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Current UAS News Releases

Sealaska Honors Tlingit Elder with Matching Gift for Alaska Native Studies Scholarships at UAS

Marie receiving an honorary doctorate of humane letters from UAS, May 2018. (Michael Penn)

Alaska Native Studies has garnered more support at UAS through a new fund established in honor of Tlingit elder Dr. Kaayistaan Marie Olson. Sealaska is offering a matching challenge to meet the goal of endowing the scholarship fund, which will provide scholarship for students pursuing a degree in Alaska Native Studies.

Sealaska is pledging $10,000 in cash and will match other donors’ contributions $1:1 up to $5,000 to endow the Kaayistaan Marie Olson Alaska Native Studies Scholarship, a fund established with an anonymous gift of $5,000. At the $25,000 level, the fund will generate scholarships annually for students enrolled in Alaska Native language, arts, or cultural courses through the Alaska Native Studies Program at UAS.

Sealaska has a long history of investing in education. “This new scholarship is exciting, not only does it honor a very special person in Kaayistaan, but funds will support students pursuing post-secondary education in our traditional homelands,” said Sealaska Chair Joe Nelson. “At every level, especially post-secondary, we need more Alaska Native education leaders. I’m proud that UAS has a number of Sealaska shareholders teaching as tenured or tenure-track faculty.”

Throughout her own life Dr. Olson overcame cultural repression and sexism to obtain her own education. “I remember coming back to Alaska after graduating high school down south and applying for scholarships through the Bureau of Indian Affairs,” said Dr. Olson. “At the time, the only scholarships available to me were for beauty or secretarial school. Now, because of scholarships like the Kaayistaan Marie Olson Alaska Native Studies Scholarship, my hope is that there will be more options for young people.”

In 1972, Dr. Olson took her first course at UAS and encouraged Tlingit language be taught at UAS. Since then she has completed two certificate programs and a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree at UAS. Last May, Marie was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in recognition of her accomplishments as an Alaska Native leader in education.

Dr. Olson has been an active supporter of the Preparing Indigenous Teachers and Administrators for Alaska’s Schools (PITAAS) program, a program guiding Alaska Native students to become teachers and school administrators, and the Native and Rural Student Center (NRSC) at UAS. Through her involvement with Alaska Native students, Marie has touched the lives of many and encouraged Alaska Native students from around the state to complete their education.

“We are very grateful that Sealaska is making this significant donation to the Kaayistaan Marie Olson Alaska Native Studies Scholarship at UAS,” says UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield, Ph.D. “Dr. Olson, an esteemed Elder of the Áak’w K̲wáan, is an inspiring role model for our students and a strong supporter of our university. This scholarship continues her legacy of supporting Alaska Native education.”

If you wish to contribute to the Kaayistaan Marie Olson Alaska Native Studies Scholarship and support Native language and studies at UAS, Sealaska will be matching donations $1:1 up to $5,000. You may pay by check written out to the University of Alaska Foundation with “Marie Olson Scholarship” on the memo line and mail to UAS, 11066 Auke Lake Way, Juneau, AK 99801, or you may contribute securely online and designate your support to the Kaayistaan Marie Olson Alaska Native Studies Scholarship.

Links
Contact

Keni Campbell
University of Alaska Southeast
Phone: (907) 796-6509
Email: klcampbell4@alaska.edu


UAS Expands Northwest Coast Arts Partnership With Institute of American Indian Art and Sealaska Heritage Institute

UAS Chancellor, Dr. Rick Caulfield joins SHI President, Dr. Rosita Worl, and IAIA President, Dr. Robert Martin on January 9 to sign the new MOA between the three organizations. Photo by Kari Groven, courtesy of Sealaska Heritage Institute.

Northwest Coast Arts education continues to expand at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) with a recent renewal of its agreement with the Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) and the Institute of American Indian Art (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. UAS has been working with SHI and IAIA since late 2016 and continues to enhance and grow its Northwest Coast Arts programs, most recently by hiring Tlingit Master Carver Wayne Price as Associate Professor of Northwest Coast Arts.

