Friday, December 16, 2011

Closed for the holidays!

Most offices at the University of Alaska Fairbanks will be closed for the winter break, Dec. 24 – Jan. 3. Some offices will also be closed or minimally staffed Dec. 19 – 23 and Jan. 4 – 6 as a cost-saving measure.

The UAF police and fire departments will remain open and the UAF Bookstore, the Student Recreation Center, the Wood Center, the UA Museum of the North and the Rasmuson Library will have limited hours during some parts of the winter break.

Campus shuttle service will be on an on-call only basis from 7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. Dec.19 – 23 and Jan. 4 – 13. Call 474-RIDE (7433) for pickup. Regular campus shuttles will not run Dec. 24 – Jan. 3 or Jan. 14 – 16. Campus shuttles will run at limited times from 7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17 – 18. All routes will return to normal schedules on Jan. 19.

Visit for specific dates, hours and schedules.

Students will begin returning to campus Tuesday, Jan. 17, when residence halls reopen. New students are invited to participate in orientation activities the following day. The first day of classes for the spring semester is Thursday, Jan. 19. The 2011-2012 academic calendar is also online at

The University of Alaska Museum of the North will be open during the holiday season Dec. 19 – 24 and Dec. 26 – 31 and Jan. 2 – 7. Regular hours resume Jan. 9. Visit for more information.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Going to College in Alaska!

Announcing the ALL NEW online version of the 2011-12 edition of Going to College in Alaska!

The online magazine can be found at The magazine provides general college admissions and financial aid information; and brief profiles of postsecondary institutions in Alaska, including many that the Alaska Performance Scholarship can be used at.

The Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE) annually produces Going to College in Alaska which contains useful tips to help Alaska’s high school students make decisions about postsecondary school options.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Transfer to UAF!

Dear Transfer Students,

Perhaps you know about the Transfer Credit Resource Site that gives you a comprehensive list of all of the courses that UAF has accepted for transfer credit (and the courses for which they are applied). You may even know that UAF has recently created a position that is aimed at helping transfer students gather information about the school, assist you through the application process, and help you transition to UAF (that’s me, by the way). But, did you know that UAF will waive lower division General Education (core) requirements for students transferring in from a regionally accredited school that meets one of four requirements? No? Well, let me tell you the criteria. You’ll receive the waiver if

1. Your AA or AS degree is from the University of Alaska;

2. Your community college has an established 2+2 program with public universities in the same state;

3. Your community college or community college district is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU); OR

4. Your associate degree program has been approved by the Core Review Committee as satisfying the 100 and 200 level General Education requirements.

We implemented this policy for Fall 2011 and it has been a great success and tremendous boost to many our transfer students. If you’re not sure if your degree will qualify or what any of these requirements actually mean, send me an email. We’ve compiled a list of schools that have already been approved for the wavier that I can check for you. If your school isn’t on that list – don’t fret - it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t qualify. Your application may be the first we’ve received from that community college since we implemented the program. Worst case scenario is that you apply for admission and 2-3 weeks after acceptance, we’ll let you know the results of the Transfer Credit Evaluation.

We haven’t even talked about all of the great undergraduate research opportunities available, UAF’s thriving campus community, or the adventure of attending college in Fairbanks, Alaska, so don’t forget to ask me about these when you send that email.



Friday, November 4, 2011

Stay on Track

Students make the Stay on TRACK “Finish in Four” Promise

Fifty four students have made the Stay on TRACK “Finish in Four” promise to complete 30 credits a year, choose a major, see an advisor, and other smart steps to finish their degree in four years. Students responded positively to the additional attention on their progress to graduation, and Regent Heckman commented in support of the campaign at the UA Board of Regents Nov 2nd meeting.

The Stay on Track campaign is grounded in the philosophy that students and the university can take deliberate actions to help students graduate in a more timely manner, saving them money and reducing their loan debt. Campaign kickoff events were held this week at nine campuses across the UA system – Yukon-Koyukuk Center, Aleutians-Pribilof Center, Kenai River Campus, Bristol Bay, Matsu, Ketchikan, Juneau, Fairbanks and Anchorage.

Postcards, emails, electronic billboards and UA websites urged students to visit the Stay on TRACK website, which had 6,600 unique page views since mid-October.

Work continues on the current phase of the campaign, which is specifically focused on first time, full time bachelor’s degree seeking freshmen. Phase II, slated for Fall 2012, will focus on students seeking an associate degree.

