Sarah Andrew, new director of University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Bristol Bay Campus, invited ISER’s Dayna DeFeo to deliver the keynote talk at the Bristol Bay Campus annual summit in Dillingham last month. Andrew called upon DeFeo, who directs ISER’s Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, to share research findings on how to better serve rural Alaska students, and to lead a discussion addressing difficult issues of equity, access, and privilege.
ISER Center for Alaska Education Policy Research (CAEPR) Director Dayna DeFeo and Research Professionals Jessica Passini and Trang Tran provided findings from two separate evaluation projects at a statewide meeting of educators and […]
Education research shared at Alaska Career and Technical Education Professional Development conference
ISER’s Dayna DeFeo, director of the Center for Alaska Education Policy Research (CAEPR), and Research Associates Jessica Passini and Trang Tran provided current research to educators, administrators and policymakers on student transitions from high school to post-secondary education, including college and technical schools.
The Center for Alaska Education Policy Research (CAEPR) is collaborating with the Department of Biological Sciences in a new National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded project to redesign UAA’s general introductory biology course for non-majors. The goal is to increase student learning and engagement, and to encourage more UAA students to pursue STEM majors and careers.
ISER and University of Alaska faculty and administrators leading international Arctic research and education efforts
University of Alaska faculty and administrators have leadership roles in several national and international Arctic research organizations, including ISER’s own Diane Hirshberg. In December 2017, Dr. Hirshberg was elected to a three-year term on the Board of the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. Dr. Hirshberg also was re-elected to a second three-year term on in the International Arctic Social Sciences Association Council in June 2017. In addition, she continues to serve as Advisor to the UAA Chancellor on Arctic Research & Education, facilitating UAA’s engagement in the University of the Arctic (UArctic), building the Arctic research community at UAA, and co-organizing the Anchorage Arctic Research Days along with ARCUS, the Institute of the North and the Anchorage Museum.
The ARCUS Board is led by another UAA faculty member, Board President Dr. Audrey Taylor, an Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at UAA. Dr. Taylor is in her second three-year term on the board, and was elected President in December. Another UAA professor, Dr. Jeffrey Welker, Professor of Biological Sciences, is serving in a new leadership capacity in Arctic research. In 2017, he was appointed the first UArctic Research Chair (a collaborative appointment between UArctic, the University of Oulu and the University of Alaska Anchorage). His role is to implement and drive collaborative actions among UArctic members; develop research cooperation that includes undergraduate, graduate, PhD and postdoctoral scientist training; and build partnerships with the broader Arctic community. Finally, in June 2018 University of Alaska Fairbanks Vice Chancellor for Research Larry Hinzman was elected president of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) Council.
There are many other University of Alaska faculty and administrators taking leadership in national and international Arctic research and education efforts and organizations, and ISER is pleased to be a part of this important work.
Researchers at ISER's Center for Alaska Education Policy Research (CAEPR) have recently published two articles examining issues important to Alaska's teachers.
- It’s more than just dollars: Problematizing salary as the sole mechanism for recruiting and retaining teachers in rural Alaska, by Dayna DeFeo, Diane Hirshberg, and Lexi Hill. This article, published in the Alaska Native Studies Journal, argues that improving teacher retention in Alaska’s rural schools will require both adequate pay and attention to working conditions. Full text available for download.
- Statute and implementation: How phantom policies affect tenure value and support, by Dayna DeFeo, Matt Berman, and Diane Hirshberg. This article, published in Educational Policy, discusses how teachers and principals understand, inflate, or underestimate tenure protections, and how those interpretations affect the perceived value and effectiveness of the tenure policy itself. Abstract available for download, full text available for purchase.
Diane Hirshberg, founding director of the Center for Alaska Education Policy Research at ISER, since 2009, has decided to focus on a new goal: building UAA’s, ISER’s, and her own Arctic research portfolio. Dayna DeFeo, senior researcher at CAEPR since 2014, is now the director, a job she sees as "an exciting challenge."
Dr. Hirshberg, a professor of education policy at ISER, plans to continue doing some education research at CAEPR. But she said her broader interest in Arctic research has increased in recent years, as she studied Indigenous and Arctic education issues and served as advisor to UAA 's chancellor on Arctic research and education.
As the director of CAEPR, Dr. DeFeo will continue working with a wide range of groups interested in education issues, and she intends to build CAEPR’s research in three areas: college and career readiness, teacher supply and demand, and Indigenous and Arctic education.