KPC graduates look to future

Students awarded diplomas in virtual ceremony

Kenai Peninsula College graduated its seniors from the Kenai River Campus and the Homer Kachemak Bay Campus with degrees and certifications last Thursday, in an online ceremony broadcast on the school’s Facebook page.

Cheryl Siemers, the director of KPC who took over in April 2021, said during the ceremony that she was proud of the students’ accomplishments.

“Whether the completion of a diploma, a certificate, or a degree, you’ve undoubtedly managed challenge and change to get here, and you’ve kept sight of your goal, allowing you to make very hard decisions when needed,” Siemers said. “Tonight’s online graduation ceremony celebrates your commitment to see a goal through to completion well done.”

Sophia Nelson was this year’s valedictorian for the Kenai River Campus in Soldotna.

Nelson, a graduate with an Associate of Arts, said in her speech that Thursday marked a celebration of all her classmates’ achievements.

“We look ahead to the future with cheerful anticipation for what is yet to come,” she said.

Nelson said she couldn’t have finished her degree without support.

“I did not know if college was something I wanted to pursue, but with the help of those around me I found my purpose,” she said. “I’m honored to be standing here today.”

Rosemary Kauffman, a graduate with an Associate of Arts, was the valedictorian for the Kachemak Bay Campus in Homer.

She also took the time to thank her support system. She recalled a time in which she didn’t know if she could finish a project in time.

“I was frustrated, I was tired, I didn’t know where to start with my paper,” Kauffman said.

After some encouragement, though, she was able to complete it.

“I finished the paper and I was able to turn it in, and I got an A on that,” Kauffman said. “I’ve seen it in other places around the campus as well, in the professors who take the time to explain a simple concept … they never show impatience.”

Class awards are as follows:

KBC Directors Choice Award — Rosemary Kauffman

KBC Faculty Choice Award — Casey Tait

KBC Staff Choice Award — Winston Ajakaye and Alyssum Veldstra

KRC Faculty Choice Award Business and Industry — Brandon Edwards

KRC Faculty Choice Arts & Sciences — Sophia Nelson

KRC Staff Choice Award — Ashlyn Kartchner

Associate of Arts, General Program: Winston Ajakaye, Kolby J. Bayless, Hope A. Breff, Taylor A. Carlson, Thomas R. Daly, Megan L. Fenton, Megan C. Harden, Jason M. Hunter, Rosemary Kauffman, Anne M. Larson, Morgan L. McKenzie, Adeline R. Nelson, Sophia Nelson, Casey Tait, Benjamin A. Taylor, and Brittany M. Weston.

Associate of Applied Sciences, University of Alaska Anchorage: Braden E. Lemm, Tallon G. Littlewood, Joseph B. Fiebelkorn, Brandon Edwards, William P. Barnes Alexander L. Beitter, Stephen A. Chester, Anna E. Cizek, Devin C. Every, Soren B. Fisher, Danielle P. Hills, Ryan W. Jackson, Jordan C. Kernan, Stephen J. Koller, McKinley J. Larson, Jesse Pankowski, Erik B. Peterson, Blake Rodgers, Christopher M. Sawatzki, Johan A. Shuey, Craig R. Simpson, Nicholas Tuttle, and Joseph B. Fiebelkorn.

Associate of Applied Science: Nina Aviles, Debra J. Baxter, Penelope K. Litzen, Delia Mayoral-Medina, Danielle A. Meyers, Justine L. Payment, Sandra J. Simons, Angelica M. Sulley, Ashley Switzer, Jessica Taylor, Katie L. Turner, Sujinan “Primrose” Srisakpet, Christopher L. Trefon, Elena O. Robbins, Alyssum Veldstra, Savannah Paladino, and Chloe E. Pleznac. Certificates Conferred: Kartchner, Randall L. Garcia, Dave Vining, Evan M. Appelhans, Dakota N. Bittick, Jonathan D. Lindsay, Jerrod O. Oberts, Wilfredo A. Ruiz, Steven L. Burger, Danielle Hills, Stefanie Bailey, Kristina Basargin, Andilynn Bilderback, Angelina Brandt, Emma Brown, Laura Bruce, Tatihana DeHoyos, Julianna Dicawicz, Skyler Dryer, Maurice Escolta, Libby Fabich, Kayla Hinds, Marianna Jakits, Ljiljana Jovanovic, Krystyana Kalugin, Sharmaine Kewan, Jordan Lugo, Hailey Mahaffey, Kat Mansur, Austen Mcqueen, Sushmita Pariyar, Pamela Parker, Logan Satathite, Carly Sturman, Oceana Willis, Emylee Wilson, Arieona Woodard, Chance Archila, Simone Basargin, Ashley M. Brueggert, Maurice J. Escolta, Taylor L. Huskey, Ekaterina Martushev, Marina Martushev, Levi Moore, Rainbow O’Phelan, Abbey N. Roberts, India Swain, and Hanna R. Tibbetts.

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Kenai Peninsula College Kenai River Campus valedictorian Sophia Nelson speaks at her virtual class graduation on Thursday, May 5, 2022. (Screenshot)

Kenai Peninsula College Kenai River Campus valedictorian Sophia Nelson speaks at her virtual class graduation on Thursday, May 5, 2022. (Screenshot)