Friday, July 8, 2011

UAF- Friday Flashbacks Year in Review

Every Friday during the past year, Todd Paris uploads one of his favorite images from his years working as a photographer here to UAF's Facebook page. Here's his Year on Flashbacks in review.

Friday, July 1, 2011

A picture says a thousand words. UAF in photos...

Todd Paris, UAF's amazing photographer, recently put together a montage of photos that had been used on the front page of our university website.
Check it out!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Even for Cashiers, College Pays Off

I just noticed this article in the New York Times and thought it would be a nice addition to our college prep planning series on the blog. I've included it below but the summary is that people who have a college degree make more money. So...get a degree.

Even for Cashiers, College Pays Off
By ALMOST a century ago, the United States decided to make high school nearly universal. Around the same time, much of Europe decided that universal high school was a waste. Not everybody, European intellectuals argued, should go to high school.

It’s clear who made the right decision. The educated American masses helped create the American century, as the economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz have written. The new ranks of high school graduates made factories more efficient and new industries possible.

Today, we are having an updated version of the same debate. Television, newspapers and blogs are filled with the case against college for the masses: It saddles students with debt; it does not guarantee a good job; it isn’t necessary for many jobs. Not everybody, the skeptics say, should go to college.

The argument has the lure of counterintuition and does have grains of truth. Too many teenagers aren’t ready to do college-level work. Ultimately, though, the case against mass education is no better than it was a century ago.

The evidence is overwhelming that college is a better investment for most graduates than in the past. A new study even shows that a bachelor’s degree pays off for jobs that don’t require one: secretaries, plumbers and cashiers. And, beyond money, education seems to make people happier and healthier.

“Sending more young Americans to college is not a panacea,” says David Autor, an M.I.T. economist who studies the labor market. “Not sending them to college would be a disaster.”

The most unfortunate part of the case against college is that it encourages children, parents and schools to aim low. For those families on the fence — often deciding whether a student will be the first to attend — the skepticism becomes one more reason to stop at high school. Only about 33 percent of young adults get a four-year degree today, while another 10 percent receive a two-year degree.

So it’s important to dissect the anti-college argument, piece by piece. It obviously starts with money. Tuition numbers can be eye-popping, and student debt has increased significantly. But there are two main reasons college costs aren’t usually a problem for those who graduate.

First, many colleges are not very expensive, once financial aid is taken into account. Average net tuition and fees at public four-year colleges this past year were only about $2,000 (though Congress may soon cut federal financial aid).

Second, the returns from a degree have soared. Three decades ago, full-time workers with a bachelor’s degree made 40 percent more than those with only a high-school diploma. Last year, the gap reached 83 percent. College graduates, though hardly immune from the downturn, are also far less likely to be unemployed than non-graduates.

Skeptics like to point out that the income gap isn’t rising as fast as it once was, especially for college graduates who don’t get an advanced degree. But the gap remains enormous — and bigger than ever. Skipping college because the pace of gains has slowed is akin to skipping your heart medications because the pace of medical improvement isn’t what it used to be.

The Hamilton Project, a research group in Washington, has just finished a comparison of college with other investments. It found that college tuition in recent decades has delivered an inflation-adjusted annual return of more than 15 percent. For stocks, the historical return is 7 percent. For real estate, it’s less than 1 percent.

Another study being released this weekend — by Anthony Carnevale and Stephen J. Rose of Georgetown — breaks down the college premium by occupations and shows that college has big benefits even in many fields where a degree is not crucial.

Construction workers, police officers, plumbers, retail salespeople and secretaries, among others, make significantly more with a degree than without one. Why? Education helps people do higher-skilled work, get jobs with better-paying companies or open their own businesses.

This follows the pattern of the early 20th century, when blue- and white-collar workers alike benefited from having a high-school diploma.

When confronted with such data, skeptics sometimes reply that colleges are mostly a way station for smart people. But that’s not right either. Various natural experiments — like teenagers’ proximity to a campus, which affects whether they enroll — have shown that people do acquire skills in college.

Even a much-quoted recent study casting doubt on college education, by an N.Y.U. sociologist and two other researchers, was not so simple. It found that only 55 percent of freshmen and sophomores made statistically significant progress on an academic test. But the margin of error was large enough that many more may have made progress. Either way, the general skills that colleges teach, like discipline and persistence, may be more important than academics anyway.

