Vickie Williams Appointed Dean of School of Management

Vickie WilliamsThe University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Vickie Williams as the new Dean of the School of Management. She replaces Mr. John Blanchard, who served as Dean for three years and who has returned to a faculty role. The School of Management offers associate and bachelor’s degrees in business and accounting and also offers the online Master’s degree in Public Administration online throughout the state.

Dean Williams is a highly qualified UAS faculty member whose academic qualifications include MBA, CPA, and CGMA degrees and credentials plus extensive public- and private-sector experience in business and accounting.  Dean Williams service as a faculty member at UAS dates back to 1995. She is a tenured faculty member in Accounting and previously served as Chair of the UAS accounting program.  Previously she served as Treasurer of the City and Borough of Juneau and as an accountant with both Citicorp and Arthur Andersen of New York City.

“Over the years I have been able to pass on my passion for numbers to our accounting students and have worked with many great faculty and staff, “ said Williams.  “I am thrilled to take on new challenges and work with all the programs in the School of Management.  We have a great family at UAS!”

“Dean Williams brings to this leadership position a wealth of experience and exceptional dedication to student success,” said  UAS Provost Rick Caulfield .  She is widely respected by faculty and staff in the university system and in professional business and accounting circles. Her successful teaching experience and her community engagement will serve our students well.”

The appointment, approved by Chancellor Pugh and UA President Patrick Gamble, was made after broad consultation with School of Management faculty and staff and community partners.

Dean Williams can be reached at (907) 796-6363 or


UAS Graduate Valerie Davidson Named Commissioner of Health and Social Services

Valerie DavidsonValerie “Nurr’araaluk” Davidson is the newly appointed Commissioner of Health and Social Services in the administration of Governor Bill Walker. She also has bachelor’s degree in education with a minor in special education from the University of Alaska Southeast.

Davidson is an enrolled tribal member of the Orutsararmiut Native Council (ONC) and has worked for over 15 years as a national policy maker on matters affecting Indian health.  Most recently, she served as the Senior Director of Legal and Intergovernmental Affairs for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, where she represented Alaska Native health needs at federal and state levels.

Davidson served as Chair of the Tribal Technical Advisory Group to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) from its inception in 2004 until August 2014. She represented all tribes over a period that spanned the terms of several Secretaries of Health & Human Services and under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

Davidson was also the spokesperson, chief political and legal strategist for ANTHC’s Dental Health Aide Therapy Program, the country’s first mid-level dental program.

Davidson served for 11 years as the Technical Co-Lead Negotiator of the Alaska Tribal Health Compact and served on a team to negotiate agreements with the Veterans Administration that allow rural veterans to seek care in their home communities. She negotiated a tri-party agreement to streamline rural sanitation construction projects with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the State of Alaska and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.

Davidson has served as Chair of The Foraker Group, Chair of the Alaska Commission on Children and Youth, and a member of the Alaska Health Care Commission. She currently serves on the U.S. Department of Justice Advisory Committee on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence and as a Trustee of the First Alaskans Institute.

Davidson earned her juris doctorate, with a certificate in Indian law, from the University of New Mexico School of Law, and a bachelor’s degree in education with a minor in bilingual education from University of Alaska Southeast. Davidson, a Yup’ik, was born in Bethel.


New Staff in the Development and Alumni Relations Office

Heather MItchellHeather Mitchell (bio link) joined UAS in April of 2014 as Development Operations Specialist and transitioned to the position of Alumni Relations/Annual Giving Manager earlier in July.  Prior to working for the University, she spent a decade in community banking in a variety of lending functions, served over 7 years on the Sigma Sigma Sigma Foundation board as its treasurer and member-at-large. Mitchell has two decades of experience working with collegiate and alumni groups, as well additional volunteer time spent working with a variety of educational and community non-profit groups.  She has been involved with the UAS Alumni & Friends organization as a “Friend” and lifetime member for many years, so joining the staff is a natural fit and wonderful new opportunity for her.

Seana SullivanSeanna O’Sullivan (bio link) has joined the staff at UAS, replacing Heather Mitchell as Development Operations Specialist. She began working on August 11, 2014. Seanna is a successful small business owner and lifelong Alaskan with a B.A. in Journalism and Spanish. She brings more than 15 years of non-profit experience as a board member and volunteer.


