• “I see this as a collective award.”
By Naomi Klouda
A Homer resident whose contributions to the humanities shows an innovative, thoughtful approach and community dedication was named to one of the highest awards by the governor.
Director of the Kenai Peninsula College, Kachemak Bay Campus, Carol Swartz is recognized by the Alaska Humanities Forum for her Distinguished Service to the Humanities last week, and accepts her award Thursday in Anchorage.
Two others also honored with the award are Sven Haakanson, Jr., executive director Alutiiq Museum and Archaeological Repository, Kodiak and the Alaska Native Heritage Center, Anchorage.
In nominating Swartz, Jonathon Lack wrote: “Carol is a leader in humanities education. She has guided the Kachemak Bay Campus of the Kenai Peninsula College through unprecedented growth over the last 26 years and successfully sought to meet the higher education needs of Homer and the surrounding community.”
Swartz is credited for her stewardship over the college’s diverse course offerings, a mix of technical, science and humanities courses as well as the GED, certificate and degree programs. She also is being recognized for the excellence of the Kachemak Bay Writing Workshop which she founded and fostered these past 11 years.
“As founder of the conference, Carol has developed it into the premier event for the Alaska literary community. Carol brings a mix of local and nationally recognized authors to Homer for a week of work with writers of all levels to improve their skills, explore their boundaries and learn from each other.”
Swartz expressed surprise at the honor and was quick to credit others for the success of campus programs.
“I see this as a collective award in recognition of this community and the college that reflects the community. Everything that’s been done was accomplished with a lot of staff, faculty, writers and artists,” Swartz said. “Whatever we do, the humanities is very broad. It’s an essential theme and aspect of all our lives. I wanted it to inform my life.”
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