June 12, 2017 Chance Townsend

The UAA track and field teams have completed another successful indoor and outdoor season, bringing home two men’s Great Northwest Athletic Conference titles and an outdoor GNAC title for the women.

Starting with the indoor season, the men won their third-straight Great Northwest Athletic Conference title, while the women finished third collecting their fifth consecutive top three GNAC finish. The UAA men’s team garnered an overwhelming win over Western Oregon, 154-82, while Northwest Nazarene finished third with 78 points.

Before the GNAC championships started, the Seawolves combined for 19 NCAA times/marks in three weekends of competition throughout the season – including 16 with top-20 rankings. Both Seawolf teams were ranked 24th nationally going into the conference championships. In the top 20 of the women’s side were the women’s distance medley relay who ranked fifth (Tamara Perez, Mary-Kathleen Cross, Danielle McCormick, and Caroline Kurgat), while the women’s 4×400 meter team ranked 8th (Jamie Ashcroft, Vanessa Aniteye, Hayley Benzanson, and Cross).

For the men’s team, the Seawolves’ highest ranking came from senior Dominik Notz in the 5K at fifth. Notz posted a season-best time of 14:03.95 and ranked 11th in the 3K at 8:11.10. The men’s 4×400-meter relay ranked sixth at 3:13.75 (Nicholas Taylor, Liam Lindsay, Darrion Gray and Adam Commandeur), and senior Travis Turner ranked at 19 in the heptathlon at 4,951 points.

Before the season started, senior Tevin Gladden outlined his season goals.

“For me I set forth the goal of getting four All-Americans and jumping seven feet,” Gladden said. “In the indoor season I only got one All-American, but as long as you’re setting a bunch of goals and achieve one of those goals I’d feel satisfied with that.”

Gladden competed in jumping events throughout the season. At the GNAC Indoor Championships, he took fourth in high jump (6-7), sixth in triple jump (45-4.5) and ninth in long jump (22-0.75), earning him two All-Conference honors.

Gladden described the event as one his best of the season.

“Our conference meet at indoor was pretty good. I started to get back into my form in the high jump, and in long jump I beat my personal record by a foot,” Gladden said.

The Seawolves concluded the indoor season when they sent 14 athletes to the NCAA Division II Championships in Birmingham, Ala, and finished with seven more NCAA qualifying times/marks. UAA returned home with a program best with 12 All-American honors. Seniors Ashcroft (200m, 4x4mR) and Kurgat (3K) were two recipients of those honors.

“The indoor season went great. I felt good about my improvements throughout the season. I wasn’t that fit at the beginning of the season but worked hard and got much better,” Kurgat said. “I was excited for more competitions, but unfortunately had to red-shirt for the outdoor season.”

The Seawolves landed 18 members on the All-West Region team, collected eight conference titles and 30 All-Conference honors. Ashcroft was named NCAA West Region Track Athlete of the Year and the GNAC’s Most Outstanding Track Performer, while head coach Michael Friess was named NCAA West Region Coach of the Year for the men’s team.

With the indoor season over, the Seawolves transitioned to the outdoor season.

For the outdoor season, the Seawolves had a combined 24 NCAA times/marks, including two automatic NCAA qualifying times/marks (ANQ). Leading the way with an ANQ in the heptathlon was senior Karolin Anders who ranked fifth in Division II. The other ANQ went to Notz in the 10K with a time of 29:12.23 at the Mt. SAC Relays and was ranked sixth in the nation.

Leading into the conference championships the Seawolves looked to defend their outdoor championships.

The women combined for four individual titles and 16 all-conference performances throughout the event, while the men’s team added five titles and 15 all-conference accolades.

The Seawolves swept the GNAC Outdoor Championships as the men’s team defended its title and the women’s team won its third in five years.

Gladden also broke a decades long school record in the high jump with a leap of 6-11.

“This conference meet was pretty good for me. I didn’t get the long jump as well as I wanted to but I got decent marks,” Gladden said. “Triple jump was pretty good, I got a personal best in the high jump which I haven’t done in while and I got us some crucial points to win us another outdoor title.”

To conclude the outdoor season, the Seawolves sent 13 qualifiers to the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships in Florida.

Anders qualified in the high jump and heptathlon, and Aniteye qualified in the 400 meters and relay in her NCAA debut. Notz qualified for both the 5K and 10K for the men. McCormick qualified for the 800 meter and making up the men’s relay was Commandeur, Turner, Lindsay and Taylor, while Aniteye, McCormick, Bezanson and Cross will be the representatives for the women’s relay. Gladden qualified in the high jump and would make his NCAA outdoor debut.

Competing in the 3,000-meter steeplechase was junior Edwin Kangogo, while junior Mariah Burroughs represented the women in the race.

Burroughs described her thought process going into the 3K steeplechase

“At the beginning of the season, you have barriers and [a] water pit to jump over, so at the starting line you’re kinda like am I going to remember to jump and go over these especially without the dome, cause I don’t really anywhere to practice,” Burroughs said. “Farther on in the season though its a lot more focused. So at nationals I didn’t have exact thoughts it’s more of a blank mind.”

“I was seated 21st in nationals, which is last, but I ended up finishing 16th which was four places away from finals,” Burroughs said.

Kangogo, on the other hand, did make finals. Kangogo, who was new to the 3K steeplechase, finished sixth with a time of 8:56.21, earning him another All-American honor.

“I am happy with this season as a whole and with the challenges presented to us,” Kangogo said. “This season I’ve been trying to stay focused and just forget about anything going on outside. This was my best meet and earning an All-American in the steeplechase was amazing.”

Combined, the Seawolves garnered eight First-Team, All-American honors and two Second-Team All-American awards throughout the NCAA championships.

The Seawolf men, ranked 21st nationally ,headed into the weekend and finished the championships with 15 points to tie for 13th. Meanwhile, the 25th ranked women’s team, finished tied for 62nd with two points. St. Augustine’s won the men’s competition with 58 points for their fifth straight, while West Texas A&M earned the women’s crown with 64 points. The 64 points are the most points scored by the winning team since Lincoln University scored 64 back in 2014.

The team has lost a significant number of strong contributors after this season to graduation. With many gone, the track and field team will look to add many strong new faces to the program to continue UAA’s dominance in the GNAC.

June 12, 2017 Brenda Craig


Down and Derby, a roller disco party company, is making an appearance in Anchorage on Saturday, June 17 to start off the summer solstice with a bang. This event will be located in the Alaska Aviation Heritage museum, in the Odom Hangar from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

“Down and Derby is the coolest roller skating party since roller-skating was cool,” Jake Miles, co-owner of Alaska’s First Party on Wheels event, said. “Our goal is to put wheels on a whole new generation of skaters across the country.”

Down and Derby started in 2006 and quickly grew popular in Las Vegas, where they held events twice a month at the Gold Spike Hotel and Casino. Miles and his partner decided to expand the party throughout the U.S. and now are making their first appearance in Anchorage on June 17.

“My partner, Richard and I were doing roller skating parties across the entire city of Las Vegas, skating in night clubs to downtown Las Vegas at the Beauty Bar and Gold Spike Casino,” Miles said. “We saw an opportunity to show people a good time in a unique way, so we capitalized on something that had never been done before, essentially skating where you never thought you’d be able to skate at.”

After spending years hosting Down and Derby events, Miles moved back to Alaska and wanted to bring the good times with.

“It’s been a great ride… all the way up, to Alaska! There’s been a good amount of retro-themed parties in Anchorage and Girdwood. I’ve always wanted to bring DD up to Alaska since the day I moved back up here, determined to give back to Alaska and make my mark, for all that she’s done for me,” Miles said.

It took time to convince venues to hold this event, but after many rejections, the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum agreed and will be having four Down and Derby events throughout the summer ending in August.

“I’ve been to the location in Las Vegas at the Gold Spike and I grew up roller-skating in Alaska. This is a dream come true for me personally to incorporate a live DJ-ing with roller-skating for adults,” Chris Covington, known as DJ Covy, said.

During the event, there will be a classic limbo contest, with prizes given away throughout the span of the night. Music will be provided by DJ Covy and Joe Bradly to spice up the night and keep the party going. There will be pizza provided by Great Alaska Pizza Company and Redbull will be having an official Alaskan summer edition launch with two new drink additions, Acai Berry and Grapefruit Twist.

“My favorite things about DD is that I get to see all my friends and family’s beautiful faces have a good time, while being active during the summer: all congregating for a drink, skating and a piece of pizza. I’m ecstatic that I get to call this event a grown-up roller-skating party and Alaska’s first party on wheels,” Miles said. “This goes out to all my fellow Alaskans — don’t miss out on the coolest grown-up roller skating party, you won’t be disappointed.”

When many think of rollerskating, they thing of their childhood days at birthday parties at the local Skateland. Down and Derby is giving adults a chance to relieve those party days and let loose.

“I am looking most forward to reliving the glory days of Skateland but with alcohol, I feel like even if you don’t want to skate this is going to be a unique event where many people can experiment with roller skates without judgement,” Paige Daugherty, Anchorage resident, said. “I sure hope this event is successful being a local bartender I’m so tired of the same crappy downtown bar scene. Same bars with the same bad drinks and the same DJs every weekend.”

Tickets can be purchased online before the event for $15 or for $20 at the door. This is a 21 and over event, taking place on June 17 at the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Although this is Alaska’s first party on wheels, it will not be the last.

June 12, 2017 Chance Townsend
Alumni Chris Bryant looking over old team photos of UAA's 2007-08 men's basketball season. Bryant, a Bob Zundel Memorial Award recipient, had a career high of 26 points as the third leading scorer of the team. Photo credit: Jay Guzman

When you look through the halls of UAA’s men’s basketball program from recent years, one team in particular stands out. That team is the 2007-08 men’s basketball team. Coached by current head coach Rusty Osborne and led by seniors Carl Arts, Chris Bryant, Luke Cooper and McCade Olsen, the Seawolves won a school record of 29 games, and advanced to the NCAA Division II semi-finals for the first time since 1988.

The ’07 Seawolves were defensive juggernauts, only allowing 60.1 points per game, and were the top ranked scoring defense in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Their solid defense helped make up for their low scoring offense, which averaged 73.1 points per game, ranking in the bottom-half of the GNAC, above Alaska-Fairbanks and MSU-Billings.

Senior and Seawolves legend Carl Arts led the team with an average of 18.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 0.5 blocks and 1.7 steals per game. In addition, GNAC All-American Luke Cooper led the team in assists with an average of 8.9 per game.

McCade Olsen: 2006-2008

McCade Olsen was the team’s second leading scorer and re-bounder at the end of the ’07 season. He was also the hero in the Seawolves Sweet 16 win against Seattle Pacific University.

“Hitting game-winning free-throws to beat SPU [Seattle Pacific University] in the second round of the western conference tournament…is a memorable moment,” Olsen said.

Teammate and fellow starter Luke Cooper was also very fond of this particular game.

“I still refer to this game as the McCade Olsen game,” Cooper said, “down one [point] on the last possession, [Olsen] got fouled with about two seconds left, calmly went to the free-throw line and knocked both in. We won by [one] point.”

Olsen still resides in Anchorage with his wife and two kids. He is now a supervisor at the McLaughlin Youth Center.

Luke Cooper: 2005-2008

Cooper finished his college career at UAA, ranking fourth on the all-time NCAA Division II assists list with 880 total, and was a two time GNAC first team selection.

Cooper still has fond memories of his time in Alaska.

‘We ended up meeting the team that started our streak, BYU Hawaii, in the elite eight and ended up winning by six or so [points] to send us to Springfield. Having my parents fly over from Australia to witness it was the most special part of it all,” Cooper said.

Now that he is gone, Cooper has fond memories of the state.

“I still regularly think about my college days,” Cooper said. “[I] am so thankful I chose such a beautiful place like Alaska to go to college. I met some of the most amazing people there who I still keep in touch with to this day.”

Cooper now plays professional basketball in his home country of Australia for the Sydney Kings. In his free time, he takes the opportunity to coach youth basketball.

“I’m really driven by trying to create a pathway for kids with college aspirations, to get the chance that I got, hopefully they get to experience it somewhere as beautiful as I did,” Cooper said.

Kevin White: 2007-2010

White was the team’s top backcourt reserve player in 2007, and led the freshman in three point field goal percentage (3FG%). Although White didn’t have a major impact on the team his freshman season, he was pivotal in the success of the Seawolves later in his career.

Before the team went on their 16-game hot streak there was tension early on in the season.