Staff Updates

New Staff Members

Linda Carroll, Career Education, Admin Generalist
Graydon Mashburn, Food Services, Cook
Margaret Connolly-Masson, Admissions, Admissions Representative (bio link)
Christina Ibias, Food Services, Campus Services Generalist

Note: As part of the hiring process all staff should submit a New Hire Web Contact Info Form so as to be included in the online directory. This directory also provides content for all printed directories as well as the phone system directory.

Resigned and Retiring Staff Members

Heather Bennett and Laura Hosey have resigned from their positions as UAS academic advisors. Both served UAS for 10 years.

Dave Klein has resigned his position as Regional Web Coordinator and accepted the position of Associate Director of Campus Recreation. Dave will be returning to recreation following 10 years as Web Coordinator. See Dave's bio which has been updated to reflect his tenure at UAS.

English faculty Sara Minton is retiring after 41 years of teaching, 29 years of which were at UAS.


$20,000 Gift from Coeur Alaska

Wayne ZigarlickWayne Zigarlick, General Manager of Coeur Alaska, presented a gift for $20,000 in support of the Coeur Alaska – Kensington Gold Mine Environmental Science Award. Established in 2003, this fund was created to provide financial assistance to Marine Biology and Environmental Science students at UAS. Students who receive this award must be Alaskan residents who maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0. This year’s recipient, Katelynn Ross, had this to say about her award:

“By awarding me the Coeur Alaska scholarship you have lightened my financial burden, which allows me to focus on my education. I hope to one day be able to help students like myself in their academic trials much like you have helped me.”


New Ketchikan Campus Endowment

Check being presented to UAS

As a surprise to UAS Chancellor John Pugh and UA Foundation Trustee Karen Polley, members of Ketchikan’s First City Rotary Club presented them with a check for $5,050 as the first payment towards the Rotary Club’s 5-year / $25,000 commitment to endow a new scholarship fund within the UA Foundation.

The check was presented on board an Allen Marine catamaran during the UAS Alumni Association - Ketchikan Chapter’s annual fund-raiser, “A Whale’s Tale” Harbor Cruise with live underwater video feed.


University of Alaska regents approve system-wide smoking ban

By Tegan Hanlon, Alaska Dispatch News

The University of Alaska Board of Regents voted Thursday December 11 to ban the use of tobacco and tobacco-related products across all campuses, strengthening the current policy that only prohibits smoking inside university facilities and residential halls.

Under the new policy, UA is deemed a smoke- and tobacco-free environment, barring the use of tobacco almost everywhere on university properties, including trails and outdoor recreational areas. Products banned include cigarettes, hookahs, electronic cigarettes and chewing tobacco.

Chancellors will decide when to implement the new policy at individual campuses, but bans must be in place before Dec. 1, 2015, according to the draft regulation. 

View the full story with comments.


First Friday exhibit of Juneau campus student art work

Alex Botelho’s ceramic cups graced the annual First Friday exhibit of Juneau campus student art work at the Baranof Hotel December 5th. Other media exhibited by students included paintings, carvings and drawings.

Alex's mugs on display


Alaskapella downtown

Alaskapella regaled downtown post office and community center Kindred Post with holiday songs at First Friday December 5. The young crooners are busy this time of year. The Juneau campus group also entertained staff, faculty and students at the annual Chancellor’s Holiday party December 4.

Alaskapella sings in downtown post office.


Hunter the Owl

UAS student Sidney Campbell pictured with HunterUAS alumni Samantha Wilson and student Sidney Campbell introduced attendees to their charge Hunter the Barred Owl and discussed their internships last summer at the American Bald Eagle Foundation in Haines. The presentation on the Juneau campus December 9 was organized by Career Services. UAS students are now eligible to apply for the coveted internships at the Haines raptor center. More than one hundred college students from throughout the United States applied last year.

UAS Juneau student Sidney Campbell with Hunter the Barred Owl.


Thomas Visits Juneau campus

Outgoing University of Alaska Vice President Dana Thomas visited the Juneau Auke Lake Campus on Friday, November 21. Thomas made a presentation to faculty and staff about the UA system's Shaping Alaska's Future initiative, UA strategic priorities, and the current budget climate at a shared governance presentation initiated by Faculty Senate.

Dana Thomas holds copy of Bonde Indian
Faculty Nina Chordas, Kevin Krein, and  Ernestine Hayes with UA Vice President Dana Thomas, holding a copy of Hayes award-winning book, Blonde Indian.


UA announces winner of myTRACK Alaska Airlines contest

UAS student Danielle Dallmann won two round-trip tickets on Alaska Airlines as part of the university’s myTRACK photo contest.

