Professor Alan Kemp Retiring in 2020

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The sociology professor reflects back on his three decades at Pierce.

After thirty years of teaching, sociology professor Alan Kemp will be retiring after this school year. Kemp says that his experience at Pierce has for the most part been wonderful, and he is very grateful to have held this position. “I don’t think there’s been a day that goes by when I haven’t appreciated what a really great job I have,” he said.

Kemp will not be teaching any classes next summer, and will officially retire on Sept. 11. As of now, he has not made any plans for retirement. However, he expects to be keeping pretty busy working on his property.

Before Pierce, most of Kemp’s career was in social service or mental health. He worked as a mental health professional at Good Samaritan Hospital. He then worked as a mental health provider at McChord Air Force base, as part of the Family Advocacy Program. He worked with families of military personnel, including people who had experienced neglect or abuse in the military system.

Kemp’s love of both learning and instructing is what brought him to teaching. “It’s pretty cool to see lightbulbs go off from time to time,” he said. “People make discoveries and make connections to understand things better than they did before. It’s really a privilege to be part of that process.” 

Kemp also says that it is inspiring to see students who have to overcome hardships to pursue an education, finding whatever it is they need to pull it off. One thing he’ll miss after retiring is interacting with students in the classroom, whether it be teaching, talking, joking, or occasionally being outrageous.