U-News & Views, The University of Utah Alumni Association’s Online Newsletter—June 2009

Alumni Honor Roll (in alphabetical order)

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

Neil Ashdown BA’93 MPA’97, chief of staff to Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr., is expected to fill the same role in Beijing once the governor is confirmed as the U.S. ambassador to China. Huntsman hired Ashdown as his deputy chief of staff after he was elected to his first term as governor in 2004. Ashdown, a self-described policy wonk, was promoted a year later. It is not known when the U.S. Senate will vote on Huntsman’s nomination, but preparations are already under way for Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert’s transition to governor. Ashdown, who grew up in Lander, Wyo., has a doctorate in political science from the University of Albany in New York and is the author of The Impact of Banking Policy on Trade and Global Strategy. He previously served in the Utah Office of Planning and Budget under former Gov. Mike Leavitt and soon became the state’s chief economist for both Leavitt and former Gov. Olene Walker. AM

Nolan Ashman BS’59 has retired after 44 years with Dixie State College. Ashman, most recently assistant professor of psychology, had taught at Dixie since 1965. He had also served as director of counseling and director of the college’s drug and alcohol prevention center.

Tobin Atkinson MFA’95 introduced his Meat & Potato Theatre Company to Utah audiences with the show Infantry Monologues, a story of three Americans compelled by extraordinary circumstances to make life or death choices, which played at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center May 21-31. Playwright and director Atkinson, a 1991 graduate of Brighton High School, co-founded Salt Lake City’s Plan-B Theatre Company with his Southern Utah University classmate Cheryl Cluff, then went on to receive a master’s degree in directing from the U of U. He enlisted in the military in 2001, serving as a rifleman with the 1-16 Infantry Regiment at Fort Riley, Kans. His term of service included tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of an entertainment group assigned to improve morale of his fellow soldiers. Atkinson debuted Infantry Monologues in 2005 while living in Washington, D.C. For more on Atkinson, read the Continuum profile here (at bottom of pdf).

Salt Lake City attorney Brent Baker BA’84 is currently representing Laura Pendergest-Holt against charges for her alleged part in what the Justice Department claims is an $8 billion fraud committed at the Texas-based Stanford Investment Group, a case that has drawn international attention. Pendergest-Holt was the chief investment officer at Stanford Investment, led by billionaire R. Allen Stanford, who is alleged to have concocted a massive Ponzi scheme.  Baker is known in circles of lawyers who specialize in cases involving sales of securities or investments because of his 14 years of experience as an attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission. He worked out of the SEC’s office in Salt Lake City but prosecuted cases in New York, Nevada and other states.

Maria Bardini BFA’07 was recently selected from a pool of artists after Salt Lake Community College sent out a request for proposals to sculpt a Grizzly bear that will stand in front of the student center. Bardini, 64, is one of only a handful of people in the world who know how to precisely scale large sculptures from a tiny model—a skill called point enlargement that she learned while studying art on a scholarship in a small town in Italy. Working on the stone on site, where it will permanently reside, Bardini expects to finish in about 10 months. To read more about Bardini’s fascinating path to becoming an artist, read the Deseret News profile here.

Scott R. Barton BA’84 MD’88 has been named by Molina Healthcare of Utah as chief medical officer of its health plan, a subsidiary of Molina Healthcare Inc. Barton will oversee the medical management functions of the health plan, including utilization management, quality improvement, credentialing, pharmacy and risk management activities. Barton has more than 17 years of medical experience and has served in medical leadership positions for several health-care organizations, including St. Mark’s Hospital in Utah, Jean Brown and Associates, and Healthdyne Perinatal Services. He is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Cristin Chabot ex’92 recently received her master’s degree in education from Lesley College in Cambridge, Mass., and is now certified to teach grades one through six. A retired professional classical ballet dancer, Chabot is now a married mother of three and also teaches ballet at dance academies near her home in Amesbury, Mass. A native of Quincy, Mass., Chabot left Quincy to attend high school at the North Carolina School of the Arts, where she lived and studied classical ballet, then came to the U to attend its esteemed dance program. While a U of U student, she became a member of the Ballet West corps de ballet. After marrying, she and her husband moved to Florida, where she joined Northwest Florida Ballet, a smaller company where she was able to be a soloist. Chabot retired from professional dancing at 25, after becoming pregnant with her first child, and started teaching dance. She and her family later moved back to New England, where she continued teaching and then began her master’s program.

