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This College of Health Newsletter is published every two weeks by the Dean's Office in the College of Health at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

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The UAA College of Health advances the health and well being of people and communities
October 26, 2017
Dr. Bruce Lanphear to Speak November 2 on the Impact of Toxins on the Developing Brain
Dr. Bruce Lanphear, MD, MPH will discuss his research on children's environmental health and measures that might be taken to prevent exposures linked with learning and developmental disabilities. It takes place November 2, 4-5 pm in AHS, Room 106.
The talk is also available via webinar. Faculty, students, and health professionals are welcome! Register online: For more information, download a flyer (pdf) or contact Pat Sammartino at / 907-786-6589.
Don't Miss the Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Workshop, November 10
The Alaska Nurses Association and Alaska AHEC are pleased to offer Interprofessional Collaborative Practice: A Workshop for Integrating Core Competencies into Education on November 10, 9 am - 12:30 pm in the UAA Engineering EIB 217. This workshop, presented and facilitated by the Interprofessional Simulation Committee faculty, will provide participants with the knowledge and opportunity to identify core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice, analyze ways to incorporate IPE into courses and learning activities with other programs/disciplines, and understand how students can enhance their education by participating in the spring multi-disciplinary care conference. Register online at: For more information, download a flyer (pdf) or contact Pat Sammartino at 786-6589 / or Ryan Shercliffe at 786-6705 /
Staff Recognition Awards Nominations
Ever wish there was a way to let a staff member know what a good job they do? And wouldn't it be great to have the opportunity to recognize them? The Staff Council encourages you to submit nominations to recognize a staff member who goes above and beyond. It's a great way to say THANK YOU! To nominate an individual, visit the UAA Staff Council website:
Grant Hub Brown Bag Listening Session Schedule
Each month, the COH Grant Hub offers listening sessions to meet collaborators and discuss grants and grant administration. Bring your ideas and questions and Let's Talk About Grants!
  • November 22, 3-4 pm, Sullivan's Steak House. RSVP by October 30 to -- space is limited!
  • December 20, 3-4 pm, Wells Fargo Skating Rink - Hot Grants in the New Year! RSVP by November 22 to -- space is limited!
  • January 24, PSB 213, Noon-1 pm
  • February 28, PSB 213, Noon-1 pm
  • March 28, PSB 213, Noon-1 pm
  • April 25, PSB 213, Noon-1 pm
  • May 23, PSB 213, Noon-1 pm
  • June 27, TBA, 3-4 pm
Unit Updates
Center for Community Engagement and
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Urban in Alaska Conference Reaches Maximum Registration
On October 27 the 6th annual Urban in Alaska Conference will take place 9 am to 1:45 pm. For the first time, it reached the maximum of 120 registrants and is now closed. A new feature this year that contributed significantly to the increase in registration was a faculty and community partner group from the May Faculty Intensive that worked together to create a series of breakout sessions for the conference on Mental Health and Equity. Rhonda Johnson, Gabe Garcia, and Joy Mapaye were i nstrumental in organizing this. Conference attendees are 36% community members, 33% faculty, 29% students, and a few staff members. Tomorrow, Dean Jeff Jesse will give a welcome and brief talk at lunch, and 21 faculty will hold a Rapid Fire Community Engagement presentations over lunch, including: Tim Hinterberger, WWAMI; Tracey Burke & Donna Aguiniga, Social Work; Grace Leu-Burke, Allied Health; and Michele Burdette-Taylor, Nursing. In the afternoon, Donna Aguiniga and Stephanie Bauer will lead a workshop on Naming and Framing Social Issues for 40 community members, faculty, and students interested in facilitating public dialogue on social issues.
Think Tank on Food Systems Planning to Take Place November 9
The next Think Tank will take place November 9 from 1-2:15 pm in LIB 307. CCEL is co-hosting with Dr. Liz Hodges-Snyder, Department of Health Sciences, and will bring the Alaska Food Policy Council to further explore their Food Systems planning and how the university can be engaged. The Food Systems group also used the May Faculty Intensive to further their work together and will present at the Urban in Alaska conference. The Think Tanks are held each month and bring together faculty, staff, students, and community members to discuss an issue of importance to the community.
