University of Alaska Southeast Faculty and Staff Newsletter July 2, 1998

Emily Bartels conducts a Bread Loaf class outside.

Bread Loaf "stretches" students

"I think the thing that makes Bread Loaf special is that it gives students and people in our community an opportunity to stretch themselves in a graduate program," according to UAS Dean of Faculty John Pugh. "It gives them a chance to take graduate classes from outstanding teachers from the best universities around the country."

For three weeks, more than 40 students from Alaska and around the country lived on the Juneau campus and studied either writing, Native literature or Shakespeare as part of the prestigious Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College in Vermont. This is the second year the Bread Loaf Literature and Writing Institute has been offered on the UAS Juneau campus.

"I think next year we'll definitely have a Bread Loaf program," Pugh says. "We're positive about Middlebury and this Institute and they're positive about us. We look forward to this partnership going on for a long time in the future."

"I think the Juneau setting has been terrific," according to Dr. Lucy Maddox. "Its been a different class because we've been here." Maddox, who taught Native American Literature, was one of three Bread Loaf faculty during the three week Institute.

Most of the Bread Loaf students are teachers. Greg Imbur is from Virginia but has been teaching in Finland for three years. He described his three weeks as, "very intense, very informative, very enlightening."

Dr. John Elder taught Writing and the Sense of Place. "All three classes this year had an Alaska angle," Elder said. He took his writing students on a week long trip to Kruzof Island near Sitka. The literature class emphasized Alaska Native literature and culture, and the third class was Shakespeare and the Wilderness.

Although Shakespeare rarely uses the word wilderness, according to Dr. Emily Bartels, "We were talking about moments when characters were in natural landscapes that were not home to them." Bartels said, "I wouldn't have taught a course like this unless I had been coming to a place like this."

High school science students attend Institute

Top science students on campus

Sixteen high school students from across the country will attend the second annual UAS Coastal Science Institute on the Juneau campus July 25 - Aug. 2. Other students are on a waiting list.

Those attending are top science and math students who will be high school seniors next fall. The Institute students are from California, Wisconsin, Washington, Montana, Minnesota, Michigan, and Colorado.

"We'll spend a week showing the students the natural systems of the maritime rain forest system," according to Cathy Connor. She, Randy Stahl, and Brendan Kelly will be UAS faculty members working with the students.

The faculty will focus on water systems. "We want to show how the water interacts with plant and animal communities," Connor said, "and we want to expose these students to ecosystems." During field trips, students will follow water from the glaciers through the river systems and muskegs and rivers to the sea.

On the first day, students will helicopter to the Mendenhall Glacier. Other trips during the week include sea kayaking to explore intertidal and marine environment; overnight camping to learn about ornithology, plants and muskeg; hiking to Herbert Glacier while studying forest ecology; studying intertidal life during low tide at Shaman Island and a wilderness boat trip.

Health plan costs to rise

All campus employees can learn about proposed changes and cost increases in the university health benefits plan at several July meetings. Beginning in January, employees will begin to pay any health plan costs beyond the defined contribution amount set by the university ($414 per month per employee). Although the exact amount of the extra cost to employees won't be known until August, it is estimated to be between $15-$40 per month for each employee.

Juneau campus meetings will be Thursday July 9, 11 a.m. to noon in the second floor conference room of the Bill Ray Center and Thursday July 16, 11 a.m. to noon in the School of Business Conference Room in the Novatney Building. In addition, there will be a system-wide audio conference with governance and Human Resources Director Patty Kastelic, July 23 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Juneau employees can listen in and participate from the Business Conference Room in the Novatney Building.

For information contact Rita Bowen, 465-6439 or Kirk McAllister, 465-6473. Detailed information is available at

Staff news

Thane Brown has been hired as a library assistant at the Egan Library. Rose Fleischhauer has been hired as an accounts clerk in the business office at the Bill Ray Center. Candace Murdoch has taken a position as administrative assistant in the Egan Library and Christina Steckler is the new administrative assistant at the Physical Plant. Kerri Byrd has been hired as the new business manager on the Sitka campus. She previously worked as the business manager of the College of Engineering and Technology at Northern Arizona University.

Students on Icefield

April Graves will be participating on the Juneau Icefield Research Program beginning July 1. She is the first Environmental Science major at UAS to participate in the JIRP program.

Ketchikan campus news

A graduation ceremony has been held for the Certified Nursing Assistant program. The students chose a potluck to go with the brief ceremony, making for a multi-generational celebration.

Students in the third Ketchikan construction class, held in Klawock with the Tlingit-Haida Housing Authority, completed work earlier this week. Their class was extended by two weeks at the student's request.

UAS float in parade

Students on the Juneau campus are entering a UAS float in the 4th of July parade. Those wanting to take part should meet at 8 a.m. on the 4th on South Franklin St. near the Armadillo Cafe. The float theme is, "Education - Our Most Valuable Resource" and features a large scale measuring education vs. gold. The school mascot, Spike the Whale, and volunteers will walk in caps and gowns according to coordinator Tiffany Sargent.