“It was the start of a very jam packed season and we were training. Karl Arts who is no doubt known around UAA as one of the greats, missed a box out, and gave up an offensive rebound and [the starters] lost to the bench squad,” White said. “Coop’s gave his team a spray that I’ll remember for my life, it ended with Karl and Coop arguing about it for a solid 30 seconds to the outcome of if we ever give up an offensive rebound and we lose Coops ‘I’ll punch you straight in the mouth and knock your head off.’ These two were our leaders, our captains!”

“We went on to win about 16 games straight from that moment and really established a mentality that was tougher than any team I’ve ever played on,” White said.

White now plays basketball in his home country of Australia for the Illawarra Hawks. White has been playing professionally for the NBL since he left UAA in 2010.

Chris Bryant: 2007-2008

Bryant was the team’s third leading scorer in 2007 and was the Bob Zundel Memorial Trophy winner for exemplary qualities towards teammates, coaches, media, fans and referees.

Bryant scored a career high 26 points against BYU-Hawaii on their home court, which he describes as a standout moment to him and a testament to all the hard work his team put in.

“Playing and winning an exciting overtime against BYU-Hawaii was amazing,” Bryant said. “It was a career high for me, and really validated that I can really contribute to our team.”

Bryant is now a health coach/fitness entrepreneur for Southcentral Foundation, an innovative health services company in Anchorage.

Many of the players from the ’07 season team still try to keep in touch with each other, but not as much as some of them would like.

Cooper frequently stays in contact with his former teammates and even helps out the coaches with their recruiting efforts.

“I’m still best mates with Kevin White, and also his brother Steven who went to UAA after I left,” Cooper said. “We all live in Sydney right now, I still keep in contact with Chris Bryant, Cam Burney, and talk regularly with Coach Rinner and Weakley and help them when they’re recruiting kids from Australia. [I] also talk regularly with Jane Brown who still works in the athletic department, she was my favorite.”

Bryant and Olsen have busy lives, but still try to keep in touch with their former teammates as much as they can. Both men still live in Anchorage and try their best to make it to basketball games.

June 12, 2017 Ammon Swenson
Elissa Brown, owner of Wild Scoops, holds pints of ice cream as she stands in her new storefront in downtown Anchorage on June 9, 2017. Brown has been experimenting with different local ingredients to produce some of the company's more interesting flavors like Alaska Honeycomb and Snowy Birch. Photo credit: Young Kim

No one was screaming for ice cream downtown on the overcast evening of May 26, but people were eagerly lined up down the block from Wild Scoops’ new ice cream shop. It was the grand opening and despite the less-than-ideal weather, the waiting customers seemed ready to indulge their collective sweet tooth.

The company, which has a penchant for locally sourced ingredients and unique flavors, had a sign out front listing the day’s flavors. Names like: Blueberry Balsamic, Yukon Gold, Turnagain Mudflats, Redoubts Revenge, Alaska Honeycomb and Snowy Birch.

Owner of Wild Scoops, Ellissa Brown walked up and down the line offering samples. For her, opening a shop had been just a “vague, lofty dream.” She’s been experimenting with ice cream flavors for years, but her background isn’t in the culinary arts.

Originally from California, Brown went to went to school on the East Coast for education and environmental studies. She’s traveled all over for experiential teaching opportunities and eventually moved to Alaska with her fiance. She loved the state’s enthusiasm for local products and there seemed to be a void ready to be filled with homegrown ice cream.

“It’s just fun to make a product that brings a smile to people’s faces and also helps instill this sense of state pride and excitement over what we have here,” Brown said.

The company was founded in 2015 and after navigating the “labyrinth” of legal requirements to get the business up and running, Wild Scoops started off small. They rented kitchen space from Mad Myrna’s and sold their ice cream at farmers markets and pop-up events. Eventually they outgrew their setup and opened a test kitchen at the end of last year where they make all their products that aren’t sourced from other local businesses.

“Sourcing things locally was one of our priorities from the start,” Brown said. “And I think we started the business knowing that it was important for us to find as many local ingredients as possible and it’s been nice because it’s guided our growth.”

Brown figures Wild Scoops has partnered with over 50 different small companies to make their ever-evolving flavor offerings. They’ve used local ingredients ranging from birch syrup and rhubarb to cookies and beer.

“It’s really exciting to produce a product that really cultivates a sense of place through its ingredients,” Brown said.

In addition to cultivating a sense of place through flavor, Brown wants to cultivate a sense of community through Wild Scoops — whether that’s interacting with customers at farmers markets or having people stop by the shop. At the test kitchen they have tastings every Thursday so people can stop by and see what new flavors are being developed.

Word of mouth and several thousand social media followers seem to have gone a long way in helping to build and maintain their customer base.

Anessa Feero, a recent high school graduate and friend of some Wild Scoops employees, walked out of the shop on a recent Friday afternoon carrying a Baked Alaska cone. She never made it to any of the farmers markets or pop ups Wild Scoops was a part of before the shop opened, but after seeing a video on Instagram of them making ice cream, she knew she had to come to check it out.

“They have a very, shall I say, fiery social media platform,” Feero said.

Feero appreciates the locally sourced ingredients, and after being introduced to them in ice cream form, said she’d be more likely to check out the products of Wild Scoops’ partners.

“The fact that they went out of their way to find locally made products to use in their own locally made products – it’s nice,” Feero said.

Leah Knight just started her third week working for Wild Scoops. It’s her first job working at an ice cream shop, but she likes it so far. Her first day was the grand opening and said employees were scooping for five straight hours. Despite the potential drudgery of serving ice cream to the endless masses, Knight said she wants to give every customer a good experience.

“We try to be as inclusive and welcoming as possible. I mean, we want to make people happy. We’re giving them ice cream,” Knight said.

Wild Scoops’ new shop is located at 429 E Street and is open from Noon to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

June 12, 2017 Cheyenne Mathews

Jacob Shercliffe, a senior and double major in political science and economics, was accepted as a Truman Scholar earlier this year. Shercliffe is one of 62 recipients of the 2017 Truman Scholarship, which was created in 1975 in honor of President Harry S. Truman. Photo credit: Jay Guzman

Cheyenne Mathews is a member of the UAA Seawolf Debate team.

Jacob Shercliffe’s first job was in high school bagging groceries at Carrs; the summer after that he was a pizza boy at Papa Johns. Now Shercliffe, a double major in economics and political science, is heading into his final year of college as a newly minted, nationally recognized Truman Scholar. On his journey from pizza boy to Truman Scholar was debate.

“The one thing I’ve formed my foundation around as a person is knowing how to talk,” Shercliffe said.

Ask any of his mentors and they will you tell you Shercliffe has a talent for articulating his ideas. Steve Johnson, director of the Seawolf Debate program, recruited Shercliffe straight out of high school for UAA’s team, which Shercliffe has been a member of for the past three years.

“I thought that Jacob had a presence well beyond his years,” Johnson said. “He understood how to grab an audience and direct them where he wanted them to go. I was impressed to see this in a high school senior and knew that he had potential to develop this talent even further. He’s proved me right.”

Another one of his mentors, political science professor James Muller, worked closely with Shercliffe in his Truman Scholar application. In the process of applying for the award, Muller said he familiarized himself with Shercliffe’s character, and he describes Shercliffe as humorous, well-read and talented at public speaking.

“He’s very self critical and modest,” Muller said. “He doesn’t have a kind of false modesty of somebody who is just pretending that he has a lower opinion of himself than he really does, nor does he have a very low opinion of himself that keeps him from trying hard or trying to improve himself. He seems to compare himself to a very high standard of what a human being could be and therefore naturally, at his age or at any age, he falls short of that. He knows that he he has a ways to go.”

While Shercliffe might compare himself to a high standard, he himself has set the bar high for many UAA students. Shercliffe is very involved on campus; he is currently serving on a Title IX committee, he has worked as an assistant for the Green Fee Board, and he was the Public Relations Director at USUAA. Outside all of these jobs, Shercliffe lists the two activities he is most passionate about as competitive debate and Model United Nations. By all accounts Shercliffe is excelling in both activities; he was an octofinalist at the U.S. Universities Debating Championship in Denver this year and he is currently serving as the Alaska Model United Nations Secretary-General. Shercliffe said his desire to be involved on campus boiled down to three big motivators.

“I think somebody needs to do it, and if I can do a good job and I have the time to do it, part of my responsibility as a person is to give back,” Shercliffe said. “The second reason is they open up a lot of opportunities.”

Some of these opportunities include traveling around the world with the debate team and getting to coach middle school students, high school students, and even local candidates on public speaking.

“The last reason is sometimes you just get roped into them, and I never really figured out how to say no until I was a sophomore,” Shercliffe said.

While he thinks he’s better at saying no, Shercliffe is still always willing to help fellow students. In his interview he added that anyone interested in applying for the Truman Scholarship should not be afraid to reach out to him and seek his advice on the application. Muller said this attitude is typical from Shercliffe.

“He’s very smart, he’s already accomplished, he’s shown his ability to be a leader in a variety of ways, both on the debate team and in the initiative and enterprise he’s used in the public service activities that he’s already undertaken,” Muller said. “In his case, though he has a variety of things he’s been busy in…his public service is especially passing on the excitement and the skills he’s developed in debating to younger students through helping with students in high school and even junior high or middle school. And that’s been a pretty serious and longstanding activity on his part.”

Shercliffe has been on the Chancellor’s List or Dean’s List since he enrolled at UAA, but it’s not just his high grade point average that makes him stand out among his peers. Johnson said Shercliffe’s enthusiasm and willingness to work hard make him a role model to other members of the Debate team.

“I’m most proud of Jacob’s willingness to go above and beyond for the benefit of the Seawolf Debate Program and debating in general,” Johnson said. “Whether volunteering his time to coach at an area middle school or arranging additional, optional practice debates, Jacob is a natural leader who backs up his professed passion for debating with the hard work that provides others access to its benefits.”

Shercliffe plans to attend graduate school, that is the purpose of the Truman Scholarship, but he will take some time away from school before he pursues his masters of public affairs, which he hopes to receive from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

“It’s really important, at least for me, to spend some time getting real world experience, and learning about myself, and learning about the world and trying to give back,” Shercliffe said. “One of the things about being 20 is that my whole life has been made up of being a student, and I’m pretty good at being a student now, but I don’t know what it is like to be a person.”

Shercliffe said he is still figuring out exactly what career he wants, but his main goal is to become the bridge between academia and politics so that the nation’s leaders know what the nation’s academics know by using Shercliffe – the middleman who can synthesize that information.

Long before Shercliffe was born, Harry Truman was recorded talking about the kind of person Shercliffe has a reputation for being. Truman said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”

If you would like to recognize Shercliffe for his accomplishments, or if you want advice about the Truman Scholarship, Shercliffe will be on campus for his senior year, and he has a hard time saying no.

June 12, 2017 Mariah Dejesus-Remaklus
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The tram at Alyeska Resort runs nearly all year round, and offers an easier way to get to the top of the mountain. From there, people can hike, mountain bike or enjoy the scenery from one of the resort's many eateries during the summer. Photo credit: Young Kim

Now that it is summer break, many people are looking forward to a well-deserved vacation of some kind to celebrate the end of a school year or simply just to have fun. Visiting abroad can often be one of the more ideal kinds of excursions, but it isn’t always possible.

Regardless of the reason, there are plenty of alternatives in the state of Alaska. The outdoor adventures that Alaska has to offer make great plans for a “staycation,” or a stay at home vacation.

1. Get the bike out. There are over 120 miles of paved trails in Anchorage alone. Many will take you from one end of the city to the other, such as the Tony Knowles Coastal trail. At 11 miles long, this popular path can take you from downtown Anchorage to Kincaid Park while providing views of the water at the edge of the city. For more urban sights through neighborhoods, the Campbell Creek trail connects the lake on UAA’s campus and Dimond Boulevard.

2. For those who may prefer a more leisurely type of pace, taking a walk is always an option. A majority of the trails in Anchorage are multi-use and are open to bikers, walkers, joggers, skateboarders, etc. The choice is up to you — but don’t forget to follow trail rules, which can be found on the Anchorage Municipality’s website.

3. Take a hike. Considering the mountainous terrain of Alaska, it’s hardly a surprise that there are numerous destinations for hiking adventures. Whether you prefer the wild, scenic views from a high mountain or the stretches of woods within the city, there are plenty of places to visit. Flattop Mountain bears an American flag at its peak, coaxing climbers to make the steep 1.5 miles, and Lekisch Loop in Kincaid Park is very hilly.

4. Try zip lining. Alaska Zipline Adventures is located on Douglas Island in Juneau and they offer a variety of tours. Guests can visit the Eaglecrest Ski Area or visit Mendenhall Glacier. In Talkeetna, the Denali Zipline Tours show off many views of the Alaska Range and other features, including valleys and forests.

