October 27, 2008

$4 million contributed to ANSEP


Industry partners and Native corporations have stepped up with the Rasmuson Foundation to create the Herbert P. Schroeder Endowed Chair of the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP).  The endowment, with pledged gifts in excess of $4 million, will ensure stable funding for a full-time, year-round faculty member dedicated to students enrolled in ANSEP.

In December 2007 the Rasmuson Foundation contributed a $2 million challenge grant to fund the creation of the endowed chair position.  The Rasmuson Foundation has been a long-time supporter of ANSEP because of its tremendous success in recruiting and retaining Alaska Native science and engineering students.

“ANSEP has made a lasting difference for Alaska Native students,” said Diane Kaplan, president and CEO of the Rasmuson Foundation. “This program has created a supportive learning community, allowing students to excel and graduate at unprecedented levels.”

Alyeska Pipeline was the first to step up to the challenge in September. In a matter of a month, seven other partners generously donated to the chair, exceeding the amount of funds needed for the match. Commitments to date include Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, ASRC Energy Services, BP, Chevron, CIRI, ConocoPhillips, Rasmuson Foundation, Shell Oil and Udelhoven Oilfield System Services.

“We are honored that so many companies – many of whom have supported ANSEP since the beginning – have provided this enduring gift to ANSEP,” notes Fran Ulmer, UAA chancellor. “The creation of the endowed chair guarantees that ANSEP will continue to recruit and retain the highest quality of leadership.”

Dr. Herb (Iďisaurri) Schroeder, for whom the endowed chair position is named, is the founder and executive director of ANSEP.  Dr. Schroeder started the program in 1995 with one engineering student. In 2001 Dr. Schroeder led the formation of the Pacific Alliance with the goal of replicating ANSEP at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the University of Hawai’i Manoa and the University of Washington.  Today, there are 350 Indigenous engineering students in the Alliance, including more than 140 Alaska Native engineering students in Alaska alone. In addition, there are approximately 200 high school students engaged in the ANSEP Pre-College component.

“These contributions to the endowed chair ensure that there will be a faculty advocate for Native students on our campus in perpetuity,” notes Schroeder. “All of us at ANSEP are humbled by the support of the Alaska oil industry and the Alaska Native regional corporations. Rasmuson Foundation President Diane Kaplan and Alyeska President Kevin Hostler’s leadership in organizing support for the ANSEP chair is an extraordinary contribution to Alaska.  Together with our partners we are having a profound and positive impact on the lives of our students, their families, their communities, our partner organizations, and the state that will endure for generations to come.”

ANSEP is a longitudinal program that works with students from the time they are freshmen in high school all the way through graduate school.  The program has been proven to increase university recruitment and retention rates through hands-on high school outreach initiatives, rigorous summer bridging programs, focused academic learning communities, organized student cohorts, networks of peer and professional mentors, community-based learning, professional internships, undergraduate research projects and graduate school programs.

The Herbert P. Schroeder Chair of ANSEP will oversee and provide strategic direction for ANSEP and the related partnerships with other universities. The Chair will be the key individual identified with ANSEP, responsible for building awareness and support of the program both within Alaska and throughout the United States.

For more information on ANSEP contact Dr. Herb Schroeder at (907) 786-1860 or herb@uaa.alaska.edu, or visit http://ansep.uaa.alaska.edu/.

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