Oct. 1, 2020 — Christine Cunningham — Writing for Different Audiences (on Zoom)

A lifelong Alaskan, Christine Cunningham is an author, outdoor columnist for the Anchorage Daily News, and freelance writer. Her work has been featured in Alaska Magazine, Grays Sporting Journal, Sports Afield, and other national publications. Before experiencing and writing about hunting and fishing, Cunningham enjoyed observing and listening to nature on long solitary walks. Now, she spends as much time as possible in the mountains and coastal flats of the Kenai Peninsula meeting the demands of six English setters and a chocolate Labrador retriever.
contact sherrie@arctic.net for Zoom login.

Christine Cunningham and Hugo

Christine Cunningham and Hugo

Sept. 3, 2020 — Issa Spatrisano — Building Bridges for Cross Cultural Understanding with Refugee Populations (on Zoom)

Spatrisano is the Program Director and State Refugee Coordinator at the Refugee Assistance and Immigration Services (RAIS) program of Catholic Social Service in Alaska. During a career spanning more than 8 years in refugee resettlement, she has served in a variety of roles, including case management, reception and placement, education, and employment services. Spatrisano has assisted forced migrant communities in Alaska, Missouri, Oregon, and Kansas, allowing her to bring a broader perspective to refugee services in both an urban and rural setting.

Spatrisano has served on national advisory councils for refugee education and her teaching was featured in the Center for Applied Linguistics “Cultural Orientation Training: A Guide for Service Providers” video. Spatrisano holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and a Master of Education degree in Teaching and Learning from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Through her teaching and resettlement experience, Spatrisano has assisted clients from more than 65 countries. Contact Spatrisano ispatrisano@cssalaska.org

Issa Spatrisano

Issa Spatrisano

June 4, 2020 — Tim Bradner — Changes in the media landscape — can journalism survive? (on Zoom)

Contact Sherrie Simmonds sherrie@arctic.net for the Zoom link to this meeting.

Now more than ever, good journalism is needed, but the traditional economics of the industry are upended. Are there solutions? An independent press is vital to our democracy.

Bradner will also present information about the Alaska Center for Excellence in Journalism.

Tim Bradner wears many journalism hats.

He is copublisher of the Alaska Legislative Digest; copublisher of the Alaska Economic Report; Alaska correspondent, Platts S&P Global; and contributor to the Anchorage Daily News, Valley Frontiersman, and Anchorage Press. Bradner also chairs the Board of Directors, Alaska Center for Excellence in Journalism.

Bradner’s experience includes serving as 2017-2018 Visiting Professor of Journalism Atwood Chair, University of Alaska Anchorage; senior writer, Alaska Journal of Commerce; government relations/BP Alaska; Anchorage Daily News, desk editor; The Tundra Times, assistant editor; and reporter, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

Bradner holds a BA, Liberal Arts, Vermont College, Montpelior, Vt., an MPA from John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

He has been an Alaska resident since 1962, is married to writer Shehla Anjum, and has a daughter, Saira.

Tim Bradner

Tim Bradner

May 7, 2020 — Leona Long — Creating Award-Winning PR Campaigns on a Budget (on Zoom)

Join Alaska Professional Communicators for a behind the scenes look at “Indigenous Visible,” a public relations campaign by the College of Rural and Community Development in the University of Alaska Fairbanks. This campaign, created by speaker Leona Long, won a 2019 Silver Anvil Award of Excellence in the government section of the “Most Effective Campaign on a Budget $5,000 or Less” category, presented by the Public Relations Society of America in New York City.

The first PR effort for UAF’s rural campuses and Alaska Native programs, Long’s campaign shared positive stories about Alaska’s Indigenous peoples. In the Zoom presentation, you will learn:

• Tips on low-budget campaigns
• A different approach to communications research
• Highlights of an ongoing PR campaign that has won national awards, including four from National Federation of Press Women
• The benefits of entering communication contests

Long is the manager of news and content for the University of Alaska System Office of Public Affairs in the University of Alaska System. Before moving to Alaska, she worked in Los Angeles where she interned at three television stations, worked for a health care PR agency, and was a lead writer for Long Beach Magazine.

Long has donated more than 300 hours of pro bono PR counsel and tactics to Interior Alaska Native villages. She has presented at conferences and contributed to First Alaskans magazine. For more information, visit www.leonalong.com.

Photo of Leona Long with Award

Leona Long

March 5, 2020 — Katherine Keith — Generating Grit for Peak Performance and Everyday Wellness

Wilderness athlete and Iditarod finisher, Katherine Keith, recently authored her first book, the memoir Epic Solitude. She co-owns the business Remote Solutions, which focuses on meeting the needs of rural Alaska. Katherine has held roles as operations director, project manager, strategic planner, and technical writer. She holds a B.S. degree from University of Alaska Fairbanks and is a certified Bulletproof and Integrative Nutrition health coach. An advocate for wellness, Katherine supports Alaskans in building capacity through responsible, sustainable development. She helps clients establish, reach, and exceed their goals.

Katherine’s accomplishments as a wilderness athlete include six full Ironman triathlons and endurance sleddog races. She has competed in four Iditarods and two Yukon Quests. Katherine is now working toward completing climbs of the Seven Summits, the tallest mountains on every continent. She and her daughter fish commercially for salmon above the Arctic Circle in the summer.