5. Visit the museum. The Anchorage Museum holds multiple exhibits that showcase the beauty and history of Alaska, and they even have programs that range from workshops to guest lectures. People of all ages can visit the Thomas Planetarium and learn about the solar system that we live in.

Another great option for both state locals and tourists is a visit to the Denali National Park and Preserve. Alaska is home to North America’s highest mountain peak and it serves as a spectacle for residents and out-of-state visitors alike.

Vanessa Jusczak, the director of the Denali Chamber of Commerce, shared many recommendations that would suit all kinds of people. From tour buses to ATV tours, there is something available that caters to the various age groups and interests of all visitors. There are also multiple ways to view Denali, including the drive on the highway and even a plane or helicopter ride.

“Of course, the flyover just brings it to a whole new level… a new appreciation that you can’t get anywhere else,” Jusczak said.

Jusczak encourages people to stop and visit, especially if they have lived in Alaska their entire lives and haven’t experienced the park. While some are often passing through Healy on their way to Fairbanks or Anchorage, they aren’t seeing the real beauty of what the state offers, Jusczak says.

“You know, you’ll have dall sheep that walk right next to a tour bus or you’ll have bears that’ll lay right in the road…” Jusczak said. “So even if you see a bear once or twice a year or you see sheep way up on the side of a mountain… the closeness of the experience that you have in the park itself can’t really be matched anywhere else.”

For Alex Nanez, there is adventure waiting at every corner. The 22-year-old local loves taking spontaneous road trips to places outside of Anchorage, finding new areas of Alaska to explore or simply stopping to get pizza and ice cream.

Though Nanez appreciates random destinations, he does have his favorites to visit.

His top recommendation for someone looking for a weekend trip is camping on the Homer spit. Not only is the view amazing, but also the community, food and other activities add to the experience, he says.

“You get to park your car right behind, like, the fire pit and you put your tent so you’re facing out towards the water,” Nanez said. “In the morning, you just get to see that crazy, cool view of the water and just the sand between you and there.”

Despite his travels to other places in the world outside of Alaska, Nanez has found that the last frontier rarely compares to what he has seen elsewhere. He has no plans of leaving anytime soon and wants to continue discovering the land that has always been his home.

“It’s unlike any place you’ve been to and I’ve been to a lot of places in the U.S. So I’ve seen the crowdedness of L.A… the pollution of Mexico,” Nanez said. “And up here it’s just literally a breath of fresh air.”

A unique thing about Alaska is that its adventures are enjoyable all year round. The Alyeska Resort sits at the bottom of Mount Alyeska, which is a popular destination during the ski season. In the summer, its features can still be experienced such as the tram that travels from the hotel to the top of the mountain, and sea kayaking in Prince William Sound.

Within the city, the summer season also opens doors for more events in the downtown area. Among them is the opportunity to listen to live music every Wednesday afternoon in Peratrovich Park. Admission is free and the event goes until September 1. It’s one of the number of activities occurring this year and the internet is a great place to find more.

And although it is still “home,” a vacation within the city only brings a better opportunity for people to enjoy and appreciate where they live. According to Nanez, the long stretches of wilderness and nature show that it is just the beginning.

“I mean, you can literally explore one side to the other side,” Nanez said, “and it would take multiple lifetimes to get done.”

Whether you relish the outdoors and are up for backpacking across a mountain or prefer to visit the urban festivities in the city, there is something for everyone in Alaska this summer. Being closer to home for a “staycation” means no airfare, rental car fees, or other financial hassles that put stress in a typical vacation.

June 12, 2017 Chance Townsend
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Photo credit: Jian Bautista

UAA’s student government is currently working with University Police to add more security cameras around campus to enhance safety and security for students all around campus after student-expressed safety concerns last fall.

USUAA president Alec Burris has made security cameras one of his top priorities since being elected into office.

“I think right now what we’re trying to focus on is getting complete coverage on campus, because you can say you have security cameras and that’s fine, but if you don’t have complete coverage there’s a point where things can slip through the cracks,” Burris said. “That’s something we want to avoid.”

Burris and UPD have pinpointed the residential campus and West Campus parking lot next to the Professional Studies Building lot as spots to place the new cameras.

“Residential campus is one place UPD and I have looked at for security cameras, because students pay to live there,” Burris said. “We want them to feel safe and not worry about their car getting broken into or stolen.”

Connor Larson, a freshman at North Hall, has had his vehicle broken into twice during the last academic year.

“I don’t understand why there was never cameras in the first place,” Larson said. “I feel like you should be able to feel safe parking your vehicle when you pay as much as you do to live there.”

Lieutenant Michael Beckner believes the new security cameras will combat potential crime on residential campus.

“It’s a good deterrent, and it’s going to help anytime you have a camera,” Beckner said. “If you don’t know who the person is, it’s not going to help, but we can always pick up the description of the car or tag numbers and it helps in a major way.”

One of the biggest challenges regarding cameras is cost.

“I’ve had talks with UPD Chief Brad Munn and Pat Shier the Vice Chancellor of Administrative Affairs, and that’s the one thing we were most stuck on: where do we get the money to pay for these cameras, because they’re not cheap,” Burris said. “Munn told me that an outside contractor gave an estimate of $10,000 per camera but would be cheaper if we bought in house, and Shier said that each camera would cost an estimate of $300 per month to maintain.”

To pay for this, USUAA is looking to most likely dip into their budget, and are collaborating with the UAA administration and UPD to find other alternative solutions.

There is no clear date on when these cameras will be installed in the parking lots, as USUAA and UPD are still try to find the estimate cost of the cameras.

June 12, 2017 Brenda Craig
Photo credit: Adam Dean Phillips

As a kid, seeing a tree with perfect branches made climbing irresistible. This urge to climb stuck with biology major, Gus Barber, who picked up rock climbing three years ago.

After spontaneously going by the rock gym with his father, Barber describes the moment he realized he should start rock climbing as an “epiphanous moment.” At the rock gym, there was a climbing competition called the Frigid Flash, which put Barber in awe and influenced him to start climbing.

“I just watched as people scaled the walls of the gym with an intricate and tenuous grace, the like of which I had never seen, I stayed in the gym for the next three hours,” Barber said. “When I watched the finalists on the wave wall — a sixty foot artificial cave that extended horizontally over the ceiling for twenty-five feet- I saw one of the employees execute move after move with a perfection that made my jaw drop and my eyes go wide, I said then that this is what I want to do, and I did.”

Rock climbing provides Barber with multiple beneficial factors that motivates him to continue with the hobby such as accomplishing personal goals, exploration and friendships.

“For different aspects, I like different things. Sometimes it’s just the pure feeling of moving over rock, sometimes it’s the feeling of success after I have tried a route over and over again, sometimes it’s the beautiful places climbing takes me,” Barber said. “Most of the time though, it’s the people I meet and get to share the great moments with.”

During the winter, along with school, work and skiing, Barber trains for rock climbing three to four days a week for three hours a session. Training with different exercises is an important part of becoming an all around efficient climber.

“I aspire to be a well rounded climber, so my training varies greatly. In the gym, I train bouldering and roped climbing, as well as a lot of climbing specific exercises and general fitness exercises,” Barber said. “When I am at home or working away from Anchorage, I train on a home built crack training machine — which I use to simulate crack climbing outside — as well as a variety of other climbing specific and general fitness exercises.”

Rock climbing has allowed Barber to travel and climb a variety of places. Some of these places include an unclimbed 1500-foot wall in the Talkeetnas, the Red Rocks in Nevada called the Crimson Chrysalis and the most recent climbing El Captain on a route called the Free Rider. Before the spring 2017 semester at UAA ended, Barber has been planning a trip for this summer to travel from Arizona to Alaska in his van. During this five week trip, Barber plans on climbing most of the major destinations in between.

“The trip I am on currently is driving the van from Arizona all the way home to Alaska. I am taking five weeks to climb at most of the major climbing destinations between Arizona and Alaska,” Barber said.

Since rock climbing has done so much for Barber, it is important for him to give back through his job and volunteer work in the rock climbing community.

“Beyond myself, I feel a deep need to give back to the climbing community that helped me into this lifestyle, so one of my jobs at the Alaska rock gym is teaching the lead clinic, I volunteer periodically at climbing festivals around Alaska and I try to climb outside with beginning climbers, with the idea of teaching them safe climbing practices and taking them to the better spots in Alaska,” Barber said. “For me, the ideas of being an ambassador to the sport and teaching those who want to climb are just as important as climbing hard on my own.”

Barber is working on his biology degree with a focus on micro and bio chemistry at UAA and plans to further his education through the WAMMI medical educational program at UAA. However, he hopes to take a year off to climb and travel before pursuing his career.

“Eventually I want to become an ER doctor, I volunteered at the ANMC ER the past winter and found a place I could work with exceptional people,” Barber said. “Beyond that I have a capacity for calm, consequential decision making that fits well with the job.”

Despite the dangers of rock climbing, Barbers mother, Fran Wilson, is supportive of her son’s passion and is looking forward for his return from his current climbing trip.

“I am quite pleased, mostly about his ability to remain alive and safe, and secondarily that he has found his passion and chosen to pursue it so thoroughly while he is young and supple,” Wilson said. “It’s wonderful to see his photos and his ever deepening grin, with many old and new friends. I must say however that I am looking forward to his return to indentured servitude at Halibut Cove, building our cabin on the cliff, don’t want to waste that strength and talent on just fun.”

Barber is currently trekking his way through the states and rock climbing on his way back home, to Alaska. Climbing has allowed Barber to travel through many different places and he is excited about where it might take him in the future.

June 12, 2017 Lauren Cuddihy
Fintan Nakada races down the mountain in the 2015 Mount Marathon. Photo credit: Todd List

Starting out over 100 years ago, the Mouth Marathon Race became an official organized event that challenged racers to climb a mile and a half up the mountain to get to the 3,022 foot summit and then get back down as fast as possible.

It wasn’t until 1985 that women were officially included as a category in the race, the first year that 54 women were able to compete and finish. The juniors category emerged in 1994.

In 2005, as the crowds and participation began to expand for the race, the “staggered start” was initiated for the adult races.

To get a glimpse into the what the actual race is like, seven-time race finisher Fintan Nakada shared his experience about the rigorous preparation it took to compete and prepare, as well as the extreme parts of the race.

“I’ve competed in the race for a long time. I began it starting out way back in sixth grade. and now, every year since then. I basically get an automatic spot in it when I compete every year,” Nakada said.

Despite Nakada getting an automatic spot every year, the majority of racers are put through a lottery process that is done months in advance to be able to compete.

Nakada is an active member of the Anchorage running and hiking community. He competed in cross country and track for the entire duration of his high school career. In addition, he competes in many road and trail races outside of his high school.

Being a former distance member of The Alaska Running Academy, Nakada was well prepared for the rigorous mountain race every summer.

“[The race] takes a lot of preparation, although I ran cross country, did skiing and competed for track, I still spent my early summer training. Mental visualization is an important aspect of the race, but obviously also a lot of weight training and mountain running,” Nakada said.

Nakada grew up being an active hiker during the summer, but he always stepped it up a notch when Mount Marathon was approaching.

In order to train effectively and efficiently, Nakada spent most of his time training on mountains and trails in the Anchorage area such Little O’Malley up to Black Lake, Government Peak, Peak two and three behind Flattop and then, of course, Flattop itself.

When there is time to spare, Nakada would head to Seward and train on the mountain of the race.

“It’s important to know the course really well, you need to run on it several times to actually get a feel for what the race will be like. Also, it’s especially important to train on it when there’s bad conditions — you don’t know what it will be like on actual race day,” he said.

Even after months of training and preparing, Nakada said that as grueling and painful as the whole race is, it’s definitely worth it in the end. The satisfaction of completing, arguably, Alaska’s most difficult mountain race and racing for a personal record from the previous year made it an worthwhile experience.

“My favorite part of the race is near the end, when you start running down the face of the cliff and everyone can see you, it gets loud with cheering and clapping and gives you motivation to run the final stretch,” he said.

Despite having an exhilarating end to the race, the vast majority of it isn’t as easy. Nakada explained that the most difficult part is right after he reaches the top of the mountain, and when he turns around to come back down his legs are often so fatigued from the uphill that it’s a challenge to make it down.

This year, Nakada will not be competing, instead spending his time preparing for the Air Force Academy. However, the traditional Mount Marathon will still be held on Fourth of July in Seward.

