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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 30,  2014

Spring Academic Tuition Waivers and Scholarship Deadline


The deadline to submit Spring 2015 Academic Tuition Waivers and scholarship forms (to avoid the late fee) is Wednesday, January 28th. Please keep in mind that award requests are considered on time if the form is completed and received by Financial Aid by 5PM January 28th, 2014.


Opportunity for Alaska Native and American Indian Students to Study in Hawaii or New Zealand


Mahina is a 10 to 12-week summer International Indigenous Health Research Training program. It takes place in Hawaii and Aotearoa (New Zealand) and is specifically designed for undergraduate and graduate students interested in health research careers. This program is a partnership between the University of Washington, University of Hawaii at Manoa, and the University of Auckland in Aotearoa. Mahina offers trainees funding for travel and housing costs, and a stipend for living expenses. Applications for Summer 2015 are due by November 17, 2014. For more information, visit the Mahina website or apply online. For questions, contact Anjulie Ganti at or 206-543-7662.


Credit Hour Review Schedule Update


The next credit hour review will be conducted for the Summer 2015 schedule. The Dean's office will receive a spreadsheet report from OAA in late November/early December. Corrections to Summer 2015 classes need to be submitted to Publications by February 2, 2015, when the summer schedule goes live online. This is also when the annotated credit hour review spreadsheet will be due back to OUAA.


The report for the Fall 2015 credit hour review will be sent out in early January. Corrections for the Fall 2015 schedule should be sent into Publications by March 23, 2015, when the schedule will go live. The spreadsheet will also need to be back to OUAA at that time. 


Interdisciplinary Research Awards


David Driscoll, Associate Dean for Research, in collaboration with members of the College of Health Interdisciplinary Research Advisory Committee, selected the following two applications for the second round of internal funding to support interdisciplinary research:

  • "Analysis of Tobacco Associated Molecular Markers in MAW Derived Maternal and Neonate Blood," led by Cindy Knall (WWAMI) in partnership with researchers in WWAMI, at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and at UAF.
  • "Space, place, and home: Mapping the social environment of Anchorage homeless populations," led by Troy Payne (Justice Center) and Donna Aguiniga (School of Social Work) in partnership with a researcher at Covenant House.

Both project teams will present their study design, implementation, and progress report at a college-wide event in May 2015; complete their study by December 2015; and submit their study findings for publication and/or submit a proposal for external funding by May 2016. Congratulations to these two teams!


The College of Health will be considering applications for a third round of funding in the next academic year. Prospective applicants will learn more about the opportunity and receive training in writing a successful proposal at the college-wide event in May 2015.


UAA Awarded EXITO Grant


Add a description UAA was awarded funds to join an NIH consortium to develop, implement, and evaluate approaches to encourage individuals to start and stay in biomedical research careers. These awards are part of a projected five-year program called EXITO.


As the consortium's primary institution, Portland State University will receive the lion's share of the funding, with the remainder of the funds dispersed between the various partner institutions, including UAA. UAA will receive $1.15 million over five years to support an academic advisor to identify underrepresented students interested in a future in biomedicine, and help guide them through their academic career. Funding will also support faculty-mentored research projects, peer mentors, tuition for a specialized EXITO course, and 10-week summer institute at Portland State University (including travel, housing and tuition). The program is geared toward students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, including Alaska Natives and children who grew up in the foster care system. The program will be based out of the UAA College of Health with Associate Dean Randy Magen as the Principal Investigator.


UAF was awarded a grant under the same NIH funding mechanism, but UAA was not invited as a collaborator on that project.


Unit Updates
Center for Human Development  - - - - - - - - - -
Trust Training Cooperative Updates


New for FY 15!

The Trust Training Cooperative (TTC) is the recipient of a sub-award from the Alaska Department of Education, under SAMHSA's Project AWARE, which targets three primary school districts in Alaska for developing trainers and access to the Youth Curriculum MHFA course. Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) trainings will be available in 2015 in the communities of the Mat Su Valley, Anchorage, and Kenai/Homer through this exciting new five-year project to increase literacy, access to services, and better equip school staff to prevent, recognize, and manage mental health and substance use crises. The training focuses on resiliency and early intervention skills for adults working with youth 12-18. For more information, contact or (907) 264-6228.


