2004 commencement ceremony planned for next week

Around Campus

Posted: Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Preparations are under way for KPC's 2004 commencement. The public is invited to help celebrate the accomplishments of the students at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Renee C. Henderson Auditorium at Kenai Central High School.

Clayton Brockel, KPC's first director, will be the keynote speaker. University of Alaska Anchorage Chancellor Lee Edward Gorsuch and UA President Mark Hamilton will be in attendance at KPC's 40th anniversary commencement.

Short film festival

Bob Short came to KPC in 2001 when he drew a small crowd that did not quite know what to expect. The posters advertising "Bob's Shorts" left one to wonder what kind of movies this guy makes. Short quickly drew in the audience, though, with a combination of wit and enthusiasm and an unbridled passion for making the short films that are his namesake.

KPC will host another installment of Bob Short's "A 'Short' Film Festival" from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday in room 132. According to the promotional poster Short has supplied, "The first two or three were fun, now it's some kind of sick compulsion, fueled by god knows what."

Don't miss the opportunity to see this Alaska filmmaker's work; it will take you by surprise.

The KPC Showcase is supported in part by a generous grant from the Anna Fossett Goodrich Humanities Program of the Damon Memorial Fund.

Historical adventurel

Cathryn Pearce, KPC's associate professor of history, will return to Europe this summer to continue working on her PhD program at the Greenwich Maritime Institute, University of Greenwich, London, England. Pearce is researching the social and cultural history of Cornish "wrecking," or the act of luring ships ashore to plunder them.

She said the myth of wrecking is a tourist draw, but it also causes contentious Cornish debate about the extent of their participation. She will be examining the myth as well as the literal practice of "wrecking," plundering vessels that have been shipwrecked and-or beachcombing for salvage from 1700 to 1860.

While studying in England this past year, Pearce was chosen to read a paper at the New Researchers in Maritime History Conference in April 2003 held at the National Maritime Institute in Greenwich, London. Last June, she did an additional presentation for the National Maritime Museum staff research seminars, where her work was so well-received that she was invited to speak at the International Commission of Maritime History seminars at King's College, University of London, this May. The paper she will present is titled "Greedy Cormorants Waiting for Their Prey: Cornish Wreckers and Wrecking."

Pearce said, "Since I have returned to KPC, I have received three other invitations to read papers in England for 2004. In September, I will be traveling to Cornwall to present my research on the myth of Cornish wrecking, titled 'Neglectful or Worse: Tales of Lighthouse Keepers and Wrecking' at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall's conference in Falmouth. In October, I will be presenting my '... to prevent the cargo becoming prey to the populace: Reaction of the Establishment to Wrecking in the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries,' at the University of Exeter for the 40th Crossmead International Maritime History Conference. November will see me presenting a paper at the University of Greenwich Humanities Seminar Series."

Pearce knows these types of academic opportunities can be once in a lifetime opportunities and said, "I am grateful that KPC and UAA awarded me a sabbatical last year so that I could begin this rewarding research. The English have been very intrigued to be working with an historian from Soldotna, Alaska. And so, I am finding myself taking another year of leave to return to London to finish writing my dissertation."

KPC is proud of Ms. Pearce and will look forward to having her return as Dr. Pearce next year.

Art show receptionl

When you walk into the G.L. Freeburg Art Gallery, it doesn't take long to realize that talent is in no short supply in the art department at KPC. Unbelievable arrays of creative endeavors fill the gallery space, all of which were produced by KPC students during this academic year. In fact, the exhibition spills over into the art room with an impressive showing of oil paintings generated by the community education art classes.

There will be a reception to honor the artists and celebrate their achievements at 8 p.m. Saturday, right outside the gallery. The reception will immediately follow the "Short Film Festival."

Writers' conferencel

The Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference has gained a national reputation for providing an opportunity for writers to meet other writers, agents and publishers. This year, the conference will be held June 18 to 22 at Land's End Resort in Homer.

The conference features workshops, panel presentations, readings and craft talks in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, publishing, play writing and editing. Manuscript reviews are available for an additional cost.

This year, the keynote speaker will be Maxine Hong Kingston, whose writing is cited in the Writers' Conference literature as "both melodiousness and poetry its exploration of myth, legend, history and autobiography combines to create a genre all to its own. Fearlessly creative and relentlessly brilliant, Kingston brings us into worlds where imagination and reality collide, and truth is revealed."

Kingston's books include "The Women Warrior: Memoirs of Girlhood Among Ghosts," "China Men" and her first novel, "Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book." Kingston has won numerous awards for her writing and currently teaches at her alma mater, University of California at Berkeley.

More information and registration forms for the conference are available at chinook.kpc.alaska.edu/~conference/ or by calling (907) 235-7743.

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

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