect the pit was not originally designed as a grave. Evidence also suggests the occupants abandoned the house after the cremation-burial.

The child has been named Xaasaa Cheege Ts’eniin [haw-SAW CHAG tse-NEEN], which means “Upward Sun River Mouth Child.” The name is associated with the local Native place-name, Xaasaa Na’ [haw-SAW NA], or Upward Sun River. The site was formerly known as Little Delta Dune.

Both researchers and tribal leaders have said that the process of working together on this new find has fostered mutual respect and cooperation. The local federally recognized tribe, Healy Lake Traditional Council, and its affiliated regional consortium, Tanana Chiefs Conference, sanctioned Potter and his colleagues’ excavation and analysis. Through consultation initiated at the time of the discovery, Healy Lake and TCC support the scientific examination of both the site and the remains themselves.

“I would like to learn everything we can about this individual,” said First Chief Joann Polston, of Healy Lake Traditional Council. TCC President Jerry Isaac added that “This find is especially important to us since it is in our area, but the discovery is so rare that it is of interest for all humanity.”

Although burned, some of the child’s remains may retain DNA. Isaac intends to have his own DNA compared to the find. Polston would like expand the opportunity to any Alaska Native in the region.

Based on the stratigraphy—or examination of layers of materials in the fire pit—and other evidence, the researchers describe a possible sequence for how the remains came to be interred at the site.

They hypothesize that a small group of people, which included adult females and young children, was foraging in the vicinity of this residential camp, fishing and hunting birds and small mammals. A pit was dug within a house, used for cooking and/or a means of disposing food debris for weeks or months preceding the death of the child. The child died and was cremated in the pit, which was likely filled with surrounding soil soon thereafter. The house was soon abandoned, they concluded, due to the lack of artifacts found above the fill.

Potter noted the find is significant also because it crosses a number of disciplinary boundaries; the artifacts, features, stratigraphy, preservation and human remains allow for the integration and synthesis of stone tool technology, cultural affiliation, subsistence economy, seasonal use of the landscape, paleoenvironments and climate change in Ice Age northern North America.

Co-authors of the paper are Irish and Carol Gelvin-Reymiller, both of UAF, and Joshua Reuther and Vance Holliday of the University of Arizona.
ADDITIONAL CONTACTS: Agatha Erickson, Tanana Chiefs Conference, at 907-452-8251 Ext. 3570 or Debbie Wing, National Science Foundation, at 703-292-5344 or

Music student selected for exclusive conducting workshop, November 18, 2010

picture of Emerson Eads

University of Alaska Fairbanks music student Emerson Eads is one of 10 people nationwide selected to participate in the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra Conducting Workshop next month.

“This workshop is a terrific opportunity for me, not just because of the teacher, but because of the professional orchestra,” said Emerson, a senior in the music program. “The ability to have podium time with the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra is a terrific opportunity. Also, the players vote on who will be selected to return and conduct the orchestra in a performance during the first week of January, so that's an exciting opportunity.”

He will conduct at a concert Sunday, Nov. 21 at 4 p.m. in the Davis Concert Hall at UAF. The concert will feature the world premiere of his composition, “The Red Balloon Suite,” and a performance of Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 9 ‘Jeunehomme.’” Donations for admission will be accepted at the door.

Son of pianist and composer Emerson Eads Sr., Emerson has been surrounded with music his whole life. He grew up in Delta Junction, where his high school music teacher introduced him to vocal studies, music theory, sight singing, conducting and orchestration. After high school, Emerson earned a bachelor’s degree in history education with a minor in music from Covenant Life College. He taught choir and band at Whitestone High School in Delta Junction for six years before coming to UAF in 2009. During his time in Delta Junction, Emerson also directed the Whitestone Community Choir and the Delta Community Choir.

In addition to his work conducting, Emerson is a vocalist and composer. His resume includes the composition of a seven-minute work, “Homeland,” celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Alaska's Statehood, which was performed by Opera Fairbanks.

“Composition and conducting are both equal passions of mine,” he said. “I love singing and, as much as I'd love to do it all, there aren't enough hours in the day to devote to it all. I am so grateful to the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Department of Music and the faculty members, who have gone out of their way to foster my musical upbringing in so many ways.”

The Baltimore Chamber Orchestra Conducting Workshop is an acclaimed and highly competitive workshop. Participants work under the supervision of Baltimore Chamber Orchestra music director Markand Thakar to conduct the orchestra in works by Elgar, Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven. Participants range from young professional to advanced pre-professional conductors. Thakar is the co-director of the graduate conducting program at the Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University, where Emerson plans to get his master’s degree.

Clinical-Community Psychology Ph.D. program produces its first graduate, September 29, 2010

photo of Sarah Dewane
photo courtesy of UAA

On August 18, 2010, Sarah Dewane made history by becoming the first graduate of the joint University of Alaska Fairbanks and University of Alaska Anchorage Clinical-Community Psychology Ph.D. program.

The joint program, in which classes are co-taught by faculty at both UAF and UAA campuses, allows students to be located in either Anchorage or Fairbanks and participate in courses via videoconference. The program integrates clinical, community, and cultural psychology with a focus on rural, indigenous issues and an applied emphasis on the integration of research and practice while focusing on the unique environments of Alaska.

