Welcome signs in Alaska Native languages are going up on the Anchorage campus.
I continue to be amazed by the stories at UAA. The show in our UAA Planetarium and Visualization Theater, "River of Bears," is exceptional. It is the first-ever wildlife film made for a planetarium – yes, our very own astrophysicist Travis Rector, conceived and produced this one-of-a-kind film about bears in Alaska's McNeil River State Game Sanctuary. Don't miss this! You can learn more about the film by going to the UAA's Planetarium site.
It's been a real privilege this year to watch our athletes compete. Our hockey team, on pace for its first winning season in more than 20 years, has a 10-3-1 record at the Sullivan Arena so far. I watched our gymnasts defeat Temple—very impressive. Two of our men's basketball players, Travis Thompson and Kye Fossman, surpassed 1,000 points for their respective careers and Rusty Osborne, men's basketball head coach, became UAA's winningest coach in program history. Our women's basketball team continues to lead the way as one of the top teams in the NCAA West Region with a 12-5 record.
Our skiers and indoor track & field team continue to excel. Congratulations to Micah Chelimo who set a GNAC record in the 3,000 meters.
In their 10th year of reaching out to alumni to support UAA, student callers in the Phonathon raised a cool $1 million!. A big thank you to student callers–you are making a difference at UAA!
Finally, I want to share this YouTube videoof an Alaska Airlines Bombardier Q400 getting a serious makeover.
UAA celebrated the 20th-annual Martin Luther King Student Appreciation Day this year with guest NPR reporter Michele Norris.
Lt. Col. Leo Gray, Tuskegee Airman, was the keynote speaker for Black History month launch. Check out Black History month events.
UAA Justice Center and the Anchorage Police Department released the "Officer Involved Shootings in Anchorage 1993-2013" report as part of a cooperative effort to better understand officer use of force in Anchorage.
Two UAA teams raised $12,903, ("Psyched for a Cure" team raised $9,423 and "Mixed Methods" raised $3,480) helping UAA be named a top fundraising organization for the Polar Bear Plunge supporting the American Cancer Society.
Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, Rep. Andy Josephson, Arliss Sturgulewski and Regent Kirk Wickersham were on hand for the announcement of UAA's 2014 Innovate grant award recipients by Vice Provost and Dean of UAA's Graduate Schoolfor Research and Graduate Studies Helena Wisniewski.
Governor's Awards note
Alpine skier and psychology major Anna Berecz will represent her native Hungary in alpine skiing at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games in Russia. Anna competed in five events in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic games. This is her third season with the UAA alpine team. We wish her a great Olympic games!
WWAMI support note
Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska donated $100,000 to fund training workshops for community physicians, making it easier for them to take WWAMI students into their practices and teach them.
North Hall took the prize (a S'Mores party and cool T-shirts) in a hotly contested recycling competition among residence halls.
Our University Relations team received a CASE (Council for Advancement and Support Education) silver award for Jamie Gonzales' fieldnotes.
The team cleaned up Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Alaska Chapter Awards of Excellence/Aurora Awards with:
Safety is everyone's business and I couldn't be more pleased to report that recordable injuries at UAA are going down dramatically. In 2013 we reported 13 injuries, which is less than half the 28 of the 2012.
Keep up the great work and be safe!