Cristin Chabot helps out her Amesbury Elementary School third-grade students with a civics lesson on May 8, her last day as a student teacher before receiving her master’s. Photo credit: Ian Hurley / Wicked Local

Shyamala Chivukula MEd’94 is one of 10 recipients of a 2009 Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education. Chivukula, who has taught science at Bonneville Junior High School in Holladay for 17 years, began teaching part time in India when her two children were young. She then earned a bachelor’s degree in science and education, along with higher degrees in management, law, and computer science at Bombay University. She came to the United States in 1991 and joined Bonneville a year later. She felt she needed more education to better understand teaching in America, so she pursued her master’s degree in education from the University of Utah. Students in her seventh-grade science class said Chivukula encourages them to ask questions and discuss facts, especially when doing experiments. Chivukula also loves sharing her culture and heritage with others. On Indian holidays, she makes Indian dishes to share in the faculty room and brings colorful dresses for co-workers to wear to help her celebrate. With her $10,000 Huntsman prize, Chivukula plans to go to Nepal with her husband to visit ancient temples.

Shyamala Chivukula helps Anne Horner walk over a bed of nails in her science class at Bonneville Junior High. Photo credit: Michael Brandy / Deseret News

Adrian Denny BS’04 has been named to the three-person management team running the Utah Grizzlies day-to-day operations. Denny, 27, is the team’s new vice president of communications and broadcasting and will still serve as the team’s play-by-play broadcaster. He will continue to oversee the team’s marketing and advertising efforts, media relations, broadcasting, and web site: www.utahgrizzlies.com. Denny joined the Grizzlies as a group sales intern in 2002 and now enters his fifth season as the “Voice of the Grizzlies” and seventh year as a member of the Grizzlies Radio broadcast team. The Holladay, Utah, resident was named to the television broadcast team for the 2009 ECHL All-Star Game, which was broadcast on NHL Network and NHL Center Ice.

Mansoor Emam MD’90 (pictured at right with a young patient) was recently named a Utah Hero of Emergency Medicine by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). As a child in his native city of Dezful, in southern Iran, a city with little or no medical services, Emam dreamed of one day becoming a doctor and aiding the sick and the poor. He came to the University of Utah as a teenager, and upon completing his studies, stayed in the U.S. and became an American citizen, internist, and emergency physician working for Intermountain Health Care. Realizing the great demand for free health care in Utah, Dr. Emam turned to his friend Khosrow Semnani, an Iranian-American and Utah-based philanthropist. With the help of Semnani’s philanthropic Semnani Foundation, in 2005 they built the Maliheh Clinic, one of four charity clinics in Salt Lake County serving the working poorthose who earn about $20,000 for a family of four. Emam is the clinic’s medical director, emergency room physician, and internist.

In its first year of operation, the Maliheh Clinic connected more than 3,000 low-income and uninsured Utah residents to the medical care they need. To date, it has helped more than 35,000.  But today, the number of uninsured residents in Utah has reached 300,000. While the clinic has received startup support, its goal is to be self-sufficient through ongoing donations.

Emam’s work has also been recognized by the State of Utah, which honored him as the Emergency Room Physician of the Year in 2005. Emam is a member of the board of the Utah ACEP, as well as a board member at Intermountain Health Care. His leadership has driven the clinic to attract considerable attention, and recently, Emam and the Maliheh Clinic were video profiled by GoodTube’s Profiles in Caring. The clinic has also been the recipient of a Select 25 Award, a $2,500 award given by SelectHealth to outstanding nonprofit health providers in Utah. The Maliheh Clinic is named after Khosrow Semnani’s grandmother, who inspired him to become a leader in charity and humanitarian work.

