Local and Statewide news briefs

Preschoolers, college students share learning experience

A new partnership is underway between the College of Education and Tanaina Child Development Center. According to a release by Troy Bowler, executive director of Taniana, upgrades to the facility resulting from the partnership will change the layout of the preschool. Seven play areas that include a quiet reading area, science and art area and dramatic play area will replace the classrooms. The partnership will give UAA early childhood student-teachers a laboratory setting for student-teachers to work and practice early childhood education skills in a preschool environment.

Film contest winners receive free year of tuition

Five winners of a film contest across the University of Alaska campuses will receive free tuition next year. The contest, in conjunction with a UA advertising campaign that shows why real students chose to attend, ends Dec. 15. Four similar ads are currently being broadcast across the state. To check out videos or submit an entry, visit www.uamyway.net.

Win cash for business plans

The College of Business and Public Policy is holding its annual Alaska Business Plan Competition. UAA and APU students who submit entries on businesses located in or intended to be located in Alaska can win cash prizes donated by Alaska banks, investment firms and private investors. The final competition on Dec. 5 is open to the public and judged by local business and investment leaders. The deadline to register for the competition is Oct. 5. If interested, call 786-4140.

Evacuation drills practiced across campus this week

UAA’s annual building evacuation drills will continue through Sept. 19. University police and electricians will be visiting all academic buildings and activating the fire alarm system for the evacuations. Occupants are asked to evacuate quickly in an orderly fashion and assemble with your class or office group at a point at least 50 feet from the building. Once an evaluation has been made of all horns, strobes and bell hardware, the system will be silenced, an all-clear announcement will be made that it is safe to enter the facility and educational handouts will be distributed.

KPC professor joins national roundtable discussion

Dr. Barbara Christian, Kenai Peninsula College English professor and author of the book “Belief in Dialogue: U.S. Latina Writers Confront Their Religious Heritage,” was invited to join a roundtable discussion during the 2007 National Convention of the Modern Language Association in December. The roundtable explores contemporary issues in religion and the teaching of world literature.

Permanent Fund Dividend released this week

The amount of the 2007 Permanent Fund Dividend will be released Sept. 19, according to the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend Division. Disbursement begins Oct. 3 for the Early Bird Direct Deposit and continues through Nov. 13, when checks will be mailed. The division warns mailed checks may take up to two weeks for delivery.

Bill requesting lowered college tuition handed off to White House

Federal student loan payments will be capped at 15 percent of a borrower’s discretionary income if President George W. Bush approves the 2007 College Cost Reduction and Access Act submitted by Congress recently. According to the UAA College Democrats and Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, the bill will make Alaska students eligible for $1.72 million in need-based grant aid next year and an additional $18.67 million in the next five years. The bill will cut interest rates in half on need-based student loans, from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent in four years, according to Education and Labor Committee.

Economic trends: Office jobs lead employment, sin taxes increasing state revenues

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College graduates in Anchorage will find that office and administrative support jobs employ more residents than any other occupational group. In 2006, 4,840 Anchorage residents worked in office and administrative support positions, according to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Research and Analysis Section.

Also topping the list of the report’s top 10 major occupational jobs were protective service jobs, 4,070 employees; and education, training and library management, 3,050 employees.

Economic trend analysis by the Alaska Department of Revenue indicates that cigarette and alcohol tax revenues are increasing. Cigarette taxes generated $57.9 million in 2006, increasing at an average annual rate of 7 percent in the last five years. Alcohol tax revenue increased from $12 million in 2001 to $35.2 million in 2006, according to reports released this month by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Student government releases its spending budget

Student government was granted $47,400 for its leadership in 2007-08, according to a recently released summary of budget revenues and expenditures in 2008. Stipends were the largest student government expense, totaling $38,400. Three other leading expenses included $11,500 in senate stipends, $10,000 for student leadership conferences, a $4,000 transfer to the Greek Council Grant Fund and a $4,000 stipend for student government president John Roberson III.

UA donors help make record profit year

The University of Alaska Foundation received more than $20 million in charitable donations for University of Alaska programs and students in 2007, according to the foundation. More than 1,000 new donors contributed this year, with individuals giving 31 percent of total contributions. The Consolidated Endowment Fund increased by $42.4 million in 2006 and now totals more than $266 million.

UA Statewide Briefs

Center for Alaska Native Health receives $11 million award

FAIRBANKS – The Center for Alaska Native Health Research at UAF received a $10.9 million, five-year, Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence grant from the National Institutes of Health National Center for Research Resources to continue biomedical research on obesity and associated chronic diseases among Alaska Natives.

Developed in partnership with the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation and in collaboration with community participants, CANHR scientists investigate weight, nutrition and health in Alaska Natives from genetic, dietary and cultural-behavioral perspectives.

CANHR scientists lead seven community-based participatory research projects, which address diet and nutrition, cultural understandings of health, genetics of obesity, dietary biomarkers, stress and coping, contaminants in subsistence foods, and cultural understanding of diabetes among Alaska Natives.

KRC adds evening EMT 1 Class

KENAI PENINSULA – An evening and weekend EMT 1 class is being offered by Tiffani Perry at the UA Kenai Peninsula College. Registration is available at student services.

Contact Paul Perry at 262-0378.