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April 29, 2008

John Kelley earns Usibelli service award

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Fairbanks, Alaska—UAF announced today that SFOS faculty member John Kelley earned this year's Emil Usibelli Distinguished Public Service Award.

The Emil Usibelli Distinguished Teaching, Research and Public Service are considered one of the university’s most prestigious awards. They represent UAF’s tripartite mission and are funded annually from a $600,000 endowment established by Usibelli Coal Mine in 1992.

Each year, a committee that includes members from the faculty, the student body and a member of the UA Foundation Board of Trustees evaluates the nominees. Each of the winners receives a cash award of $10,000.

Marsha Sousa, an associated professor of allied health, will receive the teaching award and Gerald Mohatt, professor of psychology and director of the Center for Alaska Native Health Research, will receive the research award.

Kelley joined the UAF faculty in 1974 as an assistant professor with the Institute of Marine Science. Since then, he has served in a variety of research and service roles, including four years as the director of the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory in Barrow, where he gained the trust of the communities in the North Slope Borough. Kelley has continued to serve the region as chairman of the NSB Science Advisory Committee since 1981.

Kelley also served as director of the National Science Foundation’s Polar Ice Coring Office at UAF, commissioner on the Fairbanks North Star Borough’s Mombetsu (Japan) Sister City Commission and member of the Planning Committee for the National Academies of Science, International Polar Year. Kelley holds a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and a doctorate from University of Nagoya in Japan.

Kelley has mentored junior faculty and students, keeping the "best of the university and its associated community in mind," said Debasmita Misra, associate professor in UAF’s College of Engineering and Mines, who nominated him.

"Despite all the important service activities that John has performed, his humility and compassion has always left others seeking his support time and again."

Kelley is credited for working with UAF’s Rural Student Services and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society to develop a program to encourage Alaska Native undergraduates to pursue careers in science. The NEWNET/ORION program, created in 1997 with support from the U.S. Department of Energy, was designed to involve Alaska Native college students in monitoring atmospheric radioactivity in Alaska.

Kelley and the other recipients will be honored at a reception May 5 at 3:30 p.m. in Wood Center Conference Rooms C & D.

Portions of this story are courtesy of a press release written by Carla Browning, University Marketing and Communications

Contact

Carin Bailey Stephens
Public Information Officer
UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Phone: 907-322-8730
E-mail: stephens@sfos.uaf.edu

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