Just because the holidays have passed and the New Year is underway doesn't mean Kenai Peninsula College is done celebrating. The public is invited to the annual spring semester open house from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Kenai River Campus. Walk-in registration will coincide with the open house and continues from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday.
The open house is designed to give everyone an opportunity to see what is new on the horizon, enjoy free food prepared by KPC's Jose Pons-Vives of Joe's College Caf and entertainment and get a feeling for what the college is all about, whether it is for the first or 100th time.
There will be displays by campus organizations and clubs providing their information. Examples include the honor society Phi Theta Kappa, the Multicultural Consortium, the Student Union, the Media Group and the newly formed Gamers Association.
Faculty members will provide demonstrations of classroom activities, including oil and watercolor painting, sculpture, surface and color design, furniture making, yoga, EMT activities, bear safety practices, digital photography and Japanese cooking. Dr. Ted Bailey will resurrect dinosaurs in a demonstration from his class "the dinosaur renaissance."
Everyone is encouraged to tour the campus. The six tour destinations also are designated door prize ticket drop-off locations. People can enter the drawing for door prizes with one entry per person at each location including instructor Obie O'Brien's machine shop, instructor Fritz Miller's welding shop, coordinator Diane Taylor's Learning Center, librarian Jane Fuerstenau's library, coordinator Krista Timlin's Career Center, or instructor and I.T. administrator Mark Jensen's computer labs. Door prizes include two, three-credit classes, the choice of a halibut or salmon charter (compliments of KPC's Kenai Fishing Academy) and a gift certificate for a two-night stay at the Call of the River-Bed and Breakfast.
Faculty will be available to answer questions about classes or degree programs at the "Ask the Faculty Anything" roundtables. Barb Christian, College of Arts and Sciences chair, will cover questions relating to English, creative writing and women's studies from 12:30 to 2 p.m.; Dr. David Wartinbee will answer questions regarding biology and nursing from 2 to 3:30 p.m.; Dr. Christine Gehrett will cover education degree questions from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; professors Dayne Clark and Ray Zagorski will be available for business degree inquiries from 5 to 6:30 p.m.; instructor David Spann will discuss process technology or industrial process instrumentation degree programs from 2 to 3:30 p.m.; and professor Scott Kraxberger, department chair of KPC's College of Business and Industry, will answer questions relating to degrees and careers involving computers or network technology from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
New faculty hired
for nursing program
Lynn Senette has accepted the position of term assistant professor of nursing in the University of Alaska Anchorage School of Nursing associate of applied science program.
Senette, a registered nurse for more than 27 years, holds a bachelor of science degree in nursing and a master's in business administration. Senette has served as adjunct nursing instructor for Weber State University and the Kenai River and Kachemak Bay KPC campuses during the past four years.
"I have found exceptional support for nursing education in the community, especially from practicing nurses. It made me want to continue to help others reach their goal of becoming a registered nurse," Senette said.
A new class will begin at the Kenai River campus Jan. 10. Senette emphasized that the 12 students accepted into the two-year program came from a pool of more than 25 applicants. A number of factors, including strict standards regarding the ratio of students to faculty and limited clinical nursing practicum opportunities in the area, limit the number of students accepted. In order to be considered for the program, applicants spent two to three years completing prerequisite classes while trying to keep a 4.0 grade point average.
"It is a very competitive program and the students are highly dedicated to what they are doing," Senette said.
These future nurses will help fill what is becoming a large gap in the profession.
Lyndsay Townsend, a math major and member of the on-campus Media Group, interviewed and reported the following story:
KPC is losing two long-time teachers, Hanna Schott, teacher for 24 years, and Linda Brazier, 28 years. They had their individual ways of finding themselves at KPC and have their individual reasons for leaving, although both are retiring. Brazier finished teaching at the end of the fall semester and Schott will retire at the end of the spring semester.
Schott graduated with a bachelor's in education from Central Washington University with an emphasis in mathematics and natural and physical sciences. She taught a year in Hawaii and three years on the Virgin Islands teaching middle school math and science. A death in the family brought her back home to Washington where she met her husband, who was then called to work in Alaska and off she went. Schott worked in the Learning Center while attending Central Washington in the summers to obtain her master's degree. Meanwhile, math professor Bonnie Heimbuch was ready to leave KPC in 1984. Schott applied for and was offered the position.
Linda Brazier worked as a lab aid at the University of Texas where she obtained her diploma. She decided to move to Alaska and in 1976 and began teaching lab classes at KPC. In 1979, Brazier got hired at KPC as a petroleum instructor. By 1984, Brazier switched from petroleum to business where she has since taught computer basics.
Students, staff and faculty wish both of these dedicated professional educators the best of luck in their retirements.
This column is provided by Suzie Kendrick, community relations coordinator at Kenai Peninsula College.
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