June 12, 2017 Ammon Swenson
"He Threw His Medals In The River But They Sunk Alone" by Levi Oyster. Oyster's show will be on display until Wednesday. Photo credit: Levi Oyster

Recent UAA computer science graduate Levi Oyster, wants people to not only take a hard look at the state of America today, but to do something about it. His show “Vibrant Violence,” currently showing at UAA’s Hugh McPeck Gallery, intends to inspire conversations about subjects we would rather avoid.

Oyster’s oil on canvas pieces pop with colors that are at times borderline psychedelic. The subject matter, though, delves into darker territory. The topics range from waterboarding to improvised explosive devices to reactions of the Edward Snowden leaks.

One piece, titled “Johnny Terrorseed: Drones,” was inspired by America’s extensive use of drone strikes and how this method of warfare has become the new normal. Oyster wants to show the idea that the country is fueling a cycle of violence by causing those affected by drone strikes to take up arms against the U.S.

The painting shows a tree comprising what could be skulls or screaming faces in its bark, rising from an acid green cloud. In the tree’s branches hang explosive suicide vests and weapons like AK-47s and grenade launchers.

Oyster served six years in the Alaska Air National Guard and said some of his views about the subjects of his art go against the mainstream opinion in the Armed Forces.

“A lot of these topics are a little hush hush or a little — it’s the dissenting view, so you get a lot of clap back when you try and bring stuff up about this,” Oyster said.

When he was serving in the Guard, Oyster was part of an air crew on a C-130, the workhorse of military aircraft. His team’s job was to get supplies, troops and weapons to where they needed to go. During his six years in the Guard, Oyster was deployed overseas twice, once to Afghanistan and once to Kuwait.

It was during these deployments that Oyster began questioning his role in the violence of America’s military action. He would wonder who would die as a result of the troops or bombs he was helping transport.

“I had joined because I wanted to make a difference and try and help out,” Oyster said. “And as I deployed, I realized I was — I didn’t really feel like I was helping out. Every now and again you’d do something really meaningful, but a lot of the times, you felt like you were adding to the violence.”

Oyster has been drawing since he was a child, but during his time in the military, he started to take his art more seriously. He’s never taken an art class, but taught himself to paint by studying art magazines, books and going to museums.

“[I’d] just stare and stare and pick up their techniques; see where they’re creating shadows, where they’re adding value,” Oyster said.

He started off painting for fun, but as he started to research how the U.S. was treating detainees and the civilian deaths caused by military action, Oyster wanted to examine the “jingoistic revenge culture” that seemed to be present in America.

“To deal with how I was feeling about it, I just decided to use art as my outlet,” Oyster said.

By using exaggerated colors that explode off the canvas, Oyster gives the viewer a sugarcoating which helps the bitter content go down smoothly. He’s influenced by socially conscious musicians and artists like Shepard Fairey, who manage to make questioning the status quo part of the mainstream.

“I wanted these horrible things to be more consumable so that people can actually start thinking about them instead of just blocking them out and turning off the news,” Oyster said.

On June 2, Oyster hosted a First Friday reception for “Vibrant Violence.” Recent UAA graduate Michael Notti has known Oyster for years and was there to show his support.

“I think it’s always important to have a broad spectrum of ideas and views of the world,” Notti said. “And especially if some of the main ideas are fueled by extreme passion — that’s when it’s most important to have a dissenting opinion and that’s what I believe this artwork is in a sense. It goes against the mainstream.”

Oyster doesn’t think the situation is hopeless. He’s seen how people around the country have been taking a more active approach in their local politics and how that can make all the difference.

“Taking ownership at the individual level is, I think, what’s most important and I think that will overcome a lot of these awful things,” Oyster said.

“Vibrant Violence” closes on Wednesday, but Oyster’s work can be found at facebook.com/levioysterart.

June 12, 2017 Sarah Tangog
Photo credit: Chad Copelin

This June, the Big Lake Lion’s Club in Wasilla is celebrating 30 years of the annual Mud Volleyball Tournament.

“It’s a fundraiser,” Bill Haller, project coordinator at Big Lake Lion’s Recreation Center, said. “It has grown immensely since. It started out with one pit and five or six teams. Over the years it just got bigger and bigger… last year, we [had] 57 teams and two pits.”

With the growth, this year they have decided to add a third pit to accommodate the estimated 60 or more teams attending.

“We have sponsors that sponsor the pits and the event,” Haller said.

“This is the first year we’ve done sponsorships,” Jaine Estes, event director, said. “Everything we earn from mud volleyball goes right back to the Big Lake community, so this is the first year we’ve gone after sponsorships.”

Her first year as event director, Estes had played mud volleyball before.

“There’s a lot of camaraderie that come along with it, even if you are playing against another team. It’s fun banter, it’s not like, hard-core competitive,” Estes said.

In addition to regular volleyball rules, mud volleyball is personalized similarly to beach volleyball. The rules include only underhand serves, 10-person teams with eight players on court, two alternates and two members of opposite sex on the court at all times.

“It’s a coed event,” Haller said. “I mean, yes, people want to win it, but it’s not what I would say ‘highly competitive.’ It’s more of a mixed social event.”

Though there is no other celebration to honor mud volleyball’s 30 years, this year will be the first to feature a DJ and a food truck during the duration of the event. Haller is hoping the event will be able to run smoothly and quicker than previous years.

“We’re hoping it gets done a little earlier… there’s been times it didn’t get done until 10:30 at night. So we’re hoping we’ll get done at a reasonable hour,” Haller said.

Check-in for the event starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 17. The games begin at 10 a.m. Admission is $250 for each team, due by Wednesday, June 14. Players must be 18 years old or older to play.

June 12, 2017 Brenda Craig
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Photo credit: Jian Bautista

To commemorate the June 19, 1865 announcement that ended slavery in Texas and emancipated African Americans in the south, UAA will be holding a Juneteenth celebration on June 14 and 15. This event is free for students with a valid UAA ID, $5 for staff and faculty and $8 for general public. During the span of two days, there will be live music, speakers, food, movie showings, art activities and outdoor games.

UAA’s Juneteenth is presented by Student Activities and Commuter Programs, Black Student Union and Student Life and Leadership. Jennifer Spencer, social work major and Student Activities and Commuter Programs team member, has attended Juneteenth events at UAA the last three years and has been a part of the planning process. Spencer emphasizes the importance of educating those eager to learn about various cultures histories to grow as a community.

“The reason UAA should keep putting on events like Juneteenth is because we have many faces and different backgrounds on our campus and it’s important to lean about others historical events,” Spencer said. “In order for people to understand cultural sensitivity we as an education and public institution, have to introduce curtain characteristics of one’s culture so others know how to rightful show respect and allow individuals of that culture to show homage.”

UAA’s Juneteenth is kicking off on June 14 at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Cuddy Quad celebrating over food by Smoke House food truck and live music by Robert Arms Jazz Ensemble. There will be tie-dyeing, face painting and basketball. Later that day, at 7 p.m. a showing of the documentary “I Am Not Your Negro” by James Baldwin will be playing at the Wendy Williamson auditorium. The movie is free for everyone to watch.

“The movie was chosen because it tells an amazing story about who and what the leaders did during the civil rights movement and what obstacles that stood in our way and how we over came that, to be where we are today as a country,” Spencer said.

The most anticipated portion of Juneteenth is taking place on June 15 in the Wendy Williamson auditorium at 7 p.m. with guest speaker Marc Lamont Hill, an African American journalist, scholar, author and activist.

“I saw that Dr. Hill was going to be speaking at UAA and I didn’t want to miss this opportunity. He has offered some sound discussion on race relations in America on several channels, and I always come away impressed,” Nick Tabaczka, double major in mathematics and political science, said. “If for no other reason than he really listens to his interviewer and fellow panelists, and then intersects with the topic at hand, not some preset agenda. I look forward to hearing him speak beyond the 1 to 5 minute answers he is allowed on television.”

For those, celebrating Juneteenth is an important reminder of the past and what the future will hold.

“Juneteenth to me means celebrating a part of our history that often gets overlooked. As an African American woman, it is extremely important to me that our history be celebrated as a reminder of how far we’ve come as a country and yet another reminder of how far we have to achieve moving forward in the world and especially around the U.S.,” Lauren Lampkin, Anchorage resident, said.

Celebrating Juneteenth in a university setting can help expose this history to those who may not know of this important date in the past.

“Furthermore it is absolutely critical that we have these discussions in a university setting because I strongly believe that young people are some of the most passionate minds we have our nation and with that, it’s up to us to learn, apply and teach others so that this lack of knowledge of an event to be proud of is no more,” Lampkin said. “I am thrilled and I hope that the university continues to celebrate other historical events such as this in the future.”

UAA will be celebrating Juneteenth over a span of two days on June 14 and 15. Enjoy a fun, tasty and educational event at UAA to commemorate this important part of history in the U.S.

June 12, 2017 Cheyenne Mathews

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This spring semester art major Hannah Paulston’s typography class was cancelled. When she received an email about her class cancellation, Paulston’s first thought was “crap.”

“It was shorter notice than I’m comfortable with,” Paulston said. “I usually like to get my classes set up right then, immediately, like right when it opens and I get it set up…. That gives me time to figure out other things in between the semesters, so when it came late it was really frustrating. What do I do now… this is in my plan? It was just like, well I’ve got to figure out what classes I can supplement this with because as a graphic design major classes are only given on certain semesters. It’s not like you can take them every semester.”

Paulston is not the only UAA student to receive a notification about a class cancellation, but each college has certain procedures in place for when to cancel a class.

The Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, John Stalvey, said that before cancelling classes, the college calculates how many classes, sections and seats to offer based on historic demand, estimates of how many students have the prerequisites to take a course and the availability of similar elective or required courses.

“Despite our best efforts to predict accurately the demand for a course, sometimes we overestimate the need for seats or sections for a given course and need to cancel a course or section,” Stalvey wrote in an email. “Generally this is about one percent of all the sections and courses offered in a semester.”

As soon as registration opens, the individual colleges begin to monitor the rates at which courses fill. The biggest disparity between the colleges, when it comes to class cancellation, is how high the enrollment needs to be for the class to be economical and fit scheduling concerns.

The College of Business and Public Policy closely monitors courses where the number of students enrolled is lower than 15 in undergraduate courses and less than 8-10 in graduate courses. The Community and Technical College would like an enrollment no less than 12. The College of Education’s 100-200 level course should have no fewer than 12 students, 300-400 level should have no less than 10 and 600 level course should have no less than six.

“We start looking at a graduate level 600 courses for possible cancellation if it appears the enrollment won’t reach five, an upper division course 300 and 400 level class if it won’t reach 10, and a lower division course 100 and 200 level if it won’t reach 20,” Stalvey said. “We try to make the decision to cancel a class soon enough so students have a chance to find a suitable alternative–often it is another section of the same course that has seats open–without cancelling too early and causing students to have to look for an alternative.”

The College of Business and Public Policy will notify students of a cancellation a minimum of two weeks to a month before the start of classes. The Community and Technical College has a policy of cancelling at least one week before class begins. The College of Education will cancel up to two weeks before classes start, but according to Dean Paul Deputy, cancellation for the College of Education is a rare practice.

“We did not have to cancel classes during the fall 2016, spring 2017 semesters,” Deputy wrote in an email. “We did cancel two summer courses this summer due to low enrollment. The students registered for these courses were contacted and we helped them find another course to register for.”

Dean of the University Honors College, John Mouracade, said there are three factors that he considers when cancelling a class.

“The first is whether or not students need this particular section to be offered in order to make progress in the curriculum,” Mouracade wrote in an email. “Second is the need for a critical number of students in order to generate a meaningful learning experience. Some classes just can’t be successful with three to four people, regardless of other factors. Finally, there are budget issues. Classes cost different amounts based on who is teaching them: adjunct, assistant professor or full professor, and so they require a different number of students before they can be self supporting.”

Another factor that contributes to class availability is room assignments, according to Interim Associate Dean of Business and Public Policy, Lynn Koshiyama.

“It is easier in our opinion to cancel a course then try to add it, mainly because once you’ve put in the courses, you’ve locked in pretty much your faculty workload, what they’re teaching, the room assignments, [it] makes it a little more difficult to rearrange that,” Koshiyama said.

If a required course for graduation does get cancelled, Koshiyama said the College of Business and Public Policy can still offer students some alternatives.

“We can’t run a class with one or two students. Therefore the other option would be to cancel the class and request that the faculty member do a directed study with the students,” Koshiyama said. “Or are there other classes that we can allow the student to replace in their degree program?”

Koshiyama estimates that no more than a dozen classes are cancelled in a semester.

