PUBLISHED: 1:47 PM on Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Griffin-Satre steps into UAS vice-chancellor position
Five Questions with Tish Griffin-Satre
Tell us about your role as interem vice-chancellor. When did you start, how long will it last?

I assumed the role of Interim Vice Chancellor of Student Services and Enrollment Management in late January and will serve until July 1st 2008 when former Dean of Students Bruce Gifford returns to UAS. I'm responsible for all the student services areas and making sure the enrollment numbers climb. I have a terrific staff of 35 professionals and over 80 student workers that make coming to work fun and invigorating because they all care about student success.

Michael Penn photo
  Tish Griffin-Satre began working at UAS in 1985 and recently became the interem vice-chancellor.
You have worked at UAS for 23 years. What changes have you seen in that time, and what new developments are you excited about?

I started at UAS in 1985. I came to open Student Housing and have been fortunate to have seen the campus grow tremendously over the years, from the Egan Library, the Egan classroom wing and the Banfield Residence Hall to the new Student Recreation facility where we collaborated with the Army National Guard.

It has been wonderful to watch the full time student population grow, particularly the Alaska Native students, and to watch the university respond to an increase in traditional college age students. I am proud of our work to develop the core facilities that support our students.

You are very involved in the community through Cancer Connection, and the Glacier Valley Rotary Club. Tell us more about your involvement in these organizations, and any others you are involved in.

I am currently President of Cancer Connection, a small grassroots non-profit that assists cancer survivors. My involvement came from being diagnosed myself in 1997 and having founder Mike Miller pull me into a local support group to help me navigate this new journey. It has become my passion to assist other Southeast residents facing a cancer diagnosis with travel assistance, support groups and health education forums.

In 1989 I was invited to join Rotary and have had many incredible opportunities through this organization. I have chaired the Pillars of America program, gone on Group Study Exchange to Russia, delivered wheelchairs in Mexico, hosted international students in my home, worked on Rotary Riverside Park 911 memorial and served as President of Glacier Valley Rotary in 2003. As a Rotarian I am most proud of the worldwide effort to eradicate polio. It shows that an organization with a big dream can truly make a difference in the world.

What are some of the challenges facing UAS graduates as they enter the workforce? How can the community help?

This is a timely question as we'll graduate a record number of students on Sunday, May 4, 2 p.m. at the Student Recreation Center in Juneau. Our Sitka ceremony is Friday, May 2, 7p.m. at the Community House and the Ketchikan graduation takes place Saturday, May 3, 3 p.m. at the Ted Ferry Civic Center.

Our latest McDowell graduate survey shows most of our graduates use skills and knowledge on the job that they learned at UAS. This is a new generation of students raised in a world of technology, instant information and full of self esteem. They can struggle with workplace etiquette as they step into the workforce supervised by a different generation that is having trouble understanding their work habits and perspectives.

My perception is that they view work commitment, access to the decision makers and work scheduling much different than their supervisors and business owners. The community needs to mentor and recognize that this is a new era. As a business community we need to be flexible, plan on short term labor commitments and communicate the office expectations. I'd suggest we make the workplace more enjoyable, more flexible, more tech friendly and make sure the students/new employees know the ground rules.

What advice do you have for students?

For the high school students, take advantage of all your opportunities. Take math all four years, learn to write and critically analyze problems and situations, engage in community service and volunteer opportunities and apply early for scholarships and financial aid!

For students of all ages; show up, do your best, ask questions, connect with a mentor, make responsible decisions for your health and wellness and minimize your distractions when studying. Set up a plan with an academic advisor and keep your eye on the plan as it will take some sacrifice and commitment to achieve your goals. Get the help and support you need to be successful.

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