From GED diplomas to master’s degrees, over 100 certificates and diplomas were conferred at Kenai Peninsula College’s 47th annual commencement Thursday in the Renée C. Henderson Auditorium at Kenai Central High School.
Ninety-seven students received their Associate of Applied Science in computer electronics, digital art, general business, industrial process instrumentation, paramedic technology or process technology.
Twenty-two students received their Associate of Arts.
Three students received their Bachelor of Arts degrees and two students got their Bachelor of Business Administration degrees by working with other University of Alaska campuses.
In addition, 35 students received their GED diplomas, five students got one-year certificates and 26 students earned state welding certifications.
“That’s something for the little Kenai Peninsula College,”College Director Gary J. Turner said.
The evening’s keynote speaker was Joseph Robertia, local author of “Life with Forty Dogs: Misadventures with Runts, Rejects, Retirees and Rescues” and University of Alaska Anchorage alumnus.
Jordan Chilson, who got his Bachelor of Business Administration, also received an award from University of Alaska Southeast for Outstanding Graduate.
This year’s valedictorians were Natalie Kress, who earned her Associate of Arts, and Lucas Bruxvvoot, who earned his Associate of Applied Science in Industrial Process Instrumentation. Both declined to give a speech.
Kress has already started working as a radiation technician at Central Peninsula Hospital.
“I started last Monday and I love it,” she said. “(KPC was great) because it’s local, I saved a lot of money and I could do a lot of the classes online which is good.”
Her fellow graduate, Amanda Dorough, is also walking into her new career in Bristol Bay Borough as a paramedic following the commencement.
“I’ll be going out there for the fishing season.” Dorough said. “KPC was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It was one of the best paramedic programs. I had the best time, the people that were in it were my family.”
Other graduates are looking forward to more schooling or looking for their career.
“My plan is just to try and find employment,” Cassidi Welemin said.
“More school for me, I have to finish my Bachelor’s and get my Ph.D in petroleum geology,” Lacey Stock said. “I want to work with the tribes, negotiating with the oil industry.”
University of Alaska President James R. Johnson congratulated the graduates on their hard work, especially in the face of financially difficult times.
“I know that 100 years from now, your kids and grandkids are going to be here celebrating and their going to say ‘Wow, those people in 2017 had it tough, but they were strong and they had courage and they had grit.” Johnson said.
Associate of Arts
Jill Burnham, Shannon Cefalu, Nicholas Franklin, Makinna Halverson, Kristina Handley, Robert Handley, Robert Hays, Veronica Jones, Natalie Kress, Boudicca Rudkin, Zobeida Rudkin, Sadie Sprenger, Rebekah Theriot, Ashley Tucker, Neal Wimmerstedt, Rachel Yoncher and Jessica Young
Associate of Applied Science, Computer Electronics
Associate of Applied Science, Digital Art
Summer Hogan and Kiara Miller
Associate of Applied Science, General Business
Raymond Davis, Raul Gonzalez, Mirimia Kuzmin, Ashley Oskolkoff, Jessie Zimmerman and Kayla Musgrove
Associate of Applied Science, Human Services
Allison Bushnell and Sheryl Engle
Associate of Applied Science, Industrial Process Instrumentation
Lucas Bruxvoort, Joshua Byrd, Alora Fejes, Jason Hall, Keith Kalke, Joshua Plate, Ehren Rickman, Stephen Severson, Michael Shane, Adrianah Walsh and Joshua Wolf
Associate of Applied Science, Nursing
Ashley Bartolowits, Makenna Burke, Dallas Derflinger, Diana Honkola, Billie Loehr, Jacquelynn Pollos, Brittany Silver and Bryan Stocks
Associate of Applied Science, Occupational Safety and Health
Shae Le Bryant
Associate of Applied Science, Paramedical Technology
Autumn Ball, Danielle Caswell, Amanda Dorough, Darren Finley, Bradyn Holl, Jessica Roper, Rebecca Satathite, Kassidy Stock, Jason Tauriainen and Travis Hoogland
Associate of Applied Science, Process Technology
Joshua Bosnjak, Christopher Buchta, Christopher Cook, Jerrod Dunbar, Michael Echols, Colin Kelley, Ashley Landess, Andrew Leonard, John Lindemann, Alinna Martin, Jake Moore, Joshua Moore. Joseph Newby, Collin Oliver, Shana Powell, Joseph Premo, John Richtarcsik, Alexander Roupenian, Paul Thompson, Joshua Walters, Cassidi Welemin, Steven Wilson, Dianne Wise, Travis Barnes, Derek Gibson, Courtney McGee and Joshua Schultz
Associate of Applied Science, Radiologic Technology
Bachelor of Arts
Jessica Goggia, Elizabeth Hardie and Lacy Elsey
Bachelor of Business Administration
Rebecca Miller and Jordan Chilson
Master of Public Administration
Julie Cotterell, Ginger Rose and Shauna Thornton