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Celebrating Graduates 2014

William Ackley Geiger: 2014 Outstanding Graduate — Humanities

William Ackley Geiger, Outstanding Graduate — Humanties

At UAS, I initially began with an interest in literature, philosophy, and critical theory. Once I ended up in the Tlingit language program, however, I knew that it had something truly unique to offer. UAS is the only place in the world to study the Tlingit language as an undergraduate. The historical, political, and social dynamics surrounding the language keep your mind busy when you're not studying the language itself, and learning this language is guaranteed to enrich your life, your personal interests and academic discipline. Lingít yoo xh'atángi sh tóo tultóow, khúnáxh yak'éi áyá. ~William Geiger

Will Geiger has been an integral part of developing the UAS Honors Program.  He participated in last year's Spring Honors Symposium and took full advantage of all the extracurricular opportunities that were available. He is finishing his second year of Tlingit language study, and he has taken a number of ANS classes, including Alaska Native Social Change with Xh’unei and classes with Lyle James.  Will volunteered to work at the Tináa Art Auction and he helped with the recent Alaska Native Studies conference.  His work and interest in Alaska Native Studies—coupled with his intensive studies in critical theory, literary theory, cultural studies, and existential and social-political philosophy—move far beyond the walls of academia.  He also won the first Tlingit spelling bee held last fall at the annual Clan Conference. His service project for the Honors program includes working inside the prison as part of the Flying University.  Will brings critically focused erudition and a receptive ear to the studies inside the prison. The essay he wrote for his Independent Study, “Decolonial Ethic on Lingít Áani,” was selected as one of 13 papers to move into the finalist round of the Elie Wiesel national essay contest in Ethics.  The paper won high praise from the selection committee--but, more importantly, it is demonstrative of Will's urgent, sober concern to de-colonize his mind (as Joy Harjo writes) and contribute in the most edifying ways towards decolonizing struggles on campus and in our communities. ~ Sol Neeley, Assistant Professor of English

UAS' 2014 Juneau Commencement will be held May 4 at 2:00 p.m. at the UAS Recreation Center.

Student Speaker Link

Crystal Rogers is receiving her Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in Independent Design, focusing on the art, language, government and history of indigenous and Western societies in Alaska, with a minor in Tlingit.

Learn more about Crystal Rogers, this year's student speaker at the UAS Commencement in Juneau on May 6th.