None of this means colleges are perfect. Many have abysmal graduation rates. Yet the answer is to improve colleges, not abandon them. Given how much the economy changes, why would a high-school diploma forever satisfy most citizens’ educational needs?

Or think about it this way: People tend to be clear-eyed about this debate in their own lives. For instance, when researchers asked low-income teenagers how much more college graduates made than non-graduates, the teenagers made excellent estimates. And in a national survey, 94 percent of parents said they expected their child to go to college.

Then there are the skeptics themselves, the professors, journalists and others who say college is overrated. They, of course, have degrees and often spend tens of thousands of dollars sending their children to expensive colleges.

I don’t doubt that the skeptics are well meaning. But, in the end, their case against college is an elitist one — for me and not for thee. And that’s rarely good advice.

David Leonhardt is a columnist for the business section of The New York Times.

Monday, June 20, 2011

College Planning Tip of the Week: Tips for Transfers

Tips for Transfers

Whether you started out at a community college or you've suddenly decided that
it's time to transfer to UAF, the transfer process is a little different from your standard high school to college experience.

So I've asked around and below you'll find a few tips from our experts on how to make your transfer experience a breeze!

1. Complete your associate's degree. National research shows that community college students who finish their degree program complete the baccalaureate at a much higher rate than those students who transfer with simply a grab bag of credits.

  • Be sure to attend a school that is regionally accredited. Credits will not transfer from schools which are not accredited or from schools which are nationally accredited only!
2. Shop around. Examine all of the options available to you as a transfer student. Examine both public and private four-year institutions to decide what will be the best fit for you. The four-year institution that you had your heart set on in high school might not ultimately be the best choice for the subject you want to pursue.

3. Plan ahead. The earlier you begin to prepare for transfer, the better. Visit, collect transfer materials, and find out if there are any transfer agreements between where you are and UAF. The more information that you have, the easier it will be to make a decision.

  • Did you know that your Advanced Placement test scores can count as transfer credit? Plan ahead and have your scores sent directly to UAF!
4. Know what actually transfers. Make sure you are picking courses that are transferable. At UAF you can go to the UA Transfer Credit Resource Site to find out how transfer credit has been evaluated in the past. Also, here a link to the UA Table of Substitutions for Non-UA Institutions as an aid to choosing general education classes that should transfer easily to UAF --

  • Did you know that quarter credits convert to semester credits at UAF by multiplying by .667 (i.e., a 5 credit quarter class transfers to UAF as 3.335 semester credits).
  • Did you know that, in general, 100 and 200-level (lower division) courses are not equivalent to 300 or 400-level (upper division) courses?
  • Did you know that a 3 credit class does not equal a 5 credit class?
  • Did you know that a science class with a lab is not equal to a science class without a lab even if they are the same number of credits and the course descriptions match in every way but with the lab? Sign up for the lab sections!

5. Don't be shy. Meet regularly with advisors at the community college. Keep your advisor informed of your transfer plans, and as transfer approaches, set a time to meet with an admissions counselor at UAF. If you try to navigate this process without the help of advisors, you might not be able to maximize your community college courses.

6. Choose a major. Pick your major early, and seek advice about the best courses to take to meet requirements. By choosing your major early, you can take the prerequisites that you need for that program at the university. Well-planned course taking will help you finish your transfer program more efficiently, saving you time and money in the long run.

7. Get admitted. At UAF we evaluate your transfer credits after you have been admitted. So get that step out of the way early to give yourself enough time between getting admitted and getting advised.

8. Talk to us about Money. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) if you have not done so already. Apply for scholarships. We have scholarships available to transfer students but you can't get them unless you apply by Feb. 15! Make sure that you meet all of the deadlines for financial aid. Otherwise, you might miss out on assistance that is available to you.

9. Attend orientation. You might think that you do not need this because you already are a college student. But navigating the university is different. Take advantage of the opportunities that UAF's Orientation Program has created for transfer students.

10. Stay focused. This one is easy to forget. Whether it's your associate's or bachelor's degree we're talking about, finishing on time is not easy. But it can be done if you are focused and work hard. Keep your goal in mind even when you're working in your hardest class, which you don't much like. It will all pay off.

