Student Achievement Award
2008 to 2009
Western State College of Colorado to University of Alaska Southeast 2008-2009
Early in her exchange to the University of Alaska Southeast Lacie said to her coordinator that she was not only excited about being in Alaska, but she wanted to give something back to the campus community she felt had already welcomed and embraced her. That something took the form of leading the reformation of an English club that had become inactive. She rallied English professors and a handful of interested students, and by February the Beatniks English club was formed. Soon after that, monthly open mike nights organized by the Beatniks became the hot place to be, and each month more students have come to perform. Lacie stated that it has given students who have stage fright or don't think their works are deserving of a voice, a chance to share and build their confidence. It has allowed artist from all over Juneau to get involved with the college instead of separating it from the community. It has brought professors out and allowed them to interact with students outside of the classroom that ultimately improves the relationship within the classroom. It allows professors to see the impact they are having on the lives of their students whether it is in a poem or an idea.
Lacie has also highlighted other moments of her exchange: She was recognized as a UAS republican representative for the 2009 Republican Convention commemorating Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday. She has taken full advantage of the wilderness in Alaska and has experienced personal growth through skiing, sea kayaking, backpacking, snowshoeing, fly-fishing, camping and much more. She had a special feature article written on her achievements and adventures in Alaska. She was featured in several articles highlighting the UAS Beatniks English club and her role in an ongoing debate to put bike lanes along the highway. With all of this she has also earned a 3.5 GPA.
At the end of her exchange Lacie wrote to NSE saying, "I would have never known that I was capable of creating so much good in so many lives if I had not gone on exchange and pushed my own comfort zones by coming to Alaska."
Her Alaska coordinator said that Lacie is a dynamic and friendly student who came to UAS with more than a positive attitude. She came with intention and spunk!
Iowa State University to University of Alaska Southeast 2008-2009
When asked what motivated you to participate in the National Student Exchange, Keith replied, "I participated in NSE because I had become worried that I was seeing the world through a narrowed perspective. I had travelled enough to realize that the world was more diverse than the faction that I had encountered, but felt that unless I immersed myself in a situation different than what I was used to, I might never be able to truly understand the ways in which others engage the world, and how that might shape their perception of it."
There are three achievements while on exchange that uniquely changed Keith's engagement of the world.
- He became involved with Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE). SIFE is an organization that hosts competitions between competing university chapters which encourage entrepreneurial-minded students to develop projects that benefit their campuses and communities. Under the guidance of the chapter advisor, Keith set up a project that would address energy/cost issues in rural Alaska. The project resulted in furnishing every home in Port Alexander, AK - a rural town running on private generators - with 5 CFL bulbs, which are estimated to reduce energy bills by as much as 15%. Keith was able to facilitate distribution and a collection center that will ensure the bulbs are disposed of in a safe manner.
- Keith was accepted for an internship program that allows students to work as full-time employees in the Alaska State Legislature in the office of a State legislator. The experience was an overwhelming success and there are now job prospects available to him in the Alaska Legislature. Keith was able to see how the political process works and even afforded the privilege of sitting in private meetings with lawyers and legislators to workshop a bill that he carried for his boss, Representative Peggy Wilson.
- Keith completed an intensive study on the culture of the Tlingit North Americans, who welcomed him into their lives by sharing many stories and inviting him to their sacred rituals and ceremonies. Keith used that experience to complete his senior honors project. Keith was invited to present his project at the annual meeting of the Alaska Anthropology Association (AAA) in Juneau. This project invigorated his desire to study different ways of seeing the world.