The agreement builds on the vision for Juneau and Southeast Alaska to become world-renowned centers for Northwest Coast Arts and indigenous artistic development. The three organizations will work together to provide enhanced Northwest Coast art programs, with instructional opportunities and collaborative academic offerings to enrich the experience for Alaska students. The near term goal is have these classes lead to a certificate, associate of arts degree, or bachelor’s degree with a concentration in NWC arts. The long range plan would be to extend these programs to other students throughout Alaska and the United States.

Under the agreement, SHI will continue sponsoring a Native Artist Committee to provide advice and direction for development of programming. SHI will also provide access to the William L. Paul, Sr. Archives, ethnographic and art collections, and exhibits. Visiting artists will use space in the Delores Churchill Artist-In-Residence Studio or monumental arts space in the Walter Soboleff Building. Scholarships will be provided to qualified students.

UAS and IAIA will provide opportunities for Native students of all ages to have a “campus experience” and will work to make this experience as affordable as possible. The university and IAIA will support faculty exchanges to broaden arts education, and will work together to ensure that student credits transfer seamlessly between IAIA and UAS. As part of the agreement, IAIA will seek the appointment of Southeast Alaska Natives to sit on its Board of Trustees.

“It’s wonderful to see all the efforts bear fruit in short order. This is the place where NWC art and culture, language, performing arts, and art history can merge together for a better future for the next generation, to make a better world that we all share,” remarked Wayne Price, UAS Associate Professor of Northwest Coast Arts.

Alaska Native Languages and Studies at UAS examine three primary components of modern and historical Alaska Native life: languages, arts, and society. Taught by Alaska Native professors, language study courses focus on language revitalization through learning, documentation, and community activities. Courses in the arts include Northwest Coast formline design, carving, weaving, and textiles. Students examine modern and historical materials from diverse perspectives, seek an understanding of what it means to live in Alaska today, and connect with the lands, languages, and peoples of Southeast Alaska. To learn more about NWC arts and other programs available at UAS visit our website or call (907) 796-6100.

Contact

Keni Campbell
University of Alaska Southeast
Phone: (907) 796-6509
Email: klcampbell4@alaska.edu


UAS Hosts Financial Aid and Scholarship Night

On Wednesday, February 6 UAS is hosting the public event Financial Aid & Scholarship Night. The event is designed for anyone planning to attend college in the fall.

Attendees can get help completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), even if they are not planning to attend UAS. Those who plan on attending a University of Alaska school can get assistance applying for admissions and filling out the UA scholarship application.

The event will take place in the UAS Glacier View Room, Egan 221, on Wednesday, February 6 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. For more information about the University of Alaska Southeast visit the UAS website or call (907) 796-6100.

Links
Contact

Keni Campbell
University of Alaska Southeast
Phone: (907) 796-6509
Email: klcampbell4@alaska.edu


Special UAS Scholarship Focuses On Southeast Students Who’ve Overcome Challenges

For the third year in a row, the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) is offering the UAS Verna Carrigan Promise Scholarship for talented Southeast Alaska high school seniors planning to attend UAS’ Juneau Campus full-time in the fall. The special focus of this scholarship is on students who may not have the highest grade point average but who’ve overcome significant challenges in life and who are motivated to succeed. UAS is reaching out to Southeast Alaskan high school principals and guidance counselors, superintendents, and other adults to share this opportunity with prospective recipients and encouraging them to apply by the February 15 deadline.

UAS anticipates granting up to five $3,000 one-time scholarship awards for students who plan to attend the UAS Juneau Campus full-time starting in Fall 2019. Eligible recipients will be current seniors from Juneau Douglas High School, Thunder Mountain High School, Yaakoosge Daakahidi High School, Mt Edgecumbe High School, and all other Southeast Alaska high schools, including graduates of home school programs.

The Verna Carrigan Promise Scholarship is designed for students who show promise as an incoming UAS student but have had to overcome challenges and/or hardships in their high school career. The purpose of these awards is to provide financial assistance for directly related college expenses like tuition, fees, campus housing, campus meal plan, and more.

