The Strategic Path: Student Success

Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs
For the UAS Whalesong

We are entering year four of significant budget cuts. When the largest budget item is the payroll, it is no wonder we are feeling a little stressed out. Budget reductions result in workforce reductions. We are also roughly half way through a cumbersome reorganization (aka, Strategic Pathways). Up to this point, the endgame has been vague and the logic behind some of the changes has been elusive. As a result, the appetite for change seems to be shrinking.

Reorgs are stressful, that is a given. Budget reductions are stressful, that is a given. To some, this might feel like a rock and a hard place. In this place of higher learning, we can find a constructive path forward if we focus on the one reason we are here – student learning. Continue reading “The Strategic Path: Student Success”

Self-Defense: Kung Fu Fighting Optional

For the UAS Whalesong

When people hear the words “self-defense,” they think about a lot of different things. This makes sense; there are a lot of different forms of self-defense. You can defend yourself by being a trained martial artist, by keeping a gun on your person, by carrying a fairly sizable knife, etc. While those are great precautions to take, it’s also important to know the basics of how to defend yourself if you’re ever attacked. While some of the following may come across as being common sense, it never hurts to repeat information that might save your life some day – so, without further ado, here are some self-defense tips that I learned as a Shotokan karate student that don’t require you to be proficient at martial arts or with a weapon. Continue reading “Self-Defense: Kung Fu Fighting Optional”

Mornings: Awful, but Good for You

For the UAS Whalesong

I think it is safe to suggest that you as a reader are aware that “bedtime” is not necessarily a thing that happens among college students. At least, not in the way where it is the same every night, and it’s certainly not something pressed upon you by external sources (i.e., parents). And I am definitely a night owl over being an early bird any day of the week – which is why I decided to write an article on the subject of getting up early. It’s for my fellow night owls out there, who feel far more at ease staying up until 4 AM than you do getting up at 4 AM – which is only healthy, and natural, and the way that it should be, but is not always the most effective way to get things done. Continue reading “Mornings: Awful, but Good for You”

Suddenly, College: Money, Money, Money

For the UAS Whalesong

It’s just about that time of year again – the mildly passive-aggressive time of year when you are not-so-subtly reminded that it’s time to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) so that you can be eligible for as much free money as possible. Not that this is a bad thing at all; it’s just that it’s yet another deadline to add to your  already packed student calendar. But it’s an extremely important deadline, so make sure you remember it: have your FAFSA submitted by February 15th, or no free government money for you. Continue reading “Suddenly, College: Money, Money, Money”

Suddenly, College: There’s an App for That

For the UAS Whalesong

When the end of summer and winter break roll around, the patterns in my internet history undergo an abrupt change. While I may have spent most of the break swapping back and forth between the same six or seven websites, the last two weeks find me zeroing in on multiple different websites that all have one thing in common: they’re related to studying. Whether it be study habits, cool stationary, or master lists of relaxing music and helpful web resources, I am on the hunt for anything and everything that can help me improve the upcoming semester over the previous one. As of this past winter break, I did some research, and found several apps that I plan to use over the course of this semester in order to try and keep myself more organized and better-scheduled. So, I thought I’d write an article detailing what I found and how I’m using them, and maybe do a check-in article later in the semester letting you guys know how and if they are working for me! Continue reading “Suddenly, College: There’s an App for That”

Consent: It’s Clear and Verbal

For the UAS Whalesong

We all know what consent means, right? Just in case, I got the Google definition: consent is “permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.” And, as I’m sure we’ve all seen on the various stickers and flyers that have been making their way around campus, consent is two other things: clear and verbal. Both at the same time, not one or the other. If someone is intoxicated or incapacitated in any way, their consent is not clear, even if it’s verbal. If someone gives verbal consent but it’s not very clear if they really meant it, they haven’t actually given consent. And, perhaps most importantly, consent is something that anyone can revoke at any point in time – and neither you or anyone else can tell them they don’t get to do that.

The concept of consent is most commonly discussed in a sexual context. Usually, during new student orientation, there is a presentation given on sexual harassment, consent, and the ins and outs of such. (I only saw it once, but a particular favorite of mine was a video that compared consent to a cup of tea. If someone says that they like tea but they don’t want it at the moment, you wouldn’t force them to drink tea anyway.) That being said, it was recently brought to my attention that there is a video game in existence whose entire purpose is to drive home the importance of consent – specifically, sexual consent. Continue reading “Consent: It’s Clear and Verbal”

Student Government Update

For the UAS Whalesong

Welcome back students.

Student Government has a busy semester ahead of us this spring and we are excited to take it on and give you all we got! We have a full senate this semester with Senators Hannah Wolfe-MacPike, Tim Wilson, Naomi Edenshaw, Karey Allen and Griffin Plush with Austin Tagaban as your Vice President and myself, Callie Conerton, as your President.

We want to welcome you to our office every Wednesday for a morning coffee and treats! Stop by for a cup o’ Joe, tea, hot chocolate and a yummy treat. This is a great time to talk to a senate member about anything that you think that the school would benefit from, something you would like changed, or something you would like our support on. We would love to work with you on issues that you are passionate about! Continue reading “Student Government Update”

Study Abroad: Parting Words


Brooke Schlipf

Brooke Schlipf is a UAS student headed to Stirling, Scotland through the API program. Brooke is studying biology at UAS.
How do you think studying away from UAS will help you academically?
-I want to try a different educational environment and coursework, and be exposed to a variety of ecological environments as well. I believe both will broaden my knowledge of biology and in particular the area I am not be able to find here at UAS. I hope to find an internship to broaden my work experience. I think with what I learn and comparing my experiences in Alaska to Scotland will make me an overall more-rounded and better biologist.
What are your personal goals?
-I want to grow as a person, and I believe that being immersed in a new culture and seeing how another society works will do that.
Continue reading “Study Abroad: Parting Words”

Senioritis: Advice for Finals

For the UAS Whalesong

At times, despite my best intentions to the contrary, I will find myself struggling to come up with ideas for article topics. I know – a shocking confession, but a fact of my life nonetheless. On the rare occasion when this happens, I end up on Google at one in the morning, scouring various websites and search results for article and blog ideas. In doing so, I have learned that the writers for BuzzFeed apparently get their article ideas the same way. (“Make a post full of GIFs!” one website proclaimed. “Build a list!” Even “post clickbait!” I know your secret, BuzzFeed, and I’m coming for you.) Anyway, that’s what spawned the article you see before you now. As much as the suggestion “Get some billionaire to write a post for you – they love the exposure!” appealed to me, I’m unfortunately not friends with any billionaires. Not yet, anyway. College is, after all, just the first step in my career path. Anyway, I decided to combine two of the prompts that offered – “Show others how to do something extremely FAST” (their caps lock, not mine) and “Compile a list of common mistakes in your niche” – and give you some finals week advice from a college senior. Continue reading “Senioritis: Advice for Finals”

Community Thanksgiving 2015

For the UAS Whalesong

On the eve of Wednesday, November 25th, I was getting myself all packed up and ready to go home to visit my family for Thanksgiving. A little redundant, some might say, since the end of the semester was coming around in about two weeks – but hey, far be it from me to not go out of my way for the Macy’s Parade and a good turkey dinner (and then three days of turkey sandwiches and soup afterward). Nighttime flights are never particularly enjoyable, and I hadn’t had a chance to really eat dinner in between packing, homework, and class. So when my ride to the airport, fellow Whalesong employee Holly Fisher, suggested we stop by the UAS Community Thanksgiving event, I was completely down for it. Continue reading “Community Thanksgiving 2015”