Friday Focus: I've declared it spring!

Anupma Prakash wearing a mask and gold dress
UAF photo by JR Ancheta
Provost Anupma Prakash is not letting weather come in the way. She is living like it is spring!

Feb. 11, 2022

— By Anupma Prakash, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

I have a weather forecast app on my cell phone. I’m not sure why I even have it. It’s great when the forecast shows that it’s going to be a sunny day. When the forecast is not as favorable, I ignore it and tell myself – In Alaska, we don’t let weather come in the way of fun. It’s February – we’re gaining light and it’s almost Spring Break. Those additional six plus minutes of light we gain with each passing day for sure make a huge difference. I find myself smiling more when I see light outside my office window, and it warms my heart to see the UAF community engaged in planning activities across all our campuses building up momentum to Spring Break festivities. 

The start of February marked the Lunar New Year, celebrated widely in many Asian countries. In China, it is also referred to as the Spring Festival and festivities last for 15 days, concluding with the Lantern Festival. On Feb. 1, we entered the Year of the Tiger that symbolizes energy and courage. Tomorrow, the UAF Chinese Student Association and their friends will celebrate this festival at the Wood Center in person after two years. A big thank you to everyone involved in the planning, especially to the club President Yaoze Cheng and Advisor Rosalind Kan. You bring the energy of the Tiger to start this new year with joy for our UAF community. 

The University Advancement team has also channeled its creative energy in this fun-filled show your love campaign that kicks off on Sunday, Feb. 13.  The campaign starts with a simple question: “What’s your UAF love story?” and encourages you to share it. I’ll tell you a bit of mine. My love for UAF has made me incapable of keeping my eyes off anything that is blue and gold. Half my wardrobe is blue and gold, my dining table décor is blue and gold, my bedroom wall is painted in UAF gold, and if that were not enough my family in India and Germany now send me only blue and gold gifts!  I am so looking forward to reading your UAF love story. You can also show your love by attending a performance by UAF students, coming to an athletic event, enrolling in one of the many for-credit and non-credit courses and workshops, volunteering your time to help at our botanical garden, joining the alumni association, or making a gift. If you have any questions on how to get engaged, please feel free to reach out to any member of our UAF advancement team.

In the lead-up to brighter days, we are certainly seeing change. Slowly, safely, and steadily the University is opening up more and more for in-person events. The Student Affairs teams have been particularly busy in hosting so many events for student and community engagement. There is an event every day this month, and a good way to find them is at this site: So why wait for Spring Break in March, when you can start celebrating right away? We may not always be able to dress like it’s spring, but we can certainly foster the spirit of spring in our hearts. For myself, I’ve declared it spring!

Friday Focus is a column written by a different member of UAF's leadership team every week.