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This Leadership Team 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 29, 2015
UAA to Become Smoke and Tobacco-Free!
UAA becomes a smoke and tobacco-free campus on November 19, 2015. For details about the new policy, please visit:

eTech Fair 2015 | Nov 9-13

Are you getting excited about the upcoming eTech Fair? We are, and we want you to come be a part of the fun! Join your peers and participate in our professional development sessions. Pick and choose what works for you and earn digital badges along the way.
  •    Accessibility
  •    Student engagement
  •    Open Educational Resources (OERs)
  •    ePortfolios
  •    Assessment
  •    and more!
Distance Education Week
The eTech Fair is happening during Distance Education Week, November 9-13, 2015. Sessions are online via Blackboard Collaborate and scheduled to last 45 minutes. Share with Your Students! For the first time, we are offering sessions for UAA students. Let your students know by sharing the student schedule.
View the Student Schedule:

COH Curriculum Committee to Meet Wednesdays

The COH Curriculum Committee will hold its regular meeting on Wednesdays, 2:50 pm - 4:20 pm. The deadline for submission of materials for committee review is Monday at 9am, the week prior to the meeting. Submit electronic files in Word format to Harriet Paule ( To assist you in submitting materials to the curriculum committee, download the "COH Faculty Curriculum Submission Guide AY 14/15" (doc). 
Unit Updates
Center For Human Development - - - - - - - - - - - -
Alaska Leadership Consortium Helps Statewide Leaders Develop Action Plans

The vision of the Alaska Leadership Consortium is "to pull together leaders in the Developmental Disabilities field from across the state to create momentum for driving the system toward positive outcomes that will dramatically change over the next five years."
The UAA Center for Human Development's Alaska Training Cooperative (formerly the Trust Training Cooperative) was instrumental in partnering with the University of Delaware's Leadership Consortium, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, the Mat-Su Health Foundation, and the Alaska Community Foundation to bring this unique, one time training event to our state.
The Alaska Leadership Consortium took place Sept. 27-Oct. 2 in Anchorage and was attended by 24 high level leaders in developmental disabilities from across the state. These leaders focused on the qualities of impactful and inspired leadership as well as best practice and trends in Developmental Disabilities services. Each Consortium graduate developed and took back to their agencies an action plan for change and formed connections to other leaders. A panel of Alaskan leaders was also involved in the event and included our State Commissioner for Health and Social Services Valerie Davidson, Elizabeth Ripley (Mat-su Health Foundation), Sammye Pokryfki (Rasmussen Foundation), Jeff Jesse (The Trust) and Laurie Wolf (Foraker Group).
Disability Employment Services Course a Success
The Center for Human Development taught a 40-hour disability employment services course September - October 2015 in conjunction with the University of Washington's Center for Continuing Education in Rehabilitation (CCER). This course leads to a National Certificate from the Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators (ACRE), which is required by the Alaska Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to be a Community Rehabilitation Program services vendor. Twenty-five participants were enrolled. This course will be offered at least twice a year.
Alaska Safety Planning & Empowerment Network (ASPEN): Working with Tribal Review
The Alaska Safety Planning and Empowerment Network (ASPEN) brings together domestic violence/sexual assault (DV/SA) and disability service agencies around the state; it is currently funded by the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority. Team members bring agencies together to: examine agency policies; seek service user feedback through focus groups; increase accessibility for survivors with disabilities in the DV/SA system; and increase trauma responsiveness in disability service systems. The Center for Human Development has been a co-lead on ASPEN since 2007. One of our main roles has been seeking Institutional Review Board approval from UAA, the Alaska Area Institutional Review Board (AAIRB), and most recently from Tribal Review. The AAIRB is typically the first stop for research proposals affecting Alaska Native peoples. If AAIRB approval is granted, the next move is to seek approval directly from Alaska Native tribes at the local level. Currently, ASPEN is seeking Tribal Review to begin work in our fifth community.
Department of Health Sciences - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Pat Hensch Honored as Physician Assistant of the Year
We are proud to announce that Pat Hensch, PA-C, one of our MEDEX faculty members, was honored as Alaskan Physician Assistant of the Year for 2015. This prestigious award is presented annually to a Physician Assistant (PA) who has demonstrated unswerving dedication to their work and their patients, as well as a commitment to the future of the Physician Assistant profession. The recipient of the award is determined by their peers, all of whom have spent much of their careers working throughout Alaska--often described as the "most challenging medical practice environment in America."  Pat worked as a PA for 30 years in western Alaska, often traveling by boat or small airplane to provide medical care in some of the most remote areas of the state. Since 2009, she has been the Clinical Director of the MEDEX program at UAA.
Pat is the second member of our UAA MEDEX faculty to receive this award. In 2013, it was awarded to our current MEDEX Site Director, Ashley Marquardt, PA-C. Our Alaskan PA students are very fortunate to train under the direction of faculty with their level of dedication and commitment to the profession. Pat will be retiring in December and plans to travel and spend time with her children and grandchildren. Congratulations Pat, we wish you well!
Dr. Johnson Presented at ICCH on Health Literacy
In New Orleans this week, Dr. Rhonda Johnson, Professor of Publi c Health, presented highlights from The Anchorage Health LIteracy Collaborative (TAHLC) Peer Language Navigator (PLN) projects at the International Conference of Communication in Healthcare (ICCH). Two UAA MPH students, Cate Burton and Jeni Rogers, have been active in the projects and were co-authors on the oral presentation that was part of a very engaged session on Cross Cultural Communication.
Dr. Garcia Voted into APHA Office
Dr. Gabriel Garcia, Professor of Public Health, was recently voted Vice President of the American Public Health Association's Asian and Pacific Islander Caucus.
Smoke-Free Task Force to Receive ALA Award
The UAA Smoke-Free Task Force led by Dr. Gabriel Garcia (Health Sciences), Dr. Joy Chavez Mapaye (Journalism & Communication), and student leaders Yesenia Camarena (CAS), Valeria Delgado (Honors College), Christie Flanagan (COH), and Joy Britt (COH) will receive the American Lung Association in Alaska's Breathe Easy Champion Award on Sunday, November 1, 2015.