Dr. Christiane Brems, director of clinical training for the program states, “The graduation of this student is indeed an historic event. It is the culmination of over a decade of joint work among UAA and UAF faculty to bring this very important doctoral program to the state of Alaska. Graduates like Dr. Dewane will create monumental changes in how mental health and behavioral health services will be delivered in the state, making treatment and prevention more rurally and culturally appropriate and tailored. Dr. Dewane has made the program proud and we look forward to many more graduates.”

Dewane was admitted in the first cohort of students. Of her peers she reflects, “(they) are very accomplished and many are professionals who already serve as leaders in their communities. They are here learning because their community asked them to so they can return with knowledge and experience that will help to improve health and wellness. It shows the strength of the program and where it is going. I am so proud to be associated with it.”

The program was approved by the University of Alaska board of regents in the summer of 2005 and admitted its first cohort of students in 2006. There are currently 38 students in the program.

More information about the program can be found at

Cheryl Hatch to serve as 5th Snedden Endowed Chair of Journalism, August 20, 2010

photo of Cheryl Hatch

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Journalism Department announces that war photographer, newspaper reporter and documentary filmmaker Cheryl Hatch will serve as the fifth distinguished journalist to hold the department’s Snedden Endowed Chair of Journalism.

As a reporter and photographer, Hatch covered conflicts in the Middle East and Africa, including the aftermath of the first Gulf War in Iraq and the famine and subsequent U.S. intervention in Somalia. She also documented the fragile return to peace in Mozambique and Eritrea.

Hatch is the recipient of the Pew Fellowship in International Journalism at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. Her photographs have been exhibited worldwide, including at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., the Sony Gallery in Cairo, Egypt and the Leica Gallery in Solms, Germany. Her work has been published in books and magazines, including Time, Newsweek, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and Paris Match.

This fall Hatch will be teaching Perspectives in Journalism as well as giving a public talk in October as part of the Snedden guest lecturer series. The 2010 series will also feature Pulitzer Prize winning municipal reporter and editor Ceaser Williams and longtime foreign correspondent and author Bradley Martin.

The Snedden Endowed Chair of Journalism was established by Helen Snedden in honor of her late husband, former Fairbanks Daily News-Miner publisher C.W. Snedden. Since its establishment, the chair has allowed the UAF Journalism Department to bring a series of nationally known and award winning journalists to Fairbanks to teach classes, and to speak to students, local journalists and the public. Hatch, the first woman to hold the Snedden chair, was chosen for the position by the late Senator Ted Stevens, UA Regent Fuller Cowell, Virginia Farmier of True North Business Services and two Department of Journalism faculty members.

Art grows in Arctic Health Research Building

Kimberley Maher moistens the sprouts on ceramic figures

A project blending art and science is sprouting at UAF this spring. SNRAS Doctoral Candidate Kimberley Maher worked with Heidi Morel, a fine arts graduate student, to create voluptuous ceramic female forms with seeds planted on them.

The unique statues are on display in the Biosciences Library in the Arctic Health Building and in the lobby of Irving I. Maher gives Morel credit for the idea. The two students already knew each other because Maher has taken several ceramics classes. They based their work on using the female form as a symbol of fertility and bringing forth new life. “This is the time of year daylight returns and so Fairbanks is beginning to rejuvenate after a long winter,” Maher said. She wanted to capture the essence of spring while snow was still on the ground.

Read more

Ensemble 64.8 heads to Indianapolis to perform at the Intermedia Festival, April 23-25th, 2010

photo of Ensemble 64.8
UAF photo by Todd Paris

UAF percussion group, Ensemble 64.8, travels to Indianapolis to perform at the Intermedia Festival. The group is involved in a large-scale opera production and will premiere six new percussion works composed by Alaskan composer, Matthew Burtner.

The Intermedia Festival will be held April 23-25th at the Indianapolis Public Library in Indianapolis , IN. The Intermedia Festival features a series of unique concerts and events presenting futuristic modes of live performance in the telematic and media arts. The festival features over 100 live performers as well as collaborative performances conducted over the internet. For more information on the festival, visit

Psychology professor inks contract for new book, April 19, 2010

Assistant Professor of Psychology Julieann Pankey recently signed a publishing contract with New Harbinger Press for the June 2011 release of her book titled Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Cognitively and Physically Disabled Individuals and those with Related Conditions.

Outstanding Student Award Winners Announced, April 5, 2010

The College of Liberal Arts has named its outstanding students for the school year: Juliana Springer, Alaska Native Languages; Robert Bowman, Anthropology; Sakura Koretsune, Art; Elizabeth Rossi, Communication; Jasmine A. Johnson-Kennedy, English; Michael Farrell, Foreign Languages and Literatures; Kerry Lawrence, History; Molly Dischner, Journalism; Ingrid Johnson, Justice; Jeremy L. Wegner, Linguistics; Emerson Eads, Music; Kendra Heather Sinclair, Northern Studies; Simon Suchland, Philosophy and Humanities; Stephanie Johnson, Political Science; Anthony Aponte, Psychology; Rosalie Stockwell-White, Social Work; Nanae Ito, Sociology; Katherine Sousa, Theatre; and Sean D'Alessio, Women's Studies.

