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New Vista program volunteer is familiar face at college

Posted: Wednesday, February 19, 2003

KPC's Learning Center announced a "new" Vista volunteer working in its literacy program. What's not so new about this Vista volunteer is that he has been a student at KPC for several years pursuing his bachelor's degree in anthropology.

When asked why the Vista program was attractive to him, Glen Stinsman doesn't hesitate.

"This was another opportunity to continue at Kenai Peninsula College. Because I'm both an avid reader and writer, working in the literacy program was a perfect fit," he said.

Stinsman said that KPC has changed his life.

"When I first came to KPC, I had no direction. After a while, I realized I wanted to become something more. Being on campus, I became aware that I was good at something and that gave me hope for the future," he said.

Stinsman traveled to Provo, Utah, for a preservice orientation in January that was provided to all new Vista volunteers. Over a period of three days, he learned a lot about Vista he didn't know before, like the fact that the Vista program is the domestic branch of the Peace Corps. He was surprised at the variety of directions the program takes volunteers.

"The people involved ranged in age from 18 to 60 years old, and they were placed in all 50 states. There were volunteers who were going to work building low-income housing, community gardening projects and food banks," Stinsman said.

When asked what the most important take-home message from the orientation was, he thought only for a second before he said, "That it's not about making money, it's about making change."

KPC congratulates and thanks Glen Stinsman for his selfless contribution to the campus, community and the world.

Process technology update

The KPC admissions department reports 32 students have applied for May 2003 graduation to receive degrees in process technology.

The college created this degree in response to a "call for action" from the oil and gas industry in Alaska.

During a January presentation, the Kenai Process Industry Career Consortium reported that the average age of oil and gas industry workers in Alaska is 48, with no significant population influx to fill the future gaps in available, qualified employees.

Sal Mattero, KPICC president, said there is no need to import workers from Outside when they can be trained right here at KPC. He pointed out that industry supports the efforts of KPC to develop and sustain a world class vocational and technically trained workforce on the peninsula.

KPC's full-time instructors in process technology, Alan Houtz and David Spann, received awards from KPICC for their work developing the program and instructing students. Adjunct instructors Holly Norwood, Ken Domke and Bill Murray also were honored for their contributions to the program.

Who's Who At KPC

KPC's Who's Who highlights the faculty and staff who work hard to make KPC a college of first choice. This week KPC would like to introduce the professor of anthropology.

Who: Alan Boraas

Academic background: Boraas received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Minne-sota in 1969, his master's degree from the University of Toronto in 1971, and his doctorate from Oregon State University in 1983.

Time in Alaska: "I was raised in northern Minnesota and left at age 22 after graduating from the University of Minnesota. I have been in Alaska for 34 years. I came to go to graduate school at UAF and to await the draft for the Vietnam War. As it turned out, I wasn't drafted and I'm still here."

Hobbies and interests: "I like to cross-country ski and skijour. I like to run, although asthma slows me to more of a passionate trot. I also like to hike, bike, kayak and camp. I like to do photography, and I like to cut firewood and plow snow."

Memorable job: "My most memorable job was working (briefly) in a Twinkie factory making Twinkies and Ding Dongs. If I'd have played my cards right, I could have spent a career making Twinkies and Ding Dongs, and now I'd be retired and living in the Arizona desert playing shuffleboard and wearing plaid shorts, black shoes with tall black socks and a straw hat."

Five years from now: "I'll be rushing around getting ready for class, or I'll be looking for a file that 'I know I saw just yesterday' -- pretty much the same thing I've been doing for the past 30 years. Then again, maybe I'll be living in a retirement community in the Arizona desert playing shuffleboard and wearing plaid shorts, black shoes with tall black socks and a straw hat."

Favorite thing about KPC: "I like the flexibility to teach complex subjects that interest both me and my students. I like the opportunity to contribute to the understanding of Kenai Peninsula culture history through research and writing."

This column is provided by Suzie Kendrick, community relations coordinator at Kenai Peninsula College.



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