Dietetics & Nutrition Program - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Student Melissa Tholl Presented Poster at Food and Nutrition Conference

Congratulations to Melissa Tholl, UAA Dietetic Intern student, whose poster was presented at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) in Nashville, Tennessee in October. Melissa's study, "Childcare Nutrition Practices Differ Between Rural and Urban Alaskan Facilities," examined self-reported adherence to recommendations for child nutrition in rural and urban Alaska childcare settings. This study provided baseline data for nutrition practices and policies in Alaska's child-care facilities. Rural and urban facilities differed in some areas of child nutrition, but statewide interventions should focus on the overall areas of weakness identified by this study: education/professional development and written nutrition policies. UAA's Office of Undergraduate Research, through the UAA Honors College, funded the study in the spring of 2014. Melissa has lived in Alaska for 17 years. Upon graduation in May 2016, she hopes to work as a clinical dietitian and eventually pursue a graduate degree that will allow her to work in nutrition-related research.

Justice Center  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Results from Teens Acting Against Violence (TAAV) Evaluation Presented in Bethel
Results from the Teens Acting Against Violence (TAAV) program evaluation conducted by the UAA Justice Center in partnership with the Tundra Women's Coalition (TWC) were presented in Bethel on Friday, October 23. Khristy Parker, Research Professional with the Justice Center, was a co-author of the evaluation and presented key findings in Bethel at the Tundra Women's Coalition office. Dr. André Rosay, Director of the UAA Justice Center; Eileen Arnold, Executive Director of TWC; and Michelle DeWitt, former TWC Executive Director, were also co-authors. Participants responded to questions on an online survey. Overall the results of the evaluation were positive. For more information, and to download the executive summary and key findings, visit:
Alaska Justice Information Center Welcomes New Staff   
Araceli Valle, PhD , and Karin Thomas, MS, have joined the staff of the Alaska Justice Information Center (AJIC) as Research Professionals. Dr. Brad Myrstol is the director of the Alaska Justice Information Center and director of the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center. AJIC is jointly funded by the state of Alaska and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and housed within the University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center. For more information, visit:
Dr. Payne Interviewed by Alaska Dispatch News about FBI Crime Stats for Alaska   

