U-News & Views, The University of Utah Alumni Association’s Online Newsletter—August 2008
Alumni Honor Roll (in alphabetical order)

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

Jensie Anderson BFA’85 JD’93, a professor with the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law, and some of her students offer free legal advice for two hours every Sunday to people down on their luck. The group sits at a folding table under the viaduct on 500 South and 700 West offering help with legal issues such as disputes with employers and landlords, Social Security benefits, welfare, food stamps, child custody, and divorce, as well as minor criminal violations like trespassing, jaywalking, and loitering. Anderson and others offering pro bono or low-cost legal assistance are now listed in a new directory from the nonprofit And Justice For All that is being distributed to social service providers, church groups, and courts all over Utah. The guide is also available online at www.andjusticeforall.org.

Andrew Bogut ex’05 (pictured as a Ute at left, and playing professionally as a Milwaukee Buck at right) was finally named to the 2008 Australian Olympic basketball team in early July, a day after finalizing a new contract with the Bucks. The contract was signed with just days to spare before the Boomers took their squad into an eight-day pre-Olympic camp. Bogut, 23, will be entering his fourth National Basketball Association season next fall. He opted out of the final year of the four-year rookie contract he signed with Milwaukee, which took him as the No.1 pick in the 2005 NBA draft, in order to negotiate a new, better multi-year contract. He didn’t have insurance against injury until signing a new deal, so for weeks there was concern that he could miss the 2008 Olympics. Bogut also competed in the 2004 Athens Games.

Barton R. Bowen MPA’99 PhD’05 has published a new textbook, History of Economic Thought: Key Contributions of Economic Scholars (May 2008, VDM Verlag Dr. Muller), with Mehmet Ufuk Tutan, Ph.D. The book is currently for sale through Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and more than 30 booksellers located in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, and France.

Charles R. Brown JD’71, a Salt Lake City tax attorney, was named 2008 “Lawyer of the Year” by the Utah State Bar. Brown is a director with the Salt Lake firm of Clyde Snow Sessions & Swenson. He is regularly involved in providing pro bono legal services, primarily in assisting those of limited means and military personnel and their families in the resolution of disputes with federal and state taxing authorities.

Karoline Droege BS’94 has been named director of development for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation. Droege was an SVSEF alpine team member from 1981-89 and competed as a Division I skier for the University of Utah from 1989–93. For the past 10 years, she has been a physical therapist with Koth Sports Physical Therapy and an SVSEF coach and board member. Born in Germany, Droege moved to Ketchum, Idaho, with her parents when she was in the sixth grade. After completing undergraduate work at the University of Utah, she received a master’s degree in physical therapy from Idaho State University.

Eric H. Edwards MBA’83 has been appointed to the board of directors of Sunridge Gold Corp. Edwards is president and chief executive officer of Ventura Gold Corp., as well as chief financial officer and a vice president of International Minerals Corporation. He is also a director of the Northwest Mining Association. A proven and prudent fiscal manager, having successfully completed acquisitions, divestitures, several equity placements, and project and corporate debt facilities, Edwards has served as chief financial officer for a number of other publicly traded gold companies over the past 12 years. In addition to his master’s from the U, he holds a bachelor’s of science in geology (with Honors) from Utah State University.

Lily Eskelsen BS’80 (magna cum laude) MEd’86 has been elected vice president of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million educators. Eskelsen, an elementary school teacher, was recognized as Utah Teacher of the Year in 1989 and has held leadership positions in the NEA since her 1990 write-in election as president of the 18,000-member Utah Education Association. She served in this post until 1996, when she was elected to the nine-member NEA Executive Committee. She had served as secretary-treasurer of the NEA since 2002. Now one of the highest-ranking labor leaders in the country and one of its most powerful Hispanic educators, Eskelson won the Democratic nomination for U.S. Congress in 1998 (becoming the first Hispanic chosen as her party’s nominee) but lost to the incumbent, Merrill Cook, 43 to 53 percent. She also served as a member of President Clinton’s White House Strategy Session on Improving Hispanic Education in 2000 and as president of the Utah State Retirement System (only the second woman ever to be elected to the position). Eskelson has taught at facilities that include North Salt Lake City’s Orchard Elementary School and the one-room K-6 school at the Christmas Box House Children’s Center for foster children awaiting placement. LM

Eskelsen uses song and visuals in instructing a class. Lily and her husband, Ruel, helped work their way through college as folk singers.