MAT classes begin

The new class of secondary MAT students began this week on the Juneau campus. They will take classes on campus until August 14 and will then go to their school assignments in either Juneau or Sitka. The first class of elementary MAT students begin next week. They will be on campus full time for seven weeks before going to their assigned schools.

Anna Salyer welcomed Rita Dursi Johnson to a surprise party at Egan Library.

Acting director completes duties

For a year Rita Dursi Johnson has served as acting director at Egan Library while Sherry Taber has been on a leave of absence. Library staff held a surprise party for Dursi Johnson at the completion of her duties. Taber returns on July 7 to her position as director of Library, Computing and Media Services.

Trudeau retires in Ketchikan

After a decade on the Ketchikan campus, deputy director Bill Trudeau has retired. "I'm leaving Ketchikan and Alaska so I can go skiing," he joked. Trudeau is going to Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff to earn a masters degree in teaching English as a second language. He will then pursue a Ph.D. in philosophy of literature and language.

"I'm interested in the truth values of myths and stories," Trudeau says. During a sabbatical from UAS Trudeau spent six months in Magadan in the Soviet Far East. "Some day I will return there," he says.

Trudeau says he sees lots of hope for the Ketchikan campus. "I think the campus is ready to take off." He says, "This is a place I've been able to grow academically while working with faculty."

Trudeau also praised the Juneau Student Resource Center and Records and Registration. "I think they're tops. Bruce Gifford and his staff have been so helpful to us. They made our lives very pleasant here."

Juneau regents elected to top spots

The Board of Regents elected officers for the coming year at their June meeting. Elsa Froehlich Demeksa of Juneau was elected vice president and Annette Nelson-Wright of Juneau was elected secretary. The president of the regents will be Michael Burns of Anchorage. Chancy Croft of Anchorage was reelected treasurer. Terms are for one year.

Regents actions

At their June 19 meeting the Board of Regents authorized $1.7 million in funding for School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences facilities in a new NOAA building in Juneau. The money is to be used for planning, design, site acquisition and development and the initial construction. Regents also approved a FY99 Retirement Incentive Program, a Fairbanks Ph.D. program in Marine Biology and a Fairbanks M.S. and Ph.D. program in Environmental Chemistry. A summary of Regents actions is posted at and access "Minutes."

Fields' class featured in magazine

Efforts by Marjorie Fields to improve her distance delivered early childhood classes have been described in the June issue of Teleconference magazine. The two page article outlines early frustrations with various distance techniques and tells how Fields learned about Convene, a distance education service and decided to share with other faculty and students. "I did such a good job of selling it that students and faculty were saying, 'Let's do it now.'" Fields started her first on-line class midway through spring semester to great success. "Now that we are on-line, we are able to offer these classes to anyone in the world," she said. "Someone from Iceland is already planning on joining us on-line next fall."

Taiwanese visit Juneau and Sitka

For the seventh year, a delegation from Juneau's sister city in Taiwan will spend nearly a month on the Juneau and Sitka campuses and communities. The six teachers from Chai-Yi arrive in Juneau on July 2, will be in Sitka July 19-25, and depart July 28.

"We are combining some English instruction with a cultural exchange," according to Natashia Zahn who is coordinating the visit. Morning English classes on campus will emphasize places the Taiwanese will visit in the afternoon. Activities include meetings with the Juneau Borough Assembly, Juneau teachers, UAS students, and Department of Education officials.

They will also tour facilities such as the Governor's Mansion, the capitol, and DIPAC, as well as take hikes, tour town, and see Tracy Arm. The Taiwanese will live on campus. Several dinners have been arranged in private homes.

Tersteeg exhibit

Alice Slattery Tersteeg is showing 20 art pieces at KTOO on Egan Drive. They range from undersea life to landscapes and wildlife and include etchings, screen and relief prints, and pastels. The work is on public display weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

SE's Rocky Shores

Retired associate professor of biology Rita O'Clair and her husband Chuck have written and self-published a guide to over 460 Southeast intertidal animal species. "Southeast Alaska's Rocky Shores" includes written descriptions accompanied by almost 400 sketches. "This is a reference book," O'Clair said. "It should inspire interest in marine biology." The book is available for $33.95 which includes postage and handling from Plant Press, PO Box 210094, Auke Bay, AK 99821-0094. Juneau residents must add $1.50 for sale tax.


Thursday, July 2
  • Taiwanese delegation arrives in Juneau.

    Friday, July 3

  • UAS 4th of July holiday

    Saturday, July 4

  • UAS float in parade, volunteers gather at 8 a.m. on S. Franklin.

    Monday, July 6

  • UAS 4th of July holiday

    Thursday, July 9

  • Meeting on changes and cost increases in the university health benefits plan, 11 a.m., BRC.

    Thursday, July 16

  • Meeting on changes and costs increases in the university health benefits plan, 11 a.m. Novatney conference room.


    Thursday, July 23
  • System-wide audio conference on changes and cost increases in the university health benefits plan, 2:30 p.m. Novatney conference room.

    Saturday, July 25

  • UAS Coastal Science Institute begins