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Humanities Projects

Recently Funded Projects

Student Investigator

UAS Disc Golf Baskets Relocation for New Course Creation

Student Investigator: Morgan Johnson

My project would be relocating the existing disc golf baskets on the UAS campus to the woods behind John Pugh Hall (JPH) to build a functional 9 hole course, complete with a tee boxes to every relocated baskets, trashcans, benches, signs and trails throughout the course. I would use mobile GIS to plot points of the baskets, tee boxes, trails and trashcans thus creating a map overview of the course that could be displayed at the beginning of the course. The final product would be a functioning disc golf course people could use featuring a map overview at the beginning of the course displaying hole information and layout. 

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Student Investigator

Growing Up in Care

Student Investigator: Richard McGrail

Drug addiction rates have increased in Alaska since 2010, and as a result, more children have been entering foster care. Some will spend their entire childhoods living “in care”—either in group homes, in foster homes, or with relatives. This project aims to document their experiences through film. It will video record the oral histories of young adult residents of S.E. Alaska who grew up in foster care. It will ask them about the challenges they faced and how those challenges continue to affect their daily lives. It will also explore the relationships between drug abuse, domestic violence, and the legacy of colonialism in the region. The film will be shown at UAS and will be freely available online. 

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Previously Funded Projects

Familia de Inmigrantes: Finding Heritage on the Road

Student Investigator: Rosie Ainza

My URECA project has centered around creating a poetry collection inspired by finding heritage and cultural community through life on the road around Northern Mexico and the U.S. Southwest. My original objective was to highlight the shared hopes and fears of my own family and the people I meet while on the road. I aimed to pay close attention to resisting ethnographic elements within this project so that my research and writing may resist coloniality while imparting intersubjective reciprocity via the sharing of stories and experiences through a consanguineous journey.

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Dry Bay Documentary

Student Investigator: Bernadine DeAsis

The Yakutat tribe, National Park Service, US. Forest Service and University of Alaska Southeast began an ongoing collaborative research project in Dry Bay, searching for the historical tribal house sites on the Akwe River and in Dry Bay, in 1997. The goal of this collaborative project is to locate all of the original house sites of the Guseix village. This year the descendants of Dry Bay and the people of Yakutat plan to have a l0-year celebration in Dry Bay in commemoration of the research done and the 10th year of the last KU.eex (potlatch) in the Bay. The elders of Yakutat have requested me to document the Dry Bay celebration, which will happen at the end of May. I am therefore requesting funding to enable me to make a video documentary of the event. I plan to film the celebration as well as conduct interviews with participants involved with the event. It is my goal to show this documentary at Sealaska Celebration, Juneau, 2012. I would also like to submit the finished documentary to state and national Native documentary film festivals. The original ethnographic video footage will be conserved for the clan and tribe. The ethnographic research from this project will be part of my senior project and a paper for the Alaska Historical Society meetings Fall 2011 and at the Alaska Anthropology Association meeting Spring 2012

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Naatsilanei Play Performance

Student Investigator: Ishmael Hope

  • Faculty Mentor: Richard Dauenhauer, Ph.D.
  • Funding Source: URECA

UAS student Ishmael Hope, in collaboration with UAS student Erin Tripp, former UAS faculty member Flordelino Lagundino, and Ed Littlefield and Frank Katasse, will write a play based on the story of Naatsilanei, the origin of the Killer Whales, entitled The Reincarnation of Stories. Lagundino will direct, Littlefield will compose original Tlingit songs, and Tripp, Katasse, Hope, and Littlefield will perform the play. Stories will also tell, in its entirety, master storyteller Willie Marks' original version of the Naatsilanei story, all in Tlingit. The performance will be held at Perseverance Theater, who will serve as co-producers with UAS and Lagundino's Generator Theater. The Reincarnation of Stories will, for the first time, perform a play that tells a story entirely in the Tlingit language. There will be much English in the performance, too, to make the show accessible for today's audiences. This project, though, will advance the cause of Tlingit language revitalization, and build on the skills of UAS students and Tlingit language learners Tripp and Hope. We are "role models" for our peers and for the next generation. In recognition of this fact, we will visit schools, such as the Early Scholars Program classrooms at Juneau-Douglas High School and Thunder Mountain High School, in which we'll talk with Native students about the play, about Tlingit language and cultural learning, and about considering UAS to advance their educations.