Dan England BS’71 JD’74, chair of the board of C. R. England, a global transportation provider headquartered in Salt Lake City, announced that the company has been recognized as the 2008 Dedicated Grocery Carrier of the Year and 2008 Grocery Carrier of the Year by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. This is the first time Walmart has honored a transportation provider with two awards in one year.  Walmart has been an England customer since 2005, and England has supported Walmart’s growth as it has expanded its produce centers each year since.

Jonathan Fairbanks BFA’53, vice president of Research at Artfact, was recently honored with The Decorative Arts Trust Award for Excellence for Distinctive Contributions in the Field of the Decorative. Fairbanks, The Katherine Lane Weems Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture Emeritus, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, retired as president of the Trust last year. Fairbanks will also be honored by the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Mass., this month as one of two “Luminaries 2009” for having “greatly influenced and shaped the cultural landscape of the New England region, in particular the craft field.” He writes weekly newsletter essays for Artfact, more than 100 of which were recently archived at Artfact.com.

David F. Felsburg MS’80 is president and CEO of USVets Technologies, Inc., based in Fairfax, Va. Felsburg has founded and remains active in three companies and a real estate trust.  He holds a master’s degree in seminary and a doctorate in organizational behavior and management, and served more than 20 years in the U.S. Air Force. He now lives in Plant City, Fla. LM

Rod Fifield MSW’74 was named 2009 Social Work Leader of the Year by the Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care. Fifield is the director of social work at McKay-Dee Hospital Center in Ogden. Fifield became interested in medical social work after joining the Army, where he became a captain in the medical service corps. Fifield, now 60, joined the service in 1968 after serving a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "I came home from that mission wanting to make a difference," he says. He has previously been recognized with awards including Social Worker of the Year in Utah, the Caring for Children award, a practicum service award, and a McKay-Dee Hospital Foundation award. His list of community service is just as long, and he’s presented more than 400 lectures to community, civic, and church groups.

Fifield speaks with patient Colvy Wortman about steps to take in order to get discharged from McKay-Dee Hospital Center. Photo credit: Kera Williams / Standard-Examiner

Ronald Garner BS’53 MS’55 retired in late April from Dixie State College after more than 50 years on faculty, closing what is believed to the state’s longest college teaching career. Garner, who taught music, joined Dixie State in 1955, when Dwight D. Eisenhower was president, Disneyland was a brand new California attraction, and the U.S. Supreme Court was demanding an end to segregation.  Garner, now 78, moved to St. George the year he was hired, after receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from the University of Utah. He later received a doctorate from the University of Oregon. At that time he came to St. George, what was then Dixie Junior College had 200 students and was surrounded by desert where locals hunted jackrabbits.

Trevor Groth BS’94 has been appointed director of programming for the Sundance Film Festival. Groth had been a senior programmer at the festival since 2003. In his new position, he will lead the team that sifts through the thousands of films submitted to the Sundance Institute each year and decides which ones to show at the festival. A native of Salt Lake City and former film student at the University of Utah, Groth has been a programmer at the festival since 1993. He spent mid-May scouting the competition at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in France.

Michael K. Hancey BMu’91 has joined the Dietrich (Idaho) School District as a part-time principal and part-time music and theater teacher. He wants to develop choir and theater programs at the district’s small K-12 school while putting his administrative skills to work. The 18-year veteran teacher grew up in Bountiful, Utah, graduated from the U of U, taught in Arizona and Wisconsin and acquired a master’s degree before moving to his most recent teaching position at Rigby (Id.) Junior High School. Hancey and his wife, Kathy, have three teenage children.