FY 14 CHD/TTC Training Highlights 


Learning Management System

1) FY 14 - 6,677 registered Users in the LMS with 2,335 Active Users. This is an increase of 32% increase in Active Users over FY 13 (1,762).

2) Over 14,897 visits to the LMS website were recorded.


Department of Health Sciences  - - - - - - - - - -
Candidates for DHS Faculty Search to Present Nov. 4 & Nov. 11


The department is in the final stages of choosing a faculty member to lead the BSHS Health Education and Pre-Professional tracks, as well as the undergraduate minor in public health. The two finalists will provide free public seminars in the Diplomacy Building 3rd Floor Conference Room, noon-1pm.

  • Dr. Travis Hedwig, Tuesday, November 4th, "Cultural Adoption, Kinship Caregiving and the Lived Experience of Health, Wellness and Disability." Download a flyer (pdf) and Dr. Hedwig's CV (pdf).
  • Dr. Corrie Whitmore, Tuesday, November 11th, "Navigating the Tension Between Funders' Expectations for Rigorous Research and Tribal Health System Values." Download a flyer (pdf) and Dr. Whitmore's CV (pdf).
Please feel free to invite fellow students and/or other colleagues to attend. RSVP Katie Frost at

Justice Center  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Prof. Periman and Dr. Magen Co-presented at New Faculty Orientation


Dr. Randy Magen, School of Social Work, and Prof. Deb Periman, JD, Legal Studies Program Coordinator in the Justice Center, co-presented at theFall 2014 new faculty orientation, sponsored by the Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence (CAFE). They introduced new faculty to the Making Learning Visible - the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Faculty Learning Community at UAA. Prof. Periman also presented an overview of the Center for Community Engagement and Learning (CCEL) and faculty resources available to support service learning at UAA. For more information, visit:

Article by Prof. Brandeis on Marijuana History and Case law in Alaska Referenced


The Alaska Law Review article "The Continuing Vitality of Ravin v. State: Alaskans Still Have a Constitutional Right to Possess Marijuana in the Privacy of Their Homes" by Prof. Jason Brandeis, JD, Legal Studies faculty in the Justice Center, was quoted in the Washington Post Wonkblog by Christopher Ingraham on September 24, 2014. Read the full article "Alaska legalized weed 39 years ago. Wait, what?" Research in Prof. Brandeis' article was also cited by moderator, Steve Mac Donald, during the Common Ground Program about marijuana legalization (ballot measure 2). For more information, visit: and


Dr. Myrstol Presents Violence Against Women Research at Shepherd's Care Forum

On September 19, Dr. Brad Myrstol, Justice faculty and Director of the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center (AJSAC), presented research on violence against women in Alaska at the recent Shepherd's Care Forum. The event was sponsored by the Church of Anchorage and held at the State Crime Lab. Dr. Myrstol presented findings from the Alaska Victimization Survey, which is an ongoing survey conducted by the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (CDVSA) and the UAA Justice Center. The goal of the forum was to better equip faith leaders to provide needed care for those suffering from issues of domestic violence and sexual assault, and to discover and connect them with resources  for victims in the Anchorage area. For more information, visit:


AJSAC Creates Electronic Archive of Searchable Copies of Alaska Uniform Crime Report Publications


To provide a community service, the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center (AJSAC) converted hard copies of "Alaska's uniform crime report publications from 1976 through 1999" into searchable PDF documents. These Crime in Alaska reports are now available on the AJSAC website. The electronic archive provides accessibility to important historical crime statistics for researchers and members of the public, fulfilling part of the mission of the AJSAC. For more information, visit:


Dr. Rivera presents to Division of Behavioral Health grantees about research on substance abuse


