Carol Swartz has served as Director of the Kachemak Bay Campus of Kenai Peninsula College/UAA in Homer for 31 years. With her energetic and collaborative leadership style, and together with dedicated faculty, staff, and community board, she created and expanded accessible and diverse cultural and educational opportunities on the southern Kenai Peninsula.
Swartz early recognized that education is the key to making a transformative difference in our world and to people’s well-being. Accordingly, she championed adult and youth access to education, as well as promoted the role of the Campus in Homer’s economic development, fostered community discussions, and responded to the changing needs of the area. Carol enthusiastically spearheaded the advocacy, planning, and design of the Campus’s facilities and programs.
Swartz is the founding director of KBC’s annual Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference, a premier cultural event that has earned significant national recognition. Since 2002, this conference has hosted award-winning Alaska and national novelists, essayists, and poets who have inspired many through their creative work and presentations.
After arriving in Homer in 1980 to serve as the first clinical social worker/co-director at the new Community Mental Health Center, Swartz founded South Peninsula Women’s Services in cooperation with dedicated community members and agencies. As its director, she and others developed core services and collaborated with the hospital, school, law enforcement, and judicial system staff to advocate for the state’s developing legal, public safety, and social services and shelter networks to address domestic violence and sexual assault.
Dedicated to community service, Carol has served on many boards of directors and has been the recipient of various awards, including the Alaska Woman of Achievement, Governor’s Award for the Humanities, and the University of Alaska Meritorious Service Award.View Extended Bio