New college director has background in military, NASA

Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Kenai Peninsula College is happy to announce that after an exhaustive search, a new director has accepted the position. Gary J. Turner will assume director duties sometime in June. Turner brings 22 years of experience in administration, management, communication and university teaching to KPC.

Not new to Alaska, Mr. Turner served as director of public affairs in the United States Air Force at Eielson in Fairbanks. He also was an instructor and academic advisor at University of Alaska Southeast in Ketchikan.

Director Turner also worked for NASA at Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama and has most recently held a position as senior vice president and general manager with Weber Shandwick Worldwide, a respected public relations agency in Seattle.

Director Turner is a "professional communicator" who sees the director's role as being a rudder for the college. During his initial visit to KPC, he pledged that if he became director, he would strive to build strong relationships between the faculty, staff and the community. According to his resume, his objective will be to enhance the viability and visibility of KPC in the community and state and provide an outstanding educational experience to traditional students and adult learners. Kenai Peninsula College welcomes Director Gary Turner to our community campus and looks forward to his leadership into the future.

KPC hosts arts institute

As Kenai Peninsula College winds down from another successful semester of classes, the rumblings of the traditional Summer Arts Institute start sounding. This is the fifth year that KPC has hosted the program, in conjunction with Soldotna Community Schools.

The goal of the program is to improve literacy in the arts by stimulating individuals to explore their talents and abilities in all areas of the arts. The program is a unique opportunity to learn the fine arts from professional artists.

There are three different "institutes" that will serve different age groups during the summer program. All of the Arts Institutes are programs of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

The Youth Fine Arts Institute is for young people who have completed preschool through the sixth grade during the 2001-02 school year. This program will run from June 17 through June 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. There are wide ranges of classes offered to each grade level, from storytelling and puppet theater to stained glass and digital art. There's something for everyone.

The Teen Fine Arts Institute targets middle and high school students completing the seventh through 12th grades in the 200102 school year. This year, experts from the Girdwood Fine Arts Camp will provide instruction in two- and three-dimensional design to include drawing, painting, stain glass design and jewelry making.

For more information on the Teen and Youth Art Institute, call Rosie Reeder at Soldotna Community Schools at 262-6768.

Finally, the Alaska Arts Education Institute offers educators ideas about humanity that can be integrated throughout the K-12 curriculum. The courses are designed for non-art specialists, as well as those certified in the arts.

There is a selection of one-credit classes that focus on teaching the arts standards for each of the arts content areas: dance, literary arts, music, theater and visual arts. The program will begin on June 10 and continue through June 14.

This program is made possible by many cooperating organizations that include KPBSD, Alaska Staff Development Network, Alaska Center for Excellence in Arts Education, the Alaska Art Education Association, the Alaska Council on the Arts, the Alaska Music Educators Association, James Madison University, KPC Sunday Showcase, Phi Delta Kappa and the Kenai Visitors and Convention Bureau. For more information on classes and tuition, visit the Institutes Web site at: 2002_summer_academies/arts/index.html.

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

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