As Alaska Pacific University closes in on the end of the 2016-2017 academic year, let’s take a look back on the learning, adventuring, and growing the University and the members of it’s community experienced since last fall.
Welcomed new students, faculty and staff
APU welcomed 215 new to APU students, both undergrad and graduate this year.
By way of new employees, APU also welcomed staff members Deb Codding, Kristofer Gills, Victoria Hillenbrand, Michelle Medeiros-Trent, and Bailey Berg and faculty members, Malasri Chaudhery-Malgeri, Stephan Colt, Kristin English, Laura Hudson, and Rachel Miller.
Professors Pam Maslyk, Carl Tobin, and Paul Twardock all also returned from year-long sabbaticals.
Admissions hosted 10 on-campus events and counselors attended college fairs in 10 Lower 48 states and 16 cities, towns and villages across Alaska.
A partnership with ANTHC was announced
In late December APU announced it would be entering into a partnership with Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and creating new opportunities to serve the needs of all Alaskans.
In January, Dr. Don Bantz, who served as APU’s President for seven years, announced he’d be retiring. Dr. Robert Onders was appointed by the Board of Trustees to serve as the Interim President while they searched for a new president to succeed Bantz.
APU was ranked among the best
The university has been identified by collegevaluesonline.com as one of the best value colleges with Marine Biology programs. According to the editors, the ranking system considered tuition, financial aid opportunities, customization options, and any “wow” factors.
Senior projects helped benefit the community
Several students created projects that not only helped them gain a deeper understanding of their field, but also helped our APU community be better equipped as we move forward. Twins Alec and Jared Walter both created documentation and plans to enable a database for Outdoor Program trips and for single track bike trails and bike repair on campus. Fallon Connelly also created a database for APU to record incidents and lessons learned out in the field. These are just a few of the many that will enrich our campus and future generations of APU students.
The Sustainability Committee helped campus go green(er)
The Sustainability Committee formed in January, consisting of three students, three staff members, and three faculty members to focus on new sustainability initiatives. They were recently awarded a grant as part of a Farm to School program. Funds from the grant will go towards purchasing and filling a new cooler system that will showcase Alaska Grown produce.
2016 Increased the farmers market vendor participation by 10% weekly. They also saw increased foot traffic last season through word of mouth and the like. Additionally, dining began preparing weekly special foods for sale to increase sales for our tent and foot traffic for the market. They plan to continue that in the 2017 season, beginning June 14th 11:00 a.m. -6:00 p.m.
Spring Creek Farms grew in more ways than one
The farm’s largest accomplishment was donating 3,000 pounds of produce to different organizations fighting hunger through it’s collaborative project, Alaska Tilth. The Farm also expanded production, adding an additional 1.5 acres from the year before and received funding from Rasmuson to improve the greenhouse and construct a wash station and cooler so they can continue to grow more food for APU and the surrounding communities. Last month, they installed three bat boxes as an ongoing effort toward conservation.
Dining Services aimed to make campus healthier
Last fall Dining Services did a overhaul of the grill menu to reduce calories and fat while increasing quality. Hamburgers moved to all Angus patties with lower fat content. The menu includes new vegetarian options including avocado melts and falafels. All new items have a variety of fresh produce to enhance our offerings of fresh ingredients.
Dining also partnered with KSKA for summer a summer Bike to Work Series. The last Friday of each month, dining and KSKA set up a tent with treats and information for Anchorage’s bike commuters.
Spring semester Dining and Residence Life hosted a cooking class series for on-campus students to learn to prepare different cuisine including dumplings, miso, sushi, pizza, salads, and more. They are currently exploring a campus-wide cooking class series for the fall.
Campus evolved with additions to buildings
Last summer, Outdoor Program staff completely revamped the weight room last summer with grant funding. This spring, through our partnership with ANTHC, Carr-Gottstein Academic Center was also renovated with new carpet, paint, and furniture.
We gathered to learn from noted speakers and each other
Throughout the course of the academic school year, a myriad of professionals spoke to APU’s classes, some of which included Deborah Erickson (Medicaid Redesign Project Coordinator for Alaska Department of Health & Social Services), Josie Ambridge (Alaska Native cultural orientation), Monique Martin (a Health Care Policy Advisor), and Carolina Behe, Vivan Korthuis, Dr. Rick Stein, and Dr. Stephen Trumble (all climate change experts) spoke at the Inaugural Leah J. Peterson Speaker Series.
APU also welcomed professionals from our partnership company, ANTHC, to speak on campus. Jane Russell (Vice President of Specialty Clinics), Sarah Freeman (Director of state-wide Telehealth), and Adam Harris (Clinic Quality Analyst) were just a few.
IT enhanced how we do work
From upgrading to faster networking speeds on campus and acquiring a new internet service provider for a more stable internet connection to providing 80 wireless access points across campus and the farm and enhancing the student portal, IT was busy this year. They also did a technology survey that resulted in generous feedback from the community.
Aquarium Biology offered new proficiency certification
The Aquarium Biology course offered students a chance for the first time to receive Aquatic Animal Life Support Operators (AALSO) level I proficiency certification (a professional accreditation). Guest speaker Steve Massar, Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Center, visited the class to speak about the professional organization and aquarium careers. The AALSO exam was administered to five students in Spring 2017. All five passed. The two high-scoring students attended the AALSO Symposium & Workshop at the St. Louis Zoo, where they presented a joint poster on the University aquarium facility.
Moseley identified needed programs in Anchorage
Recreational Programs added Key Log Rolling this year – they’re the only public facility to offer that activity in Anchorage. The Water Aerobics program. Rec Program also hosted an Aquatic Exercise Association certification course that hasn’t been offered in Anchorage in over seven years. They helped certify six instructors and 15 aquatic professionals earned CECs from around the state.
New opportunities were identified
The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs has been busy this past year collaborating with ANTHC to explore grants and projects that will increase opportunities for student and faculty research, community outreach, programs for K-12 students, and funding for the university.