1 - 10 Source:

Types of transfer credit:
  • AP - Advanced Placement
  • CLEP - College Level Examination Program
  • Credit for Prior Learning
  • Military (Navy, Marine, Airforce, Army)
  • College credits
  • IB - International Baccalaureate
  • Certificates (may have been pre-approved for transfer by UAF's departments)
Please visit: for more details on transferring to UAF!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Capture the Flag

I have one UAF pennant left and it could be yours! To capture it simply browse the postings to this blog beginning in January of 2011. Find the answers to the following questions and send them to

Subject line: Admissions Counselor Blog Posting.
Include your name, address, and date of birth along with your correct answers.

All correct answers will be entered into a drawing for this pennant.

1. According to the blog: Money! You want it?, what three events take place in February each year?
2. What is a nanook?
3. What creature did the department of Fish and Game ask you not to taser in April?

On your mark, get set, go!

The drawing will take place next Monday at 12 noon! I will post the winning entrant here!

UAF Lower Campus Panaroma, June 7, 2011

The statue in the middle is Charles Bunnell. The buildings are: Signers' Hall (Admissions, registrar, business office, and other administration offices); the library, the Brooks Building, the Duckering Building, the Bunnell Building. In the center is the circle of flags (which represents has flags of the countries represented by students here at UAF.

The College Experience: College Roommates

The College Experience: College Roommates

If you are a newly admitted student planning to live on campus you might be asking yourself what it will be like to have a roommate and hoping that you'll get paired with someone that you like or at least can tolerate! Below are a few simple rules to follow for a successful roommate experience.

College Roommate Rules

Most college students who don’t live at home have one or more roommates, often assigned to them randomly by the college. This is the first time some students have lived with anyone other than their family. If you’re on your way to college, you might be wondering how well this works.

Many first-year students miss the privacy of their homes, of course. But most also find comfort in the company of others who are going through the same things they are — such as taking challenging courses and figuring out how to balance school and social life. Even roommates who have differences are often able to solve any problems they have by talking it out.

Living harmoniously with someone means respecting differences, sharing, being courteous, and accepting others for who they are. These are good life skills to learn. They may be the most important lessons you’ll learn in college outside the classroom.
Lifestyle Differences

Let’s hope this won’t be your experience:

11 p.m.: You've finished your schoolwork for the evening. You stack your books on your desk, fold and put away clothing, shut off the lights, slip into your neatly made bed, and drift off to sleep.

2 a.m.: You're jolted awake by bright lights and laughter. Could it be morning already? No such luck. Rather, it seems your party-loving roommate has arrived home and is just now starting to do homework. You watch in near-disbelief as your roommate gets online, cranks up some music, and starts singing loudly and dancing — discarding clothes and books on the floor. Noticing you, your roommate says “What’s up?” cheerfully and without a trace of guilt, apparently unaware that you were fast asleep.

You flop back onto your bed, put your pillow over your head and groan, "How am I ever going to get through the year?"

Scenes like this are not unusual at college. If you're a bookworm who goes to bed early and your roommate is a party animal who just gets going at midnight, sharing the same quarters may not be easy. But that doesn't mean the two of you can't get along.
The Talking Cure

Keeping lines of communication open is essential. If your college has given you contact information for your roommate, call or e-mail before college begins. Introduce yourself and find out more about the person you’ll be living with for the next year. Here are some other tips for getting off to a good start:

Discuss important issues and establish rules. If you make house rules, and communicate openly and often, you can avoid unpleasant surprises down the road. If you can't study with music on, then come to an agreement about quiet times. If your roommate likes to have lots of friends over and you like solitude, make a schedule for using the room that’s fair to both of you.

Be respectful. Successful roommate relationships are based on mutual respect. If your roommate doesn’t want to loan or borrow clothes, respect that choice. Your roommate should respect reasonable requests from you, too — for example, not to eat your food without asking.

Be willing to compromise. You and your roommate may not agree on everything, but you both have to compromise a little bit. For example, suppose one of you is a slob and the other is a neat freak. The untidy one should keep the shared areas of the room clean. And the neat one should overlook untidiness in the roommate’s area.