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Katherine Keith

Katherine Keith

April 2, 2020 — Stephanie Thornton — Retelling the Stories of History’s Forgotten Women

Stephanie Thornton has been obsessed with the stories of history’s women since she was twelve. Her most recent novel, And They Called It Camelot, has been called an “unforgettable portrait of the life of Jackie Kennedy: the beloved wife, mother, and First Lady who transformed herself into an American legend.”

Thornton’s USA Today bestselling novel, American Princess, reimagines the ninety-six year life of Theodore Roosevelt’s gum-chewing, cigarette-smoking, poker-playing daughter Alice as she uses her celebrity to become Washington’s Other Monument.

Thornton is also the critically acclaimed author of four novels about historical women set in the ancient world: The Secret History, Daughter of the Gods, The Tiger Queens, and The Conqueror’s Wife. She is a high school history teacher by day and lives in Eagle River with her husband and daughter, where she spends her free time running, traveling, and baking.

Stephanie Thornton

Photo of Stephanie Thornton

Feb. 6, 2020 — Monica Devine — Water Mask, a Collection of Lyrical Essays Set in Alaska

Monica Devine is the author of Water Mask, a collection of lyrical essays set in the beguiling landscape of Alaska. In these stories, Monica skis woodland trails with her baby on her back, navigates the ice with Beaufort Sea whalers, negotiates the deaths of both her mother and father and explores Native language and culture through her work in Alaska’s villages. The healing powers of the natural world, the ways in which memory and perception inform one’s thinking are keenly explored through her poet’s eye.

Monica is a Pushcart Prize nominee, a first-place winner of the Alaska State Poetry Contest, and her piece On The Edge of Ice won first place in creative nonfiction with New Letters journal. She has authored five children’s books, one of her titles a nominee for the celebrated Golden Kite award. Her writing and photographs have appeared in Stoneboat, Cirque, Alaska Magazine, Children’s Television Workshop, Alaska Frontier Magazine, Spirit First and three anthologies. Her current area of study is figurative ceramics. View her website Image Sculpture Verse.

Register to attend this luncheon: https://akprocom.org/rsvp-for-monthly-luncheons/

Photo of Monica Devine
Monica Devine

Jan. 9, 2020 — Erik Hill — A Photojournalism Journey

Photojournalist Erik Hill, who retired in 2017 after a 33-year career with the Anchorage Daily News and Alaska Dispatch, will share images and discuss the field of photojournalism. Before arriving in Anchorage in 1984, he worked at The Kansas City Star as well as in Jacksonville, Florida, and Charleston, West Virginia. Erik is originally from Oregon, and earned degrees at Stanford University and Ohio University.

Memorable assignments for Erik include the Exxon Valdez oil spill, several Iditarod races, a drive up the Dalton Highway when it opened to the public, and a trip down the Yukon River by barge. Daily work was typically less exotic, but Erik’s personal goal was to make every story subject feel valued.

RSVP for Monthly Luncheons

Erik Hill

Photo of Erik Hill

Dec. 5, 2019 — Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan — Hybrid Publishing and Other Trends in Making Books

A wide variety of options now exist between traditional publishing and self-publishing books. Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan has been published by traditional publishers and a university press. She has also been commissioned to write books for others. In the process, she formed a small, specialty publishing company, Ember Press, which has published eight books through grants from the Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area.

Johnson-Sullivan’s presentation will discuss hybrid publishing and how this model of bookmaking can work in the creation of exceptional books.

For more information about Ember Press, visit www.emberpressbooks.com. For more information about Kaylene, visit www.kaylene.us.

Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan

Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan

Nov. 7, 2019 — Kate Troll — Alaska Moving Beyond Oil

The world is moving beyond oil. By looking back at where Alaska’s economy has come since the pipeline boom started; noting new industries and growth within Alaska’s core industries, Kate Troll makes the case that Alaskans need not fear this shift in global energy policy. She also examines the ongoing clean energy economy and discusses how Alaska can benefit by joining in.
Kate Troll is an op-ed columnist, author, and speaker on conservation and climate issues. She moved to Alaska in 1977, seeking a career in natural resource management. Kate has worked for 22 years in coastal management, fisheries and climate/energy policy.

As Executive Director of the Alaska Conservation Voters, Kate helped draft the creation of the Alaska Renewable Energy Fund and lobbied for the Sustainable Energy Act, a roadmap to generate 50% of Alaska’s electrical energy from renewable sources by 2025. She served as Executive Director for United Fishermen of Alaska and also worked as a fisheries development specialist and policy analyst for the State of Alaska. Internationally, Kate was Regional Fisheries Director for the Marine Stewardship Council, a global eco-label program. She was elected to public office twice, serving on the Juneau-Douglas Borough and Ketchikan Borough Assembly. Kate was appointed by Governor Palin to serve on the Alaska Climate Mitigation Advisory Board, and was the only Alaskan invited to participate in Governor Schwarzenegger’s 2008 Global Climate Summit. She recently served on the Board of Directors for Renewable Energy Alaska Project.

From 2010-2016, she was a regular columnist for the Juneau Empire and then moved on to the Alaska Dispatch News (now the Anchorage Daily News) for two years. She remains a contributing columnist for both papers.

Kate Troll