Proposals for CESAs Coming Soon, Due December 8
Faculty Requests for Proposals for Community Engaged Student Assistants (CESAs) for the Spring Semester will be coming out by November 3 and will be due back December 8. Proposals for faculty mini-grants will also be due for the Spring Semester.
RFPs for Student Second Bridge Award coming in November
Requests for Proposals for students will be coming out later in November for the Second Bridge Award. This scholarship awards up to $2,000 to any student who proposes a project with a community partner that will result in a growth and development experience for him or her.  
Department of Health Sciences - - - - - - - - - - - -

Interdisciplinary Team Organizes Session on Housing and Homelessness Annual Conference
Faculty members Travis Hedwig, Department of Health Sciences, and Kathi Trawver, School of Social Work, organized a session at this year's Alaska Coalition on Housing and Homelessness conference held in Fairbanks October 23-24. The session "University and Community Partnerships" featured an overview of current UAA faculty research and service learning projects addressing issues of housing and homelessness. Kathi and Travis discussed their work on Food and Housing insecurity among UAA students, and faculty members James Fitterling, Department of Psychology, and Donna Aguiniga, School of Social Work shared their ongoing work with the Anchorage Rescue Mission and Bean's Café, respectively. The session included discussions on how faculty can assist with the everyday practice of direct service professionals through evaluation services, community needs assessments, student practicum and internship opportunities, and other forms of technical assistance. The session was well attended and included time for audience engagement and input on how the university can be a better partner in support of community-based programs statewide.
Philippe Amstislavski Presents on Bio-Based Alternatives to Plastic at AIAA Conference in Homer
Dan Mahoney, 3D printing
techologist in Amstislavski Lab
Dr. Philippe Amstislavski presented at the annual conference of the American Institute of Architects Alaska (AIAA) held in Homer October 12-15. This annual conference brings together the Alaskan architectural community. Dr. Amstislavski presented on developing bio-based alternatives to plastics. Using chitin in fungi, he and his team developed fabrication methods for carbon-neutral, locally produced biomaterial for thermal insulation that can be "grown"
into any shape and size. In collaboration with UAA's Chair of Civil Engineering Dr. Yang and the Cold Climates Housing Research Cen ter, they recently produced and installed the first set of thermal insulatio n panels made from his biomaterial in Alaska. Through c olla boration with engineers and additive technologies experts, this COH research project seeks to refine methods to produce bio-based building systems for healthy and green housing. 
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Seta Kabranian-Melkonian Presents New Book
O n October 13, Seta Kabranian-Melkonian, Human Services Practicum Specialist and 2017 graduate of the UAA Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program, discussed her newly released Armenian book The Consecrated Ones: Garlen Ananian's Path at Abril bookstore in Glendale, CA.
Seta Kabranian-Melkonian was born in Lebanon. She has a PhD in Armenian Literature and taught Armenian at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and UC Berkeley. She is the co-author of My Brother's Road (I.B.Tauris, 2005) and Avo: The Life and Death of Monte Melkonian (Armenian, 2007).
About the book:
During the Lebanese civil war, two Armenian young men arrived from Iran and Jordan to volunteer in keeping the community safe. Melkonian recounts their journey to Lebanon and the tragic events that led to their murder. "Why did you kill? The answer to the question is in the book. But it's no longer a question. It's anguish that unsettles the reader while turning the pages of this tragic narrative nonfiction told in fragmented memoir." - Vahan Ishkhanian, writer.
Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies - - - - -
ICHS Director and Faculty Attend Alaska Native Health Research Conference
ICHS Interim Director Janet Johnston and faculty member Micah Hahn attended the Alaska Native Health Research Conference in Anchorage. The Conference included a one day pre-workshop on research ethics and a two-day focus on research in Alaska Native communities. The theme of the conference was "Strengthening Communities through Research for a Healthier Tomorrow." The conference provided great opportunities to renew ties with colleagues from the Tribal Health System and meet new potential collaborators.