Denise Runge, dean of the Community and Technical College, said only a small number of classes are cancelled each semester but that enrolled students are offered assistances in those circumstances.

“To be honest, we only have to cancel a small handful of classes each semester,” Runge wrote in an email. “Also, we practice strategic enrollment management–one of the tenets of this approach is to watch enrollment continuously and make adjustments as we go. So we fairly regularly will have a class fill up early–which then signals us to open a new section of that course to allow more students the chance to take it.”

In a circumstance where a student close to graduating has a required course cancelled, depending on the college there may be alternative courses offered like directed study or substitute courses.

June 12, 2017 Lauren Cuddihy
Photo credit: Skip Hickey

After 33 impressive seasons of coaching, it was announced in May that Paul Stoklos has retired as the Seawolves’ head gymnastics coach. UAA’s Head Athletic Director Keith Hackett made the announcement, which came as a surprise to everyone in the community.

Stoklos started the program in the 80’s and has led it through many changes and success — including the transition into NCAA Division I status in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

Stoklos has always referred to UAA as his “home.”

“When I came to UAA for the job interview in 1984, I knew that this was where I wanted to stay. I saw an amazing opportunity to start a program from scratch and to build it,” Stoklos said.

Stoklos oversaw over 100 gymnasts during his career, including 13 USAG All-Americans from 1985-2005, including national champions Elena Tkacheva, Jessica Simmons and Dominique Ingram.

“[The] most rewarding part of coaching is the see young athletes mature into adults as they purse a great education while training and competing in a sport that we all love,” Stoklos said. “[We guide] them to attain a fantastic education, train them to compete to their greatest potential and providing them with life skills, we send them into the real world where they become contributing members of this community and countless others. It’s this opportunity to make a difference in the lives of these young adults that I will miss most.”

Stoklos and his gymnasts have acquired many qualifications and awards throughout the past 15 years in MPSF.

In his program, 17 of the athletes have qualified for the national NCAA finals, in addition, 82 all-academic awards have been produced on this team, an amount that towers over all the other schools in the MPSF. In addition, Stoklos was also voted the MPSF Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2016.

It hasn’t always been easy, Stoklos mentioned. Dealing with a group of young, college girls sometimes comes with challenges.

“The most challenging part [was always trying to] keep the student athletes from being distracted from all that is going on around them,” Stoklos said.

Regardless of his departure from the team and from the UAA athletic community, Stoklos still hopes for the best and prepared the team for the first season without him.

“Next season, [they] will see an increased squad size to make up for the loses of team members, [which could let] them have a more successful season.” Stoklos said.

UAA athletics will have a fill a large gap that will be clearly seen from the athletic community. Hackett commented on the immense contribution that Stoklos has put into his teams.

“He was strongly committed to ensuring that his student-athletes excelled in their studies first and foremost, and we are grateful for all he did for our institution and community. We wish him all the best,” Hackett said.

It was announced by Hackett that the UAA Athletic Department has already begun a search to replace Stoklos before the commencement of fall 2017.

June 12, 2017 Alec Burris


Summer has arrived. For most, this signals a release from grueling classes and a momentary pause in the endeavor to complete a degree. For others, it is simply a change in scenery as they take on their five and ten week courses during the summer semester. For me, it is a chance to meet with administration as I transition in to my new role as your student body president. The past month has been a blur of meetings and events as I have established contacts, prepared USUAA for the upcoming academic year and begun to deliver on the goals which I promised you during my campaign. While the work is not complete, I am glad to report that meaningful progress has been made in four strategic areas: security cameras, student fees, advocacy, and Title IX.

1. Security cameras – Following a meeting with Vice Chancellor Pat Shier and UPD Chief Brad Munn, costs to add security cameras in certain areas such as the West Parking Lot and the MAC Parking Lot are being assessed. This project should be completed in the near future and I am confident that we can cut down on the amount of car thefts that occur on our campus.

2. Student fees – On Friday, June 16, I will be meeting with the all the directors of the mandatory student fee areas. It is my hope that we not only reduce the number of unnecessary fees, but increase transparency in how those fees are spent.

3. Advocacy – On May 6, I sent out a press release on behalf of USUAA and the UAA student body to the Alaska State Legislature advocating for a University of Alaska budget of $325 million. Actions such as these ensure that we are an active stakeholder in our future.

4. Title IX – Working closely with Bridget Dooley, the UAA Title IX Coordinator, USUAA is dedicated to guaranteeing that students on our campus feel safe always. UAA has implemented new resources such as Standing Together Against Rape in Rasmuson Hall and USUAA will help to ensure that our students know where they can get help and information.

Though the academic year has not yet begun, USUAA is working to represent students on our campus, at the Board of Regents, and at the Alaska State Legislature. While the University of Alaska’s budget situation may be unresolved, our ability to advocate and promote student leadership has not been affected. I believe that students play a key role in shaping their environment and there is no better time than now to prove that.

Alec Burris, Student Body President

Phone: (907) 715-2177

Email: [email protected]

June 12, 2017 Jacob Holley-Kline

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It may be tempting to call “A Dark Song,” the first feature from director Liam Gavin, a supernatural drama instead of horror. It has all the gravitas and character development of the best drama and some of the most subtle scares to come out of any horror movie in years. But to call it a drama is a disservice. “A Dark Song” is horror and has drama, not the other way around. And it’s one of the leanest and most profound horror movies out this year.

Its driving force, at first, is grief. Sophia (Catherine Walker) lost her son three years ago and turns to the occult to speak to him again. She hires the reclusive cultist Joseph Solomon (Steve Oram) to conduct a ritual to allow this, and he reluctantly accepts. The ritual, he says, will last months and drain her in the process. By the end, they will meet their guardian angels and wish for anything. His only rules are that she does what he says and is always honest. Ominously, he says that every lie has a consequence, big or small.

Regardless, Sophia follows neither rule completely and the consequences come quick. Gavin navigates how this changes her relationship with Solomon deftly, making both her and Joseph’s flaws apparent while never overstating them. These are both damaged people looking for God or something like it for some assurance. As they are broken down, their relationship takes on a deeper significance, one of sacrifice and transformation.

Now, I don’t mean to exaggerate. Sophia and Joseph are not religious icons or martyrs. If anything, their passage emphasizes their own spirituality and capacity for forgiveness more than any higher power. Gavin draws a distinct line between religion and spirituality, here. Joseph doesn’t believe in the supernatural so much as he knows it’s real, something Sophia struggles with. In an apt moment, she asks him why he does he what he does: “To know,” he replies.

What’s notable is that Gavin, despite his heady content, prefers to keep it simple. Joseph wants to know, and Sophia wants to see her son again. Neither drifts from their purpose, though the road to them is a twisted one. Walker and Oram’s performances emphasize this steadfastness (or stubbornness). Singling either out, however, is disingenuous because their chemistry makes the characters.

Front to back, “A Dark Song” is an airtight shocker with strong performances and even stronger direction. It’s not just a singular horror movie, but a singular movie. There’s precedent for one-house flicks like this, but none achieve what “A Dark Song” does. This may seem like an overstatement, but no one part of the movie falls short. All of it simply works, from the understated beginning to the audacious ending. It won’t have you singing along, but “A Dark Song” deserves any ears that find it.

June 12, 2017 Max Jungreis

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An Alaskan-raised man has been selected from thousands as a candidate in NASA’s astronaut training program. Robb Kulin, 33, was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. After graduating from Service High School, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Denver before completing a Master’s degree in Materials Science and a Doctorate in Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. At the time of his selection, Kulin was employed as an engineer at SpaceX, where he has worked since 2011. In an interview with KRUA 88.1, Kulin said that although he had never considered becoming an astronaut while growing up, it was the adventurous experience of being raised in Alaska that propelled him towards space once he began considering it. After going through two years of training, Robb will be assigned technical duties in NASA’s Astronaut Office while awaiting a flight assignment that will take him off Earth.


The Supreme Court has decided to hear a case that will determine whether or not police need warrants to track suspect’s locations through their cellphones. Under current rules, they do not. The court agreed to hear the appeal of a man convicted of armed robberies across Ohio and Michigan. The man, Timothy Simon, contends that the cellular location data used to convict him constituted a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizures. As in most cases, the police tracked Simon’s location by requesting data from his cell carrier that tracked which cellphone broadcast his calls. The four big wireless carriers — Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint receive thousands of requests per year for this type of data. The requests are almost always granted. The case has raised questions of how much businesses protect their customer’s information, and whether or not giving information over to a third party means giving up your expectation of personal privacy. The case will be heard during the next session of the Supreme Court, which begins in October.


When British Prime Minister Theresa May called for a snap election eight weeks ago, she intended to increase her Conservative Party’s majority in parliament. Instead, her attempt to consolidate power has backfired spectacularly, leaving the country with no clear majority party and an uncertain future. At the beginning of the campaign, May’s right-leaning Conservative Party enjoyed double-digit leads over the main opposition, the liberal Labour Party. But a poor campaign performance, combined with an apparent U-turn on an unpopular piece of legislation dubbed ‘The Dementia Tax,’ shrunk that lead until the parties were within spitting distance of each other. The Conservatives remain the largest party in Parliament, but lack the majority May had hoped for as she prepares to negotiate with the European Union over the terms of Brexit. Instead of a mandate to bargain as she chooses, she will make the terms of her negotiations palatable to an ideologically diverse group of legislators. Resisting calls for her resignation, May announced she would form a coalition with the tiny Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland in order to maintain a majority.

June 12, 2017 Victoria Petersen
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Photo credit: Victoria Petersen

Foraging season in Alaska begins in full force come springtime. With fiddleheads and elusive morels on everyone’s to-pick list, the abundant spruce tips are an easy and quick springtime snack that can go overlooked.

Look for the bright green shoots that are growing out of the branches. They will pick right off when you grab them. Go for the small ones and avoid picking from the top of young trees, as to avoid stunting the tree’s growth.

Enjoy these spring shoots as a syrup. It can be used on pancakes or even in cocktails. It’s a fresh, light flavor that tastes well in gin.


2 cups of water

2 cups of sugar

2 cups of spruce tips


1. Bring the sugar and the water to a boil in a lidded pot. Stir continually.

2. When water begins to boil, turn off the heat and stir in the spruce tips and lemon juice. Cover the pot and leave to cool.

3. Let the spruce tips steep in the syrup. The longer they steep, the stronger the spruce tip flavor will be. Steeping over night is recommended.

4. Strain the syrup through a fine sieve or cheesecloth and pour in to a sealable bottle. It will keep in the refrigerator for about three months.

May 30, 2017 Cheyenne Mathews

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UAA is home to many students, events and degree programs. To showcase all of these activities are numerous department-run Instagram accounts. From the Alaska Airlines Center to the UAA Bookstore, there are dozens of university-related Instagram accounts that share upcoming events and student life.

  1. uaaphotos – This is the official Instagram account of UAA and is run by Social Media Specialist, Kendra Doshier. Doshier describes the account as the “central hub of what’s going on” at UAA. Students who follow this account can expect re-grams from other useful Instagrams about upcoming events as well as fun pictures of UAA’s mascot, Spirit.

  2. uaa_student_activities – This account is run by Student Activities, and it details how student fees are being used to help students. This account posts before Student Activities sponsored events including the Monday and Tuesday summer barbecues.

  3. uaaconcertboard – This student run account shows how the student fee based organization, Concert Board, uses fees to bring up different comedic and musical acts. Recent posts on this account inform students about events like The Onion’s Scott Dikkers coming to UAA.

  4. hughmcpeckgallery – The Hugh McPeck Gallery is based in the Student Union, and displays student artwork throughout the year. This account, run by Student Life and Leadership, showcases different gallery openings as well as individual art pieces.

  5. uaa_life – Another Instagram run by Student Life and Leadership, UAA Life, posts about USUAA meetings, the bike share program and other student organizations. Annie Route, director of Student Life and Leadership, said she tries to post event reminders while also trying to brighten student’s days.

  6. uaa_scgl – Run by Mercy Rains, student assistant at Student Clubs and Greek Life, uaa_scgl tries to promote student clubs with this account while also giving students an insight to behind the scenes of UAA’s clubs and Greek organizations. Rains also said that some of the goals of the Instagram account are to show what student involvement is like and to show a positive “splash of fun” about clubs. A recent post from uaa_scgl showed cool swag students could grab at the office of SCGL.

  7. uaastudentunion – The Student Union is the physical hub of activity at UAA, and this account, run by Student Life and Leadership, posts about the students and events that take place at the Student Union. When not posting about events, the account features inspirational messages like a recent post that said, “Rise up and attack the day with enthusiasm.”