Be courteous. Courtesy is contagious. If you behave politely to your roommate, your roommate is likely to follow your lead. Wish your roommate luck on an exam. Ask if you can pick up something while you're running errands. And don't borrow anything without asking.
Good friendships often begin by sharing space with strangers. Who knows — maybe that loud, partying roommate you thought would drive you crazy will become your best friend.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

College Prep Tip of the Week: Plan Ahead

College Prep Tip of the Week: Plan Ahead

"In a speech to Congress on Feb. 24, 2009, President Obama encouraged every American to complete at least one year of education beyond high school, whether at a community college, or a four-year school, or through vocational training, or an apprenticeship. This checklist will tell you how to get ready for that education — and how the government will help you pay for it." -

The website provides a great road map of the college planning process for students (of any age) who haven't attended college or trade school and parents of students in elementary and secondary school.

Having a checklist such as this provides you with a plan, a compass if you will, to help navigate the path to college. This particular list is great because it talks about the academic and financial preparation families should have for education beyond high school. The page is split into sections for students and parents, explaining what to do and which publications or web sites might be useful.
The three basic principles outlined on this site are:

College Preparation Checklist

At UAF you can contact the Financial Aid Office for information on where you can find money for school; you can talk with an Admissions Counselor for questions about what classes to take in high school; and you can explore your career options with our Career Services Office.

Of course, we encourage you to visit campus so that you can meet with representatives from these offices and our academic programs. For information about how to visit, got to:

Until then, happy planning!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Making the most of your campus visit

UAF's Discover UAF: Inside Out event is just around the corner (June 24th) and so I felt inspired to share this little nugget with our followers.

I found the advice listed below in an article on the College Board website in a section dedicated to helping students prepare for their college search process. (I highly recommend checking in out!) As you read through the article you will notice that there are links you can click on. These links will (more often than not) take you to a UAF website. My advice: click through and read more about these areas and then...COME VISIT US.

If you haven't signed up for
Discover UAF: Inside Out, it's June 24, 2011 and you can sign up by clicking here!

Campus Visit Checklist - Make the Most of Your Trip
Visiting a campus helps you get a sense of what that college — and life for its students — is like. This can make a difference when you’re deciding whether the college is a good fit for you.

When you’re planning your trips, make sure that you allow enough time to explore each college as fully as possible. Wander around the campus by yourself and imagine being a student there. Here are some things you can check out while you’re visiting.

Admission and Academics
Find out what you need to do to apply. And see if the college environment supports your educational goals.

Participate in a group information session at the admission office.
Interview with an admission officer.
Pick up financial aid forms.
Sit in on a class that interests you.
Meet a professor in your chosen major or in a subject area that you may want to pursue.
Get business cards and the names of people you meet for future contacts.

Campus Life

Daily life has a big effect on your happiness — and your success — at a college. Get a feel for student life and decide whether the college is a setting where you can thrive.

Take a campus tour.
Scan bulletin boards to see what day-to-day student life is like.
Talk to the coaches of sports in which you might participate.
Go to the career center and learn what services it offers.
Plan an overnight with a student.
Ask to see the residence hall where most freshmen live.
Visit the cafeteria, fitness center, library, bookstore and other campus facilities.
Walk or drive around the community surrounding the campus.

Campus Media

Tune in to learn what’s happening on campus and what’s on students’ minds.

Listen to the college radio station.
Read the student newspaper.
Review other student publications — department newsletters, alternative newspapers, literary reviews.
Browse through campus blogs.

Current Students

Being on campus gives you a wonderful chance to talk to the students who currently go to that college. You can ask questions like these to see what their experience is, and what yours might be like:

What are the best reasons to go here?
What do you do on weekends?
What do you love about this college?
What do students complain about most?

Photo credit: Todd Paris, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Marketing and Communications
Participants at the Spring 2011 Inside Out event pose for photo opportunities with UAF's mascot, the Nanook.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

College Prep Tip of the Week: Take Algebra II

As the video shows below, Algebra II is tough, but not that tough. Students thinking about going to college should plan to stick with Math for at least 3 years (preferably 4). At UAF we require math as a part of the undergraduate core curriculum. Having a strong background in math will provide you with a strong foundation for success!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

University of Alaska Fairbanks to launch new outdoor facility

University of Alaska Fairbanks to launch new outdoor facility
by Jeff Richardson /
May 16, 2011 | 873 views | 4 4 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
FAIRBANKS — The University of Alaska Fairbanks is about to start work on the first steps of a new Outdoor Education Center, launching a facility that officials believe could ultimately transform winter recreation on campus.

Vice Chancellor for Students Mike Sfraga said the outdoors center is part of an effort to gradually turn UAF into a more enjoyable place for students, particularly during winter months. Chancellor Brian Rogers challenged administrators last year to eye the campus with that goal in mind.