Morris Palter named director and host of the Focus Day of Percussion at the 2010 Percussive Arts Society International Convention

photo of Morris Palter
UAF photo by Todd Paris

University of Alaska Fairbanks assistant professor of percussion Morris Palter was selected to host the 2010 Focus Day of Percussion at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. The Percussive Arts Society is the single largest percussion organization in the world with over 10,000 active members and PASIC is its premiere annual percussion convention. Held in a different US city each year, PASIC attracts percussionists from all over the world for three days of concerts, clinics, master-classes, panel discussions, music laboratories and Hall of Fame ceremonies. Duties for the Focus Day host include creating a theme for the day, organizing six different concerts from over 200 proposals, writing an article for the PAS journal and acting as master of ceremonies.

The 2010 PAS International Convention will be held November 10-13 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN. The convention includes more then 120 events and is attended by 4,000-5,000 participants. The Focus Day is held on the first day of the convention and highlights classical and contemporary percussion. The performances on Focus Day give young up-and-coming percussionist an opportunity to jump start their careers and receive international attention. Palter states, "My first performance on a Focus Day at PASIC afforded me the opportunity to be seen and heard by percussionists from all over the world. Soon after appearing at PASIC, I started receiving numerous invitations to perform in Europe and across North America."

UAF’s percussion group Ensemble 64.8, directed by Palter, will be attending and performing at Focus Day 2010, premiering two new works by Alaskan composer Matthew Burtner.

Palter has been performing professionally for over 20 years. He has performed throughout North America, Asia and Europe at some of the most prestigious festivals and concert venues, including Carnegie Hall. Palter is a Yamaha Performing Artist and can be heard on New World Records, Tzadik Records, Mode Records, Innova and RCA/BMG. His solo CD was released on Centaur Records in 2006.

Former UAF Journalism Instructor Wins an Oscar - March 10, 2010

Elinor Burkett won an Oscar for her role as producer on the film Music by Prudence in the category best Documentary Short at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards last Sunday. Burkett taught journalism at UAF for the 2003-2004 academic year. Visit the Academy Awards website to view Burkett's acceptance speech.

CLA Center for the Arts Announces Award Recipients - March 5, 2010

The CLA Center for the Arts is delighted to announce that it has made four student awards for collaborative projects for this year. The recipients are:

1. Heidi Morel (Art/ceramics) and Kimberley Maher (Natural Resources Management) for their installation that will bring together art and science through an installation using clay pots to serve as a practical and aesthetically pleasing medium in which to grow plants

2. Tom Moran (Creative Writing) and Jennifer Schlotfeldt (Theatre/Performance emphasis) for their project to put on a staged reading of Tom's play "Boundary"

3. Adam Schiesl (Photography) and Yosuke Okada (Natural Resources Management) for their production of chlorophyll photographic artworks and framed photographs of these artworks

4. Trevor Saint (Music/Percussion) and Jeremy Langton (Mechanical Engineering)  for their co-creation of a musical composition using electronically manipulated Thai gongs rather than performers.

All performances and projects will be publicized through the CLA Center for the Arts and through other UAF and local media. We hope that you will enjoy the work of these gifted students.

The CLA Center for the Arts plans to make student awards for collaborative projects next year. Please look for information on our website, and in CLA's news postings.

Department of Communication Heads to Western States Communication Association Convention - March 3, 2010

Department of Communication undergraduate students Brandon Greenstreet and Liz Rossi; graduate students Joey Bays , Linda Bergsone, Donald Crocker, Megan Damario, Alan Fredericksen, Ross Imbler, Inna Ishchenko, Star Lee, Jane Piyamahapong, Marsha Schirack, Megan Sweeney and Charu Uppal; alumni Meadow Bailey, Greg Merdes and Karri VanDeventer; and faculty members Dr. Bob Arundale, Dr. Christie Cooper, Dr. Jean Richey and Dr. Karen Taylor are presenting at the 81st annual Western States Communication Association convention to be held March 5-9 in Anchorage. The conference brings together scholars, teachers and students from 13 states. This year’s conference will explore the theme Power and Communication.

Psychology senior John Scanlin to present at international conference - February 17, 2010

John Scanlin, a senior in the psychology department, co-authored two studies chosen for presentation at the AbSciCon 2010 conference. Scanlin’s study (under primary investigator Dr. Tim Lower) , What the world needs now: Identifying the relative degree of specific Maslovian needs and degree of species-level self-identification in interstellar messages submitted by a multinational sample , will be presented orally in the Search for Intelligent Life section of the conference and the second study (under primary investigator Dr. Douglas Vakoch) , Earth Speaks: Identifying common themes in interstellar messages proposed from around the world, will be presented in the poster session. Both studies utilize messages gathered by the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute’s Earth Speaks project and together demonstrate how information garnered from attempts to communicate across solar systems can be utilized to understand and foster human health. Other study authors include: Dr. Yvonne Clearwater, NASA Ames Research Center ; and Britton Niles, UAF School of Education.

AbSciCon 2010 is a biennial astrobiology science conference that brings together scientists from around the world who are working in the field of astrobiology – the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe – to report on research findings and plan future endeavors.

