June Rogers was born in Alaska and raised in Fairbanks. Following school, she was an owner of a mechanical contracting company. But her passion, as you’ll hear, has always been music and the arts. Both behind the scenes and in front of audiences she has made an indelible mark, as her Governor’s Award bestowed from the Alaska State Council on the Arts makes clear.
Jo Heckman received two degrees from the University of Alaska Fairbanks: a BA and MBA in Business Administration. She forged a successful banking career in Alaska and, in fact, made history as our state’s first woman bank President and CEO. She was tapped by Governor Sean Parnell to serve on the University of Alaska Board of Regents. She’s now exploring the role food and produce play in Fairbanks.
This show is the second part of a look at the immigrant experience in Alaska and the U.S. It draws on two different conversations. I spoke with Linda Thai, who is an immigrant, but also a Fairbanks therapist and educator who helps trauma sufferers, in 2018. I spoke with historian and bibliographer Ron Inouye back in 2019. He’s the author of Alaska’s Japanese pioneers: faces, voices, stories: a synopsis of selected oral history transcripts.
I’ve been thinking about immigration lately and our country’s conflicted legacy of welcoming those from other parts of the globe seeking a better life here. This Northern Soundings episode draws from two previously aired conversations with Vietnamese refugee Linda Thai and Japanese American Ron Inouye, who had family members placed in internment camps during World War Two.
This week I talk with Corlis Taylor. While many in Fairbanks know her as a gifted fiber artist, she’s also enjoyed a long and distinguished public health career in Alaska that began in 1979 in Bethel as a Vista Volunteer.
At this time of year, I recall Jacob Marley’s words to Scrooge: “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all my business.” This week on Northern Soundings I talk with Bishop Otis McCormick whose work in Fairbanks embodies Dickens’ words.
Actors Stephan Wolftert and Dawn Stern of Decruit are back in Fairbanks. I talked with them several months ago, when they were in town, about applying Shakespeare’s texts, modern science and dramatic techniques to help heal veterans and others recovering from trauma. In this longer conversation, we discuss the process by which they create new one and two-person productions that capture an audience’s attention and exploit what Aristotle claimed were tragedy’s power to purge the emotions.
On this show I talk with Shirley Gordon; at nearly 100, she has seen much of Alaska’s recent history, and even participated in it as the wife of William Gordon, the state’s flying Episcopal bishop. A replica of his plane hangs on permanent display in the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitor Center. This episode is drawn from a recording of a public conversation with Shirley this summer as part of UAF Summer Sessions‘ Tall Timbers series. As you’ll hear, she concludes our discussion by declaring, with a twinkle in her eye, that she is a very great success.
She has two events in November. A book signing at Forget-Me-Not Books on Gaffney Road. 11am -3pm on Saturday November 12th. And later that evening at 6 PM she’ll read with other UAF creative writing faculty: Daryl Farmer, Sara Johnson, & Joe Holt at the Bear Gallery, Civic Centre, Pioneer Park, in an event sponsored by the Fairbanks Arts Association