Kenai Peninsula College faculty achievements speak volumes

Around Campus

Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Faculty members at the Kenai River Campus do more than teach classes. In addition to the time spent in the classroom, faculty engage in research, serve in advisory roles in community venues, write grants and attend continuing education courses.

Celia Anderson, art professor, has served on the school’s Service Learning Team since the program was launched. She continues to develop methods of integrating Service Learning into classes. Anderson recently received a Service Learning mini-grant to write a new course that focuses on giving art students methods for effective delivery of art concepts to public school children.

The proposed course is designed to use a discipline based approach to arts education. The course will culminate with students presenting an art lesson in a public school classroom. Anderson serves on the arts committees for the Kenai Convention and Visitors Bureau and Central Peninsula Hospital.

Anderson said, “I have always been a painter, on canvas and fiber. I recently had two large paintings purchased by the Anchorage Museum of History and Art for their permanent collection. Both are large self-portraits, in acrylic with found-a rt components. The pieces are titled, ‘Caught in the Middle’ and ‘Escape Routes for the Workaholic.’

Anderson, a prolific artist, has sold 18 large, one percent art projects that appear in public buildings across the state. She also is represented by the OPUS6IX Art Gallery in Eugene, Ore., where a variety of her works are on display on a regular basis.

Professor Allen Houtz has taught at the school for 28 years. Houtz is a chemical engineer and industrial control systems expert who brings a wealth of real world experience to his students.

On student evaluations, Houtz consistently ranks among the very best University of Alaska instructors. Recent student surveys characterize him as a “great instructor who puts way too much time into class and lab ... the best instructor at this college.”

According to peers, Houtz is responsible for industrial process instrumentation associate of applied science degree program. The program a highly regarded two-year industrial automation program. Houtz’s instrumentation and process technology students rate highest among 40 schools who participate in Shell Oil Company’s pre-employment testing program. Students have finished first in this program in each of the past three semesters.

Houtz is one of the most involved faculty members at the school. He serves on hiring committees, oversees scheduling of courses in his department, designs lab configurations, and many other things to make the school a better environment for students.

As a consulting control systems engineer, Houtz works throughout Alaska, designing and troubleshooting control systems for industry. He has developed and implemented proprietary systems in engine control for power generation and control systems simulation which are widely used. Although not in a research faculty position, Allen pursues research in control systems and industrial automation.

Professor Houtz recently has been approved for a two-semester sabbatical beginning in the fall. He has been invited to the University of Connecticut as a visiting professor. While there, Houtz will continue his research in control systems and industrial automation.

New show in G.L.

Freeburg Gallery

Concerned about global warming and disappearing species? The new show at the Gary L. Freeburg Gallery, “Ghost Markers,” addresses these concerns. The exhibition, a collection of mixed media works by Anchorage artist Jannah Atkins, runs through April 6.

Surplus auction planned

KRC will hold a public surplus auction at 11 a.m. March 22. There will be an itemized list of items that will be auctioned on the school’s Web site Monday, accessible from the school’s home page.

AARP seminars set

AARP Alaska will present financial education and consumer protection courses from 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday and Tuesday. The free workshops are being offered in 12 communities around the state.

According to the AARP Web site the workshops are designed to help build confidence in people learning how to invest and will help them build a more financially secure retirement.

The financial education classes will be taught by financial professionals who will not be allowed to pitch financial services or products. The goal of the consumer protection classes is to teach consumers how to avoid becoming a victim.

Registration may be done online at the AARP Alaska’s Web site.

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

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