The centerpiece will be a new climbing wall near the campus sledding hill, capable of simulating rock climbing in the summer months and an ice wall in the winter.

“The big idea is, how do we transform this campus to reflect the student that goes here?” Sfraga said. “A little more adventurous, a little more outdoorsy.”

The new climbing structure, which would be more than 30 feet tall, would supplement a less-sophisticated climbing wall inside the nearby Student Recreation Center.

UAF’s student government allocated $50,000 toward the project, which was matched by Rogers using privately raised money from the UA Foundation.

Sfraga said it should be just enough money to build the wall. Designs for the new facility should be completed by the end of the month, with construction starting in July.

UAF Outdoor Adventures coordinator Mark Oldmixon envisions a structure that will be useful to everyone from novices to elite climbers. The new wall will be able to provide technical climbing training, such as lead climbing and belaying skills.

“Our current climbing wall is awesome and gets a ton of use, but it’s limited in its educational value,” he said.

Two other elements of the park are envisioned after the climbing wall is completed, although funding for those pieces still hasn’t materialized.

A “ropes course” is tentatively planned for an area near the roundabout on lower campus, providing an area strung with ropes for skill development and exercise. A third piece would include a terrain park for snowboarders below the Butrovich Building.

Oldmixon said each piece of the planned center will have education potential, including possible use by ROTC students or campus clubs. The areas will be fenced and well-lighted, with limited hours and staff oversight.

“It’ll be heavily supervised,” Oldmixon said. “Definitely not a free-range activity.”

Sfraga said a second phase of the outdoors education center has been discussed and could include a series of zip lines from upper campus to the climbing wall. That phase is more a dream than a well-defined goal.

“That’s the grand plan,” Sfraga said. “I don’t know if we’ll ever get there.”

The concept of the outdoors center has been discussed since last fall, spurred by Rogers’ desire for a more inviting campus environment. Sfraga envisions the new additions as pieces that will allow UAF to retain more students and boost recruiting efforts.

A handful of questions remain about the projects, including how their operations will be staffed and funded.

Sfraga said UAF should be able to handle some of the added workload with existing employees, but more personnel likely will be needed to oversee and maintain the facilities. He said campus officials will evaluate those needs later this summer.

Sfraga said the outdoors center probably won’t require an added fee for UAF students, although some equipment rental may be involved. Off-campus school groups and Scouts could be potential users, and those groups would likely pay an undetermined cost to use the facilities, he said.

Sfraga said he would like to see the climbing wall completed in time for UAF student orientation in late August, although he admits that timeline will be tough to achieve. A fall opening is more likely.

“It’s still a vision, but we’re working toward the reality of this,” he said.

Read more: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - University of Alaska Fairbanks to launch new outdoor facility

College Prep Tip of the Week: Envision Yourself in College

Monday, May 9, 2011

In the news: Joe Alloway, Admissions Counselor and Graduation Emcee

UAF announcer finds graduation a special thrill
by Jeff Richardson /
May 08, 2011 | 1026 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
University of Alaska Fairbanks admissions counselor Joe Alloway poses for a photograph in Signer s Hall Wednesday afternoon, May 4, 2011. Alloway, who will be emceeing the UAF graduation ceremony for the third straight year, is the Spotlight for the week. Eric Engman/News-Miner
University of Alaska Fairbanks admissions counselor Joe Alloway poses for a photograph in Signer's Hall Wednesday afternoon, May 4, 2011. Alloway, who will be emceeing the UAF graduation ceremony for the third straight year, is the Spotlight for the week. Eric Engman/News-Miner
FAIRBANKS — Diplomas won’t be handed out at the University of Alaska Fairbanks for nearly a week, but Sunday’s rapidly approaching commencement ceremony is already making Joe Alloway nervous.

Alloway, an admissions counselor at UAF, isn’t among those sweating out final exams. He’s more likely having flashbacks to some of last year’s graduates, which included daunting pronunciations like Okechukwu A. Opara and Mindona M. Krzykowski.

It’s Alloway who acts as emcee at the event, reading off more than 1,000 names and dozens of doctoral theses in a little more than two hours.

Read more: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - UAF announcer finds graduation a special thrill

College Prep Tip of the Week: Be determined

Monday, April 11, 2011

Please don't taser the moose.