Stanford P. Fitts BA’83 (cum laude) JD’86 has been named to the 2008 Mountain States Super Lawyers list. Fitts is a shareholder with the Utah law firm Strong & Hanni. While at the University of Utah, he was a member of the Utah Law Review, was a William H. Leary Scholar, and received the American Jurisprudence Award in the area of negligence and liability law. Fitts became a member of the Utah State Bar and the U.S. District Court, District of Utah in 1986; the U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth and Federal Circuits and U.S. Court of Federal Claims in 1988, the U.S. District Court District of Arizona in 1996; and the Wyoming State Bar in 2004.

Jake Gibb BS’02 is a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic men’s beach volleyball team. A Bountiful native, Gibb, 32, joined the American Volleyball Professionals Tour in 2000. In 2005, he had a breakout season on the AVP Tour with partner Stein Metzger, winning four events, $110,000 in prize money, and the Most Valuable Player award. Gibb is one of the few players on the AVP Tour that did not play volleyball in college. Instead, he grew up playing golf and basketball, and though an exceptional basketball player, he didn’t make the Bountiful High School team. He didn’t take up beach volleyball until age 21, after returning from an LDS Church mission to Costa Rica, during which he grew four inches, to 6-foot-7 inches. Gibb has said that if he had enjoyed the growth spurt earlier, he might have pursued his passion for basketball. Gibb’s wife, Jane Watts, is a Farmington native who played volleyball at Dixie State College.

Glenn C. Hanni BS’48 JD’48 has been named to the 2008 Mountain States Super Lawyers list. Hanni is a shareholder with the Utah law firm Strong & Hanni, which he co-founded in 1962. While at the University of Utah, he was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and was admitted to the Order of the Coif. Hanni became a member of the Utah State Bar in 1948 and served as Deputy Attorney for Salt Lake County from 1948-1950. He became a member of the U.S. District Court, District of Utah and the U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit in 1950; and the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971. His previous honors include recognition as Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Utah Defense Lawyer Association in 1999, and as Outstanding Lawyer by the Federal Bar Association in 1997.

Bryce Hayes BS’99 has been named vice president of client services at AFFINA, an HTMT global solutions company. For the past four years, Hayes has served as chief operations officer for the company’s operations in the Philippines. He also has more than 15 years of contact center experience holding leadership roles in training, quality, performance management, and operations worldwide.

Brian Hernandez BS’07 has joined the arenafootball2 (af2) roster of the Boise Burn. A former University of Utah wide receiver, Hernandez was a three-year starter for the Utes. Playing in 33 games, he recorded 125 receptions for 1,518 yards and five touchdowns. After college, Hernandez was initially signed by the Utah Blaze of the Arena Football League (AFL). He was picked up by the Burn after being released from the Blaze practice squad. Hernandez is the second player released by the Blaze to join the Burn this season. Boise Burn Head Coach Lee Leslie maintains a strong relationship with the Utah Blaze, having coached the team before coming to Boise two years ago. The af2 is the “minors” of arena football, bringing the sport to small-to-midsize cities and serving as a developmental league for the major professional football leagues, sending players, coaches and officials “up” each year.

Glenn Iwasaki BS’68 J’71, Utah’s 3rd District Judge, was named 2008 “Judge of the Year” by the Utah State Bar. Iwasaki was appointed to the bench in 1992 in the state court’s 3rd District, which includes Salt Lake, Tooele, and Summit counties. Iwasaki previously served as a Deputy Salt Lake County Attorney, as a trial attorney for the Salt Lake Legal Defenders Association, and as a partner in the law firm of Collard, Pixton, Iwasaki & Downes. He has also been an adjunct professor of law at the University of Utah and has served on the board of trustees of its S.J. Quinney College of Law Alumni Association. During his tenure as deputy Salt Lake County attorney, he served as unit chief for the Special Victims Prosecution Unit. He has also served as chair of the Youth Parole Authority and as a member of the Utah Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Utah Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Judicial System, the Committee on Improving Jury Service, and the KUED board.

“Starfish,” by Virginia Jenkins,
3' x 4', acrylic on canvas

Virginia Jenkins MFA’75 has been named chair of the Grand Valley State University (Grand Rapids, Mich.) Department of Art and Design. Jenkins has taught and professionally worked in the field of art and design for more than 30 years. A native of Bay City, Mich., she has lived out West for much of her teaching career. She served as the department chair for the University of Northern Colorado’s School of Art and Design for six years and as the head of art and design at the University of Minnesota Duluth for three. “Professor Jenkins is a ‘wow’ hire,” says Frederick Antczak, dean of the GVSU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “She brings years of administrative experience in similar institutions and a record of wonderful, student-oriented success.” Also a large-scale landscape artist for more than 20 years, Jenkins produces work that is a combination of various artistic styles including surrealism, abstraction, and representationalism.

