As a Juneau-Douglas High School graduate, I’ve been able to look around proudly at my classmates accomplishments at a young age. Many of my classmates have further studied out of state at a cost of high student loan debt, a burden of many for the 21st century. However, others attended the University of Alaska which provides affordable, high quality education within the proximity of home for undergraduates, graduates, medical students and trade skills. It’s a unique opportunity that has potential to grow Alaska’s economy with young talent at a low tuition cost.
My university experiences have taken me across the U.S. from Montana, New Hampshire and now Cornell, where I currently work in ecology. I encounter countless bright minds coming together to address problems from the local to the global scale. The University of Alaska does the same, and I even returned to Juneau through University of Alaska Southeast to represent Cornell along with many other researchers from U.S. and international institutions. Here, I see the potential for the university to bring in outside talent and income, a rare opportunity for the state itself.
Universities have been shown to bolster state economies and provide some of the best returns on investments for state dollars. There is high potential for Alaska’s universities to attract intelligent talent that can help contribute to the economy through student’s out-of-state tuition spending and unique business ideas that can solve our most challenging problems. Alaska is a destination for many and it is sad to see our governor block its potential.
Ithaca, New York; formerly of Juneau
• My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.