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Vegetable Oil Test Kiln

Student Investigator: Boni Parker

My project is to build a small test kiln that will be fueled by waste vegetable oil. While it is not a requirement in our program, kiln construction and firing is essential in ceramics education and will help prepare me for my goal of graduate studies in the field. This kiln will be a valuable learning tool that will enable my fellow students and I to expand our creative opportunities by exploring new firing methods while utilizing affordable and sustainable fuels. I believe this project will benefit the entire University by demonstrating our commitment to sustainability and strengthening relationships within the community by collaborating with local businesses for fuel donations.

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Salmon: Our Connection

Student Investigator: Adriane Honerbrink

My proposed project is to create a professionally welded, free-standing sculpture of a Coho Salmon for the courtyard near the kiln facility on the University campus.  This project proposal will play between the boundaries of art and science, utilizing the knowledge and skills of students and professors in the Biology and Art departments.  This Salmon will be a testament to student ability and be a representation of the connections between our landscape and marine environment.

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Flying University Literary Journal: A Creative Collaboration Between the University of Alaska Southeast and Lemon Creek Correctional Center

Student Investigator: Emily King

  • Faculty Mentor: Sol Neely
  • Funding Source: URECA

Our objective is to create a literary journal composed of poetry, short stories, drawings, and photography from Lemon Creek Correctional Facility inmates involved in the Flying University or UAS/Lemon Creek educational collaboration program. We will create and produce a professionally made journal that we can distribute to UAS students, staff, inmates and staff at Lemon Creek Correctional Facility, as well as other community members.

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Globalization and Ketchikan

Student Investigator: Kristie Livingston

  • Faculty Mentor: Sarah Ray
  • Funding Source: URECA

I would like to use this grant to help answer the question: What role does globalization play in Ketchikan's indigenous population's sense of place? This project is a continuation of the cultural landscapes project, where we landscapes to uncover their cultural significance, utility, and hidden implications, from Professor Sarah Ray's geography course. The cultural landscapes project requires local fieldwork, including user interviews and photography. In addition to the work associated with this project, I seek to document my research project through video and photographic images.

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Ethnomusicology of Appalachia

Student Investigator: Irene Muller

  • Faculty Mentor: /dir/dbmonteithAcademic DeptNosite://UAS/dir/dbmonteithUASdbmonteithDaniel MonteithAssociate Professor of Anthropology
  • Funding Source: URECA

My current research is centered on a collection of reel-to-reel recordings made in Virginia between 1962 and 1965. I'm requesting University support to travel to North Carolina and Virginia, where the tapes were made and many of their makers and participants still reside, to do in situ research and conduct ethnographic interviews.  At the end of my research, I will have produced a collection of digital recordings, a collection of re-conditioned reel-to-reel tapes containing the original audio, a published paper and a catalog of contextual information for the performances and musicians on each recording.  The information and anecdotes to be published in the catalog and research paper are what I hope to obtain by conducting interviews and research in Appalachia, where the tapes originated and the musical legacy of the people involved in their making continues today.

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Paintings and Sculpture Public Installation

Student Investigator: Joshua Reeder

The objective of this project is to create an art show consisting of large canvas paintings and figurative sculpture that will be displayed at a public space. Normally artwork is shown in a gallery setting. Galleries tend to be formal and austere spaces designed exclusively for intellectual viewing of art. This setting alienates certain groups, such as uneducated and lower class peoples, excluding these groups not by legal boundaries but by social bounds. By having a show in a public setting I will remove these boundaries and bring awareness of contemporary art beyond the art community to the broader public. This show will challenge the people of Juneau to think about how we use public spaces and who gets to use them. The method for achieving this goal is to place the show in a centrally located, public space in conjunction with August Gallery Walk. The primary location will be Pocket Park, located at the intersection of Franklin and Front streets across from the iconic downtown clock. The final component of the project will be documentation from a spatial perspective. The viewers of the show will be given a short survey that will record viewers' perceptions. Conclusions can then be made about how the space is being used, who is using it, why they are using it and what their perceptions of the space are. This information will make it possible to write a research based paper on the interaction of space and art from a Human Geographer's perspective.

