We don’t just study glaciers. We climb them.
The class met at 10 a.m., but there were no desks, no whiteboards, not even any walls. Temperature hovered around -10° F. Everyone was bundled up to his or her eyeballs and only identifiable by the cascading colors of their downy layered jackets. In front of them stood a glacier. Welcome to beginning ice climbing class.
Alex West, Pursuing M.S. in Civil Engineering, B.S. Civil Engineering ‘11
Staff engineer, PND Engineers
Because bears are bad dinner guests.
When anglers converge in salmon hot spots and discard hundreds of carcasses, it’s like ringing a dinner bell for bears. Alex West tackled this problem in engineering class and became the first UAA student to earn a patent. Her hydropowered fish grinder design disperses fish waste back into the ecosystem, reducing human-bear confrontations. Now that’s homegrown Alaskan innovation.
Some say talk is cheap. Not Kyle. He’s a language warrior, tenacious about revitalizing endangered Alaska Native languages. Although he’s Tlingit/Athabascan, he didn’t learn to speak Tlingit until he got to UAA. He has led talking circles on campus and tutored at Anchorage schools. He plans to earn a graduate degree in linguistics because he believes the cultural value of language is priceless.
Who knew the comfort of home could be 756 miles away?
Crystalyn Lemieux’s penchant for pitching in gave her courage when she left her hometown of Haines to launch her college career at UAA. She grew connections through UAA’s Native Student Services, nestled into a warm campus community and thrived in her First Alaskans Institute internship. “I began to feel more comfortable with myself… I created my home away from home.
Micah Chelimo, B.S. Mechanical Engineering ’14
Facilities Engineer, UAA Facilities & Campus Services
Kenya is 8,290 miles away from Alaska, yet it still sustains and drives this record-shattering runner. Honors include: 12-time All American Athlete; seven-time Academic All American; four-time National Champion; and two-time winner of UAA’s Bill MacKay Athlete of the Year award. Meet Micah Chelimo, UAA’s second-most-decorated athlete.
She didn’t steal the spotlight. She earned it.
Most Alaskans wouldn’t link the word opera with Unalakleet, a community of 700 located just at the mouth of its namesake river on Norton Sound. Maybe not–until now. UAA vocal performance student and coloratura soprano Kira Eckenweiler grew up in Unalakleet.
“She’s probably, hands down, the most gifted singer I have ever worked with,” said Mari Hahn, an associate professor of music at UAA. “She’s got depth, strength, courage.”
A rural Alaskan comfortable with subsistence fishing and even calling and shooting her own moose, Kira has grown into an artist. “I want to sing opera for the rest of my life,” she said. “I want to go all around the world, singing opera.”
On the cutting edge of concussion research, UAA engineers and undergrads are working to create a sophisticated mouthguard that would measure impacts to the skull and allow for on-the-spot diagnosis of injuries.
Ariane Audett, Biological Sciences/Honors College
One day when you go to the doctor’s office, Ariane Audett may walk through the door. Hear how this #UAAmazing student overcame homelessness and freshman year adversity to become a successful biological sciences student and earn a place in the University of Alaska Anchorage’s honors college.
Carrie Lindow, M.B.A. ‘04, M.A. Project Management ‘10
President, ChemTrack Alaska Inc.
An Alaskan who knows her place…
and that place is the C-suite.
As president of ChemTrack Alaska Inc., Carrie Lindow leads a team that extracts hazardous materials from the environment. Carrie grew up in Alaska fishing, playing hockey and skiing. Her life’s work ensures her daughter can do the same. UAA helped Carrie find her place. Where’s yours?
Born and raised in Anchorage, Maggie Dewhurst Miller attended UAA’s Honors College, went off to graduate school at the University of Minnesota and came home to become Alaska’s first Oncology Genetics Counselor.
Skinny Raven Sports: Shaping a running community from the sneaker up
Skinny Raven Sports, a store located at the corner of H Street and W. 8th Avenue, serves as a community hub for runners and has become a haven for current and former Seawolf runners. It cultivates new runners by helping kids and non-runners access the sport, and creates events that motivate and engage existing runners and athletes.
“One of the large interactions is the fact that a lot of the UAA students that are now employees, they’ve had a running history,” said Emma Bohman, current Skinny Raven employee and former UAA student-athlete. “They just have an affinity toward running that gives them a really good background as they come into the store—sharing experiences with shoes, experience with injuries and how to overcome them. It just makes a really good connection, an educated individual who communicates really well with people. What’s cool for me is, I feel like I have a connection still with the team.”
Jonathan Stecyk, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
Everybody’s heard the term lab rat. But lab turtle? As it turns out, these critters on a half-shell have an amazing capacity to survive on little or no oxygen. UAA professor Jonathan Stecyk and undergraduate researchers are working hard to understand how. The results will help answer big questions: What if humans could somehow prepare their own hearts for low oxygen situations like heart attacks? Could pharmaceuticals trigger similar self-protective mechanisms?
“The big goal is to understand how the turtle heart is able to beat without oxygen while other vertebrates require it,” Stecyk said.