Dr. Troy Payne
, Justice faculty, was interviewed recently by the Alaska Dispatch News about FBI crime statistics for Alaska in the article "FBI crime stats say murder rate up, rapes down in Alaska in 2014" (Jerzy Shedlock, 10/8/15). For more information, and to read the full article, visit:
Justice Grads Working for Division of Juvenile Justice 
Alumni spotlight: Michael Heyward, BA Justice '99
Michael Heyward is a Juvenile Probation Officer II with DJJ Anchorage Probation and works at McLaughlin Youth Center (MYC).
Alumni spotlight: Britney Olsen, BA Justice '08
Britney Olsen is a Juvenile Justice Officer III on the Transitional Services Unit at McLaughlin Youth Center (MYC)
. .

Prof. Brandeis Publishes Article on Marijuana Law in
The Bar Rag
Prof. Jason Brandeis, JD, Legal Studies faculty in the Justice Center, published the article "Marijuana legalization: where the process stands now" in the recent issue of the Alaska Bar Rag (Vol. 39, No. 3., July - September 2015), the official publication of the Alaska Bar Association. Prof. Brandeis discusses the current status of marijuana legalization in Alaska, including enforcement issues and criminal investigations reported in the media, analysis of the state's approach to marijuana legalization under the current federal guidance, and the ongoing development of Alaska's regulatory system. For more information, and to read the article, visit:  
Justice Center Participates in 2015 Law School Fair at UAA

The Justice Center joined 19 law schools at the Law School Fair on September 17 at the UAA Student Union
. For more information, visit:

(l to r) Prof. Kristin Knudsen, JD, Legal Studies faculty; Prof. Deb Periman, JD,
Legal Studies Program Coordinator; and Jeni Lindorfer, Willamette University
College of Law, Assistant Director of Admissions

Dr. Blumenstein Publishes Article on Intimate Partner Kidnappings   

Dr. Lindsey Blumenstein, Justice faculty, recently published an article in the journal Partner Abuse titled "Exploratory Study on Intimate Partner Kidnapping: Is This a Prevailing Issue in Intimate Partner Relationships?" (Volume 6, Number 4, 2015) . For more information, visit:

School of Social Work - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Faculty Participate in CSWE Annual Program Meeting
In October, several social work faculty participated in the 61st Annual Program Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in Denver, Colorado. School of Social Work Director Beth Sirles participated in two days of the Leadership Academy for Deans and Directors as part of the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute. Professor Donna Aguiniga presented her research on the use of team-based learning in a social work practice course. Dr. Aguiniga co-presented with Professor Pam Bowers on the impact of service learning through community partnerships on students' self-efficacy and skill development. Additionally, Professor Kathi Trawver and Dr. Aguiniga co-presented their research on conducting homeless youth point-in-time counts as a community engaged/service learning opportunity.
In service to CSWE and its annual program meeting, Dr. Trawver serves on CSWE's Council on Conferences and Faculty Development that provides leadership in planning the conference and other initiatives. She is also the long-standing chair of the conference's Disabilities track. Dr. Bowers serves on CSWE's Council of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and organized the third annual mentoring breakfast for doctoral students and junior faculty to meet with senior faculty on LGBTQ issues in academia. Dr. Aguiniga serves CSWE as the conference chair of the Teaching Methods and Learning Styles track.

Dr. Allen Presents at Arctic Science Conference

Professor Mary Dallas Allen presented, "Social workers: Critical partners in the response to climate change," at the 2015 Arctic Science Conference at UAA.
Faculty & Staff Participate in NASW Conference

Also this month, social work faculty and students participated in the bi-annual Alaska Chapter National Association of Social Workers (NASW) conference. 

Upcoming Events/Deadlines
  • November 26-27 - Thanksgiving Holiday
  • December 24-25 - Christmas Holiday
  • Dec 31-Jan 1 - New Year Holiday
  • December 26-30 - Winter Holiday (campus closed)
  • January 18 - Civil Rights Day