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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 18, 2020

University of Alaska launches ‘Did You Know?’ series

The University of Alaska has launched a new series called “Did You Know?” designed to better inform Alaskans about the critical role the university system plays in economic development and to highlight people who contribute to Alaska’s vibrant economy. The series shines a spotlight on the successes of alumni and programs across the UA system. 

“I often hear from people that they had no idea we have the kind of programs or the kind of economic impact that we do,” said UA Interim President Pat Pitney. For example, she said, did you know that UAA has a certification program to move more contact tracers into the workforce or that UAF has a nationally recognized drone program, or how our graduates contribute to the state’s economy through the companies they start? 

UAF graduate Ben Kellie, for example, took classes in UAF’s rocketry program as part of his engineering degree. After graduating, Kellie went to work for SpaceX, Elon Musk’s private aerospace company that just took four astronauts to the international space station. Kellie now owns a company in Anchorage that provides ground support, processes, and manufactured hardware for the space industry, and he credits UAF for igniting his interest in space.

“The ‘Did You Know?’ series is our attempt to amplify the great things we do at our universities and the stories about our amazing graduates who now are contributing to the Alaska economy in a big way,” Pitney said.

These stories will be shared on social media channels and with university stakeholders on a bi-weekly basis, with more in-depth presentations of these success stories at each regularly scheduled meeting of the UA Board of Regents.

The “Did You Know” series, including the in-depth look at the university’s engineering programs and the Ben Kellie story can be found at https://alaska.edu/news/did- you-know/.


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