  8. uaa_seawolves – This account is the official Instagram of UAA athletics. The account regularly posts about awards and championships athletes are competing in, as well as the dates and time of upcoming sporting events.

  9. kruafm – KRUA 88.1 FM The Edge is the student-run radio station at UAA. The student staff at KRUA often post about concerts KRUA is hosting as well as staff picks on new music releases.

  10. tnl_updates – This would not be a legitimate list without the inclusion of the student-run paper, The Northern Light. Posts on this account feature stories written by student staff, while also showcasing different events on campus through a news perspective.

May 30, 2017 Sarah Tangog

Summer brings a slew of activities for Alaskans to enjoy. This summer, six big-ticket performances are coming through to Anchorage.

June 10: The Shins, Moose’s Tooth

The Shins

From Portland, Oregon, this indie band was founded in 1996 and has been going strong since. They have released six albums starting in 2001. Their latest album, “Heartworms,” was released earlier this year.

“The fee is $55 per ticket, the show is a 21-and-over show,” Burt Ward from Moose’s Tooth said. Ward mentioned that though the doors open at 6 p.m., the actual performances do not start until 6:45.

“I don’t know if there’s an opener or not,” Ward said. “There typically is for bigger shows.”

If an opening band is to perform, The Shins won’t play until 8 p.m. An I.D. must be presented upon entrance, and tickets can only be paid via cash.

June 24: Tech N9ne, Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center

Tech N9ne

Aaron Dontez Yates decided to call himself Tech N9ne at the peak of his career. He founded the Strange Music record label in 1999 with Travis O’Guin, though he is more commonly recognized as a rapper. He has released 23 albums since 1999, his latest being “Dominion,” which was released in April.

Tech N9ne will be performing on June 24. The show starts at 8 p.m., and general admission tickets start at $45.

July 15: Bush, Alaska Airlines Center

Bush is bringing their tour promoting the new album “Black and White Rainbows” to Alaska for the first time. The London-based band is one of the most successful rock bands of the 1990s, selling more than 10 million records in the United States.

Tickets are available now, and start at $39 before fees. The mid-July concert starts at 8 p.m.

August 1-2: Luke Bryan, Sullivan Arena

Luke Bryan

This country singer has released six albums since 2007, when he started his career. His most recent album is “Kill The Lights,” released in August of 2015.

Bryan’s performance at the George M. Sullivan Sports Arena will begin at 7:30 p.m. on August 1 and August 2. Tickets are selling anywhere from $28 to $693.

August 4-6: Jewel, Salmonfest

The Kenai Peninsula festival, advertised as “Three days of fish, love and music” is welcoming a variety of local bands, as well as bands from the Lower 48, including headliner and Homer local, Jewel.

The festival is three days, and tickets are available on salmonfestalaska.org, starting at $69.

August 11-12: Zac Brown Band, Alaska Airlines Center

Three-time Grammy award winners Zac Brown Band kicked off their Welcome Home tour on May 28, and will be performing for two nights in Anchorage. With number one hits such as “Chicken Fried” and “Loving You Easy,” the band has topped the charts in both country and rock genres.

The supporting act has yet to be announced, but tickets start at $69 before fees and are available now.

September 25: Miranda Lambert, Sullivan Arena

Miranda Lambert

Country singer Miranda Lambert has released seven albums since 2001. Her newest album, “The Weight of These Wings,” was released last year. She’s been touring since.

“In Miranda Lambert’s case, she is specifically on the Highway Vagabond Tour,” Tanya Pont, director of marketing at the Sullivan Arena, said.

Lambert is holding one performance, starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are selling anywhere from $49.50-$300. It is an all-ages concert, though persons under 21 must have an adult or guardian to sit in the wet section of the arena.

May 30, 2017 Mariah Dejesus-Remaklus
After having graduated in May, Sierra Afoa plans to take advantage of her newfound freedom to explore Alaska and spend more time outdoors. Photo credit: Young Kim

One of the most common questions anyone will hear before graduating is: “What are you going to do now?” For some graduates, there isn’t an answer, but finding work in their field doesn’t have to be the only goal in their future.

Dustin Mendoza, a UAA graduate with a double major in electrical engineering and computer systems engineering, considers himself one of the lucky students that found a job before graduating.

After having applied to multiple places since November of last year, Mendoza is happy to say that he will begin working for technology giant Intel this summer as a technical support engineer.

“Out of all of them, this one was the one that was most in line with what I wanted to do because one of my long-term goals is to start my own company doing robotic solutions,” Mendoza said.

Many students are anxious about their plans for after college graduation, and not all of them know exactly what they want to do. The pressure to find a decent job or even pursue more education can be overwhelming, but it hasn’t stopped Mendoza from chasing after his ambitions.

Part of his plans for the future includes eventually going back to school for a master’s degree or doctorate in robotics and mechatronics, a scientific field that combines electrical and mechanical engineering as well as programming. Until then, he has been enjoying the newfound freedom that comes with graduation and a new, steady job.

Along with taking a trip to California, Mendoza has been able to invest more time into anime, robotics and video games. He says that while others may enjoy outdoor activities as a hobby, he prefers programming his own video games.

While a new job and no longer having class can be exciting, there are other aspects of being graduated that are not as appealing to Mendoza.

“I feel like any person who’s literally starting their life… I’m not prepared, I have no idea what’s going on,” Mendoza said. “Nobody taught me any of these things. I’m learning about the 401k plan and, you know, like life insurance, health insurance… It’s like, you know, you get prepared for your job, but you’re not prepared for life itself.”

Jennifer Merly shares similar concerns after having graduated this spring. Although she does not yet have a job lined up, her time has still been taken up with what she refers to as “getting life together.”

“It’s just been kind of a catch-up on bills and house stuff and social life,” Merly said.

Now that she has earned her bachelor’s degree in justice with a minor in communications, Merly finds it hard to believe that her college years are over. She says that after nearly 19 years of school — from kindergarten to college — her feelings range from excitement to anxiety.

“I don’t know, it’s mixed feelings… I can just do whatever I want pretty much. But it’s also terrifying that you’ve got to figure out what you want to do,” Merly said.

Her position with her church as a temporary youth pastor’s assistant ends in less than a month, but Merly has plans to focus on enjoying her summer. They include taking a road trip through the states to visit family and possibly volunteering at camps.

As far as education, Merly hopes to eventually earn a master’s degree in justice or even attend law school. Her main goal revolves around helping youth, and she sees the McLaughlin Youth Center as a potential career choice.

“I like working with kids and teenagers. I’ve always volunteered in some aspect. So I would love to work with children or youth in the justice field… whether it’s in the court systems, whether it’s in the correctional facilities,” Merly said.

Although many graduates may feel overwhelmed and that they need to start their lives sooner than later, she is accepting the stress as a good thing. Merly is the first person in her immediate family to graduate — let alone attend — college and now she says that she is being expected to pursue more education or find a good job.

“The pressure is definitely there and I think it’ll always be there, especially from family… But I think some pressure is good ‘cause I think it kind of keeps you grounded, kind of keeps you focused,” Merly said.

Similar to Merly, Sierra Afoa has taken interest in helping out the youth and working at McLaughlin. With a bachelor’s degree in social work and a minor in justice, she says that the community gave so much to her and she would want to return the favor. Afoa has spent her time working with the Special Olympics and doing an internship with the youth center. She also played on the UAA women’s basketball team during all four years of college.

Before trying to find a full-time job and consider continuing school, Afoa wants to take advantage of the free time she has now during the summer. Years of playing basketball while going to school have taken away being able to hang out with friends and family. Now she has the opportunity and appreciates it.

“I haven’t gotten a chance to do that in quite some time. Basketball and school have always come first, especially the last four years,” Afoa said. “Even during my summers I was training for basketball or had to work part-time jobs to pay for school.”

So far, her family has taken a trip to the East Coast to visit her twin brother, who has also graduated. Unlike him, someone who would like to travel, Afoa says that she would much rather stay in Alaska because she loves it here. If there are any trips that she will be taking this year, they will be to places like Seward or Homer.

Afoa also sees herself possibly coaching basketball and volunteering, but has no desire to pursue the sport in terms of playing. Athletics run in the family since her parents and older siblings played sports, but she says that they have been patient when it comes to her decision against continuing.

“My family is super accepting and like, my brother only played a year and then he was done with athletics,” Afoa said. “My parents 100 percent supported him in that.”

It is important to find people that can be a support system, she says. Even if it isn’t family, there are others that will be there for you in whatever you choose to do.

“Kind of like, following what you want to do and then finding people that support that… I’d definitely say ‘do you,’” Afoa said.

Despite the hassles of being newly graduated, Mendoza and Merly also have some insight and advice for those who will soon be in their shoes.

“Figure out what you want,” Mendoza said. “It doesn’t even have to be like, your life passions… Step two: make a plan, and step three: do something every single day towards that.”

For Merly, she wants to remind others that it’s possible to be free of stress.

“Whatever is going to come is going to come. I’m not stressed out as I was during graduation season,” Merly said. “And if you get a job and love it, great. If not, you keep trying and, you know, you just live life.”

May 30, 2017 Lauren Cuddihy

After the commencement of spring semester 2017, 24 student athletes walked across the stage with their degrees, ultimately leaving behind their teams and college athletics for good.

Since the women’s basketball team lost three of their standout players, they are slowly building their roster back up. With the help of three new recruits, the total accumulation is five so far.

Tennae Volivia, a forward from East Anchorage High School, will be joining the Seawolves for collegiate basketball. Photo credit: UAA Athletics

The first of the three new recruits is an Anchorage local, Tennae Voliva. From East High School, Voliva boasted the accomplishments of making Second-Team All-State twice in her high school career, as well as making First Team All-Cook Inlet Conference honoree in her final season.

Head coach Ryan McCarthy was excited about the addition of Voliva.

“We’ve been able to recruit some of the best student-athletes in the state of Alaska,” McCarthy said.

In addition, the 6-foot forward made the varsity basketball team every single year of high school, becoming a career 1,000-point scorer.

Victoria Langi defends against an opponent during a game. Langi played two years of collegiate basketball at Skyline College, and is joining the Seawolves along with her younger sister, Sala. Photo credit: Will Nacouzi

To add to the most recent recruits is Victoria Langi, a standout guard originally from Pacifica, California. However, Langi is transferring in as a junior, after playing two years of college basketball at Skyline College and being an All-North Coast Conference performer.

Langi produced impressive stats during her previous season, averaging 15.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists from her team, a large improvement from her freshman year of 6.9 points per game. Her performances proved to be good enough to rank her in the top 20 of the North Coast statistics in the majority of categories.

McCarthy is thrilled to have Victoria join the team considering he already signed Victoria’s younger sister, Sala Langi, who is coming in as a freshman in the positions of guard and forward. In addition, McCarthy expects Langi to be a huge assest to scoring points.

“She was one of the top shooters in the state of California’s JC system,” McCarthy said.

The addition of the Langi sisters and Voliva makes the total of new Seawolves on women’s basketball five players.

As an all-arounder at the Virginia L10 State Championships, Nelson secured third, with a score of 9.725 on bars and 9.525 on beam. Photo credit: Whitney Riney

Despite his recently announced retirement, head gymnastics coach Paul Stoklos was fortunate to sign an all-around standout gymnast from Newport News, Virginia.

This all-arounder, Hope Nelson, has been a level 10 competitor for four years. Nelson has many impressive accomplishments, including qualifying for World Class Gymnastics three separate times.

In addition, at the Virginia L10 State Championships, Nelson won bars with a score of 9.725, placed second on beam with 9.525 and secured a third place finish in the all-around.

Stoklos expects Nelson to make excellent improvements and have to potential to be an all-arounder on the team lineup for the future seasons.

Nelson is the first recruit for the team that has been announced, but more additions are expected.

Jorge Sanchez, incoming junior cross-country runner, placed fifth in the Coast Conference Championships during his freshman year at Hartnell College. Photo credit: Hartnell College Athletics

In cross-country, an incoming junior transfer from Salinas, California is making his debut at UAA in the fall. Jorge Sanchez started his collegiate running career at Hartnell College, making impressive achievements during his time there.

Sanchez is taking a leap of faith coming to Alaska; his recruitment trip in the spring was his first time ever even leaving California.

“Within that period of time I was able to connect with [head coach Michael Friess] and assistant coach TJ [Garlatz] and I realized why they have one of the top cross country programs in the country at the Division II level — they are passionate about the sport and they genuinely want you to succeed, not only in running, but in school,” Sanchez said.

