April 2007

Alumni Post-it Notes (in alphabetical order)

AM: Annual Member of the Alumni Association
LM: Lifetime Member of the Alumni Association

Christopher Aadnesen BA’71 MBA’73 recently completed two-and-a-half years as CEO of Estonian Railways, Ltd., the national railway of Estonia. Chris and his wife, Betty, relocated to Tallinn, Estonia (the capital city), from the Austin, Texas, area after Chris was hired to manage the railway, which had been fully privatized in 2001, and to sell a portion of the equity shares in a partial IPO. In early 2005, the governing coalition in the small ex-Soviet country (a member of the European Union since April 2004) changed to a more pro-Russian socialist one that decided to renationalize the company and some of the country’s other previously privatized assets. The railroad was sold back to the state in January of this year, precipitating the Aadnesens’ return to the USA.

Chris is now vice president-director, Central Division Freight Rail, for HNTB Corporation (a national design, engineering and process management firm), with offices in downtown Austin. He has previously served as a senior officer with Union Pacific Railroad Company in Omaha, Nebraska; Executive VP and COO of Mexico’s TFM, a railroad privatized in 1997; EVP of the Texas Mexican Railway; and president of the transportation consulting firm Capitol City Management Associates, headquartered in Georgetown, Texas. LM

John B. Ackerman MS’79 has been named mill manager and chief metallurgist for Sterling Mining Company (OTCBB: SRLM). Ackerman previously spent 16 years with Sunshine Mining as superintendent of the silver refinery and antimony plant. There he played an instrumental role in all aspects of design, engineering, construction, start-up, and eventual operation of the refinery. Most recently, he served as chief metallurgist for Turquoise Ridge JV in Nevada for 11 years. He is a longstanding member of the Society of Mining Engineers and has many publications to his credit on silver refining and the Sunshine hydrometallurgical process. Ackerman holds a master’s degree in Metallurgy from the University of Utah.

Christine Allen-Yazzie MFA’03 was recently awarded a Utah Arts Council Literature Publication Prize as a follow-up to a 2001 best-novel award for The Arc and the Sediment, which will be published by Utah State University Press in April (details here). Her story “Back Flat, No Pillow” can be found in the Fall 2006 The Dos Passos Review and online here.

Ross C. “Rocky” Anderson BS’73, mayor of Salt Lake City, was named a member of Newsweek magazine’s Global Environmental Leadership Advisory Committee, which helped develop ideas and perspectives for Newsweek’s April 2007 special issue on the environment. The 40-plus-member committee includes numerous journalists and advocates for sustainability in government, business, and the nonprofit sector, including global warming activist Laurie David, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s chief of staff, the superintendent of Yosemite National Park, and the president of Arizona State University.

Thomas R. Armstrong JD’00 has become an associate with the litigation team in the Carson City office of Kummer Kaempfer Bonner Renshaw & Ferrario (Kummer Kaempfer), one of Nevada’s largest law firms. Armstrong’s practice area covers civil litigation and criminal defense. Armstrong was most recently a deputy district attorney in Carson City, where he prosecuted hundreds of cases including several felony jury trials, ranging from drug trafficking to murder. Prior to that, he was in private practice in Elko, Nev., concentrating on civil litigation, criminal defense, and family law. Armstrong was a William H. Leary scholar at the University of Utah. He graduated with distinction from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in criminal justice and a minor in English literature. He is member of the State Bar of Nevada and the First Judicial District Bar Association.

Laura Barnes BA’06 has joined Love Communications, a Salt Lake-based advertising agency, as account coordinator. She previously served as marketing coordinator at another Utah company.

Teresa Beck BS’76 MBA’93 has been elected to the board of directors for Amylin Pharmaceuticals. Beck served 17 years with American Stores Company, including as chief financial officer of the $20 billion food and drug retailer from 1993 to 1998 and, most recently, as president from 1998 to 1999. She stepped down as president in conjunction with American Stores’ merger with Albertsons, Inc. She has also served as audit manager for Ernst & Whinney, an accounting firm, and as controller of the Steiner Financial Corporation in San Francisco, California. She is currently actively involved as a director for Questar Corporation and Lexmark International, Inc. She also serves on the not-for-profit boards of Intermountain Health Care, The Nature Conservancy of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah, and The Nature Conservancy in Arlington, Virginia. AM

Bradley Wm. Bowen BA’84 cum laude JD’87 has been elected chairman of the Utah CPA Political Action Committee for the Utah Association of Certified Public Accountants. The committee represents the interests of its members on various political issues. A shareholder of the llaw firm of Strong & Hanni, Bowen joined the firm in 1985.

