Commencement ceremony scheduled, Bell honored

Kenai Peninsula College

Posted: Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Kenai Peninsula College commencement ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Renee C. Henderson Auditorium in Kenai.

This year nine bachelor degrees

(four year), 96 associate degrees (two year) and 31 certificates or welding certifications ( one year) will be awarded. In addition, 43 GED diplomas will be awarded. A number of academic awards and scholarships will be announced at the ceremony.

The keynote speaker will be Joe Beedle, former UA Vice-President of Finance and former KPC adjunct faculty member.

The musical selection will be performed by the Northwind Unity Drummers. Musical accompaniment for the ceremony, including the processional and recessional, will be provided by KRC adjunct music faculty and professional pianist, Maria Allison.

The public is invited to attend the event. A reception for the graduates and their families will immediately follow the ceremony in the foyer of the auditorium.

Bell named New Century Scholar

Robert Bell, a student at Kenai Peninsula College’s Kenai River Campus, has been named the New Century Scholar for the State of Alaska and to the All-USA Academic Third Team for Community and Junior Colleges.

Bell was selected from 1,600 nominations from across the U.S. Funding sponsor The USA TODAY newspaper ran full-page article on the All-USA Academic Team competition in its Monday edition. As one of 60 members of the All-USA Academic Team, Bell and Kenai Peninsula College will receive extensive national recognition.

The New Century Scholars program is sponsored annually by the American Association of Community Colleges, the Coca-Cola Foundation, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Each New Century Scholar received a $2,000 scholarship and the institution they are attending received special recognition at the annual American Association of Community Colleges Convention that was held this week in Long Beach, California.

Bell was nominated by KPC college director Gary J. Turner, on the basis of grade point average; participation in honors programs; awards, honors, recognition for academic achievement and service to the college and the community.

Bell was a high school drop-out and former logger who began attending KPC and first earned his GED diploma under the auspices of an Alaska Department of Vocational Rehabilitation program. Bell plans to pursue a bachelor of science degree in medical technology at the University of Alaska Anchorage in the fall with the ultimate goal of earning a masters degree in public administration. Bell will receive his associates of arts degree at the end of the semester and has been selected as valedictorian for the arts and sciences division at the commencement ceremony Tuesday. Bell hopes to pursue a career in politics after fulfilling his education goals.

Bell, a student employee in the maintenance department at KPC, was selected last fall by Governor Frank Murkowski as the sole Student Commissioner to the Alaska Commission of Postsecondary Education.

“This is an amazing accomplishment! We are so proud of Robert and the recognition this has brought to Kenai Peninsula College and the University of Alaska,” said Turner. “I believe this shows the quality of the education at KPC and more importantly is evidence of the quality of students that attend here,” said Turner. “To be selected as one of the top 60 community college students in the U.S., is an unbelievable achievement.”

UAA Chancellor’s

Awards clarification

In last week’s column, information about the University of Alaska Anchorage Chancellor awards was incorrectly reported. Each year the Chancellor presents Exemplary Group Achievement awards in four categories. The awards program is open to all UAA campuses including the Anchorage and four community campuses.

This year, KPC was the recipient of two of these four awards. The Service Learning Team won the award given for “Exemplary Group Achievements Demonstrated in a Program or Service” while the Emergency Medical Service Team won the category for “Exemplary Group Achievements in Internal and/or External Partnerships.” This is a remarkable achievement for KPC to win half of these prestigious awards.

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