In the contest, students posted a “selfie,” or self-portrait, to UA’s Facebook site indicating with their fingers how many years it would take to earn their degrees.   The contest is part of UA’s annual Stay on TRACK campaign, now in its fourth year, which encourages students to graduate on time and with less debt.

The contest ran July through October. The top prize was two round-trip tickets on Alaska Airlines. Dallmann, a Juneau student who is Hawaii-bound with her winning tickets, had this advice to share with fellow students: “do not assume that taking 15 credits a semester is ‘too much work’. Once you register for those classes and begin taking them, you'll realize that 15 credits is actually quite a manageable load.”

View Dallmann’s winning selfie. To learn more about UA’s Stay on TRACK campaign, visit the Stay on TRACK website.


UAS Student Poets on the Bus

Two Juneau campus English majors, Clara Miller and Heather Burge, had poems chosen in the Juneau Arts Council's Poetry Omnibus contest. Their poems will be posted on Capital Transit busses during 2015 for riders to contemplate. Both students are currently in Emily Wall’s advanced creative writing workshop.  “It's so cool to see students working hard and then getting validation from the "outside" world,” said Wall.  Here is Clara Miller’s chosen poem:

Bent World
Why don’t we notice the straight until it becomes crooked?
That picture frame on the wall – slanted?
That tower in Italy – leaning?
That baby stroller above the intersection – rolling?
That mother running as the light changes – falling?
What is balanced can be broken,
disturbed in a moment,
yet we close our eyes to this planet’s tilt.


Love UAS?

Everyone one loves, I Love UAS T's

Many of you have asked where you can get one of the T-shirts that made its debut in the 2014 4th of July Parade. We are happy to announce that our local custom made T-shirt and hoody design company can make you one. Just stop by, choose your shirt and size and purchase your order. Aurora Projekt is located next door to the Alaskan Bar on South Franklin street in downtown Juneau.

Aurora Projekt
171 South Franklin St. Juneau, Ak 99801 (907) 523-0405


UAS Represents at the American Fisheries Society Meeting

Several UAS faculty members and students participated in the meeting of the Alaska Chapter of the American Fisheries Society in Juneau, October 20-23. Science faculty David Tallmon and students Donovan Bell and Joshua Russell contributed the following posters and talk:

  • Donovan Bell*, J Joyce, R Kovach, S Vulstek, and D Tallmon.  The influence of environmental factors on the migration timing of Auke Creek Dolly Varden.  (Poster)
  • Michael Godin and David Tallmon.  Exploitation of Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) by three major predators.  (Poster)
  • Joshua Russell*, J Joyce, S Vulstek, R Kovach, and D Tallmon.  Length changes in Auke Creek salmon.  (Poster)
  • Tallmon, D.A., S. Vulstek, and JL Stouatamore.  Population genetic structure and mating system of red and blue king crab.  (Talk)


School of Education Ranks 2015’s Best Online Teaching Degrees

Affordable Colleges Foundation (ACF), a leading resource for online learning and college affordability information, has published its new ranking of 2015’s Best Online Teaching and Education Degrees. Schools included offer students affordable, high-quality teaching and education-related programs combined with the flexibility of distance learning.

"So many colleges have teaching programs with top-notch faculty and curricula," said Dan Schuessler, founder and CEO of Affordable Colleges Foundation. "But how many offer those things – and more – online? The colleges on our list offer demonstrated quality, support and now flexibility through online learning.”

Eduventures, a higher education research and consulting firm, reports that education and teaching programs are the second most popular degrees earned online today.
The University of Alaska Southeast online teaching program has earned a place on the list of the Best Online Teaching Degrees in 2015.

"Students looking to enter an education or teaching degree program have more learning opportunities than ever before,” said Schuessler. "The schools on our list continue to meet the increasing demand for online teaching programs and deserved to be recognized."

The listing is the result of a proprietary scoring system ranking colleges using various cost and quality metrics, including:

  • Online tuition cost
  • Number of online teaching programs     
  • Student-teacher ratio         
  • 6-year graduation rate
  • % undergraduate students receiving aid
  • EPP accreditation

The ranking and data can be found at Affordable Colleges Online.


UAS Part of $8.1 Million Grant to Fund Mining Workforce Training

The project, funded by an $8.1 million federal Department of Labor grant, will include partners at the University of Alaska Southeast, the University of Alaska Anchorage Prince William Sound Community College and the UA Mining and Petroleum Training Service. “The pay in the mining industry averages $100,000 per year. Yet, many jobs, such as mill operators, underground miners and mine mechanics, are difficult to fill because of lack of training opportunities in the state,” said Rajive Ganguli, a UAF mining engineering professor and the principal investigator on the grant. At UAS, the project will help upgrade facilities in the mine mechanic program there, as well as increase staffing in the mine training and power technology program.

