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August 29, 2014

Internationally renowned cancer researcher addresses Alaska Middle College School students

Internationally renowned cancer researcher, Melody Swartz, Ph.D., addressed students at the Alaska Middle College School (AMCS) during an exclusive lecture Monday, encouraging them to pursue their passions.

Melody Swartz, Ph.D., speaks at the Alaska Middle College School
Internationally celebrated cancer researcher
Melody Swartz, Ph.D., discusses science, research and
life aspirations with Alaska Middle College School students.
Swartz was named a 2012 MacArthur Fellow and is currently a professor at the University of Chicago Institute of Molecular Engineering. She was the keynote speaker at this year's UAA Freshman Convocation. During her visit, she also gave a public lecture entitled “Immunoengineering: A New Approach to Cancer Research and Beyond.”

Swartz's visit to AMCS was memorable, marking students' first day of college courses at UAA. During her presentation, she not only encouraged students to pursue their passions but also discussed her research, science and biology with them.

“Dr. Swartz inspired the students by sharing her story,” said Whitney Tisdale, AMCS coordinator. “She assured them that when you work hard and put forth effort and time you can achieve anything.”

The Alaska Middle College School, housed at the UAA Chugiak-Eagle River Campus, is a collaboration between UAA and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District. In addition to special presentations each semester, the early college program provides high school juniors and seniors the unique opportunity to earn their high school diploma while simultaneously earning college credits toward an Associate of Arts degree from UAA.

CERC provides instruction and related activities to meet the Chugiak and Eagle River community needs for postsecondary courses, workforce development, professional and continuing education, and student support services. In addition to daytime classes, CERC offers courses scheduled in a once-a-week meeting format in the evenings and on the weekends to provide educational access for nontraditional, working adults or those who need greater flexibility in an academic schedule.

About the Chugiak-Eagle River Campus
The Chugiak-Eagle River Campus is administered by the UAA Community & Technical College's Extended Studies & Workforce Development Division. The division also offers courses through the Continuing Education Department and Military Programs at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. For more information visit

Story by Mariah Olney, Communications Coordinator