Peninsula People

Posted: Monday, June 28, 2004

Nikiski resident returns home from abroad

Nikiski resident Ellee Ernst recently returned home from a one-year mission trip to Slovakia. She taught English-as-a-second-language classes at the Lutheran High School in Tisivec, Slovakia.

Ernst's home congregation is the Star of the North Lutheran Church in Kenai.

She is the daughter of Randy and Carol Ernst and a 1991 graduate of Nikiski Middle-Senior High School.

Ernst holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Oregon.

Soldotna sportsman elected to SCI leadership

Safari Club International recently announced that Soldotna resident Mike Hamrick was picked to serve his first two-year term in the SCI Region 33 representative seat. His term begins Thursday.

As one of 38 regional representatives worldwide, Hamrick will focus on helping SCI grow its programs and membership primarily in Alaska and Hawaii. He also will act as a liaison between SCI, SCI Foundation and the chapters in his region.

Hamrick has been a SCI member for 13 years. He was a charter member of the Kenai Peninsula Chapter and has served in a variety of roles on the chapter's board of directors, including three consecutive one-year terms as chapter president. During his tenure as president, SCI Alaska Kenai received SCI's "Best Chapter Newsletter" Award for three consecutive years during the annual SCI Convention.

The SCI Foundation is a nonprofit organization that funds and manages worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian services. For more information, call David Donald at 283-9225 or visit



Nikiski resident serving in Peace Corps

Nikiski resident Kimberly C. McLaury is serving two years as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Turkmenistan. She helps educate women and children about nutrition and general health needs.

She is a 1999 graduate of Nikiski Middle-Senior High School and a 2003 graduate of Oregon State University with a degree in nutrition and food sciences.

Nelson serves as intern for Young

Kenai resident Caitlin Nelson recently served as a summer intern for Congressman Don Young. The responsibilities of congressional interns include researching legislation, attending hearings and briefings, drafting letters and working with the legislative and press staff.

Nelson graduated as valedictorian of Kenai Central High School in 2002. She presently is attending Trinity University in San Antonio with a major in political science and a minor in economics. She will be studying abroad this coming year at the London School of Economics. Her future plans are to pursue a career in law, with the possibility of entering politics.



Russell joins Merchant Marines

Seafarer Coda Russell of Clam Gulch recently graduated as a U.S. Merchant Marine from the unlicensed apprentice program at the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education at Piney Point, Md.

His nine-month training course included basic seamanship, classroom and hands-on training in fire fighting, first aid, water survival skills, proper sanitation methods and oil spill prevention. He also worked three months aboard S.S. Denali, an operational U.S. Flag merchant vessel.

He is the son of Jim Russell and Brenda Firman.

Area students make deans' lists

A number of area students recently were named to the University of Idaho dean's list for spring semester 2004. To make the dean's list, undergraduate students must earn a term grade point average of 3.3 or better on 14 or more graded credits; and law students must have at least a 3.0 grade point average on a minimum of 10 graded credits. Dean's list honorees included Clam Gulch resident Christa Martin, College of Letters Arts and Social Sciences and College of Education; Homer residents, Stacy Owens, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Jennifer Cabana, College of Education, and Abigail Fuller, College of Law; Kenai resident, Jayson BeDunnah, College of Engineering; Seward resident, Joshua Coots, College of Engineering; Soldotna resident, Sarah Todd, College of Letters Arts and Social Sciences; and Sterling resident, Clayton Harrison, College of Letters Arts and Social Sciences and College of Engineering.

Virginia Military Institute junior William J. Keller of Soldotna recently was named to the dean's list for the spring semester. To be eligible for the dean's list, a cadet must have a term grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and no grade below C. His parents are SFC and Mrs. William J. Keller.

Charles Baldwin of Kenai recently was named to the dean's list at Abilene Christian University for the spring 2004 semester. To make the dean's list, a student must complete at least 12 semester hours and earn a 3.45 or higher GPA. Baldwin is working toward a bachelor of science degree in physics.

At the University of Alaska Fairbanks, students receiving an A in all course work for a 4.0 GPA are placed on the chancellor's list, while those with a A- average of between 3.5 and 3.99 are named to the dean's list. Honorees included Kenai residents Mark A. Barnette, chancellor's list; Micah L. Houtz, dean's list; Amanda F. Reynoldson, dean's list; and Clarissa M. Ribbens, dean's list.

Kenai residents Maria J. Delago and Dayna M. Pritchard recently were named to the dean's list at Mesa State College. To be eligible for the dean's list, a student must have a term grade point average of 3.5 GPA in 12 or more credit hours during the semester.

Cameron O'Connell of Kenai recently was named to the honor roll at George Fox University for the spring semester 2004. To be included on the academic honor roll, a student must earn a 3.5 GPA or higher while taking at least 12 graded credit hours of classes. O'Connell is majoring in writing, literature and cognitive science.

Area students graduate college

Kenai residents Zachary Bell and Travis Haskin and Soldotna resident Judith Hepner recently graduated from Montana State University.

Soldotna resident Jennifer M. Garnett recently received a bachelor of science in biology, magma cum laude, at Gonzaga University.

Brandon Newbold of Soldotna recently graduated magna cum laude from Messiah College with a bachelor's degree in music.

BP principals scholarships announced

The BP Exploration-Alaska Inc. recently announced the winners of its principals scholarships. The scholarships are awarded to 25 students annually. Each individual receives $1,000 per year for four years. Area winners are Heather Amber McIntyre of Kenai Central High School, Katie Moerlein of Ninilchik School, Emily Kate Berezin of Skyview High School and Thomas Strapko-Adams of Cook Inlet Academy.

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