Kenai Peninsula College is lucky Wolly Barabash did his homework when he was searching for a full-time teaching position. Barabash said he spent many hours researching where he would like to live, teach and write and only considered four states, one of which was Alaska.
He found that KPC and the Kenai Peninsula met the criteria he set when he decided to look for a new place to call home. Growing up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and spending most of his adult life in northern urban settings, Barabash was looking for a quieter lifestyle.
He had enough city life and was tired of all the stress that crowded freeways and masses of humanity cause. He loves the outdoors and especially likes winter when he can ski and enjoy winter camping.
Barabash has found Alaskans to be especially light-hearted and friendly.
When asked about his impressions of KPC he said, "Everyone's happy. It's a great environment and the students have very positive attitudes."
Barabash has spent the last seven years teaching electronics at the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Vancouver, Canada. His education includes a bachelor of science degree from the University of Victoria, a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Lakehead University and a technology certification in electronics engineering from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. He has had extensive teaching experience at several other colleges around Canada and has worked in private industry as well.
Barabash is in the final stages of writing a textbook for Prentice-Hall Publishing titled, "Using the Motorola 68HC12 Microcontroller." He has been working on the project for more than a year and will be using the long winter nights to finish the book.
Why a book on Motorola 68HC12 Microcontrollers? When preparing lectures and labs for a class on these microcontrollers, he couldn't find a book to use.
He dug deeper and found that no trade textbook existed for this microcontroller that is extensively used in many applications.
This important mini-computer controls everything from fuel injection in automobiles to the Mars Explorer robot. Barabash decided to take the project on and produce a practical, user-friendly textbook.
KPC is fortunate Barabash is on board. With his diverse background and technical skills, he complements the existing technical faculty at KPC. Barabash said he looks forward to working with faculty and students and hopes to motivate his students toward peak performance.
Be a foster grandparent
KPC's Learning Center is hoping to inspire area senior citizens to become foster grandparent volunteers in community schools. The program is a branch of the National Senior Service Corps and foster grandparent volunteers are active in all 50 states in a variety of programs. In the Kenai and Soldotna area, volunteers work with young children in the schools as part of the America Reads Initiative. Volunteers spend quality time with students, reading to them, listening to them read or just chatting.
Minimum qualifications are volunteers be 60 years of age or older, reasonably good health and have a sincere desire to work with children.
Benefits include reimbursement of transportation costs to and from the site, annual physical and TB tests, "brown bag" lunch reimbursement and, if the volunteer is income eligible, an hourly, tax-free stipend.
If this sounds like something that would enrich your life, contact Bob Scott or Diane Taylor at the Learning Center at 262-0327.
This column is provided by Suzie Kendrick, community relations coordinator at Kenai Peninsula College.
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