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Aug. 29, 2023

Welcome to Week 1, the first week of your journey!

Here we go! You are taking a step, or another step, toward a better future. I am so proud of you. You are on the path. You are doing it. Though the path is not short or easy; there are many people here to help and I am one of them. 

I am the vice chancellor of student affairs and enrollment management. What does that mean? It means that I am your vice chancellor. The chancellor at UAF is the highest official at the institution. He’s like the CEO and his name is Dan White. He has a seven-member team that reports directly to him and is responsible for most of the main functional areas of the institution. One of these team members is responsible for all things relating to students. That’s me. I am responsible for much of your experience here at UAF, including your overall well-being. This includes your dining, your housing, your health and counseling, as well as several other core student services such as the offices that help you enroll, finance your education, and ultimately graduate. My job is to manage and improve the services you need to accomplish your goals. I am fortunate to have wonderful and amazing people working for and with me to support you in each of these areas. We are a diverse team and we care about one thing. We want you to succeed. Along that journey, we want you to be safe, be well, and have a great time. 

Here are three things you should do if you haven’t already: 

Opt-in to texting:  

Texting is a great way to communicate! Many departments and advisors send text/SMS messages about reminders, opportunities, appointments, and more. Text "UAF" to 877-755-7554 to opt-in for text/SMS messages and be entered to win $25 in Bear Bucks, a UAF t-shirt, or an annual parking pass!

Download the Navigate Student app:

The Nanook Navigator app (iOS, Android) is a mobile advisor to help you get from orientation to graduation. You can connect with your advisors, professors, and classmates, access information on important resources, virtually raise your hand for support, and view events and deadlines. The app also provides you with the option to make your own to-do lists and set reminders. View the student quick guide here for access and instructions. If you don’t have a mobile device, you can still access these features through the desktop student center.

Connect to UAF student events:

To stay informed about all the latest and upcoming student events, connect to the Nanook Engage platform. To connect via your mobile device, download the CampusGroups app (iOS, Android) and login with your UA login credentials.


This first week is going to go by in a flash. Focus on the basics and take care of yourself. Get outside. Explore your new environment. Find comfortable places and people that will support your success in the coming weeks. Take a moment to invest in new friendships and new community connections.

There is lots to learn and if you need or would like some help, please reach out. You should have met your advisor by now. Your advisor can help you find resources and guidance to people and services that are dedicated to help you. There are so many people just waiting to help you on your journey; we’ve been waiting all summer for your return!

No matter if you are taking one credit or 20, whether you are here in Fairbanks or far away across the planet, and what course or degree you are working on here at UAF Welcome! It is going to be a great semester!

— Owen Guthrie, vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management


UAF is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer, educational institution and provider and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual: www.alaska.edu/nondiscrimination/.