Hometown U

Hometown U represents the University of Alaska Anchorage. We are a diverse and inclusive public university serving 20,000 students in Anchorage and four community campuses. Our mission is to discover and disseminate knowledge through teaching, research, engagement and creative expression.

Here you'll be alerted to enriching opportunities for engaging your mind and heart. What are our scientists working on? Our playwrights and poets? What's student life like? Get perspective on Alaska and global complexities through the eyes of those who study them carefully.

Find our website here. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

We invite you to explore this great university, located right in your own backyard.

Contact Kathleen McCoy at kmccoy5@uaa.alaska.edu

What makes a cold city cool? Investigating urban design - 3/24/2014 3:26 pm

Student Spotlight: Seawolf Debate Program - 3/18/2014 10:23 am

Reimagining a winter campus during Winterfest 2014 - 2/24/2014 10:29 am

Bringing the tables of Istanbul to the screen - 2/18/2014 10:27 am

A dedicated space for alumni, UAA’s new Alumni Center - 2/12/2014 4:08 pm

Living history: Tuskegee aviator visits UAA - 2/7/2014 9:19 am

UAA offers Alaska Native words of welcome - 1/15/2014 5:05 pm

UAA joins community and statewide relief efforts for typhoon-ravaged Philippines - 11/20/2013 10:36 am

I AM UAA: Faces from the U

The best stories are always about people, and a university is a great place to find these tales because of its ripe environment for change and transformation.

Most readers won't realize that UAA has an alumni army of 40,000 graduates from all its different programs, many of them serving important roles in Anchorage and the state.

A new feature series highlights these personal stories, called "I AM UAA." Here are links to two:

Mark WilliamsMark Williams
B.A. Music Education ’13

Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska

Fun Fact: Plans to pursue an advanced degree in music therapy

Not many people are as lucky as Mark Williams to find their passion so early in life. For Mark, the light bulb flickered on in middle school when he realized he would pursue a higher education and eventual career in music.

He started playing the bongos at the age of 6, and over the years learned to play the trumpet, baritone, piano and tuba—his main instrument. “I found that music was my own special talent,” Mark says.

By the time his senior year of high school rolled around, Mark was busy creating audition tapes and putting in applications to music schools across the country, including UAA. He was accepted into all of them and was even offered a full-ride scholarship to a university in Alabama.

But there was something about his hometown university that felt right to Mark. “All the signs pointed to UAA,” he says. It was about the time of his high school graduation that UAA received an anonymous $7 million gift, which established the Seawolf Opportunities Scholarship. He put his name in the hat for the scholarship and was thrilled to learn he was selected as a recipient. “I took it as a sign that this was where I was supposed to be,” he says.

Read the rest of the story here.

Amber Christensen Fullmer and her son, BrandonAmber Christensen Fullmer and her son, Brandon

Alumni Spotlight: Amber Christensen Fullmer
B.A. Sociology ’03
Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska
Fun Fact: Her oldest son starts in the civil engineering program at UAA this year.

Alaska grown Amber Christensen Fullmer spent 13 years working in law enforcement as a probation officer in both Alaska and Colorado before deciding it was time to try something new. “I was burnt out,” she admits.

Last November, with the support of her husband and kids, she opened Amber’s Olive Company, selling top-quality olive oils, balsamic vinegars and an array of complementary products from Alaska producers, like barley flour from Delta Junction, honey from the Valley and pickled salmon and halibut from an Anchorage company.

Amber’s Olive Company carries products from Alaska-based businesses in addition to their international oil and vinegar selection.

So how did she make the leap from probation officer to entrepreneur?

“There was a store like this that we used to go to in Colorado,” Amber says. “The last time we went, I was really bummed out because we weren’t going to have access to it anymore.”

A military family, they were stationed in Colorado until just last year when they made the move to Alaska—home for Amber, but a new world for her husband, a Californian.

Her husband, who holds master’s degrees in business administration and emergency management, encouraged her to think big, saying, “You know, you could do this,” referring to the olive oil and balsamic vinegar store.

Read the rest of Amber's story here.

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UAA's Northern Exposures: UAA has launched a photo blog to feature life and events at UAA. Come join us!UAA's Northern Exposures: UAA has launched a photo blog to feature life and events at UAA. Come join us!

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