Interested parties can contact Dr. Tim Lower of the UAF Psychology Department, and Dr. Douglas Vakoch of SETI for more information on these specific studies. Dr. Vakoch serves as the primary investigator for SETI's larger Earth Speaks project. Those interested should consult that project's website for contact and project information ( A portion of Dr. Lower's time on these specific projects is attributable to support from Alaska EPSCoR NSF award #EPS-0701898 and the state of Alaska .

Professor wins award - February 17, 2010

Assistant Professor of Psychology Brien Ashdown is the 2010 recipient of the Leigh Minturn Memorial Award for Early Career Cross-Cultural Research, awarded annually by the Society of Cross-Cultural Research.

Former faculty member dies

Director of UAF’s Center for Alaska Native Health Research and former CLA professor Jerry Mohatt passed away February 10, 2010. Read more.

CLA featured in Business Office Magazine

Anthropology major Aimee Tunks dumps a bucket of dirt into a sieve during an archaeological field school camp near the Gerstle River in Interior Alaska.
UAF photo by Todd Paris

Associate Dean Anita Hartmann provides the feature for the "In Your Words" section of the January 2010 edition of Business Office Magazine, found at:



2011-2012 Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Series schedule

The UAF English Department announces the 2011-2012 schedule of the Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Series. All readings are free and open to the public. Additional information can be found at

Sept. 9th, 2011
Lawrence Millman – nonfiction
Wood Center Ballroom, 7pm

Sept. 30th, 2011
Johnny Payne &
James Englehardt Reading
Wood Center Ballroom, 7pm

Oct. 14th, 2011
Andrew Porter – fiction
Museum of the North, 7pm

Oct. 28nd, 2011
Dead Writer’s Event
The Blue Loon

Nov. 11th, 2011
Faculty and Student Reading
Wood Center Ballroom, 7pm

Feb. 3rd, 2012
Nicole Stellon – poetry/nonfiction
Wood Center Ballroom, 7pm

Mar. 9th, 2012
UAF MFA Faculty Reading
Wood Center Ballroom, 7pm

Mar. 30th, 2012
G.C. Waldrep – poetry
Wood Center Ballroom, 7pm

Apr. 6th, 2012
Steve Almond – fiction
Wood Center Ballroom, 7pm

Apr. 20th, 2012
Dana Spiotta – fiction
Wood Center Ballroom, 7pm

Public Debate: Theism vs. Atheism: The Arguments, October 27, 2011

flyer for event

Eduardo Wilner, professor in the UAF Department of Philosophy and Humanities and Department of Biology and Wildlife and Doug Geivett, professor of philosophy in the Talbot School of Theology at Biola University will debate theism versus atheism from 1:00-3:30pm on Thursday October 27th, in the Carol Brown Ballroom of the Wood Center on the UAF Campus.

The debate will concentrate on the arguments behind both theism and atheism. Geivett will argue in favor of theism while Wilner will argue in favor of atheism.

Geivett specializes in general epistemology and the philosophy of religion. He is the author or editor of several books, including Evil and the Evidence for God and In Defense of Miracles. He has contributed chapters to God Under Fire, The Rationality of Theism and Does God Exist?: The Craig-Flew Debate. Wilner is a biologist, and a philosopher of science, who specializes in evolutionary theory. He has published a number of papers, has presented in a number of conferences, and has taught workshops and seminars in his disciplines through several national and international venues.

This event is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the UAF Socratic Society.

Add Sexual Orientation and Stir, October 11

flyer for event

Join us on Tuesday, October 11th from 1-2pm in room 306 of the Gruening Building for a brown bag lunch discussion on the new UA Board of Regents inclusive anti-discrimination policy. Event facilitators include Sean Parson and Sine Anahita.

This event is sponsored by the UAF Women's and Gender Studies Program, the UAF Women's Center and the Faculty Senate Committee on the Status of Women.

Pulitzer Prize Winning Photojournalist Preston Gannaway to speak in Fairbanks

flyer of preston gannaway lecture

UAF Journalism's Snedden Guest Lecture Series presents a free public lecture by Preston Gannaway. The lecture will be held at 7pm on Wednesday, March 2nd at the Noel Wien Public Library.

Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Preston Gannaway has worked as a documentary newspaper photographer for the past 10 years. Gannaway believes the daily newspaper is an inclusive medium that brings visual storytelling to a diverse audience. She currently works for The Virginian-Pilot newspaper in Norfolk. In 2008, Gannaway's intimate photo story on the St. Pierre family, Remember Me, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography. Her work has been honored in numerous other national and international competitions, including Pictures of the Year International's One Week's Work and an award of excellence in Best Multimedia Project. A native of North Carolina, she began her career at the Coalfield Progress in rural southwest Virginia after earning a BA in fine art photography at Virginia Intermont College.

UAF Art Gallery Schedule and Events, Spring 2011 semester

The UAF Art Gallery schedule for the remainder of the semester is as follows:

  • March 21-April 1: MFA Student Show: Mike Quinn (drawing). UAF Art Gallery, 8am-5pm weekdays.
  • April 4-15: BFA Student Show: Erin Anderson (ceramics). UAF Art Gallery, 8am-5pm weekdays.
  • May 2-12: Student Art Show. UAF Art Gallery, 8am-5pm weekdays.
  • May 16-27: MFA Student Show: Heidi Morel (ceramics). UAF Art Gallery, 8am-5pm weekdays.

