On Topic with Jim Johnsen

Office of Public Affairs

On topic

New series features interviews with leading experts

April 17, 2019   This week the University of Alaska released the first of its videos and podcasts in a new series called “On Topic with Jim Johnsen” featuring conversations with authors and experts on important issues facing Alaska. The 10-part series is produced in collaboration with the University of Alaska Press and hosted by UA President Jim Johnsen. The series helps reinforce the university’s role as a thought leader across a broad spectrum of topics. Discussions feature authors, visiting lecturers and other subject matter experts.

Alaska is ground zero for many issues including the Arctic, strategic defense, geology and social diversity. Researchers at the University of Alaska explore these topics and create solutions for the challenges facing Alaska, our country and the world. Sharing these important discussions with all Alaskans is a role the university undertakes to engage the public on important and thought-provoking topics.

President Jim Johnsen moderates each discussion. As a lifelong learner, he is interested in drawing out the people behind the topics, and each “On Topic” episode includes a candid conversation with a leading expert.

Episode one features Jamie Casap the Chief Education Evangelist at Google. In his work at Google, Jaime focuses the powers of technology and the web in pursuit of promoting inquiry-driven learning models. He collaborates with school systems, educational organizations, and leaders focused on building innovation into education policies and practices.

Upcoming episodes feature Erwin Chemerinsky on campus free speech, John Walsh on climate change, Michael West on Alaska’s November 2018 earthquake and Paula Mathieu on writing as social justice. 

Each Wednesday for the next 10 weeks UA will release a new 6-8-minute episode and a 30-minute audio podcast. To promote On Topic, short videos will be posted to the UA System Facebook page.

On Topic is an exciting feature of the new public affairs News Center. As they are released, all 10 episodes will be available at https://alaska.edu/news/ontopic/index.php.