W. Dan Hausel BS’72 MS’74 was among a group of geologists presented the 2009 Thayer Lindsley Award from the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada for their work on the discovery of the Donlin Creek gold deposit in the Kuskokwim Mountains, Alaska, considered the largest undeveloped gold deposit in North America. Hausel was a member of the WestGold exploration team that discovered the deposit, which is still under development by another company. Over the past 30 years, Hausel has authored more than 600 publications and 30 books, most recently Gems, Minerals and Rocks of Wyoming (2009). Hausel has discovered more than a hundred mineral deposits, including a previously unknown gold district (Rattlesnake Hills, Wyo.), two world-class colored gemstone deposits, and several diamond deposits. He currently works as an independent consultant with his firm W. Dan Hausel Geological Consulting LLC, based in Gilbert, Ariz.

Paul W. Hodson BA’36, University of Utah Vice President Emeritus, recently celebrated his 100th birthday. Hodson was born May 8, 1909, in the family home in Salt Lake City and grew up in the city. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in English from the U of U, he went on to receive an MBA from Harvard University and pursue doctoral studies in business, politics, and legislation at Stanford University. He accepted a position with the University of Utah in 1942 as assistant to the president, with faculty rank in the College of Business, where he served in key administrative positions for more than 30 years. He also filled a number of U. S. State Department Fulbright and private contract assignments in Venezuela, Mexico, Bolivia, Spain, Germany, and England. Hodson was presented with the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the U of U Alumni Association, and upon retirement in 1973, was named Vice President Emeritus by the U’s governing board. AM

Andrew Hoff PhD’89, a California State University, Fresno, graduate and a faculty member and administrator since 1987, has been named dean of the College of Health and Human Services beginning July 1. Hoff is currently the associate dean of the college, and previously was interim dean of the Lyles College of Engineering at Fresno State. He received a bachelor’s degree in geography along with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in recreation administration and leisure studies before completing his doctorate in recreation and leisure at the University of Utah. Before receiving his graduate degrees, Hoff was city manager of Mendota and executive director of Windstar Leisure Services in Clovis.

Kory L. Katseanes BFA’75 MFA’79 is the new director of the School of Music at Brigham Young University. The BYU School of Music comprises 12 academic divisions, more than 800 students and 49 faculty members. A native of Blackfoot, Idaho, Katseanes moved to Salt Lake City in 1974 and joined the Utah Symphony in 1975 as a violinist. He served as assistant conductor of the orchestra from 1987 until joining the music faculty at BYU, where he serves as director of orchestras, in 2002.  

Michael G. Kendall BS’03 MAc’05 has joined the board of directors for Worldwide Energy and Manufacturing USA, Inc. as an independent director and has also been appointed to serve on its audit and governance committees. Kendall has been an international accounting manager for Monavie, a private manufacturing and marketing company based in Utah, since May of 2008. At Monavie he oversees financial reporting and statutory compliance for several of the company’s international subsidiaries located in the Asia-Pacific region, and he was also directly involved in opening subsidiary operations. From January 2004 until April of 2008, Kendall served in the audit department of Deloitte & Touche, LLP, where he worked on both public and private companies and was involved in multiple Sarbanes Oxley 404 readiness implementations. Kendall is a practicing CPA in the state of Utah and holds a master’s of accountancy from the U of U.

Spencer Kinard BS’66 was inducted into the Utah Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in May. After graduating from the U of U, Kinard went to work for CBS News in New York, where he also completed a CBS News fellowship at Columbia University. He returned to Utah in 1971 to work for then-CBS affiliate KSL-TV in Salt Lake City. Kinard stayed with KSL until he resigned as vice president of news and public affairs in 1990. He was still a reporter for KSL when he was invited to become the new voice of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in January 1972. Kinard took over the helm at the choir’s Music and the Spoken Word broadcast that February and spent the next 18 years as the voice of the choir. He went on to become deputy director of the Utah Travel Council, where he worked for nearly 12 years until his 2006 retirement. Kinard is a past president of the U of U Alumni Association and past member of its board of trustees (2005–08). He is also a past chair of the national Radio-Television News Directors Association.