Other events from the Art Department include:

  • March 21 - April 1: Mask making workshop with Kathleen Carlo-Kendall. Location: Native Arts Center, UAF Art Department.
  • April 11-May 9: US Artists Alaska Artist-in-Residence: Mary Shaffer (glass artist). Workshops and presentations to be announced.
  • April 14-17: Visiting Artist: Melanie Yazzie (printmaking). Workshops and presentations to be announced.
  • April 21: Public Lecture. Fractals in the Visual Sciences and Art: Fractal Expressionism. Richard Taylor, Department of Physics, University of Oregon. Schaible Auditorium. 6pm-7:30pm.
  • May 6: Student Ceramics/Print Sale. Art Department Studios - noon to 6pm.

Midnight Sun Writers Series 2010-2011 Schedule

  • 9/17/10 John Morgan & Peggy Shumaker will perform readings of their original poetry at 7pm in the Wood Center ballroom.
  • 10/01/10 Anthony Varallo will perform readings of his original short stories at 7pm in the Wood Center ballroom.
  • 10/23/10 Dead Writers Reading and Raffle: 6-11pm at The Blue Loon, $15 general admission, $12 with UAF ID, must be at least 21 to enter.
  • 11/12/10 Sherry Simpson will perform readings of her original essays at 7pm in the Museum of the North auditorium.
  • 2/18/11 Jeanne E. Clark will perform readings of her original poems at 7pm in the Museum of the North auditorium.
  • 3/04/11 Cecily Parks will perform readings of her original poems at 7pm in the Schaible Auditorium.
  • 4/15/11 Dawn Raffel will perform readings of her original works at 7pm in the Schaible Auditorium.
  • 4/29/11 Mark Doty and Paul Lisicky will perform readings of their original works at 7pm in the Museum of the North auditorium.


2009 CLA Special Edition

cover of 2009 CLA special edition newsletter

Click the link below to read the 2009 CLA Special Edition newsletter. Articles included:

  • Truth and Fiction
  • UAF College of Liberal Arts Going Global
  • UAF Percussionists Having an Impact
  • There’s More to “Elder” Than Being Old
  • From the Classroom to the Supreme Court
  • DEW Line Passage
  • It’s About Attitude
  • Thank You Rudy Krejci!




FREE MONEY! Win a $500 scholarship

The College of Liberal Arts Dean's Office is offering two $500 scholarships for the spring 2011 semester. All students need to do to qualify is register for classes before Monday, December 20, 2010. The scholarships will be given away by a drawing and students will be notified of their award the week of December 20th. Registration for spring semester begins on Monday, November 8th.

Call for Proposals - Undergraduate Research Grants

The College of Liberal Arts Dean’s Office has funds to support undergraduate research projects to be conducted during Spring 2011 semester. Research projects in any Liberal Arts discipline will be considered. Original research must be the student’s own work with mentoring by a faculty member who will supervise all stages of the project (concept, proposal, execution, final report). The appication deadline is November 24, 2010. Click here for more information.

The UAF Speaking Center is Open and Available to All UAF and TVC Students

Are you giving oral presentations this semester? The UAF Speaking Center can help you! The Speaking Center, run by the Department of Communication, provides assistance with topic selection, presentation organization and, most importantly, presentation practice complete with video recording. Students receive constructive feedback for improvement from a Speaking Center coach. Practice time without coaches is also available. Hours of operation are: Monday 11am-3pm and 5:30pm-8:30pm, Tuesday 5:30pm-8:30pm, Wednesday 11am-3pm and 5:30pm-8:30pm, Thursday 1pm-3pm. The Speaking Center is located in Gruening room 507. To schedule an appointment, students may call 474-5470. For more information on the Speaking Center contact Dr. Christine Cooper, 474-5060, or Dr. Robert Arundale, 474-6799,



University of Alaska Fairbanks Pianist Takes the Gold

Photo of Ilia Radoslavov and piano
UAF photo by Todd Paris

University of Alaska Fairbanks pianist Dr. Ilia Radoslavov took gold at the Seattle International Piano Competition held in October. Dr. Radoslavov performed in the professional division. The award included a cash prize and a recording contract with Emergence Records. The recording contract includes the production of a full length solo album, the first for Radoslavov, and will be recorded in the spring of 2010.

The Seattle International Piano Festival invites pianists of all ages from around the world. The festival features the piano competition, guest recitals, master classes and lectures.

The competition consisted of two rounds of judging. Judging in the preliminary round was based on anonymously labeled recordings submitted by each artist. Artists progressing to the final round of competition were invited to perform live at the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall in Seattle’s Benaroya Hall. The competition drew over 100 entries in the professional division with six artists progressing to the final round.

Following the competition Dr. Radoslavov was invited to perform as a guest artist at a recital series sponsored by the Cornish College of the Arts and to serve as a judge at the 2010 Seattle International Piano Competition.

A native of Bulgaria, Dr. Radoslavov has been performing professionally for nearly 20 years. His performances have received accolades by audiences and critics alike, while appearing in numerous solo and chamber performances in prestigious venues in the United States and Europe.

