Public Affairs

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Feb. 1, 2017

University of Alaska unveils new public awareness campaign; 

Includes scholarship for a future teacher

ANCHORAGE – University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen announced today a new statewide public awareness campaign and companion scholarship both aimed at highlighting the important role the university plays in educating Alaskans to meet the state’s workforce needs.

The announcement was made during the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation’s Economic Forecast luncheon before an audience of approximately 1,500 gathered to hear the latest updates on Alaska’s economy. 

The privately-funded public awareness campaign includes digital ads, social media and radio commercials all designed to direct the user to a unique website at www.DriveChangeAK.org. The campaign is intended to raise awareness about the university’s support for the ‘65 by 2025’ initiative, which calls for 65 percent of working-age Alaskans to hold postsecondary credentials by 2025. The campaign also will include a series of Change Forums – opportunities for the public to participate in conversations about why higher education is imperative to a prosperous state.  

“This campaign will highlight the university’s essential role in educating Alaskans to meet the state’s increasingly diverse workforce needs,” Johnsen said. “We operate in a competitive marketplace. Not only is it important that we create awareness about the university, it’s important that we promote the university’s value to Alaskans as we build a prosperous future for our state.” 

The campaign invites students, parents, business leaders and the public to join the university in leading the change Alaska needs to prepare the future workforce our state will require. “We want Alaskans to join us and invite others to demonstrate support and commitment to higher education in Alaska.”

Johnsen said the companion $12,000 Teach for Alaska Presidential Scholarship is an academic award to a high school junior or senior who plans to attend a University of Alaska campus and study to become a teacher. “The scholarship is an important part of our effort because it is specifically aimed at students who are so essential to our future,” Johnsen said. “It highlights Alaska’s need for UA-educated teachers and underscores our goal to graduate 90 percent of Alaska’s teachers from UA by 2025.” 

Registering as part of the UA Change Force is a prerequisite to applying for the scholarship. Applicants must submit a short video to explain their goals as a future teacher in Alaska and how they would contribute to driving positive change as an educator. The application period opens Feb. 3 and runs through April 3, 2017. A decision on the scholarship recipient will be announced by May 1, 2017. 

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For more information contact Roberta Graham, associate vice president of public affairs at 907-360-2416 (cell).

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