Tuesday, March 31, 2009


My neighbor Agota (she's from Hungary and is a Ph.D. Candidate in Engineering), just stopped by with a great treat. We live just a twenty-minute walk from campus, and she shot this at the end of our driveway.

The the moose (or "elk", for our European 'Nooks)carefully looks both ways before crossing the street.

This video combines two things that I really appreciate about being at UAF - the wildlife and the great community in which we get to share our experiences.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Snow, Birthdays, and Student Appreciation!!

I've lived in both Pennsylvania and Colorado and I've been through blizzards in both places. I sometimes miss the big snow that completely transforms the landscape in a matter of hours, or getting stuck in Silverthorne afer going over Vail Pass, heading from Denver to my home town of Grand Junction, or being stuck at home after a central Pennsylvania has buried a car under 6 feet of snow. That kind of snow doesn't happen in Fairbanks. For those of you outside of Fairbanks - we don't tend to get a lot of snow in the interior of Alaska. Don't get me wrong - there's snow on the ground all winter long - but it's not especially deep. It just accumulates incrementally, almost like it's growing out of the ground, rather than falling from the sky. Yesterday, though, we had our biggest "snow storm" since at least 1970. I hesitate to call it a snow storm, because we only got about a foot of snow, and when I picture a snow storm, I picture harsh wind, ugly skies, and extreme cold - we had none of that. It's been relatively warm, it was beautiful outside (especially this afternoon - the sun was shining really brightly), and though we had a lot of snow in a small amount of time, it fell rather lackadaisically. Skiing is going to be incredible this weekend (I hope I make it out!) and I imagine that if the big hill by the SRC isn't already being swarmed by sledders, it will be by tomorrow. I know Joe and our Student Ambassadors have already arranged to go sledding together next Friday (it's Spring Break for students, and staff has that Friday off, as well).

Some other cool things going on in the Office of Admissions: All four of the Admissions Counselors (Jessica, Carrie, Joe, and I) had our birthdays this week!! Well, almost all of us - Joe's half-birthday is this week, and we figured that was close enough to allow him to celebrate with us.

Also, next week is Spring Break, so we decided to have a potluck to celebrate our awesome student employees ( I know it's a bit of non sequitor, but but we love potlucks and we love our students!). A lot of what we do in the Office of Admissions couldn't be done without the dedication of students who are working part-time while also taking classes. They do everything from answering questions at our front desk, to writing letters to prospective students, making phone calls to students who have applied and students who have been admitted. They arrange campus visits, process incoming mail, help prepare the packets you may receive in the mail, scan documents, like transcripts, into digital files, etc. Becca, Ben, Crystal, Danielle, Kendall, Leah, Nathan, Sarah, Zachary, and Natasha, we all appreciate everything you do!

If you're interested in learning about some of the student jobs available on campus, I recommend going to www.uakjobs.com.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Fitness Fun!

The student recreation center, better known as the SRC, is one of UAF's hot spots for working out, intramural sports, indoor rock climbing, and even dance classes.

I go to the gym two or three times a week and am always astonished at just how much traffic the sports complex gets. Yesterday, as I ran around the indoor track I saw a volleyball tournement, the rugby club practicing, a boot camp fitness class, a couple of people practicing tae kwon do, and a basketball tournement happening all at the same time.

On different days you'll see different activites, but one thing is for sure, you'll defintely see lots of people at the gym. To the left you'll see a picture of me making an attempt at climbing the rock wall. After taking a quick rock climbing safety course, you too can try your hand at climbing the wall.

Hope to see you at the gym!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Academic Decathlon!

Hey team,

This is Joe again. I just wanted to take a moment to tell you all about the awesome state Academic Decathlon competition I just attended. The Academic Decathlon, for those of you who haven't heard of it, is a high school academic program designed challenge the best and brightest students from each school in a competition with other schools from their region and state. The students compete in 10 different categories (hence, decathlon): Art, Economics, Essay, Interview, Language and Literature, Mathematics, Music, Science, Social Science, and Speech. In high school, I did Drama Debate and Forensics, so I couldn't do Aca Deca, but I wish I had the chance.

For my part, I was a guest judge and proctor for the event, and I got to hand out 18 scholarships during the awards banquet. I have quite a background in public speaking, so I was totally stoked to be a judge for both the Interview and Speech programs. These student were great!

The result of the competition were as follows:
1st Place large school: Lathrop High School (my alma mater)
1st Place medium school: Monroe Catholic Jr/Sr High School
1st Place small school: Klawock High School

If you want to find out more about the Alaska Academic Decathlon, feel free to visit their website. They also compiled a video of the event and it's online here. If you watch the video, make sure to watch out for the couple of shots of me! Thanks for reading, and I'll update you with exciting information from my adventures soon!


Monday, March 2, 2009

Nanook Hockey!


This past weekend the UAF Nanooks Hockey team competed in the 16th Annual Alaska Airlines Governor’s Cup Series. The series has changed over time, but the basic elements are still the same, the University of Alaska Fairbanks plays the University of Alaska Anchorage for the Cup and bragging rights. This year the title went to UAA, but that will not dampen the spirits of the UAF Nanooks because their next venture is the CCHA playoff quarterfinals March 13-15 at the Carlson Center. This will be the second time that UAF has hosted playoff games in Fairbanks in the last five years. I was lucky enough to go to one of the playoff games five years ago and it was great. I don't remember if UAF won or lost, but it sure was exciting with the fireworks and the fog machine (now we have a gigantic polar bear). I am looking forward to the games and hopefully UAF will do well.