Dr. Marny Rivera, Justice faculty, presented at the Alaska Division of Behavioral Health Annual Prevention Grantee Conference on September 25. She participated in the "Policy and Enforcement: Tales from Alaskan Communities" panel which looked at policy, enforcement, research, and the challenges and successes related to managing alcohol use and abuse in Alaska. Dr. Rivera discussed research on Alaska's alcohol control policies and enforcement of them. For more information, visit:


Podcast Available on Panel Discussion with Prof. Fortson


Prof. Ryan Fortson, JD, Legal Studies faculty in the Justice Center, was a panelist at the UAA Bookstore event "UAA Distance Education Faculty: Alaska and the Environment" held October 21. Davin Holen, UAA Dept. of Anthropology, and Lia Slemons, UAA Dept. of Geography and Environmental Studies, joined Prof. Fortson in a discussion of environmental change, climate change adaption, and environmental law and Alaska Natives. Access the podcast on iTunes (Prof. Fortson's presentation begins at 1:15 on the podcast). For more information, visit:


Dr. Payne to Moderate Panel November 5 on "Stopped by Police?"

Dr. Troy Payne,
Justice faculty, will moderate the panel "Stopped by Police? - learn about your rights, what to expect and say" on Wednesday, November 5 from 5:30-6:30 pm at the UAA/APU Consortium Library, LIB 307. This event is co-sponsored by the Anchorage Community Police Relations Task Force, the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission, the Anchorage Police Department, and the UAA Justice Center. For more information, visit:


School of Nursing - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Dr. Trujillo's Published Article Named "Top Ten Articles" in Journal of Forensic Nursing

Congratulations to Dr. Angelia Trujillo! Her article, "A practical guide to prevention" published in the March 2014 issue of the Journal of Forensic Nursing, was named one of the journal's Top Ten Articles (based upon views on OVID) for the January to October 2014 time frame. Dr. Trujillo's article was the #7 viewed article on this list, and the #2 Top Ten Articles viewed directly off the Journal's web site. Additionally, it was the only article to be in the top ten for both lists for this time frame.

School of Social Work - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


School of Social Work Well Represented at Council on Social Work Education

Numerous faculty members presented at this 90th Annual Program Meeting in Tampa, FL, October 23 - 26. Assistant Professor Pam Bowers presented the paper "Development of an adaptation model for health interventions for sexual minorities" and co-presented the paper "Examining and understanding experiences of sexual minority women who struggle with obesity." Assistant Professor Donna Aguiniga co-presented two papers: "Integrating mental health content across the BSW curriculum" and "An exploratory analysis of permanency outcomes in child protection mediation." Associate Professor Kathi Trawver co-presented the roundtable "How to succeed in reaffirmation or candidacy: Tips and strategies." Associate Professor Mary Dallas Allen and Professor Beth Sirles also co-presented a roundtable, titled "Does distance matter for distance social work education in rural areas?" In addition, MSW student Olaide Wolfe was one of three students in the United States awarded an Ashley-Brooks Danso Fund Student Travel Scholarship by the Council on Social Work Education Gero-Ed Center for social work students with an interest in aging. The travel scholarship included $500 for travel expenses and complimentary registration to attend the conference.


MSW Graduate's Film to Hit Film Festivals

Cory Gordon, a recent graduate of the MSW program, created a short documentary that will be screening at two California film festivals in November. "Ililirstait (The Helpers) is a short documentary on Alaska Native social workers and their diverse roles throughout the state. While working toward her Master of Social Work at UAA, Cory simultaneously interviewed, shot, and edited the entire project, which follows four MSW graduates and their work in the community. The movie premiered in Anchorage last week and will next screen in both San Francisco and Los Angeles in early November." Read more in the Green & Gold.

Upcoming Events/Deadlines

  • November 27-28 - Thanksgiving holiday
  • December 14 - Fall commencement
  • December 25-26 - Christmas holiday
  • December 27-31 - Winter holiday, campus closed

NOTE: Dates will be established for when these items are due in the Dean's office prior to being forwarded to OAA

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