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My interest in finding alternative solutions to incarceration led me to collaborate with the Tlingit and Haida Tribal Court to bring community conferencing, a restorative justice program, to Southeast Alaska. The BLA program has given me the depth and breadth of knowledge necessary to pursue my education in law.

2016 Outstanding Graduate

Bachelor of Liberal Arts (e-Learning)

Valerie Ní hEideáin

My UAS Experience

Earning my Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in social science and law from the University of Alaska Southeast has been an amazing experience. The BLA degree program has strengthened my character and empowered my voice. I have experienced personal, professional, and academic growth through my educational achievements. The diverse selection of social science courses gave me the opportunity to explore the world from different perspectives, understand the intricacies of cultures, strengthen my research skills, acquire practical experience in conducting field observations, and enhance my critical thinking, communication, and problem solving skills. The law courses have advanced my competencies in legal research, reading, understanding, and interpreting case law, recognizing the various forms of law, and appropriately applying the law to civil and criminal cases. I have developed the ability to think outside the box when seeking answers to complex questions. The interactive online courses have allowed me to collaborate with fellow students and have enhanced my facilitation and presentation skills. The faculty and staff have been outstanding; their dedication and commitment to their disciplines has inspired me and further fostered my love for learning.

With the encouragement and support of the faculty I was given the freedom to research topics that were of particular interest to me. I had the opportunity to examine the causes and implications of racial profiling, disproportionate contact, sentencing disparities, felony disenfranchisement laws, and the overrepresentation of African Americans and LGBT individuals in the prison system. My interest in finding alternative solutions to incarceration led me to collaborate with the Tlingit and Haida Tribal Court to bring community conferencing, a restorative justice program, to Southeast Alaska. The BLA program has given me the depth and breadth of knowledge necessary to pursue my education in law.

About Valerie Ní hEideáin

Valerie Ni hEideain is the 2016 Outstanding Graduate for the Regional Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree program. Valerie has a long history of striving for social justice that she brought to her undergraduate studies, and which greatly enhanced her coursework. Her background includes time spent time as a nurse’s aide in early adulthood, working in Ireland with a Dublin-based republican ex-prisoner support program, and working directly with former combatants, displaced persons, and marginalized communities. She has also worked with other organizations to develop training programs for sexual harassment policies, employment equality, and equal status policies. Her interests in the areas of psychology and law at UAS in particular have prepared her to carry out her humanities capstone project, introducing Community Conferencing, a restorative justice program to be implemented in a small town in Southeast Alaska this year. Valerie is graduating with a 3.98 GPA in her UAS coursework.

  • William Urquhart, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Sociology
Valerie has a long history of striving for social justice that she brought to her undergraduate studies, and which greatly enhanced her coursework.
  • William Urquhart, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Sociology