Qualifying students must complete the online University of Alaska scholarship application through Academic Works, specifying interest in the Verna Carrigan Promise Scholarship. Students can also access many other UA scholarships through the site. Students are also asked to submit two letters of recommendation, from either high school staff members or community leaders.

Visit UAS Verna Carrigan Promise Scholarship for more information and to download an informational poster. For more information about Financial Aid opportunities at UAS visit uas.alaska.edu/financial_aid or call (907) 796-6255.

Additional Resources:

Contact

Keni Campbell
University of Alaska Southeast
Phone: (907) 796-6509
Email: klcampbell4@alaska.edu


UAS Chancellor Congratulates New CBJ Assembly Member: Alicia Hughes-Skandijs

UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield congratulates UAS graduate Alicia Hughes-Skandijs upon her appointment to the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly, filling the vacancy left by newly-elected state Senator Jesse Kiehl.

“While I know that there were a number of talented applicants for the Assembly seat, I was very pleased to see that a distinguished UAS graduate received the appointment,” Caulfield said. “Alicia graduated from UAS in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. She also excelled in theatre and art courses. Importantly, she was our 2010 Juneau Campus Student Commencement Speaker—a high honor that is awarded to our top students.”

A key part of UAS’ mission is student success and educating those who understand the importance of giving back to their community. The selection of Hughes-Skandijs as a new Assembly representative is a positive example of a next generation of community leaders stepping up to help Juneau develop and be an inviting place to live, work, and study. Chancellor Caulfield added: “Alicia’s willingness to take on this new responsibility shows others how they can give back to their community. She is a positive role model for our students and new graduates—demonstrating that you absolutely can make a difference in our community. Congratulations to Alicia on her new leadership role.”

Contact

Keni Campbell
University of Alaska Southeast
Phone: (907) 796-6509
Email: klcampbell4@alaska.edu


Ronalda Cadiente-Brown Promoted to Associate Vice Chancellor of Alaska Native Programs

Ronalda Cadiente-Brown (photo credit Keni Campbell)

Ronalda Cadiente Brown, M.A., has accepted the position of Associate Vice Chancellor for Alaska Native Programs at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS). As part of her duties, she will continue to serve as Director of the PITAAS program—Preparing Indigenous Teachers and Administrators for Alaska’s Schools. In her expanded role, she will report directly to Chancellor Rick Caulfield and provide executive-level leadership at UAS in advancing programs and services supporting Alaska Native students. She will also serve as a vital link to Alaska Native tribes and corporations, school districts, and other stakeholders in enhancement of Alaska Native programs and services across the entire UA system.

Cadiente Brown grew up in Juneau and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Pacific University with the goal of becoming a high school counselor. She earned a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Teacher Education at Stanford University.

Ms. Cadiente Brown, who is of Tlingit and Filipino heritage, has dedicated her career toward systems improvement for student engagement, most recently serving as Assistant Dean in the UAS Alaska College of Education. She is a distinguished educator who began her career with Portland Public Schools as an Indian Education specialist prior to returning home where she served as an administrator for Juneau Public Schools for over 28 years. Ronalda’s professional experience includes Indian Studies Program Director, where she led an Indigenous curriculum project that was adopted by the district and received a federal Showcase Award by the U.S. Department of Education. She also served as a Middle School Assistant Principal, Alternative High School Principal, and leader of a dedicated team of teachers in designing a credit recovery model that increased student graduation rates. She served in the district’s central office as program coordinator of federal grants, including a Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative with multi-community partnerships and K-12 curriculum and teacher training projects. At UAS she has served as PITAAS program director for over seven years.

“Ronalda has provided exemplary leadership at UAS in the realm of teacher education. With the recent departure of Vice Chancellor Joe Nelson, it was clear that we needed her leadership talents at the top executive level to maintain momentum in expanding programs for success of Alaska Native students,” said UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield. “Ronalda will continue to be engaged in supporting teacher education, but in her new role she’ll be part of our Executive Cabinet and be in a position to advocate for innovative programs and partnerships that are essential to meeting our mission. I’m very grateful that she’s agreed to take on this new assignment.”

