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Bristol Bay Campus Director Named

Submitted by Carla Browning
Phone: (907) 474-7778


College of Rural Alaska Executive Dean Bernice Joseph has named Deborah McLean-Nelson the director of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Bristol Bay Campus in Dillingham. McLean-Nelson, currently an associate professor of education and early childhood, will take the reins from retiring Director Peggy Wood who is currently serving as acting director at the Northwest Campus in Nome.

McLean-Nelson has served as program coordinator of the Early Childhood Education program at the Bristol Bay Campus and as a member of the School of Education faculty. She has also worked with the Bristol Bay Housing Authority. Before moving to Alaska in 1993 to accept a position in Dillingham, McLean served as an Assistant Director for the Barbara K. Lipman Early Childhood School and Research Institute at Memphis State University, where she received her doctorate in education.

"We're thrilled that Deborah has lived and worked in Dillingham for nearly a decade," said Bernice Joseph, Executive Dean of the College of Rural Alaska. "Her background in early childhood, coupled with the fact that she's worked with students in the 32 villages served by the campus, will be a real asset."

Retiring Bristol Bay Campus Director Peggy Wood will continue working with the College of Rural Alaska as the acting director for the Northwest Campus. Wood began working for the university in 1979 with the UA Division of Community Colleges, Rural Education and Extension in Anchorage. She was named Bristol Bay Campus Director in 1987. She also served as the Bristol Bay Rural Education Center's coordinator since 1986.

"Dr. Wood's leadership is being tapped once again as she serves as the acting director of our Northwest Campus in Nome," said Dean Joseph. "She will be missed in Dillingham, but we're fortunate that she's agreed to take on this new role."

The Bristol Bay Campus serves a 55,000 square mile region bounded by Bristol Bay, the Bering Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The campus administrative center is in Dillingham (about 322 air miles from Anchorage and 570 air miles from Fairbanks) with subregional centers in Naknek, Iliamna and Togiak. The campus serves rural communities as far south as Ivanoff Bay, into the north to Port Alsworth and west to Togiak. Enrollment ranges from 400 to 600 students.

The campus offers an associate of arts degree in general studies. Associate of applied science degrees are offered in applied accounting, applied business, community health, early childhood education, human service technology, interdisciplinary studies, microcomputer support specialist and office management technology. Bachelor of arts degrees are offered in interdisciplinary studies and rural development.

Courses are offered by distance delivery (audio-conference, correspondence or Internet), and by itinerant instructors using traditional methods.

Last year, the Bristol Bay Campus was one of four UAF community campuses Bristol Bay, Chukchi, Northwest and Kuskokwim -- along with the University of Alaska Southeast campus in Sitka -- to receive $9 million in federal education grants for career training programs in health and business, land and resource management and financial aid advising.

CRA serves an area that covers nearly two-thirds of the state of Alaska, representing more than 160 primarily Native Alaska communities. UAF's extended campuses include Northwest (Nome), Kuskokwim (Bethel), Bristol Bay (Dillingham) and Chukchi (Kotzebue), and the Interior-Aleutians and Tanana Valley campuses both in Fairbanks. CRA also oversees UAF's Center for Distance Education, the state's Cooperative Extension Service and the Department of Alaska Native and Rural Development.

CONTACT: Deborah McLean-Nelson at (907) 842-5109 or e-mail: rfdlm@uaf.edu or UAF Public Information Officer Carla Browning at (907) 474-7778 or by e-mail to carla.browning@uaf.edu.