Brad Last BS’82 BA’83 was recognized as one of three Distinguished Citizens during Dixie State College’s Commencement Exercises in May for his exemplary service to DSC and the community. Last, a Utah State Representative, is a southern Utah native, having been raised in Hurricane. A graduate of Hurricane High School, he attended Dixie College in 1976-77 before attending the University of Utah. Following his formal schooling, he worked as an instructor and writer for Wall Street Training Institute, and in the investment and insurance industry for several years.  Last returned to southern Utah in 1991 to help manage Southern Utah Home Care and Hospice, a company started by his late father, Dr. Garth Last, M.D., and Betty McDonald, RN. He was instrumental in establishing Home Care and Hospice operations in Las Vegas and Prescott, Ariz., and he is currently the president and CEO of Home Health Services, Inc., the parent company of this small family of Home Care and Hospice companies.

Constance K. Lundberg JD’72 has been appointed by the Utah Supreme Court to serve on Utah’s Judicial Conduct Commission. Lundberg is an attorney with the law firm of Jones Waldo Holbrook & McDonough. Prior to joining Jones Waldo, Lundberg served as associate dean of the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University and before that as law librarian at the Howard W. Hunter Law Library at BYU.

John Willard “Bill” Marriott, Jr. BA’54 received an honorary degree from Wake Forest University during its commencement ceremony this May. Marriott, chairman and chief executive officer of Marriott International, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Through his entrepreneurship, diversity, and hands-on management, he has led Marriott and Marriott International to the highest level of success in business.  Marriott International was named one of the Top 100 Best Places to work by Fortune Magazine in 2008.  Marriott’s was among eight honorary degrees awarded by Wake Forest this year, including a Doctor of Laws degree to Vice President Joe Biden, the commencement speaker, and a posthumous award to the late broadcast journalist Tim Russert.

Kim McFarlane BA’91 MPS’03 has been named Rural Physician Assistant of the Year by the Utah Academy of Physician Assistants. McFarlane has been the sole provider of medical care at the Green River (Utah) Medical Clinic since January 2005. The clinic, the only licensed medical provider within a 110-mile radius, handles chronic, urgent, and emergency care and provides a full spectrum of outpatient medical services for all persons including the uninsured and underserved. As medical director of the clinic, McFarlane works independently with physician supervision provided on-site for one half-day per month. He served in the Utah communities of Draper and Bear Lake before settling in Green River. 

Mark Musick MBA’81 was commencement speaker this year at Dana College in Blair, Neb. Musick received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Dana in 1972. He is currently the director of special gifts for the National Arbor Day Foundation. Musick spent the majority of his career in the armed forces, serving in the Air Force and the Nebraska Air National Guard, where he rose to the rank of Major General.

Larry E. Nelson BS’70 has been selected the J. Lorin Mason Distinguished Professor for 2008-09 at Francis Marion University in Florence, S.C. After receiving his master’s degree, Nelson began his professional career as a high school teacher in Ogden, Utah, teaching courses in English and history. Upon completing his doctorate at Duke University, Nelson accepted a position at Francis Marion. He currently serves as the university’s History Department chair, coordinates Francis Marion’s History Program Institutional Effectiveness Plan, and is active with FMU’s Teacher Education Advisory Committee. In years past, he has served as the university’s National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education liaison between the History Program and School of Education. His publications include Sherman’s March through the upper Pee Dee Region of South Carolina, Black Leaders and the Presidential Election of 1864, and Utah Goes Dry.

