News Briefs

UAA officials, community partners engage in ‘active shooter’ exercise to test response

In response to the recent Virginia Tech shootings, officials of UAA, Alaska Pacific University, Providence Alaska Medical Center, Anchorage Police Department, Anchorage Fire Department and the Municipality of Anchorage Office of Emergency Management gathered on June 20 for a 3-hour exercise to discuss the would-be response to an active shooter on UAA’s campus. The main goal of the exercise was to review and evaluate UAA’s emergency response plan and to reaffirm contacts with supporting agencies. The workshop scenario involved a student gunman on campus taking another student hostage. The group discussed step-by-step actions each agency would take to control the situation, from overtaking the gunman, caring for victims, communicating key information and arranging for grief counseling in the aftermath. From the discussion, UAA pinpointed the strengths and weaknesses of its existing plan, and developed ways to improve any potential weaknesses.

Debate team travels abroad to participate in training and tournaments in China

Members of the Seawolf debate program recently returned from a trip to China to promote academic debating. Supported by a grant from the Alaska International Education Foundation, the trip took the team from Beijing to Xi’an to participate in two debating events. At the Foreign Languages Teaching and Research Press Cup, more than 500 students and their instructors, representing over 130 colleges and universities from around China, attended the tournament. Steve Johnson, UAA’s director of debate, participated in training and served as chief adjudicator for the event. Other members of the Seawolf debate program mentored Chinese debaters and served as adjudicators for the competitive rounds. From there, the team traveled to Xi’an Jiaotong University to participate in the International Debate Education Association’s international tournament. Approximately 30 other American students and over 150 Chinese students joined the Alaska debaters in central China to train and compete. Each of UAA’s debaters was paired with a Chinese partner to enter the competition. Two of UAA’s debaters took the top two individual speaking prizes at the tournament; Michael Rose and David Childers were ranked second and first individual speakers, respectively, out of over 200 debaters that participated in the event.

Chancellor Ulmer appointed to National Academy of Sciences committee

Chancellor Fran Ulmer was recently appointed to the National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Interoperability of Voter Registration Databases. Members of the committee were elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing research achievements. The National Academy of Sciences is a society of scholars that engages in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology. The academy investigates, examines, experiments and reports upon subjects of science whenever called upon to do so by any department of government.

UAA sociology professor in national media

Sharon Araji, a sociology professor at UAA, was recently cited in The Associated Press, CBS News, The New York Times, Yahoo, CNN and other media outlets for her work relating to sex abuse among children. Araji addresses this serious problem in her book “Sexually Aggressive Children,” and thinks the number of child-on-child sex crimes is higher than statistics indicate. In an article by The Associated Press, Araji said, “The whole society is not yet up on this problem. These kids, on the extreme end, if nothing is done to catch them, they’re going to become our adult offenders of tomorrow.” Araji specializes in the study of domestic violence and violence among intimates, including sexual abuse of children, social psychology, and issues related to the family and women.

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UA awards staff checks and airline tickets

UA President Mark Hamilton presented UA’s annual “Make Students Count” awards to staff members from UAA, UAF, UAS and statewide administration. The recipients, nominated by fellow staff members for excellent service to students, each receive a check for $1,000 and two domestic airline tickets. Winners this year were Anissa Hauser of UAA; Mary Parson of UAF; Christopher Washko of UAS; and Mike Molnia of Statewide administration. Hauser, current Ph.D. program coordinator for the UAA/UAF program in clinical community psychology with rural indigenous emphasis, was nominated by her supervisors, colleagues and students. Her enthusiastic student advising and recruitment has helped to further the program.

Parking Services on the move, announces Bob McDonnell as new director

Parking Services has been relocated to the General Support Services area in the UAA Bookstore basement. To access Parking Services, everyone will have to go through the bookstore and take the elevator to the basement.

Bob McDonnell assumed the Parking Services director position June 18. McDonnell replaces Ann Soper, who retires mid-July. McDonnell is new to Alaska and to UAA. He and his wife moved from Rosharon, Texas, where he was employed as a production manager for Rinker, one of the world’s top-10 international construction materials companies. McDonnell is responsible for all parking services on campus, including enforcement and permit-issuing management. He will oversee the current parking garage in addition to the parking requirements for the new garage that will be built near the Integrated Science Building. McDonnell will also supervise 20 student call team officers during the fall and spring semesters.