This really doesn't have a whole lot to do with admissions or UAF per se, but it made me chuckle, so I thought I'd share...

Twitter @newminer wrote: "Alaska Department of Fish and Game asks you to please not Taser the moose:

Where else would this even be an issue? Here on campus we will see the occasional moose meander though campus. More frequently, a person may run into a moose on the ski/walking trails behind campus. And now we know... leave that taser at home!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

ConocoPhillips establishes engineering endowment at UAF

ConocoPhillips establishes engineering endowment at UAF

Group photo

UAF photo by Todd Paris
Trond-Erik Johansen, left, president of ConocoPhillips Alaska, poses with Chancellor Brian Rogers and Doug Goering, dean of UAF's College of Engineering and Mines, after Johansen announced a $500,000 endowment to CEM.


The University of Alaska Fairbanks and ConocoPhillips Alaska today announced a gift to support engineering education and research at UAF.

The $500,000 ConocoPhillips UAF Engineering Endowment will support students in the UAF College of Engineering and Mines by augmenting engineering laboratories, increasing the availability of academic support services and building undergraduate research opportunities.

“This grant continues our tradition of investing in quality training and education opportunities in Alaska,” said Trond-Erik Johansen, president of ConocoPhillips Alaska. “Our company is investing in UAF’s engineering programs to create the workforce our state will need in the future. We hope that funding these programs at the University of Alaska Fairbanks will encourage students to stay in Alaska, work in Alaska and bring their skills, technology and innovation to the state.”


UAF photo by Todd Paris
Trond-Erik Johansen, president of ConocoPhillips Alaska, makes a presentation to the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, during which he announced a $500,000 endowment to UAF's College of Engineering and Mines.

UAF has been educating engineering students since 1922. ConocoPhillips has a longtime association with the UAF College of Engineering and Mines. The company offers internships to students and many of those students move on to full-time positions when they graduate. Company representatives and alumni serve on the school’s advisory board and give back to the school as volunteers and mentors. In addition, the university and ConocoPhillips have a longstanding tradition of research collaboration.

“We look forward to continuing that partnership and working together to develop the human capital needed to advance Alaska’s oil and gas industry and the state’s economy,” said Doug Goering, dean of the UAF College of Engineering and Mines. “This gift will help train tomorrow’s engineers and advance our knowledge base in arctic oil and gas development. By working together, we hope to help keep Alaska’s oil and gas industry healthy and viable for many years to come.”

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS: Natalie Lowman, ConocoPhillips Alaska communications director, at 907-263-4153 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 907-263-4153 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or Doug Goering, College of Engineering and Mines dean, at 907-474-7730 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 907-474-7730 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Inside Out showcases UAF’s Fairbanks campus

The UAF Admissions counselors pose with a special friend March 25 after hosting prospective future UAF students and their parents during the annual InsideOut event on the Fairbanks campus. From left to right, back to front, are Carrie Coxon, Joe Alloway, Nanook, Mary Kreta, Chris Wheeler, Lael Oldmixon and Jessica Bennett.

Nearly 200 prospective students, families and chaperones from around the state had the opportunity to ask questions about academic programs, financial aid and student life as part of the annual InsideOut event on the Fairbanks campus March 25. Inside Out takes place once in the spring, summer and fall each year.

A small group of students provided feedback of their existing perceptions of UAF in a Marketing and Communications focus group over the lunch hour.

If you know prospective students who are interested in visiting UAF, please have them contact Carrie Coxen at or have them fill out a campus visit request form.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Birch Tapping...

Okay - so this just caught my eye and I had to put it out there.

"The University of Alaska Fairbanks will offer a birch-tapping class Saturday, April 16tPublish Posth in Palmer.
The class will run from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Matanuska Experiment Farm. All equipment will be provided and the fee is $10.
The workshop is sponsored by the UAF School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences and UAF Cooperative Extension Service.
To sign up, contact Valerie Barber at 907-746-9466 or" 
What I love about this posting is that this is so representative of the variety of really neat courses you can take through UAF or our extension programs. It's great to be a Nanook!

- Lael

Friday, February 11, 2011

Have you liked us on Facebook yet?

If not, you should! So much great news and information is shared through the UAF Facebook Page. Here's the address:

Today's Facebook post of the day:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Alaska Summer Research Academy (ASRA)

The Alaska Summer Research Academy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks will be accepting applications Feb. 14-28 for the 2011 academy.