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Wood Fire Workshop

Student Investigator: Chelsie Harris

My project proposes a trip to Helena, Montana during which I will participate in a wood-fire workshop at the Archie Bray Foundation. This workshop will teach me various skills and techniques that will broaden the excellent education I have received at this university.  If provided with this experience, I will bring back to UAS extended knowledge of wood-kiln firing, inspiration from new influences and information on the opportunities available to other aspiring ceramic artists at UAS. The final product of this trip will be a show I plan to hold at UAS of my wood-fired ceramics produced both here at UAS and at the wood-fire workshop I hope to attend at the Archie Bray.

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The Art of Audio Production: Recording an Original Album

Student Investigator: Avery Stewart

  • Faculty Mentor: Brian Buma, Ph.D.
  • Funding Source: URECA

The goal of this project is to professionally record and produce an album comprised of music I have written and composed throughout the last two years.  My aim, once the project is finished, is to distribute it online, share it within the community of Juneau and showcase it at the 2017 URECA symposium. 100% of the proceeds from the album will be donated to a local nonprofit organization: the Glory Hole, a homeless shelter located in Downtown Juneau. This non-profit album will be the first professionally recorded project I’ve embarked upon.

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Resilience of Haida Ecological Knowledge

Student Investigator: Yoko Kugo

For the UAS Undergraduate Student Award, I plan to visit Haida weavers in Haida Gwaii. I would like to discuss with local weavers about the availability and condition of the materials in their communities. Especially I will examine harvesting of cedar bark from the old growth red cedar. When I visit these villages, I plan to interview weavers and carvers who have been harvesting in their local areas. I will compare temperature and precipitation data with the information weavers have given from different communities for the timing of optimum harvest. This data I am collecting will provide a better understanding of the timing of harvesting in different locations. I will also present my research findings at the Alaska Historical Society annual meeting in the fall of 2011 and the Alaska Anthropological Association annual meeting in spring 2012. My research also has an educational component to it, in which I hope to share and give back to the native communities. I will discuss with weavers, carvers and elders the importance of perpetuating the tool use and bark stripping techniques. I will present my research to youth groups to help them appreciate weaving, carving and respect for local ecological knowledge.

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Tlingit Phrase of the Week

Student Investigator: Virginia Oliver

  • Faculty Mentor: Richard Dauenhauer, Ph.D.
  • Funding Source: URECA

The project is to produce sound recordings of a Tlingit Phrase of the Week for each week of the year, based on the traditional annual food gathering cycle. These will be broadcast on public radio station KSTK in Wrangell, and on any other radio station interested in participating. I became interested in producing a public radio program in Wrangell titled "Tlingit Phrase of the Week", when I was working in in 2003-2006. I heard the Alutiiq word of the week on KMXT Public Radio and I went and visited the Alutiiq Museum where the Alutiiq language was being preserved and asked if I could be of help. As Tlingit people, our lifestyle is a whole cycle surrounding food gathering for each time of the year passed down for generations. With this Tlingit Phrase of the Week our community will learn together how our people lived by the seasons and it will teach about what foods were gathered and hunted in that month throughout the year. The project will benefit UAS and the community at large. The final product can be broadcast not only on Wrangell public radio, but on any other interested station. The recordings can be used as an online audio resource for UAS distance delivery and to help any learner without easy access to a speaker or teacher of Tlingit.

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The Science of Auke Bay in Clay

Student Investigator: Meghan Garrison

  • Faculty Mentor: /dir/inactive/mkcoxAcademic DeptNosite://UAS/dir/inactive/mkcoxUASmkcoxMarlin CoxMarlin CoxUAS, housing, Community Advisors, CAJul 15, 2009 12:00 PM
  • Funding Source: URECA

This project integrates the fields of science and art by translating the research of the University of Alaska Southeast Juneau’s natural sciences department into a tiled ceramic art piece, to be displayed in the Anderson building. Faculty will be interviewed and asked to describe what interesting aspect of their research is connected to the Auke Bay ecosystem, and each interview will be symbolized in a stylized ceramic tile. A line drawing of Auke Lake, Auke Creek, and Auke Bay will be incorporated throughout multiple tiles, therefore allowing the viewer to note the entire Auke Bay ecosystem if observing the whole piece. Short descriptions of each faculty member’s research will be displayed next to the tiles, with a key denoting which tile matches which research theme.

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St. Pius X mission school Ethnohistory project

Student Investigator: Miguel Rohrbacher

An Ethnohistory of the Pius X mission school, which was a Catholic boarding school for Alaska native children that operated from the 1930's until the late 1950's. This research is the result of interviews with students as well as church and civil documents.