Dr. Radoslavov holds degrees in Piano Performance from the University of Wisconsin Madison, Southern Illinois University Carbondale and the State Conservatory of Music, Sofia, Bulgaria. He is the recipient of many awards to include the Missouri International Piano Competition, Joplin, Missouri; the Hague International Piano Competition, the Netherlands; and first prizes from the UW Concerto Competition and UW Beethoven Piano Competition, Madison, Wisconsin; Saint Louis Artist Presentation Society, St. Louis, Missouri; National Mozart Competition, Sofia, Bulgaria; and the National Piano Competition, Provadia, Bulgaria.

Journalism students, professor to embed in Iraq, July 29, 2009

University of Alaska Fairbanks journalism professor Brian O’Donoghue and three students will leave Fairbanks this weekend for an assignment that many journalists will never experience.

O’Donoghue, along with seniors Jennifer Canfield, Tom Hewitt and Jessica Hoffman, will board a plane to Kuwait, where they will join members of the 25th Infantry's Fairbanks-based Stryker Brigade Combat Team as embedded reporters in Diyala province in eastern Iraq.

The students and professor will spend most of August covering the war for Alaska media partners in Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau.

O’Donoghue said the project will provide an immersive learning experience for students, as well as a public service. The students will be filing radio, television and print stories from the field, along with posting to a blog. Their coverage will be available to print and broadcast media outlets throughout the state.

“Alaska is a state with a deep connection to the military,” said O’Donoghue. “Here on campus we often have soldiers or their spouses in classes. Though interest in coverage of the brigade's activities remains high, most commercial newsrooms can't afford to send reporters right now."

This is not the journalism department’s first foray into military reporting. O’Donoghue’s students have been embedded on training exercises prior to previous deployments from Fort Wainwright during the fall 2004 semester and the spring 2008 semester.

O’Donoghue said UA President Mark Hamilton first raised the possibility of embedding student reporters this April with editors of the Sun Star, UAF's student-run campus newspaper. The journalism department explored the feasibility with brigade officers and put together a proposal, which Hamilton approved.

The project’s $35,000 price tag is funded through private donations to the university. It covers travel and war zone insurance for the foursome, as well as about $11,000 in audio, video and photography equipment, as well as field-grade laptops. The equipment will see continued use in the department for years to come, addressing the need for field-editing of video by today's roving journalist.

Canfield, Hewitt and Hoffman were selected from among a dozen students who applied to participate in the project. As a team, the students offer a broad array of media training: Canfield has radio experience, Hoffman is a video specialist and Hewitt, The Sun Star's new editor, is a strong print reporter, O’Donoghue said.

"I've found in my own career that nothing sharpens skills like intense assignments of finite duration covering a story of importance," O'Donoghue said. "This offers all of that and more. Former embedded journalists we've approached for advice have all encouraged us to go for it."

CONTACT: Marmian Grimes, UAF public information officer, at 907-474-7902 or via e-mail at

View the Student’s blog at:
Listen to an interview given by Brian O’Donoghue and aired on the Alaska Public Radio Network

Read any of the many articles relating to this story:

Fairbanks Daily News Miner: 08/31/09: Alaska Strykers teach final lessons before returning home

KTUU Anchorage: 08/27/09: Strykers wrap up training with Iraqi army, police

Fairbanks Daily News Miner: 08/24/09: Strykers teach ‘crash course’ in Humvee repair

KTUU Anchorage: 08/20/09: Iraqis, Strykers battle heat together on aerial assault

Fairbanks Daily News Miner: 08/12/09: Fort Wainwright soldiers find themselves on a different kind of mission

KTUU Anchoarge: 08/07/09: Sweeping for Bombs with the Stryker Brigage
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: 08/07/09 - A Tangled Justice Weaves its Way in Iraq

Editor & Publisher: 08/05/09, A Close Call Already for Embedded Journalism Students in Iraq

Anchorage Daily News: 08/01/09: UAF quartet joins Fort Wainwright soldiers in Iraq

The Chronicle of Higher Education
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - photo
Editor & Publisher
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Fairbanks Journalism Students Embedded with Strykers
KTVA Anchorage


UAF College of Liberal Arts Dean appointed guest editor of Canadian journal, January 5, 2010

Eric Heyne, Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, is guest editor for the most recent issue of The Northern Review, a multidisciplinary journal of northern studies published by Yukon College in Whitehorse. This special literary issue features work by more than twenty Alaskan writers and cover art by UAF Native Arts professor Da-ka-xeen Mehner, and was supported in part by grants from the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the Alaska Humanities Forum. There will be a reading by local contributors to the issue in the Bear Gallery at Pioneer Park on Feb. 6 at 7:00pm, sponsored by the Fairbanks Arts Association as part of their Literary Arts Reading Series. The Northern Review is available for purchase from Yukon College, visit for purchasing information.

Borealis Brass Receives Recognition, November 25, 2009

The Borealis Brass CD Roman Holidays, released in February 2009, received praise in the October 2009 edition of the peer reviewed International Trombone Association Journal. Borealis Brass members include James Bicigo, Karen Gustafson and Jane Aspnes, all of whom are faculty members in the UAF Music Department. The CD features music that was composed for Borealis Brass to perform in Rome as part of a concert series sponsored by the Foundation Adkins-Chiti: Donne in Musica. CD's are available in Fairbanks at Gulliver's Bookstore, the UAF Bookstore and the UA Museum of the North Store.