During his freshman year, Sanchez placed fifth in the Coast Conference Championships. At the regional championship he placed 12th overall, earning him all-region honors.

For his sophomore year, Sanchez improved significantly, taking second at Coast Conference Championships and then going on to take the overall individual win at the NorCal Cross Country Championships with a 4-mile time of 21 minutes and 25 seconds, only missing his personal best by 19 seconds.

These four additions to the UAA Athletic community are far from the final ones. Throughout the remainder of the spring and summer, coaches will continue to recruit and announce new members to their teams.

May 30, 2017 Lauren Cuddihy

Alaskan summers are the best time to be outside and take advantage of the short span of warm weather. Road races and triathlons are some of the sporting events that Anchorage residents get to enjoy over the next three months; The Gold Nugget triathlon being the first of many.

The Gold Nugget is a unique triathlon that specifically targets young girls and women to get out and stay active. The goal of this race is more than just focusing on a one day event; The Gold Nugget Triathlon Board of Directors wants to promote year-round healthy lifestyles and relationships.

Kristyn Turney, who competed in The Gold Nugget as her first ever triathlon, appreciated that the triathlon is all-female.

Traditionally, including the 2017 Gold Nugget, the triathlon features a 500 yard swim, followed by a 12 mile bike and finished off with a 4.1 mile run. This year the race was kept around Bartlett High School, with the swim in the school’s pool, with the bike and run taking place in adjoining areas.

“They were able to section off the pool so you could see the elite/competitive athletes on one side and the newbies [and] more chill ladies like me on the other. The bike and the run were really pretty, the majority of the time the mountains were out of the clouds,” Turney said.

Alexis Williams, a UAA student, also participated in the triathlon. It is the only triathlon that she has ever competed in, but she has done it four different times.

Williams also enjoyed the course of the 2017 triathlon, although she said the pool could get crowded and the bike and running trails could get a bit confusing, the whole event was well worth it.

In addition, the triathlon had a variety of different entry types and result categories, including overall winners by age group, most improved, school teams, tri-generation, mother and daughter team, business team and open team.

The individual results ranked everyone by age group, with a total of 1,449 entries, the youngest competitor was just 10 years old and the oldest being over 80 years old.

In her age group of F25-29, and overall for the entire triathlon, Kinsey Laine of Fairbanks took the title with a time of 1 hour, 4 minutes and 23 seconds. This beats her previous win and record set in 2016 by just 19 seconds.

Lane swept the race with an swim pace of 1:24 min per mile, an average bike pace of 23.39 mph, and a mile pace of 6:18. She beat the second place winner by nearly five minutes.

Per age group, the following people took the individual titles, Alyssa Hargis (F10-14, 1:16.24), Ellie Mitchell (F15-19, 1:13.11), Emma Tarbath (F20-24, 1:12.06), Megan Cheif (F30-34, 1:10.47), Amber Stull (F35-39, 1:09.04), Sara Miller (F40-44, 1:12.32), Danelle Winn (F45-49, 1:11.47), Dianne Prince (F50-54, 1:21.09), Natasha Bergt (F55-59, 1:15.23), Melinda GreigWalker (F60-64, 1:20.33), Ellyn Brown (F65-69, 1:32.38), Rita Miller (F70-74, 1:54.09), Diane Mohwinkel (F75-79, 1:48.40) and Millie Spezialy (F80+, 2:14.42).

In the second results category for most improved, returning competitors had their previous finish time compared to their current finish time. With an impressive 35.28 percent change, Jenni Marcell, a Nome local, improved her time by almost an hour.

In 2016, Marcell finished with a time of 2 hours and 21 minutes, this year she finished with a time of 1 hour and 31 minutes.

For the third category, two teams were entered in for the school team results. Romig Middle School (Hargis, Donley, Lapkass, Dorris, Smith) had five athletes, as well as Southside Triathletes (Meeds, Hellmann, Armbrust, Reynolds, McLeod). By 50 minutes, the combined time of 6:47.42 for Romig beat Southside’s total time of 7:37.15.

The tri-generation category is unique to this race, including a mother, daughter and grandmother. For 2017, seven different entry teams qualified for this category, two teams even containing the same mother and grandmother, but two separate daughters.

The winning tri-generation cumulative time of 4 hours, 46 minutes is held by Cassie Smith (mother, 1:25), Payton Smith (daughter, 1:28) and Susan Bradley (grandmother, 1:52).

Similar to the tri-generation teams is the mother and daughter teams, that was much more popular, with 162 entries. The top time of 2 hours, 32 minutes was won by the duo of KC Kent (daughter, 1:12.15) and Lynn Kent (mother, 1:20.30).

The second to last category was the business teams. Only two teams entered into this category, one being ConocoPhillips (Sind, Simek, Whitworth, Bremont, Bottrell) and the other being Team SCF (Cutting, Chapman, Cummings, Tansey, Taylor).

ConocoPhillips took the win with a cumulative time of 7 hours, 36 minutes, with an average time of 1 hour, 31 minutes. While Team SCF had an average time of 1 hour, 47 minutes which put their cumulative time behind by nearly an hour and a half.

The final category was that of the open teams, which included 36 different entries. The winning team named themselves the “Girdwood Girls Gone Tri.” With an average time of 1 hour, 26 minutes, the Girdwood girls took the overall title by just twelve minutes.

Overall, the whole event has a beneficial aim for women and young girls.

“I loved that it’s an all woman’s race. There is such an awesome history behind the race. I think it’s the atmosphere and camaraderie that has made it that way. Every person I was around was super supportive and encouraging the whole way through the race,” Turney said.

To view more information about the event or to view the results of the 2017 race, visit their website at www.goldnuggettriathlon.com or the Facebook page Gold Nugget Triathlon.

May 30, 2017 Cheyenne Mathews
Available to anyone who is currently paying the $3 Green Fee and provides their own helmet, the bike share program presents an opportunity for students to be more mobile on UAA's campus. Photo credit: Young Kim

The Information Desk in the Student Union commenced the Green Fee sponsored annual bike share program on May 22. The bike share is open to any student from spring or summer 2017 who has paid the $3 Green Fee. Bikes are free for students to rent all summer in one month intervals. Student Boards Coordinator and Media Adviser, Zac Clark, helps administer the program, and he said the bikes help students enjoy campus in the summer.

“I would like to think that one of the sort of hidden benefits of the program, and I wasn’t around during it’s inception, but the campus is so beautiful in the summer,” Clark said. “Any way for the students to go out and experience it, not from their car or not from a busy street, is a way for student to feel more connected to campus.”

The bikes are single gear, cruiser bikes, and in past years Clark said around 25 bikes were rented throughout the summer. To rent the bike, students have to bring a helmet to the information desk, and in exchange students will receive a key to unlock the yellow bikes.

“Any student who wants to rent a bike needs to bring their Wolfcard or have their I.D. number, they physically need to have their own helmet. They check to make sure you are paying the fee,” Clark said.

Clark said that the bike share also helps sustainability efforts on campus by replacing cars with bikes. Another benefit of the bike share is to help students exercise.

“Exercise of course is always good, and on these fixed gear bikes every time you go up a hill you are going to get your exercise for it just because you can’t shift out,” Clark said.

Devan Hawkins, social work major, lives on campus and was one of the first students to sign the paperwork to rent her bike. Hawkins said having a bike helps her get around campus, especially since she doesn’t have a car of her own.

“It’s nice to have available to students because walking can get kind of tiring and the quickness of everything,” Hawkins said. “It just makes more sense for me to have a bike that I can keep at my dorm and just ride to classes and stuff.”

Joshua O’Leary, accounting major, does not plan to participate in the bike share, but he appreciates this type of program on campus.

“I have my own bicycle that I ride in the summer, but that’s a good idea for people who don’t,” O’Leary said. He also believes the bike share will be good at keeping “traffic down around UAA, it keeps people outside.”

The Student Union Information Desk is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is closed on the weekends.

May 30, 2017 Sarah Tangog

Spring semester of 2017 brought new faces to stand as senators within the UAA community. As a senator, these students play an integral role within the USUAA government.

“I am the summer speaker, so I run the meetings during the summer assembly. And then I’m just a senator, so I represent the student body at large when we make decisions,” Alex Jorgensen, political science major, said.

Jorgensen joins two other political science majors, Morgan Hartley and Caleb Berry, in trying to make a difference in the student experience at UAA. Jorgensen, Hartley and Berry all have different roles aside the common goal of representing the student body.

“Each senator is required to serve on two committees. The two committees I serve on are the Legislative Affairs Committee and the Activities Committee,” Berry said. “We plan homecoming, we participate in the campus kick-off.”

Most senators also plan to do a senator project.

“This is sort of an unofficial way to categorize a particular senator’s pet project which can range from the revamping of parking services to a new campus activity,” Hartley said.

Each senator also has a different goal in regard to bettering the campus. As a peer health educator in the Student Health Counseling Center, Jorgensen believes that bystander awareness programs should be more widespread throughout the community.

“One of my main goals is to use my senator position to make the campus safer as it relates to sexual assault and violence,” Jorgensen said.

Berry hopes to use his position as a senator and Greek life member to pursue his project.

“I want to do my best to make sure we expand Greek Life on campus,” Berry said. “I’ve got several ideas to improve life on campus, increase the revenue of fraternities and sororities… I have a lot of great ideas that will help.”

Hartley simply hopes to represent all students at UAA in his actions.

“My goal… [is to] adequately represent all students of UAA in every legislative action I take, and do my best to ensure that administrative decisions are made using the same criteria,” Hartley said.

On top of their duties, the senators stress the importance of hearing from the voices of fellow students.

“We love hearing from people, and we typically don’t. They don’t know we’re a thing. Or, that we’re just people that sit in a semi-cool office behind some glass. We want to connect,” Jorgensen said.

USUAA members reside in an upstairs office at the Student Union, allowing anyone to walk in and talk to their senators.

“The student government room is a public place and that any time the door is open everyone is welcome to come in and say ‘hi’ or voice a concern,” Hartley said.

Each senator is different and has different goals, but in the end, they are one voice that represents thousands.

May 30, 2017 Victoria Petersen

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Spring is here and that means fiddleheads are ripe. There’s a very short window of time where the fiddleheads are ripe to pick. They are short, furled up and have a thin, brown casing on them. Pick from the bottom and gather up a few, and you have yourself a fancy foraged side dish, best served alongside pasta or even on top of pizza.


1. Clean the brown casing off the plant. You can do this with your hands under the faucet just fine.

2. Boil the ferns in water and salt for about fifteen minutes.

3. Place the ferns in a frying pan of hot oil, garlic and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Fry them up for roughly five minutes and they are ready to be served.

The fiddleheads are no longer good to eat after they have begun to unfurl. Reference online or text resources for foraging to make sure the fiddleheads you’re finding are good to be picked.

May 30, 2017 Cheyenne Mathews

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Student enrollment at UAA has decreased 13 percent since its peak in 2011, according to Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Services, Lora Volden. Student tuition accounts for 33 percent of unrestricted revenue to the University and 25 percent of the overall budget according to Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Bruce Schultz.

“A dip in enrollment is impactful,” Schultz said. “From my perspective, the mission of this institution is to educate the citizens of Alaska, and when we see a decline in enrollment that means that we are missing on the opportunity to fully fulfill our mission… From a fiscal perspective it does absolutely impact the cost of education.”

The University of Alaska Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Request states, under a section on increasing University revenues, that the University is implementing ‘aggressive enrollment, retention and graduation strategies,’ as well as using a 10 year framework that raises UA tuition and fees an average of 4 percent annually.

As Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Schultz is overseeing efforts to increase enrollment and retention, and he said multiple new initiatives are being launched to increase enrollment from different markets.

“We have two new initiatives that are launching next year. One is the Student Success Collaborative. This is a national student success program,” Schultz said.

Along with the Collaborative, Schultz said another new initiative is working to bolster academic advising.

“The number one factor for whether a student persists at an institution is the relationship the student has with their academic adviser. So we’ve been putting a significant amount of resources into our academic advising.”

At Enrollment Services, Volden said one of her goals is to streamline and simplify the admissions process.

“The biggest focus for our office in the next 18 months is really focusing on recruitment and admissions,” Volden said. “We have a lot of things we need to be doing with recruitment and a lot of things we need to be doing with admissions.”

For the fall of fiscal year 2012, after the add-drop period had closed, 16,205 students were enrolled in classes. For the fall of fiscal year of 2017, after the add-drop, 14,308 students were enrolled in classes. Schultz says falling enrollment is caused by high school graduation rates, how the economy is doing, the Alaskan population and the median Alaska family income.

