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Connecting Alaska's press to UA News

October 5, 2022

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

University of Alaska Anchorage

UAA collaboration receives $4.39M Toward Teacher Training and Retention in Bristol Bay

In early September 2022, the Bristol Bay Teaching and Learning Collaborative (BBTLC) was awarded a $4.39 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), just in time for the start of a new academic year.

BBTLC will focus on three areas: facilitating teacher development and retention from the region, enhancing positive engagement between the communities and schools, and helping teachers from outside the region better understand local context through culturally responsive practices.

CONTACT: Matt Jardin

Dennis Andrew Sr. teaches students

Dennis Andrew Sr. teaches students how to read a map while telling harrowing survival stories. (Photo courtesy of Ben Griese)

Cryogenic Solid Particles and Lunar Rovers

UAA College of Engineering Professor Getu Hailu, Ph.D.’s NASA-funded research explores how extreme cold affects different materials.

“Much research has been done at high temperatures and elevated temperatures — very little is existing in the area of cold temperature and cryogenic temperatures,” said Hailu. “What would be the impact of solid particle erosion if these particles are hitting the surface of a lunar vehicle on the moon under cold temperature conditions?”

In other words, Hailu is researching cryogenic erosion. Since there are no repair shops in space, NASA needs to thoroughly understand all the risks before spending $433 million to send a rover to the moon. Hailu is just doing his part.

 CONTACT: Ted Kincaid


University of Alaska Fairbanks

Alaska Native Language Center Celebrates 50th Anniversary

“This day honors all the collective work and efforts of our predecessors, both faculty and students. Since the 1960s, the Alaska Native Language Center (ANLC) community has reverently gathered voices and times of the past that identify the DNA of the Indigenous peoples of Alaska,” said ANLC Director Walkie Charles. 

ANLC was established in 1972 by state legislation to research and teach the 20 Native languages of Alaska. It is now an internationally recognized center for the study of Iñupiaq, Yup’ik and Northern Dene languages. 

 “For the past five decades, ANLC has played a vital role in the documentation, preservation and instruction of Alaska Native languages,” said Charlene Stern, UAF’s vice chancellor for rural, community and Native education. “This event is an opportunity to celebrate the efforts of the past while also envisioning the next 50 years of how ANLC can support the greater movement to strengthen Alaska Native languages.” 

CONTACT: Maggie King or visit the ANLC website 

UAF language lab receive honors
Dancers at 50th celebration

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska Native Language Center celebrated its 50th anniversary on Oct. 4 (UAF photo)


UAF Seismologist Helps Start Open-Access Science Journal 

An international team of researchers, including postdoctoral fellow Ezgi Karasozen of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, has launched Seismica, supporting free global access to cutting-edge seismological research. The journal also will not charge scientists a publication fee.

“I wanted to be a part of this because I’m concerned about the diversity, inclusion and equity problems in STEM fields, especially geosciences,” she said. “I was thinking about ways I can contribute to making geosciences more accessible.

CONTACT: Rod Boyce or Ezgi Karasozen 

UAF Drone Pilots Head to Western Alaska for Emergency Response

When Typhoon Merbok damaged hundreds of miles of Alaska coastline on Sept. 17, a University of Alaska Fairbanks drone team traveled to Western Alaska to support the U.S. Coast Guard's emergency response. The flooding and wave action inundated homes, destroyed roads and runways, damaged sea walls and other critical infrastructure, left communities without water or communication and much more.

“The coordination among all of the communities, agencies in the Emergency Operations Center, and with our team is renewing critical relationships built on geospatial information among partners across all of Alaska. We are honored to support this critical mission," said Jessica Garron, the deputy director of the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center at IARC. 

CONTACT: Scott Rupp


University of Alaska Southeast

Nathan Bodenstadt Appointed UAS Dean of Students

“I have had the pleasure to be a member of the UAS and Juneau community for many years, and I’m excited to continue expanding that relationship. I relish the opportunity to connect with and provide support to a wide variety of students in this new role,” said Bodenstadt.

