» Return to UAF News and Events

Alexander honored with classroom dedication

Submitted by Carin Bailey Stephens
Phone: 907-322-8730


Photo caption below.
Photo by Allison Blanchard, UAF Marketing and Communications
Vera Alexander
In 1965, Vera Alexander became the first woman to receive a doctorate at the University of Alaska. Four decades later, after serving as a professor of marine science, a director and a dean, Alexander has been honored with the dedication of a new smart classroom at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The classroom, room 201 in the O'Neill Building on UAF's West Ridge, was renamed the Vera Alexander Learning Center during a dedication ceremony held on Wednesday, May 28. At the ceremony, UAF Chancellor Steve Jones and Denis Wiesenburg, dean of the UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, unveiled the room's dedication plaque and thanked Alexander for more than 40 years of service.

The recently completed center is among the most technologically advanced classrooms on the UAF campus. Equipped with complete videoconferencing capabilities, widescreen plasma displays and an interactive dry erase board called a smart board, the classroom connects the five major locations of the UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

The classroom broadcasts courses to students at any of the school's five divisions in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Juneau, Kodiak and Seward. It will also be used for thesis and dissertation defenses, seminars and lectures. Funding for the building of the learning center was provided in part by the Rasmuson Foundation, as part of a multi-million-dollar expansion of UAF's fisheries program.

After receiving her doctorate in marine science at the University of Alaska in 1965, Alexander became an associate professor at the fledgling Institute of Marine Science on the Fairbanks campus. In 1980, she became the director of IMS. When the UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences was formed in 1987, Alexander became its first dean and served for nearly 20 years, until 2004.

Alexander is currently a professor emeritus and is on the advisory board for the UAF Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center. She is part of various scientific steering committees, including those for the international Census of Marine Life, the North Pacific Research Board and NOAA Ocean Explorations. Alexander is the president of the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States.

The UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 55 faculty scientists and 135 graduate students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. SFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.