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Dr. Jeane T'aw xwaa Breinig, interim associate vice chancellor of Alaska Natives and diversity and professor of English at the University of Alaska Anchorage, was selected to receive the 2018 Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence.

System News June 2018

  • Dr. Jeane Breinig named 2018 Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence recipient
  • New Alaska College of Education talk of the town on Talk of Alaska

Dr. Jeane Breinig named 2018 Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence recipient

The University of Alaska Foundation announced today that Dr. Jeane T'aw xwaa Breinig, interim associate vice chancellor of Alaska Natives and diversity and professor of English at the University of Alaska Anchorage, was selected to receive the 2018 Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence. Breinig will receive a $15,000 award for her outstanding contributions to the University of Alaska.

“Edith Bullock made a generous contribution to establish this award and showcase the extraordinary achievements of individuals on behalf of the UA system,” said UA Foundation Board of Directors Chair Alex Slivka. “Dr. Breinig’s efforts to expand diversity within the University of Alaska through curriculum, research and leadership embody the excellence that Mrs. Bullock wished to recognize.”

Breinig was one of the first Alaska Native tenure-track professors hired at UAA, arriving in 1995. Upon her hire, she developed curriculum with an emphasis on Alaska Native literature and studies. She has worked to increase diversity and inclusion in the University of Alaska’s culture, particularly by developing and promoting Alaska Native and indigenous research and creative activity. MORE....

New Alaska College of Education talk of the town on Talk of Alaska

“It’s the middle of summer, but students seeking higher education are making plans for fall. The university’s new Alaska College of Education aims to train more state residents to take teaching jobs here. The idea is to keep good teachers in rural Alaska communities.”

Talk of Alaska program introduction

So began a round-robin discussion on July 24, when President Jim Johnsen and Executive Dean Steve Atwater joined host Lori Townsend on Alaska Public Radio Network’s Talk of Alaska to discuss the university’s goal to recruit and educate more teachers. The discussion also included Kameron Perez-Verdia, president/CEO of Alaska Humanities Forum.

“What precipitated [the Alaska College of Education] was the regents’ recognition that this is a critically important issue and our challenges ….. You are looking at the single most important job in our state,” Johnsen said.

Alaska faces a range of obstacles as the university endeavors to educate more Alaska teachers. Currently 70 percent of teachers hired each year for Alaska school districts come from outside the state and turnover, especially in rural Alaska, is as high as 50 percent annually. Teachers who come to rural Alaska from outside the state are often unprepared to understand cultural differences and infrastructure challenges, and the effects of decades of trauma from forced assimilation and abuse of Alaska Native students in schools are still present. The effects of these obstacles are costly, both in the financial cost of constant teacher recruitment and the impact to students who witness teachers regularly cycling in and out of their schools. MORE...

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