“As the recession happened nationally, enrollment boomed, because as people lost jobs they went back to school, so it will be interesting to see what happens now in Alaska with the recession here if people will actually then enroll in Alaska or what that will mean,” Volden said.

Student Affairs’ budget overall has decreased from fiscal year 2016 to 2017, but funds have been reallocated specifically to increase enrollment efforts.

“We were fortunate that this past year we received additional reallocation funds specifically for enrollment management,” Schultz said. “University Advancement, who takes care of our new student recruitment marketing, received some additional funding, but then we also received some additional funds to do the enrollment and admission recruitment analytics. We received funding from the President of the University system to hire a community outreach coordinator. That was a new initiative this year.”

Marnie Kaler is interim director at New Student Recruitment, and she said new technology and a focus on advertising to metropolitan areas in the Lower 48 are ways Recruitment is trying to increase enrollment.

“There is a lot of pressure from the University right now to make sure we have a sustainable student body, and we are starting to shape that, but typically recruitment is a two year process,” Kaler said. “We have partnered with Ruffalo Noel Levitz, and it’s a well known well established leader in enrollment management. They are doing a couple of things for us; they are looking at our publications to make sure that we are hitting the marks on national standards.”

New Student Recruitment is hosting its first ever summer preview day for juniors outside of Alaska in June. The fall preview day had record attendance with 900 students at the event, and Kaler said new technology is helping recruitment track potential students. On top of these initiatives, Kaler said Recruitment is purchasing names of students who took the SAT and ACT.

With all of these initiatives together, Schultz said the University is projecting higher enrollment for the future.

“We have projected the enrollment for UAA out to 2020, and it includes enrollment growth based on some strategies we are employing to increase the retention rate, the persistence rate, recruitment and we believe there are some untapped markets in Alaska,” Schultz said. “One of those markets is looking at the 115,000 Alaskan citizens that have some college and no degree. That is an audience were we can invite them into the institution.”

The retention rate for first year fall students who re-enroll their second fall was 66.15 percent for fiscal year 2016, according to Student Affairs Key Performance Indicators. This is a small drop from fiscal year 2015, which had a retention rate of 68.64 percent for full-time, first year students.

May 30, 2017 Jacob Holley-Kline

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Just because something is singular doesn’t mean it’s good. “Yakuza Apocalypse” is a perfect example of this truism. Truly, there’s nothing like it out right now, in form or content, and thank God there isn’t. It’s an often exhausting exercise in cartoonish absurdity. At the same time, bless Takashi Miike, the prolific director of “Audition” and “Zebraman,” for letting loose like he does with “Apocalypse.” Sure, it’s overlong and lax in structure, but it’s more good than bad.

This is thanks to Miike’s considerable chops. Averaging about three movies a year since 1991, he’s cultivated a style that can turn the stupidest script to something enjoyable. The script in question starts out strong, but gets weaker as it goes. It opens to Kamiura (Lily Franky), a yakuza vampire mob boss, slaughtering a rival gang. This spectacle brings two vampire hunters, Killer Priest (Ryushin Tei) and Kyoken (Yayan Ruhian), to town, who make quick work of the seemingly immortal killer. Before he dies, he sires his right-hand man Kageyama (Hayato Ichihara), who goes so mad with power that he turns the whole village into vampires.

Thought it’s the crux of the movie, vampires are a smaller portion of it. A diverse of mythical Japense creatures and a man in a frog suit fill up the rest. Their function in the story, however, is tenuous. There are a lot of characters to consider here, and each just shows up with no real importance. The most aggregious case of this is Aratetsu (Kiyohiko Shibukawa), a bumbling yakuza thug. It’s clear from his introduction that he’s generally perplexed and ineffectual. By the end, however, he ends up taking out someone far above his pedigree. It’s inexplicable and feels like the biggest cop-out of the movie.

Strangely, it’s when “Yakuza Apocalypse” is not trying to be an action movie that it succeeds. It’s a disparate blend of comedy, absurdism, horror, and cartoon that never really gels. Yet, it devotes the most time to its weakest aspect: fight scenes. They’re not bad. They’re good. But in comparison to the ridiculousness of the rest of the movie, they feel standard, even boring. The highlight of the movie is seeing how insane it gets.

That’s both good and bad. It’s good because it’s an unpredictable experience. It’s bad because you can only have that experience once. “Yakuza Apocalypse” is a one-and-done movie that, speaking from experience, only gets worse on rewatches, because its biggest flaws are even more glaring. The weakest characters survive without explanation and the editing plays loose with any kind of resolution. To be fair, some things in the movie can’t be resolved. But some things can, and they rarely are. Before you consider watching, ask yourself this: am I willing to wade through crap just to be surprised? For me, it’s only worth it once.

May 4, 2017 Lauren Cuddihy


At the end of the school year, the Athletic Department hosts an end of year banquet for all of UAA’s intercollegiate sports teams. At this event, held on April 28 was the announcement of the 33rd winner of the Bill MacKay Athlete of the Year, Morgan Hooe.

Hooe was nominated for her impressive All-American honors and her role as team captain for the team that made it to the NCAA Div. II National Title Match. Hooe was the 2016 GNAC player of the year, for the finish of her four years as a leader and setter for the Seawolves.

For the current year, 13 athletes were nominated for the prestigious title, including one athlete from each gender for each sport.

The first nomination was presented to the gymnastics team, naming Kendra Daniels to the list for her top performances on the team in the 2017 season. In balance beam, she set a UAA record at 9.9, and also competed in floor and vault. Daniels was the first Seawolf to get four or more beam scores of higher than 9.825 in a season.

The next nominations were for cross-country running, for the women’s side was Caroline Kugart and Edwin Kangogo for the men’s side.

Kugart performed exceptionally in the 2016 season by finishing third at the NCAA Championships in her individual race. The Eldoret, Kenya local was also the NCAA West Region runner-up and GNAC individual title winner.

Kangogo, also from Eldoret is a two time All-American. He boasts an impressive individual title at the GNAC Championships as well as a fourth place finish at the NCAA West Region Championships.

For skiing, Tony Nacuik made the men’s nomination and Charley Field for the women’s.

Nacuik is part of the alpine skiing team, originally from Calgary, Alberta. In the 2016-17 season he finished as the Seawolves’ highest scorer and top finisher at the national championships. Nacuik placed 20th in the slalom and the giant slalom.

Field is also on the alpine team and originally from Pemberton, B.C. Field earned the title of Second Team All-RMISA honors. She also finished runner-up in the women’s giant slalom at the RMISA championships. Field earned four top-10 results during her season.

The men’s and women’s basketball nominations went to Suki Wiggs and Kiki Robertson, respectively.

Wiggs proved to be the highest scorer in GNAC for the second year in a row, averaging 24.4 points per game, also the fifth highest in all of Div. II. In addition, Wiggs earned First Team All-West Region honors, First Team All-GNAC honors and a spot in the top-25 of the Bevo Francis Award.

Robertson, originally from Hawaii, ended her senior year with an impressive career of 700 assists, 382 steals and 116 total wins. She finished off her career ranked with her team as No. 2 in the nation while also being the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year.

For hockey, Matt Anholt, a junior, was nominated for the award. Anholt, a Saskatchewan local, contributed 22 points and 17 assists for the Seawolves this year. Anholt was also a team captain.

The final nominations were for both track and field seasons, indoor and outdoor.

Jamie Ashcroft and Dominik Notz made the list for indoor track and field, while Joyce Chelimo and Cody Thomas were nominated for outdoor track and field.

Ashcroft, a senior for Shawnigan Lake, B.C was nominated due to her 2017 performances in indoor track and field, including a seventh place finish in both the 200m and 4x400m relay at the NCAA Indoor Championships. In addition, Ashcroft won her fourth straight GNAC title in both the 60m and 200m.

Notz was named for his exemplary performances in his distance events. He earned his third and fourth indoor All-American honors and also placed fifth in the 5k and 7th in the 3K at Indoor Nationals. Notz also holds the UAA and GNAC records for the 3K.

Chelimo, a Kapsowar, Kenya local, was named due to her previous 2016 outdoor performances. She was named to the second team All-American in the 5K as well as earning a GNAC title in the 10K. Chelimo also holds the UAA record in the 5K and 10K; her 10K time is also a GNAC record and the fifth fastest ever in Div. II.

The final nomination before the winner, Thomas, a national Decathlete champion — and the first ever Seawolf to do so — was nominated for his 2016 outdoor performances. The New Zealand local won the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the decathlete, also breaking the GNAC record in the event. Thomas earned the USTFCCCA’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year award for the 2016 outdoor season.

Morgan Hooe goes for the set in a home game at the Alaska Airlines Center. Hooe made All-American honors in 2016, and also led her team to the NCAA Division II finals. Photo credit: Marc Lester

Last, but exceptionally not least, is Morgan Hooe, the official nomination for volleyball and the 2016 Athlete of the Year.

May 4, 2017 Brenda Craig
Kally Greene-Gudmundson, left, strikes a pose at her bodybuilding competition in October 2016. Greene-Gudmundson placed first in her class of 11 and second overall in three classes. Photo credit: Kally Greene-Gudmundson

After four years, Kally Greene-Gudmundson, double major in marketing and business management, will be graduating from UAA this spring. Throughout high school, Greene-Gudmundson was active in sports and once she started college, she had to find a new outlet for fitness. Greene-Gudmundson started going to the gym regularly, grew interested in bodybuilding and eventually began training for competitions.

“At first, it was just something to keep me in shape and occupied until I started meeting people who competed,” Greene-Gudmundson said. “After watching them compete, it really enticed me and made me feel like it was something I could do.”

Greene has been bodybuilding for a year and a half now and has participated in two competitions, one in April of 2016 and the second last October. In her first competition, Greene-Gudmundson placed seventh out of eleven and didn’t do as well as she thought, this pushed her to work even harder for the next competition.

“I was not nearly as prepared as I could have been, I approached it with the ‘It’s not that hard’ mindset and I couldn’t have been more wrong,” Greene-Gudmundson said. “I began training for the October show in June, pushing myself significantly harder than before and practicing my posing everyday.”

Greene-Gudmundson’s training paid off for her competition in October. She placed first in her class of 11 and second over all three classes. She plans on competing again this year.

“I’ll compete again within the next year at the state level and based on my performance there. I’ll consider a national show; I’m the kind of person that doesn’t like feeling like I’m not the best I can be, so I’m very anxious to work my way up as far as my abilities will allow. It’s honestly so amazing what the human body can do and just in the short time I’ve been training, the changes that have taken place keep me motivated to see how far I can push myself,” Greene-Gudmundson said.

Watching her body transition through training is what keeps Greene-Gudmundson motivated to push even harder. Sometimes she is surprised by what her body can do compared to where she was a year and a half ago with training.

“My favorite thing about bodybuilding has got to be the high you get when you hit a new PR, it’s honestly the most gratifying feeling,” Greene-Gudmundson said. “When I first started training, I was excited to even be pushing half of my body weight, now after 18 months, I’m pushing almost double, sometimes triple my body weight and just the concept of knowing you’re physically capable of doing that blows my mind.”

Most people dread going to the gym, but this is not the case for Greene-Gudmudson. Not only was it a stress reliever through busy times, but it was a way for her to escape.

“The gym has become my favorite part of the day, whether it’s been a good or bad day once you get there and put your headphones in, you’re in your own world and knowing you can move that kind of weight makes you almost feel invincible, it’s my outlet for everything,” Greene-Gudmundson said.

Like many students starting college, Greene-Gudmundson was unsure of the direction she wanted to go in school. She was drawn to marketing because she knew business would give her a decent foundation for future careers. During her junior year, she was advised by a friend to double major in marketing and management, which only has a difference of seven classes. Taking on school full time, she is able to graduate in four years.

“I went into it with the mindset that I’d be set back a semester, but after weighing in a full course load during the summer time and 21 credits per term I was able to graduate on time,” Greene-Gudmundson said. “I wasn’t at all expecting to enjoy my classes as much as I have and a big part of that goes to some of the amazing professors the college of business has, overall I know this was a perfect choice for a career field for me.”

To celebrate her achievement, Greene-Gudmundson has a trip planned after graduation and will come home to a full-time job.

“I leave the day after graduation for Costa Rica, I’ve never been outside of the country aside from Canada so I’m really looking forward to it,” Greene-Gudmundson said. “When I get back, I’ll start full time at NANA Development Corporation where I’ve been for the last two school years.”

Through the dieting, training and taking on 21 credits per semester, Greene is proud of her achievements and is looking forward to being a part of commencement. At this spring graduation, Greene will be doing a different kind of walk down the stage, striking a pose in her cap and gown.