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Connecting Alaska's press to UA News

April 12, 2022

Research, workforce development and economic growth news stories and other feature articles from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Alaska Southeast and the UA Foundation. Compiled by the University of Alaska System Office of Public Affairs.


University of Alaska Fairbanks
UAF student gets K-12 classrooms jumping with seismology project

In Quinhagak, a village nearly 600 miles from Fairbanks in Southwest Alaska, a small seismometer sits on a corner counter in the classroom of Kuinerrarmiut Elitnaurviat science teacher EJ Dorsey. It quietly records the movements of the Earth’s surface and of people walking nearby.

Alaska Shake Education in Schools came to life in 2021 through the early support of the Alaska Earthquake Center at the UAF Geophysical Institute and a later one-time $25,000 David Simpson Fund for Innovation grant from Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology, a consortium of more than 100 U.S. universities dedicated to the operation of science facilities that can benefit seismology.

Contact Gabriel Low, Michael West, or Lea Gardine for more information. 

Gabriel Low in classroom

(UAF/GI photo by JR Ancheta)

Gabriel Low talks about earthquake facts and information to a group of West Valley High School students in Fairbanks during a presentation by the Alaska Earthquake Center on Monday, March 6, 2022.

Students aid Bristol Bay communities in coastal erosion research

University of Alaska Fairbanks students will return to several Bristol Bay communities this year to continue quantifying and mapping widespread coastal erosion.

Students in the Arctic Coastal Geoscience Lab of the UAF Geophysical Institute have been trudging through mud and scrambling over the debris of slumped-off bluffs in the region since 2016. Contact Rod Boyce for more information. 

UAF launches new podcast, ‘My Alaska Summer’

The University of Alaska Fairbanks this week premiered a new limited-run podcast, “Adventure, Classes and Midnight Sun: My Alaska Summer.”

The six-episode series, created in concert with Charash Sound, follows New York City resident Emily Charash during her summer 2021 semester as a student at UAF. Her courses included an archaeology field school, an exploration of the history of Alaska Native corporations in Alaska and a fly-fishing weekend. Contact Marmian Grimes for more information. 


University of Alaska Anchorage
UAA professor’s work included in reauthorization of Violence Against Women Act

Angelia Trujillo has worked as a forensic nurse examiner, has a doctorate in forensic nursing practice and teaches population health and forensic nursing at UAA. She founded the Alaska Comprehensive Forensic Training Academy.

The academy’s work was included in the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2022, which President Biden signed into law on March 17.

Contact Marci Suazo for more information. 

Angelia Trujillo

(Photo by James Evans / University of Alaska Anchorage)

Research by UAA nursing professor and alumna Angelia Trujillo, B.S. Nursing Science '97, M.S. Nursing Science '04, was included in the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2022.

Ten UAA alumni named Top Forty Under 40

The Alaska Journal of Commerce released its annual list of the top young professionals in the state. Selected from a field of 288 nominations, the 2022 Top Forty Under 40 recipients exemplify excellence in professional and community service. This year's list includes 10 UAA alumni. Contact Matt Jardin for more information. 

Vara Allen-Jones Scholarship for Academic Excellence boosts support for first-generation students

In 2012, Vara Allen-Jones’ colleagues surprised her by naming a scholarship after her. A retired UAA faculty member and administrator, Vara remembers the scholarship — the Vara Allen-Jones Scholarship for Academic Excellence — was created to honor her service to the Anchorage community.

Today, Vara is striving to make the scholarship a permanently endowed fund. She’s enlisted the help of friends and colleagues she met in her 28 years at UAA, and a nationwide network. Her goal is to raise $28,000 by this summer to enable the fund to provide at least $1,000 in scholarship support annually to students. Contact Eric Olson for more information.


University of Alaska Southeast
UAS Honors Dr. Elliot Bruhl of Sitka with Meritorious Service Award

This year UAS will honor Dr. Elliot Bruhl with a Meritorious Service Award, to be presented during the Sitka campus ceremony on Friday, April 29.

Dr. Elliot Bruhl is a well-respected medical doctor who has served Sitka for many years. He is currently Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) and has been a leader in COVID-19 planning and response throughout Southeast Alaska communities. As a member of the COVID response Sitka Unified Command Team, he has provided especially noteworthy service for the community of Sitka. Bruhl and many others have selflessly dedicated themselves to lessening the impact of the pandemic on Sitka and throughout Southeast Alaska.

Contact Keni Campbell for more information. 

Dr. Elliot Bruhl

UAS Honors David Kiffer with Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at 2022 Commencement Ceremony

This year UAS will honor David Kiffer with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

David Kiffer is a community leader in Ketchikan and an important figure in the arts and letters of Southeast Alaska. He is currently the education coordinator at the Ketchikan Correctional Center and previously was the long-time executive director of Historic Ketchikan, a non-profit organization dedicated to historic preservation and sustainable historic tourism in Southeast Alaska. Contact Keni Campbell for more information. 

In Memory of Arliss Sturgulewski 

On April 8, the University of Alaska Foundation lost one of its longest serving board members when Arliss Sturgulewski died in Anchorage at the age of 94. Arliss poured her time, talent and endless energy into many community and leadership roles, but had a particular affinity for higher education and its ability to help advance women and people of color in all areas of life.

We send our condolences to her family and loved ones.

Board of Directors | University of Alaska Foundation

Pitney Speaks At Arctic Encounter Symposium 

University of Alaska President Pat Pitney delivered an address to the Arctic Encounter Symposium and participated in panel discussions as part of the symposium last week. 

President Pitney highlighed areas of success across the three universities in Arctic research, workforce development, innovation and UA's Alaska Native Success Initiative. 

See photos and read many of President Pitney's remarks on her official Twitter page: @UAlaskaPres


University of Alaska Board of Regents to hold special board meeting April 15

Who: University of Alaska Board of Regents

What: During this special meeting, the board will hear an update on union contract negotiations with the university’s three unions.

When: Friday, April 15 from 9-11 a.m. 

Where: The meeting, with the exception of any executive sessions, will be livestreamed on the University of Alaska Board of Regents website

The meeting agenda is available on BoardDocs.

Did You Know? 

Did you know that the University of Alaska is home to one of the highest ranked 529 education savings plans in the country and that it just launched a very generous incentive program?  

For more than 20 years, Alaska 529 has made it easy to save for education in Alaska and study anywhere.

This month, Alaska 529 leveled up their benefits when it launched the new Dash to Save™ and Dash to Save More™ incentive programs aimed at reducing the burden of paying for higher education for Alaska students


For more information on the UA Newswire, contact UA Manager of News & Content Erin McGroarty at elmcgroarty@alaska.edu