From Jersey to Juneau
How do you get to where you want to be? Jim got there with a mixture of study, practice, hard work, and a respectable amount of fun along the way.
Jim was born and raised in a solid working class town in New Jersey. After an enlistment with the Unites States Navy, Jim worked his way through college and graduate school (for two Masters degrees). Moving west to take an assistant professorship at Central Washington University, Jim ultimately landed in Juneau.
Jim took his Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey and two advanced degrees from Rutgers University—an M.A. in Early English Literature and an M. Phil.
While he was busy at his studies, he was awarded the Marion Johnson Fellowship by The Graduate School of Rutgers University; a Fellowship from the Folger Institute of Renaissance Studies in Washington DC; and the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship by the U.S. Department of Higher Education.
All of this hard work earned him that position at Central Washington University. From there, Jim was lured to Juneau by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Jim worked on Fisheries for NOAA until he was lured back to teaching by the University of Southeast Alaska. The tug of war for Jim’s services was not over yet, and NOAA lured him back as a Writer-Editor for the Alaska Region’s Analytical Team.
Jim has an uncontrollable need to teach, and although working for NOAA was rewarding, it wasn’t teaching. To scratch that itch, Jim began teaching writing as a volunteer to inmates at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center in Juneau, AK—an experience he describes as “unbelievably rewarding.”
As rewarding as this was, it wasn’t enough. Jim began holding writing workshops and seminars. Initially for the NOAA staff in Juneau, but word of his classes began to spread. Before long, Jim was teaching his “Writing for the Workplace” class to NOAA offices in Washington, California, Oregon, Idaho, and Hawaii. Once the state government of Alaska found out about “Writing for the Workplace”, Jim ended up enrolling staff from almost every department in the Alaska State government.
Now, when you spend your time teaching others how to write, you aren’t writing for yourself. Since actually writing is Jim’s other itch, he found time to publish an essay called “Lost in Ghent,” part travelogue, part art criticism, part theology, in a professional journal, Imaginatio et Ratio: A Journal of Theology and the Arts. He also produced his biweekly “On Writing” column for the Juneau Empire and Capital City Weekly for two years and for two straight years was awarded the Alaska Press Club’s Suzan Nightingale Columnist of the Year award. He continues to publish occasional columns in the Alaska Dispatch News and is busy working on other essays on literature and the arts.
During and in between all of this, Jim raised five wonderful children. When asked how he managed to get all of this work done he replied “That wasn’t work; I enjoyed every minute of it. It was fun.”
for more information write to firstname.lastname@example.org
or call Jim at 907-957-0080