Musicians Receive Praise, November 4, 2009

Composer and UAF alumna Sheri Throop and James Bicigo, Music Department, each received praise for recent compositions in the October 2009 edition of the International Trumpet Guild Journal. The journal reviewed Bicigo’s The Bremen Town Musicians and Throop’s Playford Dances.

Photography Exhibit to Feature Work by UAF Faculty, September 2, 2009

Artwork by Art Department faculty members Da-ka-xeen Mehner and Erica Lord will be on display during the Alaska Native Photographer's Invitational Exhibit at the Alaska Native Arts Foundation gallery in Anchorage. The exhibition will run September 4-November 4, 2009. For more information visit

Mollett Online Exhibition Review, July 16, 2009

An online magazine review of work by UAF art associate professor David Mollett, recently on display at New York ’s Bowery Gallery, is available at

Indigenous Studies Ph.D. Approved, April 9, 2009

The University of Alaska Board of Regents approved a new Ph.D. program in indigenous studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks . The indigenous studies Ph.D. was developed in collaboration with several Alaska Native groups. One of its goals is to help address a shortage of Alaska Natives with advanced degrees; another is to advance knowledge and scholarship on subjects important to Alaska Native people and communities.

UAF Wind Symphony, Jazz Band and Brass Choir go to Anchorage

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Wind Symphony , Jazz Band and Brass Choir are heading down to the Anchorage area on an educational tour for middle and high school students from April 22-24. This is the second year that the groups have toured in Alaska to bring concerts and educational clinics to communities and schools. Last year the Jazz Band toured to Delta Junction, Glennallen, and Valdez while the Wind Symphony and Brass Choir presented concerts and clinics in Nenana, Healy, and the Matsu Valley . The concerts will be performed for all ages of students in hopes of encouraging an interest in music and the value of music education, as well as showing the students the ensembles they may participate in while attending UAF. The groups will also provide free clinics to students already involved in their school music program. These same groups at UAF initiated these educational tours in 2007-2008 using monies brought in by ticket sales of several previous years of concerts. This year, however, music department chair Dr. John Hopkins has pitched in by seeking funding to encourage this educational venture and wonderful recruiting effort for UAF. Wind Symphony director Dr. Karen Gustafson , Jazz Band director Prof. Daniel Cathey and Brass Choir director Dr. James Bicigo will lead the groups down on a coach bus next Wednesday in this educational tour.

Borealis Brass Releases CD, February 13, 2009


The Borealis Brass (Jane Aspnes, Karen Gustafson and James Bicigo) have released their CD Roman Holidays. The CD features music by women composers that was composed for Borealis Brass to perform in Rome on their three concert series there that were sponsored by the Foundation Adkins-Chiti: Donne in Musica. There is a wide variety of styles from African-American spirituals to contemporary classical music. CD's are available at Gulliver's Bookstore or from a member of borealis brass and cost $15. They will be available on soon. The proceeds from the CD go to fund further commissions from composers and performance and recording activities of Borealis Brass.

Alaska Native Literature Book Receives Prestigious National Award, January 14, 2009

photo of book cover Words of the Real People

Words of the Real People: Alaska Native Literature in Translation edited by Ann Fienup-Riordan and Lawrence D. Kaplan was selected as “2008 Outstanding Academic Title” by Choice magazine. Choice is published by the Association of College and Research Libraries.

Words of the Real People, published by the University of Alaska Press , is a collection of life stories, poetry and oral literature from Alaska Native speakers of Yupik, Inupiaq and Alutiiq.

Choice magazine has included Words of the Real People in a list of outstanding academic titles that were reviewed during 2008. Books are judged on overall excellence in presentation, scholarship and their importance relative to other literature in the field. Selection for this list brings with it the extraordinary recognition of the academic library community.

The book’s co-editor Ann Fienup-Riordan is the author of numerous books on the people of Alaska and has been recognized by the Alaska Federation of Natives for her work. Lawrence Kaplan is the director of the Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks .

Available at bookstores and online at For further information please contact Garry Utermohle, UA Press Book Publicist, at (907) 474-6544 or

UAF Professor Emeritus Named as Fellow, January 5, 2009

University of Alaska Fairbanks professor emeritus Michael Krauss has been named a Linguistics Society of America Fellow for his distinguished contributions to the field of linguistics. Krauss and 11 other individuals were elected LSA Fellows and were recognized at the society's 83rd annual meeting in San Francisco. Krauss, funded by a $1.2 million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation, is leading a team of veteran linguists who are working to document endangered languages in and near Alaska.

UAF Art Department Faculty Exhibit in New York City, Show in NYC, December 5, 2008

"Gilmore Trail View", David Mollett, 48X36", oil on canvas and "Voice of Edith", Jessie Hedden, 20X26", mixed media on panel
"Gilmore Trail View", David Mollett, 48X36", oil on canvas (left) and "Voice of Edith", Jessie Hedden, 20X26", mixed media on panel (right)

Artwork by UAF faculty members and artists David Mollett and Jessie Worth Hedden is currently on exhibit at the Bowery Gallery in New York City . The exhibit, which features paintings and prints by Mollett and paintings and collages by Hedden opened November 29th and runs through the end of December.