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Timemachinist Mark 8 Model of 1888

Student Investigator: Cal Giordano

  • Faculty Mentor: Pedar Dalthorp, M.F.A.
  • Funding Source: URECA

The Timemachinist Mark 8 Model of 1888 will be a nautically themed, life size bronze bust. My inspiration for this project is my love of the sea and my life on the water. The styling will be based on science fiction, retro fantasy and the marine environment. My motivation is to advance my knowledge of cast bronze sculpture and to teach others what I have learned.

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Poetry for the Busy Student: Creating and Publishing

Student Investigator: Karissa Sleppy

With funding from the URECA grant, Karissa will attend AWP, the largest writer’s conference in North America. While there, she will go to several craft workshops to refine her writing skill and learn insightful publishing tips. Karissa will return to UAS with intent to produce a manuscript of poetry, as well as a quick-reference manual to advise fellow students on how to publish their own work.

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The Glass Cliff Revisited: Why Stereotype Endorsement Predicts Leadership Selection

Student Investigator: Sofia Tenney

  • Faculty Mentor: Amanda Sesko, Ph.D.
  • Funding Source: URECA

This research focuses on a unique form of discrimination termed the glass cliff, the process by which women are preferentially selected for leadership positions during times of crisis, while their male counterparts are more likely to achieve those positions during times of success. The study was designed to fill a gap in existing research by investigating whether these well-established findings are moderated by race and the endorsement of common stereotype content domains of warmth and competence. Ultimately, the purpose of this research is to contribute to our current understanding of workplace inequality by offering an explanation as to the conditions under which White women, Black men, and Black women are systematically underrepresented in organizational leadership positions. Depending on the outcome of the data, a discussion of the findings will be submitted in the form of a research article to a social psychology journal, with the end goal of publication and possible presentation at next year’s Annual Society for Personality and Social Psychology Conferences. 

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An Exploration of Fine Art Techniques in the Production of Comic Books

Student Investigator: Kate Laster

  • Faculty Mentor: Pedar Dalthorp, M.F.A.
  • Funding Source: URECA

The URECA Grant has provided me with an opportunity to step outside of my own comfort zone and learn new skills and techniques in the production of original comics. Attending the Stumptown Comics Fest will give me access to a larger community of visual storytellers. Not only will I meet artists I admire, but also peers working in the same medium of narrative art. The cumulative creative outcome will involve responding to these new ideas and techniques and incorporating them into the creation of my fourth comic.

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Cup Library

Student Investigator: Chelsie Harris

The objective of this project is to bring an interactive learning experience to art students on our campus. My project will be to compile a cup library that will be a permanent collection for the UAS Art Department. I have found that, as a ceramic artist, the best learning tool is getting the chance to handle ceramic art pieces. It allows me to understand the balance, texture, and presence of the piece. I would like to use this research grant to give back to the university that has provided so much for my education. This “library” will consist of fifty different cups made by contemporary ceramic artists that have influenced me during my undergraduate career. I will invite fifty ceramic artists that represent a wide variety of aesthetics and techniques to contribute one of their cups to this library. I will then design and build a high quality, locking display cabinet that will house the fifty art pieces. By utilizing this cup library, students will be exposed to the diversity of contemporary ceramic art.

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Canvas, Large-Format Photo Show

Student Investigator: Joel Mundy

  • Faculty Mentor: Benjamin Huff
  • Funding Source: URECA

A 2012 URECA Award would allow me to pursue my dream of becoming a working artist and photographer - an outcome consistent with the UAS goal of fostering the creative pursuits of its students and faculty. This exhibition would be the culmination of significant artistic effort - the creation of 10 images printed on large-format canvases for a gallery show. The award would directly fund the purchase (printing and shipping) of the 10 canvases. The specific outcome of this project is a gallery show to take place no later than September 30, 2012. Many hours were spent creating and editing these images, and my passion for art photography is demonstrated in this work. The work will be exhibited (and for sale) at one or multiple locations. Any proceeds will be donated to the UAS Photography club. Unsold works will be donated to be hung in the UAS Auke Bay campus laptop lounge.