In taking on her new position, Cadiente Brown commented: ”I look forward to contributing my perspective and experience within an organization that strives to meet the academic needs of our students and state. It is a privilege to be invited to serve an institution whose greatest attribute is its dedicated faculty, staff, and leadership.”

Contact

Keni Campbell
University of Alaska Southeast
Phone: (907) 796-6509
Email: klcampbell4@alaska.edu


SHI, UAS Launch New Scholarships, Opportunities for Aspiring Teachers, Administrators

SHI President Rosita Worl, Ph.D., and UAS Chancellor Richard Caulfield, Ph.D., at a recent ceremony to sign a new memorandum of agreement to partner on the PITAAS program. Photo by Lyndsey Brollini, courtesy of Sealaska Heritage Institute.

Initiative to fund Native language and culture programming for PITAAS students under new MOA

Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) and the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) are offering new scholarships and opportunities to Alaska Native students enrolled in the Preparing Indigenous Teachers and Administrators for Alaska Schools program, known as PITAAS.

SHI and UAS are offering the initiatives under a new memorandum of agreement through which the institute will be a full partner of PITAAS, a program founded by the university in 2000 to grow the number of Alaska Native teachers and administrators and improve educational opportunities for Alaska Native K-12 students.

Through the program, which is funded by a federal grant from the Alaska Native Education Program awarded to SHI, the partners will offer tuition waivers to Alaska Native freshmen and sophomore students who are interested in PITAAS for certain language and culture classes, said SHI President Rosita Worl. The tuition of PITAAS junior, senior, graduate and Ph.D. students is already supported by the program.

“Our end goal is to improve the success of Alaska Native students, and we know they do better academically when their languages and cultures are incorporated into schools. Having Alaska Native educators who are knowledgeable in those areas is a key part of that,” Worl said.

“We're excited to partner with SHI in this expanded effort,” said UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield. “This partnership is significant, not only for the support of students in our teacher and administrator preparation programs, but for the tremendous number of Alaska students they will impact in the span of their careers as educators and role models."

The priorities under the new partnership, called PITAAS VII, are to:

  • Support Alaska Native students and educators for initial or advanced certification or degrees in education or Indigenous language and culture
  • Support professional development activities for educators, including PITAAs scholars and university faculty, on issues affecting Alaska Native students
  • Revitalize Alaska Native languages and cultures
  • Offer career preparation activities that enable Alaska Native pre-service teachers in the PITAAS program an opportunity to gain valuable work experience as well as guided education experiences with Alaska Native educators in SHI's annual Latseen Leadership Academy
  • SHI and UAS also will launch a Teacher of Distinction program, which will include an award ceremony and monetary prize for an outstanding teacher. The program also will fund SHI’s annual lecture series and the UAS oratory competition and Native graduation ceremony at UAS.

Tuition Waivers

Alaska Native freshmen and sophomore students who are interested in becoming a teacher or administrator in Alaska, are enrolled in a qualifying UAS course and have a 2.0 cumulative GPA are eligible to apply for tuition waivers for up to eight credits in their freshmen and sophomore years through the following courses:

Tuition Waiver Eligibility
Subject Course Title Credits
AKL S104 Tlingit II 1
AKL S106 Beginning Tlingit II 4
AKL S206 Intermediate Tlingit II 4
AKL S350 Tlingit Oral Literature 3
AKL S193P Conversational Tsimshian 1
AKL S393 Advanced Tsimshian II 4
AKL S241 Native Oratory 1
ART S263 Northwest Coast Native Art History & Culture 3
ANTH 475 Alaska Native Social Change 2

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private nonprofit founded in 1980 to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska. Its goal is to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. SHI also conducts social scientific and public policy research that promotes Alaska Native arts, cultures, history and education statewide. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars, a Native Artist Committee and a Southeast Regional Language Committee.

Links
Contact

Ronalda Cadiente-Brown
University of Alaska Southeast
Phone: (907) 796-6058
Email: rcadientebrown@alaska.edu

Contact

Amy Fletcher
Sealaska Heritage Institute
Phone: (907) 586-9116
Email: amy.fletcher@sealaska.com



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