Mollett, an Associate Professor at UAF, is well known throughout Alaska and has 31 solo exhibitions to his credit. He is currently showing landscape images from the Alaska Range as well as the Interior and South Central regions of Alaska . His paintings are structurally drawn and painted broadly with attention to color sequence and interval. Hedden, an Adjunct Instructor at UAF has shown widely in Alaska , recently exhibiting at the International Gallery in Anchorage and Alaska House in Fairbanks . In her collages and paintings, she builds an abstract image based on color and spatial studies from nature. The work of both Mollett and Hedden is closely tied to the Alaskan wilderness.

More information on the exhibit can be found by visiting the Bowery Gallery online at

United States Artists Fellows - Tanya Aguiñiga and Gwendolyn Magee, November 24, 2008

Tanya Aguiñiga, a 2006 United States Artists Fellow who participated in the Alaska artist-in-residence program with the UAF Native Arts Center , recently closed a show at Los Angeles ’s Reform Gallery in which she displayed three pieces created while in residency at the Native Arts Center . The UAF art department will host another artist-in-residence, Gwendolyn Magee, during the spring 2009 semester. Magee is a textile artist and a 2007 United States Artists Fellow. The artist-in-residence program is supported by a grant from the Rasmuson Foundation.

Climate Change Effects Food Supply, November 19, 2008

UAF’s S. Craig Gerlach, Philip Loring, Archana Bali and Gary Kofinas discuss the effects of climate change and rising energy costs on food supply in northern communities in two recent articles in Science. The articles “Researchers at AAAS Arctic Division Meeting Link Climate, Energy to ‘Food Insecurity’” and “Scientists Link Climate, Energy to Growing Arctic ‘Food Insecurity’” are written by Edward W. Lempinen and discuss research presented at the AAAS Arctic Division annual meeting held September 15-17, 2008 in Fairbanks.

AFN Honors, November 7, 2008

UAF Professor Emeritus Michael Krauss and Clara Johnson, director of the Interior-Aleutians Campus, were recipients of major awards at the Alaska Federation of Natives annual convention in October. Krauss received the Denali Award, the top honor given by the AFN to non-Natives. Johnson was the recipient of the AFN President’s Eileen Panigeo MacLean Education award.

Northern Studies Program in the News, November 4, 2008

The Alaska Historical Society recognized UAF Northern Studies alumnus Chris Allan with the Alaska Journal Best Article Award and a $500 cash prize at their 2008 conference, held October 16-18 in Anchorage . The conference was organized by another Northern Studies alumna, Katie Johnson Ringsmuth, and featured presentations and participation by the following Northern Studies program students, alumni and faculty: Chris Allan, Ross Coen, Janine Dorsey, Kathy Price, Talis Colberg, Roger Kaye, Bob King, Katie Johnson Ringsmuth, Terrence Cole, Kes Woodward and Judy Kleinfeld. Student membership in the Alaska Historical Society is available. Membership benefits include travel grants and publication opportunities in the journal Alaska History. More information on the Alaska Historical Society can be found at

UAF Participates in the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, November 3, 2008

Alaska Native Language Center instructors and SLATE Ph.D. students Walkie Charles and Hishinlai' “Kathy” Sikorski will present papers during the Presidential Session at the 2008 American Anthropological Association annual meeting to be held November 19-23 in San Francisco. Instructor Charles will present Critical Pedagogy: A Yup’ik Eskimo Perspective which examines and redefines the traditional role of the male in the Yup’ik family. Instructor Sikorski will present Interface of Ideology, Identity and Politics: Effects on Ancestral Language Learning which provides a rich ethnographic exploration of the author's experiences as she learns her ancestral language. Lawrence Kaplan, Director of the Alaska Native Language Center will participate in the annual meeting as a discussant. Visit for more information on the American Anthropological Association annual meeting.  

UAF Alumni Exhibiting in New York Art Show, October 30, 2008

The Alaska House gallery in the SoHo District of New York will feature artwork by UAF alumni Sonya Kelliher-Combs and Da-ka-xeen Mehner in i-den-ti-ty, a group show curated by the Alaska Native Arts Foundation running November 1-December 29, 2008. The show features video, digital photography, 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional pieces which question the cultural standards by which our society defines race, and in particular American Indians and Native Americans. For more information on the Alaska House visit

UAF Student Writes Feature Article in Alaska Magazine, October 7, 2008

Bryr Ludington, a MFA Nonfiction candidate at UAF, wrote a feature article “Pioneer of the Alaska Highway” in the October 2008 edition of Alaska Magazine. The article chronicles Elden Borders’ 1941 winter trek across a proposed route for the Alaska Highway. Ludington is currently researching and writing two books: one about Borders, and her first collection of essays. Her work has received recognition including an Honorable Mention from the AWP Intro Journal Awards. She lives in Fairbanks with her husband, fiction writer and fellow MFA candidate James Harris, and their two children. Ludington's article on Borders can be read at: