• Alaskan school counseling: child sexual abuse curriculum for kindergarten through second grade students

      Weaver, Kristy; Cook, Christine; Morotti, Allan; McMorrow, Samantha (2016)
      This project reviews Erin's Law, a new law passed in Alaska, which requires all school districts to implement a prevention oriented child sexual abuse program in their schools. Existing literature on effective components of school-based child sexual abuse prevention programs is reviewed. Alaskan school counselors will benefit from information regarding child sexual abuse, a list of existing school-based child sexual abuse prevention programs that meet the requirements of Erin's Law, and a set of child sexual abuse prevention lessons relevant for students in grades K-2.
    • Building Safe Families Through Educating on Adverse Childhood Experiences

      Dabney, Katie E.; Dahl, Heather; McMorrow, Samantha; Henze-Nelson, Brenda (2018-05)
      There is a strong correlation between families that work with child welfare agencies and the prevalence of maltreatment during childhood. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have been linked to poor health outcomes but are much more negatively correlated when 3 or more ACEs have been experienced during a childhood (Hunt, Slack & Berger, 2017; Crouch, Strompolis, Bennett, Morse, & Radcliff, 2017). Teaching parents about the impacts of ACEs and how they may more safely parent, can reduce the recidivism of future maltreatment in at-risk families who work with child welfare agencies. Education can give parents the power and motivation to make better decisions for themselves and for their families.
    • Bullying in middle school: the role of school counselors and teachers in preventing bullying

      Palmer, Paula Nicole; Topkok, Sean; Barnhardt, Ray; Roehl, Roy (2017-05)
      Research suggests that bullying is a problem in schools throughout the nation. Children spend the vast majority of their life attending school. School counselors and teachers are in a unique position to identify, prevent and educate students about bullying. The purpose of this project was to examine the role of school counselors and teachers in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District (FNSBSD) in preventing bullying in their schools. The participants of this study were 8 school counselors and teachers from four middle schools in the FNSBSD. Data for this research was collected using an anonymous online survey utilizing www.SurveyMonkey.com. The results of the survey indicated that bullying is an issue in the four middle schools selected for the study in FNSBSD. Of the four major types of bullying discussed in my research (cyber, relation, physical, and verbal), there was a consensus among the participants that cyber and relational bullying were the most prevalent and problematic in their schools. Recommendations for future research include expanding on this study to include a larger sample of schools and participants, suggestions for strengthening staff training and implementing school based youth courts in FNSBSD schools as part of the bully intervention and prevention program.
    • A guide to school-based suicide prevention in Alaska secondary schools

      Sprague, Anna; Cook, Christine; Gifford, Valerie; Simpson, Joni (2014)
      The purpose of this project is to provide education professionals in the state of Alaska with a practical resource for understanding and distinguishing between evidence-based, best practice, and currently employed school based suicide prevention programs. Programs selected for inclusion were evidence-based and best practice programs recognized by professional organizations including the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP), and are currently listed as accepted programs and resources by the State of Alaska Department of Education and Early Childhood. Programs were evaluated for format, accessibility, research and reviews, and cultural considerations. Nine programs, with 5 others mentioned not meeting all criteria, are presented in a website for easy sharing of information.
    • The Northwest Arctic institute: an indigenous approach to prevention

      Peter, Evon; Wexler, Lisa; Ramos, Judith; Leonard, Beth (2016-05)
      This paper will cover concepts of leadership in Indigenous contexts, Indigenous community development strategies, and Indigenous community healing and wellness, as they apply to the history and framework of the Northwest Arctic Institute (NWAI) program. The NWAI is a weeklong culturally based prevention program designed for Alaska Native peoples. The program incorporates Indigenous knowledge and pedagogy into the sharing of core teachings about resilience, adaptation, and cultural identity. It covers the impacts of rapid social, cultural, and political changes on the lives of Alaska Native peoples. The NWAI is for adults interested in furthering their own personal healing and in working on wellness within their families and communities. This paper explains an Indigenous approach to healing and the theoretical framework for supporting community level capacity building models among Alaska Native peoples. The paper also describes the NWAI planning process and methodology. In addition to the paper, which will meet completion requirements for the Masters in Rural Development at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, I will co-produce a documentary film on the NWAI to share our experience with the intention of raising awareness, fostering conversation, and inspiring others to action. The analysis and descriptions are based on the my life experience as an Alaska Native leader. I have served Indigenous communities for twenty years in roles spanning ten unique capacities, including education administrator, tribal administrator, tribal chief, national tribal non-profit executive director, for-profit Alaska Native owned corporate chief executive officer, tribal renewable energy manager, tribal wellness manager, and as a board member to regional, national, and international Indigenous organizations. The theoretical framework for leadership selection is derived from my work in developing, planning, and leading facilitation of the Northwest Arctic Institute, which was based on Indigenous youth leadership development and prevention experience at the local, national, and international levels. This history is covered within the Introduction and Program History sections.
    • Stress reduction support for new teachers in rural Alaska

      Wray, Tapiana; Renes, Susan L.; Topkok, Sean A.; Morton, James (2018-05)
      Teachers experience many different facets of stress that directly affect attrition and burnout in the profession. While the research on teacher retention and attrition in Arctic Alaska is limited, that does not diminish the impact felt by the students, the community, and the state. Teacher attrition and retention is a multidimensional issue that could benefit from an intervention created on behalf of administrators, communities, and the teachers themselves. This paper presents one approach to address teacher retention: teachers and administrators incorporating stress reduction techniques into their lives have been proven successful in reducing teacher stress to mitigate teacher burnout.
    • Urge surfing for acute and post-acute recovery populations

      Todhunter, Max David; Gifford, Valerie; Sandberg, Patricia; Dahl, Heather (2017-05)
      Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention urge surfing is an intervention that promotes distress tolerance through acceptance of and non-reactivity to urges and cravings. While the urge surfing intervention is effective with participants in out-patient and early recovery settings, for which it was designed, there is no research literature related to its efficacy for clients receiving higher level of care services during early abstinence and recovery. Clients undergoing residential treatment for substance use concerns are likely to experience difficulty with a cognition based approach such as urge surfing, due to cognitive dysfunction related to post-acute withdrawal in early recovery. A modification of the urge surfing intervention that replaces an abstract cognition dependent visualization with a focus on immediate and concrete somatic distress creates the potential of making it useful for populations in early recovery.