Michele M. Christiansen JD’95 was nominated by Gov. Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. to serve as a judge in 3rd District Court. Christiansen had been serving as general counsel to Huntsman. Previously, she was the executive director of the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, an assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Salt Lake City, and an attorney with the Salt Lake City-based law firm of Parsons Behle & Latimer. Christiansen is the co-chair of the Joint Methamphetamine Task Force, chair of the Utah Sexual Violence Council and a member of the Guardian ad Litem Oversight Committee. She has also served as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem and a judge pro-tem for the Salt Lake City Justice Court.

Kimberly Engdahl Coates PhD’04 presented a paper, “Woolf’s ‘Precarious Lives’: Trauma and Communal Survival in Jacob’s Room and Between the Acts,” on the panel “Rereading Trauma in Woolf’s Fiction En(Corps)” at the 122nd MLA Annual Convention in Philadelphia, in December. She is assistant professor of Literature in the English Department at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

Ken Critchfield HBS’93 MS’97 PhD’02, an adjunct assistant professor with the University of Utah Psychology Department, has released a new CD, Hearing Voices (available on CDbaby.com and iTunes), with his free-jazz group, Ken Critchfield's Seraphim, for which he plays bass; fellow band members are Ethan Levitt (saxophones), Brad Stock (guitar), Marty Steinberg (drums), Craig Cleveland (poet), and Aniko Safran (poet). Safran is a student at the U of U film school. In the fall of 2003, Critchfield brought veteran musicians together to form Seraphim to explore the emergent process of freely improvised music. This group builds on his earlier work in SLC with bass and drums (resulting in Foundation, supported by grants from the UEA and NEA released in 1998) as well as with another free-jazz outfit, the Brooklyn-based Holophrase. For more information, see Seraphim’s myspace page here.

Our man in Alaska, Jerry Dixon BA’70 BA’73, continues his risky ways as an ultramarathoner, skiier, biker, hiker, and all-around extreme sport enthusiast. His latest report from up north is focused on Skiing the Iditarod Trail, which he accomplished with a 78-year-old friend. Fortunately, they both lived to tell about it. Dixon also provides some fascinating details about the history of the Iditarod Trail, which may help explain why he's traversed it four different times in four different ways. Read Dixon’s story...

Darrell R. Fisher HBA’75, Ph.D., has been appointed the patient's rights advocate on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Advisory Committee on the Medical Uses of Isotopes (ACMUI). Fisher, a medical physicist with experience in the dosimetry and health effects of radionuclides and radiopharmaceuticals used for diagnosing and treating cancer, is currently a senior scientist with 28 years experience at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. He leads the radioisotopes research program and serves as scientific director of the Department of Energy's isotope production program. He is also an adjunct member of the radiology faculty at the University of Washington, and of the environmental sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, and English and humanities faculties at Washington State University.

Darin Gibson BS’05 has been named interactive media planner for Crowell Advertising. He handles meda planning for the firm from research to evaluation.

Mark Gunning BS’82 (double major in Accounting and Management), CPA, has been named CFO of Impinj, Inc., a leading semiconductor and RFID technology provider. Gunning has 25 years of financial management experience with both privately held and public companies and specializes in developing and executing business plans and asset management programs that allow early stage companies to move into phases of high revenue growth and profitability. Prior to joining Impinj in February, Gunning was CFO at Expedia Inc. He has also held positions as senior vice president of worldwide finance at AT&T Wireless, CFO of Nextlink Communications, CFO of PrimcoCo Communications, and corporate controller of AirTouch Communications.

Ann Weaver Hart BS’70 MA’81 PhD’83 was officially installed in March as Temple University’s first female president, pledging greater attention to priorities including the environment, academic excellence, and international learning. She also announced the selection of a new provost, also a woman, marking the first time women have held both the president’s and provost’s positions at a Philadelphia university. Hart was previously the 18th president of University of New Hampshire, taking over in July 2002. Prior to that, she was provost and vice president for academic affairs at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, Calif. Hart has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Utah.

Jodi Hewitson BS’96 MPR’97 has joined Tanner LC as a senior tax manager. Hewitson is a CPA with 10 years of relevant experience. Prior to joining Tanner, she served as a senior tax manager with an international public accounting firm.

Joseph R. Horton BA’78 has been appointed senior vice president of Intermountain Healthcare, where he’ll oversee all of Intermountain’s hospital operations. Horton has been at Primary Children’s since 1986 and has been the CEO there since 1994. Before that, he was chief operating officer of Cottonwood Hospital. He has served as chairman of the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions and as a member of the Medical Care Advisory Committee for the Medicaid program. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and past president of the Utah chapter of the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse. He holds a master’s degree in hospital administration from the University of Minnesota in addition to a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Utah.

Paul Kershisnik BS’80 has been named senior vice president of Marketing Strategy and Innovation, a new position, for Wendy’s International, Inc. (NYSE:WEN). Kershisnik has extensive U.S. and international experience in all aspects of marketing, including strategic planning, product development and packaging, and advertising and promotions. Most recently, he served as vice president of New Product Innovations and R&D for Mrs. Fields Famous Brands in Salt Lake City. In addition to his bachelor’s degree from the U, Kershisnik holds an M.B.A. from Brigham Young University.