Juneau Police Substation on Juneau Campus

The Juneau Police Department is opening a substation on the Juneau campus next to Spike’s Café between the Egan Classroom Wing and the Egan Library. At the end of June, UAS ended a contract with Goldbelt Security Services to monitor security cameras and perform rounds at student housing. Those responsibilities now go to Residence Life staff. The cost savings went toward improving security camera coverage. The agreement between the City and Borough of Juneau and UAS doesn’t require any exchange of funds. It’s a zero cost item for the city. The university is dedicating the room, parking space, phone line and furniture.

Lt. Dave Campbell chats with students and staff on the UAS campus.
Juneau Police Lieutenant David Campbell chats about the new substation with staff at Spike's Café' on the Juneau campus.


Mental Health First Aid

Who: All are welcome. This is a non-clinical public education training for anyone.
What: Mental Health First Aid
Date/Time: December 17, 2014 from 8:30am-5:00pm
Location: UAS CAMPUS. Egan 223

Why: Mental Health First Aid is designed to arm the public with skills to help individuals who are developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.  Mental Health First Aid is a non-clinical, public education experience offered as an interactive 8-hour certification course that presents an overview of mental illness and substance use issues in the U.S. The course  addresses the fear and stigma associated with mental illness and introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common treatments. Those who take the  course to certify as Mental Health First Aiders learn a 5-step action plan encompassing the skills, resources and knowledge to help an individual in crisis connect with appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care. 

Register: Those who wish to attend must register through the TTC Learning Management System (LMS) by registering online.

Contact: For more information, contact Jill Ramsey at 907-264-6228 or

Visit the TTC for more information on other TTC sponsored trainings.


UAS Faculty Co-Read Poem at Arts Event

X’unei Lance Twitchell reading his work at arts eventEnglish faculty Emily Wall read poems at a recent opening of Juneau poet Sarah Isto's poetry and calligraphy exhibit at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center. Wall read along with current state poet laureate Nora Marks Dauenhauer and Alaska Native Languages program head Lance Twitchell, who read some of the poetry of the late Richard Dauenhauer. For one poem, Wall read the English and Twitchell read the Tlingit parts of the poem.

UAS’ GiverCraft is a hit with 5th Graders in Dubuque

Students at an elementary school in Dubuque, Iowa are so excited about a reading project around the novel The Giver that they’re willing to stay in during recess. The program was developed by UAS Education faculty Lee Graham and her students. In the video, Marshall Elementary School Kelly Neumann technology coach explains why nine fifth-graders are playing University of Alaska Southeast's GiverCraft, a program that promotes integration, technology and engagement with Minecraft.

Juneau Campus Holiday Closure

Just a reminder UAS campuses will be closed for winter break beginning Wednesday, December 24 and continuing through Sunday, January 4. If you or your staff need to work on campus during the holiday, please contact your supervisor to coordinate permission with campus administration.

Some services on the Juneau campus will operate under adjusted hours, to include Housing, Food Service and the REC. Visit the adjusted hours page for more information on these services.


Alaska Sea Grant announces request for preliminary proposals

Alaska Sea Grant invites pre-proposals for research projects for the 2016 2018 biennium. We are seeking creative and innovative research proposals in the natural and social sciences that focus on the environmental and economic viability of Alaska's coastal communities.  Learn more at the Alaska Sea Grant website.

NOAA Fisheries - Sea Grant Fellowship
Deadline for 2015 Fellowship is January 29, 2015. The NOAA Fisheries - Sea Grant Fellowship is for Ph.D. students interested in careers related to (1) marine ecosystem and population dynamics, with a focus on modeling and managing systems of living marine resources, or (2) economics of the conservation and management of living marine resources. Recipients work with a mentor from NOAA Fisheries. For more details or to apply, go online.

John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship
Deadline for 2016 Fellowship is February 13, 2015. The Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship is well suited for graduate students with an interest in national policy decisions affecting coastal and ocean resources. The fellowship involves spending a year in the Washington, D.C., area in an executive or legislative position. Recipients work on substantive national policy issues related to aquatic resources. Applications for the program are due each February for fellowships beginning the following February. For more details or to apply, go online.