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Governor Bill Walker Declares October 16-20 Medical Assisting Recognition Week
Governor Bill Walker released a statement naming October 16-20 Medical Assistanting Recognition Week in Alaska. He encouraged "all Alaskans to observe and acknowledge the unique versatility of medical assistants and the health care they provide to residents of our great state." Read the full statement:
Faculty and Alumni Attend Food and Nutrition Conference in Chicago
On October 23, Carrie King and Amanda Walch, Dietetics and Nutrition faculty, attended the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in Chicago. Also accompanying them were three registered dietitian nutritionists: Seth Anderson, Ashley Hebler, and Tamara Deschaine (all UAA alumni).
Carrie King Presents Poster at Food and Nutrition Conference 
Carrie King presented a poster on the outcomes of undergraduate dietetics research education at the  Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in Chicago.
Justice Center - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Alaska Justice Forum Supplement: Is the Rate of Property Crime Increasing in Alaska?
Dr. Brad Myrstol, interim Justice Center director and director of the Alaska Justice Information Center, developed a series of graphs using data from six Alaska jurisdictions to show the complexity of determining whether property crime is increasing in Alaska. The video presentation and transcript are new additions to the online version of the Fall 2017  Alaska Justice Forum.
Fall 2017 Alaska Justice Forum Features Crime Rates and Criminal Justice Reform
The  Fall 2017 Alaska Justice Forum features crime rates and criminal justice reform, police staffing, and Crisis Intervention Teams.
For more information, visit:
Myrstol Provides Crime Rate Data to House Judiciary Committee
On October 16, Dr. Brad Myrstol, interim Justice Center director, spoke with members of the House Judiciary Committee about monthly crime rates in Alaska for 2014 - 2016. The purpose of the meeting was to gather information prior to the start of a special session called for next week by Gov. Walker to work on SB54. SB54 is a bill which would amend portions of SB91, a criminal justice reform law that passed in July 2016. Dr. Myrstol provided the committee the latest information on monthly crime rates both before and after the passage of SB91. For more information, and to download Dr. Myrstol's presentation, visit:
Prof. Periman Talks with Students at Color of Justice
Deb Periman , Justice faculty, and Prof. Terry Price, University of Washington School of Law, spoke with nearly 100 Alaska high school students about what lawyers and judges do. Their conversation was part of the two-day 2017 Color of Justice Program held in Anchorage Oct. 5 - 6. The Color of Justice is designed to encourage students to consider a career in law and also to increase the diversity in the legal profession and judiciary.
Women in Law Enforcement Recruitment Fair
On October 17 , local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies met with students in the UAA Student Union during the Women in Law Enforcement Recruitment Fair. The fair, sponsored by Women Police of Alaska with support from the UAA Justice Center, provides students with an opportunity to talk with female officers about opportunities in law enforcement.
Students Observe Wrongful Conviction Day with Alaska Innocence Project Director
Students in Prof. Deb Periman's Legal Ethics A215 and Prof. Ron Everett's Intro to Justice A110 observed Wrongful Conviction Day on October 4 by learning about how the Alaska Innocence Project, and innocence projects around the country, are working to address wrongful convictions. Director of the Alaska Innocence Project Bill Oberly spoke to students about DNA exonerations and how DNA evidence is making a difference in the criminal justice system. Although most of the Alaska Innocence Project work does not involve DNA, DNA work elsewhere shows many of the likely causes of wrongful convictions.
Myrstol Talks about Crime Rates with House Budget Committee
On October 5, Dr. Brad Myrstol , interim Justice Center director, spoke with the Alaska State House Budget Committee about crime rates. Myrstol presented information about property crime rates, showing that crime levels and patterns of fluctuation vary widely over time, across jurisdictions, and according to the crime considered.
Upcoming Events/Deadlines
  • October 30 - Sabbatical requests due to OAA with Dean's/Director's signature
  • November 23-24 - Thanksgiving Holiday
  • December 17 - Fall Commencement
  • December 25-26 - Christmas Holiday
  • December 27-31 - Winter Holiday, campus closed