Kay Atkinson King BA'64 magna cum laude was recently appointed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi as director of the Office of Inter-parliamentary Affairs for the U.S. House of Representatives. King has worked for Congress since 1984, most recently as Democratic Senior Policy Advisor to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. She has been a member of the research staff at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has done research projects at Harvard University and two Max Planck Institutes in Germany. She has also taught at the University of Utah, American University, the University of Maryland, New England College, and other universities. King holds master’s and doctoral degrees in linguistics from UCLA.

David Kitterman BA’64 MA’66, Ph.D., assistant professor of History at Northern Arizona University, has been awarded a Fulbright Summer Seminar Grant to participate in the seminar “Germany in a Changing Europe: Transatlantic Ties, Transatlantic Challenges” this June. Kitterman will join about 20 other scholars from across the United States in the seminar, which will focus on Germany’s role within an expanding European Union and current US-German and US-EU relations. Kitterman also was awarded a Fulbright Summer Seminar Grant in 1982 in Bonn and Berlin, Germany.

In addition to facilitating interaction with other American scholars, the grant will also enable Dr. Kitterman to meet and interact with high-level European academic, political, and economic leaders while in Europe. Germany holds the rotating presidency of the European Union the first half of 2007. During this period it will preside over the 50th anniversary of the signing of the treaty of Rome, which witnessed the Federal Republic of Germany and five other nations initiate the European Economic Community, the precursor to the European Union. In June, Germany will also preside over the annual G-8 summit (Group of 8 industrial/economic nations, including the U.S., Germany, France, Great Britain, Japan, Italy, Russia and Canada).

Shauna Maughan BS’87, a teacher at McMillan Elementary in the Murray School District, recently received the Utah Association for Gifted Children (UAGC) Calvin Taylor “Teacher of the Year” award. Maughan was also one of five teachers to be awarded the 2007 Pinnacle Award from the Murray Education Foundation, recognizing outstanding efforts in teaching, and has also received a National Association for Gifted Children curriculum award. Nominated for the UAGC award by a parent, Maughan began her career in education more than 20 years ago. She went to work for the Murray School District 17 years ago because, she says, they were one of the few districts that had a program for gifted students. She now teaches a combined first- and second-grade class for gifted students. In addition to her bachelor’s degree from the U, she holds a master’s from Utah State University.

Brenda Miller PhD’99 received a 2006 Washington State Artist’s Trust Fellowship, and her essay “Getting Yourself Home” was a “Notable Essay” in the 2006 Pushcart Prize Anthology. Her essay “Runes and Incantations” was published in the Summer 2006 Missouri Review; her article “Point of View in Creative Nonfiction” is in the Fall 2006 Creative Nonfiction; and her short personal essay “Balsa” appears in the latest Water~Stone Review. She is on the low-residency MFA faculty of Pacific Lutheran University, an associate professor of English at Western Washington University, and Editor-in-Chief of the Bellingham Review, which received an NEA grant for audience development and celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

David R. Money BS’76 MBA’79 JD’82 has been appointed executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary for First Data Corporation (NYSE: FDC), a leader in electronic commerce and payment services around the world. Money had been serving as acting general counsel since June 20, 2006. During the preceding 15 years, he had filled a series of increasingly responsible positions in the legal departments of First Data and its predecessors, most recently serving as deputy general counsel since March 2004. For eight years prior to joining First Data, Money was a partner in the law firm of Jones, Waldo, Holbrook and McDonough in Salt Lake City. He is a member of the Colorado and Utah state bar associations.

Jerry Olson BA’72 PhD’77 (both in Physics) is one of three scientists in the field of energy sharing the $1 million 2007 Future Time Dimension prize from the Dan David Foundation. (Sarah Kurtz and James Hansen are this year’s other two recipients). Kurtz and Olson have made exceptional contributions to the field of photovoltaic energy over the past two decades as principal scientists at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado. They hold the world’s record for the highest-efficiency solar cells ever made, and their work on developing the multi-junction solar cell has the potential to alleviate the world’s impending energy crisis. These solar cells are already the choice for most space applications (for example, they power the vast majority of satellites). Olson performed his postdoctoral studies at Northwestern University before joining NREL.

This year’s Dan David Prizes awarded a total of $3 million to six people in three areas of achievement—the Past, Present and Future Time Dimension categories, recognizing outstanding achievement in science, technology, culture and social impact—at a March ceremony in Paris. Now in their sixth year, the prizes are funded by the Dan David Foundation in cooperation with Tel Aviv University and the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.