Charles E. Johnson BS’61 (along with an M.S. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1962, and a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, 1970) has relocated to Toronto, where he was recently named a senior member of the Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers. After an academic career teaching mathematics at Kansas State University, Ohio State University, and Wichita State University, he spent nearly 30 years in Washington, D.C., advising the U.S. Department of Energy and other federal agencies, testifying before legislative bodies, and assisting facilities and organizations who represent consumers of electricity, natural gas, water & sewer, and telephone services, and in the regulation of insurance rates. He continues to provide consulting services to public utility commissions, consumer groups of utility services, and others involved in the regulatory process.

Bruce Larrabee BFA’84 is the new executive director of the Kimball Art Center in Park City. Larrabee has spent 25 years in the city as a potter, art teacher, small-business owner, and advocate for local artists. Treasurer and a past president of the Park City Professional Artist Association and a member of the Historic Main Street Business Alliance, Larrabee also owns the Art Works Gallery on Main Street. He started Artworks Fine Contemporary Crafts in 1983 as a cooperative gallery featuring the work of locals and began teaching pottery classes at the Kimball in 1985 after getting his bachelor’s degree in ceramics and sculpture from the University of Utah. He has served on the Kimball’s board since 2003 and took on the role of interim executive director in March.

Douglas P. Larsen MD’03 has accepted a faculty position in the division of Pediatric Neurology with the Department of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Larsen served as the inaugural chief resident in Pediatric Neurology at the school for the 2007-08 academic year. He was previously the inaugural recipient of the Steven M. Rothman Award for Outstanding Resident Teacher in Pediatric Neurology, voted on by the Pediatric house staff at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and received the hospital’s Outstanding Fellow Teaching Award, also voted on by hospital staff. Larsen was in the pediatrics program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center from 2003-2005 before attending Washington University.

Former U swimmer Jonathan Larsen BS’07 competed in the Olympic swimming trials on July 4, though he fell short of making the team. At the U, Larsen set a school record in the 100-yard freestyle sprint (44.07), a second-best time of 20.12 in the 50-yard freestyle for the school record books and helped lead the Utes to a share of a MWC championship during his senior season. He now works for a consulting firm just north of San Diego.

Levi Leipheimer ex’96 will compete in cycling for the U.S. Olympic Team this month at the Beijing Games in China. He will race in both the road race and the time trial. Leipheimer , 34, began cycling seriously as part of a training program for ski racing at the Rowmark Ski Academy at Rowland Hall/St. Mark’s School in Salt Lake City more than 20 years ago. Since then, he has grown into one of the most prominent American cyclists in history, winning the Dauphine Libere in 2006 and finishing in the top 10 of the Tour de France three times. He finished third overall in the 2007 Tour—the performance that automatically qualified him for the U.S. Olympic Team for the Beijing Games. Leipheimer was the youngest member of the U.S. Cycling delegation to the 2004 Athens Games after being chosen as a replacement for Lance Armstrong. He did not finish the road race in Athens, however, giving him an obvious goal in the road race in Beijing.

Joy E. Leo BA’83 has been appointed to the new position of chief administration officer for PDF Solutions, Inc., a leading provider of yield-improvement technologies and services for the integrated circuit (IC) manufacturing process life cycle. Leo has more than 25 years of financial and corporate management experience with leading electronics companies. Prior to joining PDF Solutions, she was senior vice president, chief financial officer, and secretary for Credence Systems Corporations. As vice president of finance and administration, chief financial officer, and secretary for Artisan Components, Inc. (now known as ARM Holdings PLC), she successfully guided the company to year-over-year net income growth and significantly improved operational efficiency. She also served leadership roles with IMP, Inc., Innomedia Incorporated, and Philips Components, a multibillion-dollar division of Royal Philips Electronics N.V.

Bryant J. McConkie BS’98 has been named to the 2008 Mountain States Super Lawyers list. McConkie was in solo practice before joining the Utah law firm Strong & Hanni is an attorney in 2006. He received an M.S. in Organizational Behavior from the University of Hartford in 2001 and a J.D. in 2004 from Hamline University. McConkie became a member of the Utah State Bar and the U.S. District Court, District of Utah, in 2004. He is an adjunct professor with the U of U’s David Eccles School of Business.