Bodenstadt is Inupiaq, and was born and raised in Fairbanks. He received his Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in Social Science and Communications from UAS and his Master of Science degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education. He has worked for UAS Residence Life since 2012, most recently as Director of the Division since 2019. 

CONTACT: Keni Campbell

Nathan Bodenstadt

Nathan Bodenstadt, UAS Dean of Students (UAS Photo)

Attend the Annual UAS Fall Lecture Series: Evening at Egan

Join us in-person for the first time since 2019! The October lectures are: Watching a Warming Arctic from Space on Friday, October 7  and Lessons from Indigenous Tourism for a Regenerative Future on Friday, October 28. The events are free and open to the public. All lectures begin at 7 p.m. Live Stream links are available.

CONTACT: Keni Campbell or visit Egan Lecture webpage


UA System Office

UA responds to UNAC Complaint and Files its Own 

The University of Alaska administration filed a response to the Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) complaint previously filed by United Academics (UNAC), the union representing full time faculty.  The response details the facts supporting the reasonableness of the university’s actions and its good faith efforts to negotiate.

The university also filed its own complaint with the Alaska Labor Relations Agency [ALRA] alleging unlawful labor practices by UNAC. This complaint is necessary to ensure that the entire context of the negotiations process – not just UNAC’s selective snapshot – is before the hearing officer so that the ALRA may fairly decide the issues raised by the parties. 

CONTACT: Robbie Graham

Nominations for the Alaska Innovators Hall of Fame Open Until December 16

Know an Alaskan whose ideas and actions have significantly improved the environment, human welfare, and/or economic development? Nominate them for the Alaska Innovators Hall of Fame! 

The Juneau Economic Development Council and the Alaska State Committee for Research (SCoR) encourage nominations for the class of 2023. Selected nominees will be inducted at the Innovation Summit held in Juneau on March 15-16, 2023. 

The Alaska Innovators Hall of Fame was established in 2014 to honor outstanding individuals and inventions that put Alaska on the map as leaders in innovation and to contribute to Alaska’s growing culture of ingenuity. 

Nominations of minority and underrepresented individuals are encouraged. 

For more information, contact Robbie Graham or visit the SCoR website.

CONTACT: Robbie Graham


UA Foundation

Libby Roderick Awarded 2022 Bullock Prize 

The University of Alaska Foundation Board of Directors has awarded the 2022 Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence to Libby Roderick. Roderick, a staff member since 2006, is the director of UAA’s internationally-renowned Difficult Dialogues Initiative and associate director of the Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence. She is also a renowned songwriter and performer whose work has been heard on 60 Minutes, CNN, and CBC, and used by NASA as a musical score to the Mars Rover.

The Bullock Prize is awarded annually to a member of the university community in recognition that a truly great university grows as a result of personal commitments to excellence. The Prize includes an unrestricted $20,000 award, and is the most prestigious award presented by the UA Foundation each year.

CONTACT: Cassandra Stalzer

Libby RoderickLibby Roderick (photo UAA)

UA System "Did You Know?"

Did You Know that First National Bank Alaska and UA have a shared vision for empowering Alaska?

As First National Bank of Alaska celebrates its 100th anniversary, a gift from the bank to the university has made possible the creation of the First National Bank Alaska Finance Lab housed at UAA. Plans for the lab include supporting exemplary business education and collaborative learning opportunities for students attending all three of Alaska’s public universities - UAA, UAF and UAS. The Finance Lab is scheduled to open in fall 2023.

CONTACT: Cassandra Stalzer

UAA ticker

UAA Chancellor Sean Parnell rings a bell to dedicate the new Seawolf Stock Ticker at the College of Business and Public Policy Showcase, August 18, 2022. Joining him is Betsy Lawer, First National Bank Alaska Board Chair, President and CEO along withJohn Nofsinger, Dean of the College of Business and Public Policy. Photo by UAA

For more information on the UA Newswire, contact UA Manager of Communications & Marketing Monique Musick at mmusick@alaska.edu