Donald Platt PhD’95’s third book of poems, My Father Says Grace, was published by the University of Arkansas Press in March. His poem “Two Poets Meet” was included in The Best American Poetry 2006, edited by Billy Collins and published by Scribner.

Wendy Rawlings PhD’00 has won the Michigan Literary Award with her novel The Agnostics, which will be published by the University of Michigan Press in Fall 2007. Her story “Again” is in the current Cincinnati Review; her story “Ye Olde Twentieth Century” is forthcoming in the Indiana Review; and her story “The Skeleton” is forthcoming in the Massachusetts Review. She is an associate professor and director of the University of Alabama’s MFA program.

Shane Robison BS’80 MS’83, executive VP and chief strategy and technology officer for Hewlett Packard, was the keynote speaker for the Utah Technology Council’s (UTC) Annual Members’ Meeting on March 29. Robison, a 2003 UTC Hall of Fame inductee, is responsible for shaping HP’s overall corporate strategy and technology agenda. He steers the company’s $3.5 billion research and development investment and fosters the development of the company’s global technical community. Robison also leads the company’s strategy and corporate development efforts.

Robert “RAS” Sheffield MBA’73 has been named chief financial officer for ChipX, Inc., a provider of differentiated ASIC solutions. Sheffield has more than 30 years of executive-level finance experience with both public and private companies. He has served as CFO for eight Silicon Valley companies, including Time-Warner Interactive, Faroudja, Asante Technologies, and Televideo Systems. In November 2001, he led the successful IPO of Magma Design Automation. He most recently served as the CFO of Sequence Design Inc. of Santa Clara.

Lonica L. Smith BS’98 has joined the real estate department of the law firm Phillips Nizer LLP as an associate. She will focus her practice on the acquisition and disposition of real property, financing of real estate transfers, and the development and preservation of affordable housing. Smith is also an adjunct assistant professor at St. John’s University School of Business. She previously served as an assistant corporation counsel and later as senior counsel for the City of New York. She received her J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and is admitted to practice in the State of New York and the United States District Court, Southern District of New York.

James L. Sorenson ex’48 again made Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s richest people. Sorenson, 85, ranks 177th on this year’s Forbes list. The founder of Sorenson Communications, Sorenson Media, Sorenson Medical, DataChem Labs and other leading companies, the prominent Utah entrepreneur is worth around $4.5 billion. He originally made his fortune in local real estate before expanding in other directions. Jon Huntsman, Sr., who founded the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, was the only other Utahn to make the list. Huntsman, 69, ranks 618th this year. The founder of Huntsman Corporation, which makes a range of products from polymers to base chemicals, is worth an estimated $1.6 billion.

Aaron Lee Syrett BS’98, former director of the Utah Film Commission, is the new director for the North Carolina State Film Office, starting this month. At the U, Syrett majored in mass communication with an emphasis on marketing, film, television and radio. He had worked at the Utah Film Commission since 1998.


James Van Erden PhD’74 has been promoted to vice president of the Civilian Services Divisions of DTI Associates Inc., a Haverstick Company. Van Erden, who has been director of DTI’s Program Services Division since 2005, will use his 35 years of government, business, and industry experience to lead the company’s newly consolidated civilian agency work. Before joining DTI, Van Erden served as the vice president for Workforce Development at Goodwill Industries International, where he was also a Switzer Fellow. Prior to Goodwill, he was the senior vice president for Workforce Development at the National Alliance of Business.

Jack Vespa PhD’01 presented a paper, “Wordsworth’s Ruined Cottage and ‘the mechanism of poetry,’ ” on the panel “From Sympathy to Romanticism” at the 122nd MLA Annual Convention in Philadelphia in December. He is in his third year as a three-year postdoctoral lecturer in English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Craig C. Wruck BS’74 has been named senior vice president of Development for Hazelden, a national nonprofit organization with a comprehensive approach to fighting addiction. Wruck has 30 years of experience leading successful fundraising efforts, most recently as associate vice president for development and director of gift planning at the University of Minnesota Medical Foundation. He has previously led successful fundraising efforts at organizations including the Saint Paul Foundation, and has been honored with awards and recognition for his service. He is also a community leader who has served on the boards of numerous organizations. In addition to a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Utah, Wruck holds an MBA from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.

Timothy R. Zoph BS’77 has been appointed to the board of directors for Technology Solutions Company (TSC) (Nasdaq: TSCC). Since 1993, Zoph, 51, has served as vice president and CIO of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, located in Chicago. Under Zoph, Northwestern Memorial has been recognized as “One of the 100 Most Wired Hospitals” for six consecutive years. In 2003, Zoph was recognized as the John E. Gall CIO of the Year by the Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives.

U-News & Views © 2007 An online publication
by the University of Utah Alumni Association
Questions? Concerns? Contact Linda Marion, editor (801-587-7837)
or Marcia Dibble, assistant editor (801-581-6996)