Bill Howell joins Kenai Peninsula College after a long career as a Navy submariner and Naval ROTC commander, including at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
Howell said he and his wife, Elaine, first visited Alaska eight years ago and decided almost immediately that they would retire in the state. Two years ago, they bought property in Sterling, and Howell joined the KPC staff last week, reprising the long-absent position of Student Services director.
Howell will oversee the admissions, registration, financial aid and Career Center departments at KPC's Kenai River Campus in Soldotna. He said he is busy "learning the ropes" at the moment but will undertake his job with the philosophy that "student service is customer service."
In the long-term, Howell said he would love to see residential life added to the list of departments in his purview. He said he believes on-site living quarters for students would improve KPC's ability to serve as a transition point for Bush students seeking higher education.
Howell and his wife a photographer and Creative Memories consultant with a background in journalism are settling in to the community as their Sterling home is completed, and Howell said he looks forward to setting down long-term roots on the peninsula.
"We're tickled pink to be here in Alaska," he said. "It's been a long time coming."
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