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Tlingit Language Apprenticeship

Student Investigator: Crystal Rogers

My proposed research project is to become a language immersion apprentice. I would assist in the development of a language immersion class to take place in August of 2012, and I would do research before then that would allow me to learn about successful indigenous language revitalization models, and to consider adapting them to the Tlingit community. In the months leading up to the camp, I will research successful models of language revitalization, including language “triage,” or finding out what are the most important steps in preserving indigenous languages while building a community of speakers. The language immersion class will be available to UAS students who are studying the Tlingit language. The direct outcome will be the language immersion camp itself, along with a possible model for language revitalization available to the Tlingit community to use.

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Framing and Mounting an Art Exhibition (Attention to Detail)

Student Investigator: Alexandra Bookless

In the Fall semester of 2015 Alexandra Bookless was awarded a solo art exhibition at the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council (JAHC). Associate Professor of Art Jeremy Kane provided the following narrative of about Alex's work and the show:

This was an honor as her Professor to see her compete in the jurying process with professional, local artists and to be awarded a solo show during her last year of study at UAS.

Her artwork was representational of her experiences while living in the Yukon and Alaska and she really captured the feeling of the north. Her goal was not only to educate and present her artwork, but to educate, inspire, and reflect positively to her peers in the arts community, the University community, as well as the general community of Southeast Alaska. The URECA grant helped make this possible and allowed her to invest in the proper materials to exhibit her art in the best possible way. Alex’s show was a great success and was considered by myself and the director of the JAHC to be an incredibly well put together display of paintings, drawings and ceramics. Congratulations to Alex!

Here are a few of Alex's words describing her experience and motivation to apply and obtain the URECA grant: “With this project, I had the unique opportunity of delving deeply into a learning and teaching activity. I was able to create an outstanding exhibition in which the artwork was well framed and finished with admirable craftsmanship and which represented and supported the businesses, operations, and facilities of our local community. I hope that I was able educate and motivate my peers in the arts to push their ideas and visions to a point where they can reach extraordinary achievement. Furthermore, I wanted to represent my peers and the University in a way which reflects the value and significance of what is and can be done within Southeast Alaska. I wanted to make it clear that the work which I’ve benefited from and put in at the University has borne fruit; I want people to be made aware of the legitimate and great education and standard which the University’s art program, environment, and instructors have instilled.”

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Muddy Hands, Happy Heart

Student Investigator: Izabella Thorne

  • Faculty Mentor: Elizabeth Zacher, M.F.A.
  • Funding Source: URECA

What I propose is a community outreach project with the aim to provide one-on-one ceramics instruction and materials to individuals who are in need and could benefit the most from bringing art-making into their lives. The goal of the project is to provide these individuals with a life tool that they can use to find their answers and bring them joy so they can be fully engaged and contributing members of their families and communities. I call the project “Muddy Hands, Happy Heart.” My goal would be to recruit a group of three to five people of varying ages and challenges that I can meet with weekly over a two-month period to teach basic hand-building ceramic techniques (i.e., pinch pots, slab and coil building) that can be made without the need of a wheel. They would be provided with all materials and tools and lessons could be conducted in their homes (especially for the elderly) or potentially at the UAS ceramic studio.

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Workshop on Professional Artistry and Style at NCECA

Student Investigator: Joe Lewis

Attending the University of Alaska Southeast has expanded my view on the ceramic arts. The project will be to travel to the 2015 National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) conference to bring back workshop materials for the UAS ceramics students, as well as select local artists. Being secluded in Southeast Alaska, not many art students get the opportunity to travel clear across the country to expand their knowledge of all that goes on with NCECA. The objective of this project will be to travel to Providence, RI to be involved in workshops and lectures that allow me to gain knowledge that will be transferable to the students at UAS and the Juneau community. Upon returning, I will present this material to my fellow students in the form of a workshop, tailored around information gained at NCECA.

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My Tribe from North Dakota: Stories of Chippewa

Student Investigator: Adam Wood

  • Faculty Mentor: Benjamin Huff
  • Funding Source: URECA

My name is Adam Wood. I am a full time student at University of Alaska Southeast Juneau campus. I am in the BLA degree program studying communication, journalism and art. My proposed project will be researched through academic on campus research as well as in the field research and time spent with my subjects, highlighting studies of communication, and photojournalism. I will be traveling to North Dakota to explore the culture of my ancestors, the Turtle Mountain Chippewa tribe. This study will explore my curiosity toward the identity of the American Indian through photojournalism. I will provide a photography documentary and an essay on my finding. My findings will be presented at the University of Alaska Southeast Sound and Motion lecture series. Photography instructor, Ben Huff will be participating in this project and final presentation as my mentor

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