Alaska Pacific University

04/10/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 04/10/2019 15:01

Meet Ben Swimm, APU’s New Kellogg Farm Manager

What's your academic background?
I have an academic background in biology and creative writing. As an undergrad, I studied ecology at Williams College and wrote my thesis about mutualisms between invasive species in the Northeast United States. Biology and Environmental Studies is what got me interested in farming and education, and along the way I also found I wanted more skills in writing, too. I graduated from Oregon State with an MFA in Creative writing in 2018.

Who inspires you?
Teachers. Both in general and particular ones I have had. My life has been impacted in so many ways by important educators in my life, and I look to those people for inspiration on how to be a better educator myself.

What was the best concert you ever attended?
FreshGrass 2014. FreshGrass is a bluegrass-y (but goes beyond) festival hosted each year by MassMOCA (the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art), which is based on the site of an old industrial mill in North Adams, MA. The combination of stellar performances (Emmylou Harris, Valerie June, Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, the Carolina Chocolate Drops) and weird warehouse art installations was amazing.

Where's your favorite place in the world?
At this point, I think I have to say my backyard? I live in Palmer at the base of the Moose Range. It's beautiful.

If you could be any animal, which would you be?
I just spent way too much time thinking about all the implications and contingencies of my choice for this question. I'm going to go with my gut: sloth. They just seem so relaxed.

What's the last book you read?
Sabrina, by Nick Drnaso. It's a graphic novel that deals with our current political and social moment in regards to social media, grief, loss, and conspiracy theories.

What are you currently watching on Netflix?
Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj.

Who would you most like to swap places with for a day?
I'm not sure.

If you could visit anywhere in the world you've never been, where would you go?
Patagonia. I love to hike and explore, and friends and the internet say it is amazing there.

What's your secret talent that no one knows about?
I really don't have one.

If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

Who is your least favorite superhero?
Superman. I'm still not really clear on his backstory, and it seems like he shouldn't get into as much trouble as he does.