Shaun Nethercott PhD’85 is co-founder and executive director of Matrix Theatre Company in Detroit’s Mexicantown. Nethercott’s work is informed by years of studying the late modernist Irish playwright and poet Samuel Beckett. A native of Rock Springs, Wyo., Nethercott discovered Beckett while doing undergraduate work at the University of Wyoming. She says she found Beckett’s writing beautiful and inspiring. Fascinated both by his work’s structure and its humanity, she has now studied, directed, or at least read all of his plays, but says her fellowship was a challenge. Beckett sometimes had 15 or more versions of one play. Nethercott’s dissertation for her doctorate in dramaturgy from the U of U was titled Play as a System: The Play of Samuel Beckett. She was drawn to move to Detroit in the late 1980s by the city’s history and sense of social consciousness. The Matrix opened in 1991, and about 80 plays have run there—the very first being, of course, Waiting for Godot. But the theater is committed to producing mostly original works. Shaun and her husband, Wesley, who co-founded the theater with her, have collaborated on 45 of those. Shaun Nethercott also teaches classes, summer camps, and workshops, and is active in community programs that bring the arts to people from all walks of life. Matrix Theatre was recognized for its outreach last year with the Theresa Maxis Award for Social Justice from Marygrove College.

A scene from the 2007 Matrix Theatre original show Jesus in the ’Hood.


Martin J. “Marty” Nygaard MD’86 was recently named medical director for the Intermountain Medical Group in Intermountain’s Southwest Region. Nygaard has more than 20 years of experience in the medical field. He has been listed with Best Doctors (an independent referral service) since 2000, was the Washington County Medical Alliance 1998 Doctor of the Year, and served as Dixie Regional Medical Center’s medical staff president in 2002. After receiving his doctorate from the University of Utah, Nygaard completed his pediatric residency at the University of North Carolina Medical Center. He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Utah Medical Association, and currently serves as the president of the Washington County Medical Society.

Allen H. Oster MFA’83 has been named a 2008 Alumni Fellow by the Dickinson State University Alumni Association and Foundation. Oster received his bachelor’s degree from DSU, his master’s of arts in theatre from North Dakota State University, and his master’s of fine arts in directing from the University of Utah. A professor of theater at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, he has received both the University’s Teaching Excellence Award and its College of Fine Arts Teaching Excellence Award and was honored in 2006 by being named a Piper Professor of Texas. He has directed and acted in more than 100 productions professionally for college, summer, regional, and dinner theaters in Arizona, California, North and South Dakota, Texas, and Utah. The DSU Alumni Fellows Program was developed five years ago to bring prominent and outstanding alumni, who are leaders in their fields, back to campus to share their experiences with students, faculty, administrators, and the community during Homecoming week.

Grant Ostvig BS’75 has been appointed managing director for the Middle East operations of PAS. Ostvig held various management positions at Honeywell for more than 30 years and spent over half of his career in international sales for process control, representing Honeywell on five continents. In addition to a bachelor’s degree in physics from the U he holds an MBA from the University of Minnesota. As managing director, he will have overall responsibility for PAS’ business in the Middle East region. He will be based in Dubai, UAE.

Denichiro Otsuga BS’95 PhD’03 has been named South Dakota State University’s first director of technology transfer. Otsuga joins SDSU from Ceres, a California-based energy crop-development company, where he was manager of technology licensing and acquisition. Prior to that, he worked in the technology transfer office at the University of Utah, where he received a doctorate in developmental plant molecular genetics.

Eric Petersen BS’96 MArch’99 (both in architecture) has partnered with BYU mechanical engineer graduate Jon Borden in the African Ice snow shack company, which sells snow cones to help micro-loan candidates from Africa fund small businesses. After ordering one of the more than 50 flavors at African Ice—including sugar-free and organic options—customers are given a shilling (the currency used in Kenya), which they can place in one of three containers labeled with the name and background of a micro-loan applicant. African Ice is partnered with Yehu Micro-financing, a nonprofit organization based in Utah Valley, which operates, identifies, and manages the loans. The loan repayment rate is more than 95 percent. Most of the people asking for loans are women, and their businesses include using skills such as mending clothes and teaching school. African Ice currently has six locations in the Salt Lake Valley, and so far this year, they have funded more than 60 loans.

Kent Phippen BS’07 has purchased the former George West Auto in Bountiful and renamed it Go Motors. Phippen, who received his bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship, has nurtured his love of cars since he was a young child. He says, “I’m going to enjoy the experience here. This area has had such a good customer base, and with the continuation of great customer service we will be just as successful.” The new Web site of Go Motors (www.drivegomotors.com) is up and running, and as part of a new business tactic, Go Motors will also be offering a “mobile cleaning unit,” which will go to customer’s homes to clean their vehicles.

