{News Briefs}

University of Alaska awards scholarships for race winners

The University of Alaska College Savings Plan awarded $11,000 in scholarships to the finishers of the 2005 Junior Iditarod at the awards banquet, a recent university news release reported. First-place winner Melissa Owens, an eighth-grader from Nome, received $5,000. Runner-ups Rohn Buser and Dallas Seavey got $2,500 and $1,500 in scholarship money, respectively. Two awards of $1,000 each were awarded for sportsmanship and humanitarianism. The organization sponsored the Junior Iditarod for the past three years and will sponsor the 2006 race as well.

University offers health care to union employees

The University of Alaska is considering offering union-represented employees the UA Choice health care plan that nonrepresented employees have now. The plan, which didn’t exist when the unions last negotiated their contracts, allows employees to choose the option of less comprehensive health plans or no coverage at all if they have other coverage. “The new plan will give those employees more choices regarding how much health care they wish to have and how much they can afford to pay for,” Bob Congdon said in a recent e-mail. Votes currently being taken will be counted and reported to management by March 15 for the final decision.  

Seawolf debate team sweeps Rotterdam Open

The Seawolf debate team traveled to Erasmus University in the Netherlands to compete in the Rotterdam Open Debate Tournament Feb. 12-13. The three UAA teams – Chris Kolerok and Rose Helens-Hart, Dana Ovsak and Michael Rose, and Tom Lassen and Lindsay Eberhart – all advanced to the final round. Rose Helens-Hart and Chris Koleruk won the tournament, and two debaters were recognized in the top 10 speakers at the tournament. Tom Lassen and Chis Koleruk were named fifth and sixth speakers, respectively. The win earned the team a spot in the European Championships at University College Cork in Ireland in March.