ASRA is part of the UAF College of Natural Science and Mathematics. The academy provides hands-on, experiential learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields for students in middle and high school. Students attend one module for the entire two weeks. Classes are small, with eight students and two instructors. The ASRA staff includes UAF faculty members and graduate students, MIT instructors and industry professionals.

Highlights this year include:

* Sixteen residential modules, ranging from biomedicine to paleontology to “sounds of science”

* ASRA advanced module at the Kasitsna Bay Research Lab near Homer

* A new partnership with the Discover Design Research program at the University of Alaska Southeast provides an additional three modules.

* Ten full tuition and travel scholarships courtesy of New York Life for students in rural Alaska

* ASRA Jr., a new day program for students entering seventh and eighth grades

Applications will only be accepted Feb. 14 - 28, 2011. Visit for more information.

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS:  Jeff Drake, ASRA director, at 907-474-7077 or


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Nanooks to Feast on Seawolf Tacos

The rivalry between the Alaska Nanooks and the UAA Seawolves is never greater than during the Governor’s Cup hockey game. This year, the University of Alaska Fairbanks is kickin’ it up a notch by hosting a seawolf taco feed the night of the game in Fairbanks.
While the seawolf is the mascot for the University of Alaska Anchorage, it is also the common name for the edible Atlantic wolf fish. On Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011 members of the community are invited to attend a seawolf taco feed. For more information:

Monday, January 31, 2011

College Admission Blog : College Guide and Search Advice: College Application Calender - Senior Year

I've been doing some quick browsing through and thought you might find this link helpful (especially you seniors who are looking for guidance about where to start!). Juniors...start planning!

College Application Prep Plan for the Senior Year

College Admission Blog : College Guide and Search Advice: FAFSA Application for Financial Aid

I just read this great blog with information and tips about navigating the FAFSA. Check it out!

FAFSA Application for Financial Aid

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Money! You want it?

Don't miss your chance to get it! 
It's FAFSA Time (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)!
JAN. 30...
College Goal Sunday
Kick off FAFSA season with College Goal Sunday! It's your chance to fill out the FAFSA with the experts there to help! Bring your parents!!

FEB. 1 - FEB 28...
UA's February FAFSA Frenzy
  • The University hosts a month long FAFSA Frenzy to encourage you to complete your FAFSA in the month of February! 
FEB. 15...
UA Scholarship Deadline

Complete your application to any of the UA campuses and then apply for scholarships. We have a single application for hundreds of scholarships plus links to many more scholarships.

There are only 5 questions on the scholarship application, with one being a personal essay (no more than 500 words). What to write:
  • We want to learn something about you.
  • What do you plan to do/study/achieve at UAF?
  • What achievements have you had in high school?
  • Who has had an important influence on your life?  

    Sometimes we receive only a couple of sentences and that just doesn't tell us enough about PLEASE, use all 500 words!  

    How to...

    1. Apply for admission
    2. Watch the video below and then apply for scholarships (it's that easy):

    FAFSA Facts
    • The FAFSA stands for FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID - if someone asks you to pay for're at the wrong site. Go to for details on how to complete the FAFSA. 
    • The FAFSA is the application for the new Alaska Performance Scholarship.
    • If your parents have completed their taxes electronically, they can automatically load their tax information into their FAFSA anytime after January 30th.
    • If your parents won't be completing their taxes soon, they can still complete the FAFSA with information from their W-2's, and 1099's or use last year's taxes as an estimate.
    • The form continues to become simpler to use and faster to complete.

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011

    Former UAF Professor Partners with Rosetta Stone

    Former UAF Professor Edna MacLean joined forces with Rosetta Stone to create a program that teaches the North Slope Inupiaq dialect of the Inuit language. With only 1,500 people fluent speakers of Inupiaq left, the once predominant language of Northern Alaska could become extinct in as little as one or two generations. This program, a part of Rosetta Stone's endangered language program, will be distributed by NANA Corporation and the North Slope Borough to schools, shareholders, and families in the region as a way to ensure the next generation of children do not lose the language and a vital component of their culture.

    To learn more, read the article Alaska natives team with Rosetta Stone in the Seattle Times.

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    Reflections on 2010

    I thought you might enjoy this amazing slide show of photos from 2010 which were taken by Todd Paris, the university photographer. I think the photos do well to capture life here on campus and in Alaska.