Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Civic Engagement Certificate Graduate in 2013!

Suzanne Schaffer, majoring in Environment & Society, earned a Certificate in Civic Engagment along with her major and graduated on May 5th with her UAA classmates. 

Suzanne is dedicated to a sustainable environment, and her program reflects that.  Her most recent project was working on a community engagement project in CEL A392, Advanced Civic Engagement: Community Inquiry & Action, assisting the Municipality of Anchorage in their survey of community councils.  With a background in courses ranged from Environmental Ethics to Conservational Biology and International Environmental Issues, Suzanne will be a contribution wherever she goes!  And she's a demonstration for sustainability too -- she commuted to school all winter by bike and bus until her bike was stolen in early spring.  All of our congratualtions and best wishes to Suzanne as she goes forward in her work or further education! 

A Community Engagement Task Force Begins Its Work!

May 1 was the first meeting of the newly appointed Community Engagement Task Force at UAA/CCEL.  Tracey Burke, associate professor in the School of Social Work will serve as Chair for what probably will be a two year initiative, with the first year devoted to the preparation of the application for the Carnegie Foundation designation for Community Engagement & Outreach.

The committee is tasked with the following charge from Provost Baker:

    1.       Oversee the renewal  of the Carnegie “Engaged University” classification application due in April 2014.

    2.       Oversee an audit of current community engagement activity in the University to identify areas of strength and potential.

    3.       Develop strategies and processes for (1) identifying community-engaged courses across the institution, and (2) data collection for outcomes of those       courses for students, faculty, and community partners.

4.       Develop mechanisms to research, develop, and recognize best practices in community engagement both internally and externally.

5.       Confer with faculty and external partners to develop further internship and practicum possibilities throughout the state. 

6.       Work with  agencies to identify sustainable funding sources.

7.       Identify and develop responses for any risk management concerns.

Urban in Alaska Conference at UAA


Urban in Alaska brought together more than 80 people in the Student Union Den at UAA on March 29, 2013.  An interactive conference combined short sessions presented by UAA faculty and community members in panels, followed by lively discussions amongst the entire group! 
The goal of the “The Urban in Alaska” conference and workshop was to bring scholars and community members together to engage in dialogue about current research on Anchorage as an urban space. The conference was sponsored by the UAA Department of Health Sciences and the UAA Center for Community Engagement and Learning. The conference was free and open to the public.
Panels included:

  • Architecture, Public Space & Urban Design with Klaus Meyer, local architect; Sheila Selkregg, Public Administration faculty, Bruce Farnsworth, writer, community organizer, and member of the art group Light Brigade Kor4., and Sharon Chamard, Justice Center faculty.  
  • Health, Education, & Food with Tracey Burke, Social Work faculty; Liz Hodges-Snyder, Health Sciences faculty; Gabriel Garcia, Health Sciences faculty; Diwalkar Vadapalli, Institute of Social & Economic Research faculty.
  • Labor, Migration & Refugees with Sara Komanisky, graduate student in British Columbia; Chad Farrell, Sociology faculty; Judy Owens-Manley, Civic Engagement faculty & Director of the Center for Community Engagement & Learning.  
Kathleen McCoy created a podcast for the March 29 session, and the conference is archived on the KSKA website.  An invited group stayed for lunch and further discussion. 

Feedback from the conference was an overwhelming request to gather again for Urban in Alaska, at least twice a year!  Our intention is to create a website this summer and a possible newsletter and publication!  Stay tuned!