Christopher R. “Chris” Shaffer BS’92 has been named Minneapolis’ WCCO-TV Channel 4’s new evening meteorologist. Shaffer, a Minnesota native, had been WCCO’s morning meteorologist since 2006. He lives in Woodbury, Minn., with his wife, Gloria, and their three children. Shaffer started off his broadcasting career as a deejay in college, meeting the likes of Janet Jackson. His call names included Chris St. Croix, Blaze BoDean, Jack Wild and “Cheeks.” He and his wife met at a radio listener appreciation party.

Richard B. Simpson MS’78 PhD’83 has been named senior vice president and chief academic officer for Corinthian Colleges, Inc. Simpson, 60, most recently served as interim chief academic and operations officer for Colorado State University’s (CSU) Global Campus, where he directed the development of an independent, online division of CSU’s continuing education program. He concurrently served as associate provost for CSU’s continuing education division. Earlier, Simpson served as associate dean, academic outreach and continuing education for the University of Utah, where he began his professional academic career in 1983. Over the course of a 21-year career at the U, he also served as adjunct associate professor of management, assistant dean-division of continuing education, associate dean-division of continuing education, and adjunct associate professor of political science.

Kelly South BA’01 (English, with a Spanish minor), a study-abroad adviser and staff member in the University of Utah’s International Studies Center, received the University’s 2008 General Administration District Staff Award. Shanna Erickson, chair of the awards team, said South was one of 18 general administration employees nominated for the award. South first experienced a completely different culture for 18 months while on a mission to Costa Rica for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She now helps students with their own international experiences, both in her efforts to assist American would-be exchange students and in aiding international students with issues such as visas and green card applications.

D. Ryan Stringham BS’05 of The Buckner Co. has been named Young Agent of the Year by the Utah Association of Independent Insurance Agents. Stringham started his career with The Buckner Co. in 2002. He pursued his bachelor’s degree in business finance from the U while working full time for the company. This month, he expects to receive a master’s degree in business administration. He currently serves as president of the Salt Lake board of the Association of Independent Insurance Agents.

G. Thomas Stromberg JD’82 has joined the corporate and finance department of Kaye Scholer LLP as partner in its Los Angeles office. Stromberg concentrates his practice in mergers and acquisitions, private equity, corporate finance transactions, joint ventures, corporate governance issues, and general corporate matters. Stromberg joins Kaye Scholer from Winston & Strawn LLP, where he was a partner in the firm’s corporate department and head of its private equity practice on the West Coast. He serves on the board of directors of the Constitutional Rights Foundation, the board of advisors of the Mezzanine Finance Symposium, the board of governors of the Financial Lawyers Conference, and the advisory board of the USC Institute for Corporate Counsel.

Darrel Twede BS’64 MS’70 has joined Palladon Ventures Ltd. as acting chief operating officer and chief technical officer. Twede recently retired from FLSmidth Minerals, formerly known as Eimco, where he was a project manager for the last 15 years with projects in Asia, South America, and the United States. Prior to his employment at Eimco, he worked at Evans & Sutherland in Salt Lake City as program manager, managing domestic and international multimillion-dollar programs in the simulation industry. He was employed at Kennecott Copper as a control systems engineer in the development of control systems in Kennecott’s operation. Twede is a past member of the Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) Honor Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and the Instrument Society of America (ISA).

Aaron Whitehead BS’99 resigned as head coach of the East High School (in Salt Lake City) football team to take a position with Brigham Young University, where he will pursue a master’s degree, teach as a graduate assistant, and coach. Whitehead graduated from Skyline High School before attending the University of Utah. He spent 11 seasons as a high school coach with assistant coaching jobs at Skyline and East before becoming the head coach of the East Leopards. In his five seasons with the Leopards, the team had two Region 6 championships, two state semifinal appearances, and a 39-21 overall record. With the high school football season four weeks away, Whitehead’s resignation took effect immediately, as he said he expected East administrators to hire an interim coach from within the Leopards’ program.

R. Jay Worley BS’91 MBA’92 has been named vice president–communications and investor relations for Airgas, Inc., which, through its subsidiaries, is the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, medical, and specialty gases, as well as hardgoods such as welding equipment and supplies. Worley joined Airgas in 1993 and advanced through various accounting, human resources, and sales positions before becoming the CFO of Airgas Southwest in 2001. In 2006, he moved to the corporate headquarters in Radnor as the director of investor relations.

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