Carmen Pingree BA’65 MS’83 received the Intermountain Healthcare Trustee of Excellence Award for 2009. Pingree was selected from a group of about 450 local community residents who volunteer their time without pay to serve as trustees on governing boards of various Intermountain hospitals and services.  These boards provide direction to meet community needs, review actions, and give guidance to Intermountain Healthcare’s management. Pingree served on the Governing Board of Primary Children’s Medical Center from 2001 until January of this year, most recently as chair.  She has been a member of Intermountain Healthcare’s Board of Trustees since 2006. She has also served with the Governor’s Council on People With Disabilities, The Children’s Justice Center, and the University of Utah Alumni Association.  She has been especially involved as an advocate for people with autism, and the Carmen B. Pingree School for Children with Autism in Salt Lake City is named for her. LM

Jessica Polychronis BA’98 has been named one of four future industry leaders to watch by Industrial Distribution, the foremost magazine for industrial distributors. Polychronis is vice president of Procurement and Marketing for Industrial Supply Company Inc., a locally owned, fourth-generation family business. Before her promotion to VP in September 2008, Polychronis had served for six years as the company’s director of marketing while also fulfilling the role of director of purchasing. Prior to her graduation from the U of U, she had worked in operations. Now member of the Young Executive Forum Committee of the Industrial Supply Association, she is featured in the March/April 2009 cover story of Industrial Distribution.

Greg Randall BS’94 has been named managing partner of the Salt Lake City office of KPMG LLP, the audit, tax, and advisory firm. In this role, Randall will be responsible for the strategic direction and growth of KPMG’s Salt Lake City office, which has 120 partners and employees. In addition, he will continue to have client-service responsibilities on a number of engagements. Randall joined KPMG in 1993 and was admitted to the partnership in 2004.  He has experience serving a variety of public and private businesses in the technology and consumer markets industries. He is a member of the AICPA, the Utah Association of Certified Public Accountants, and the University of Utah’s National School of Accountancy Advisory Board. 

Blake Rane BS’78 was named interim city manager of Mulberry, Fla., in early May. Rane, the former City of Mulberry finance director, took over duties in the city manager’s office after Commissioners voted 3-2 to fire the former city manager. Rane, 56, received an MBA from the University of Oregon in 1981. He owns a home in Palm Beach County but has rented a temporary residence in Mulberry and expressed interest in becoming the permanent city manager. He and his wife, Maureen, have four daughters and two grandsons.

David Scoralle BS’96 has joined the Taxable Fixed Income Group of Stone & Youngberg as a vice president. Stone & Youngberg is a leading financial services firm and the nation’s top underwriter of California municipal bonds over the past five years. Scoralle comes to the firm from Countrywide Securities Corporation, where he was a VP in the Commercial Real Estate Finance Group, trading commercial mortgage-backed securities Before his career in finance, Scoralle was an engineer with Boeing Space and Communications and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the U of U as well as an MBA from the University of California, Irvine.

Gregory Seibt BA’97 (magna cum laude) BS’97 (cum laude) JD’01 currently serves as an associate with Greenberg Traurig, LLP in Phoenix. He practices in the areas of bankruptcy, restructuring and creditor’s rights, commercial and construction litigation, appellate advocacy, and alternative dispute resolution. Seibt received his B.A. in philosophy and his B.S. in political science from the U before going on to graduate from the U of U College of Law. Seibt joined the litigation department of Greenberg Traurig’s Phoenix office as an associate in 2006.

Chuck Sharp BA’96, managing director of analytics and business intelligence for iCrossing, a global digital marketing agency, has been named one of the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation’s four 2009 Rising Stars Award winners. The awards are presented to professionals 40 years of age or younger for outstanding career achievements in the direct/interactive marketing field. Sharp founded Sharp Analytics in 2001, which he later sold to iCrossing. A recognized thought leader on advanced analytics, marketing accountability, and marketing dashboards, Sharp has spoken at numerous industry events, including Search Marketing Expo (SMX) Analytics, Search Engine Strategies (SES) Chicago, and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Accountability Conference. He was keynote speaker at the Winter Conference on Business Intelligence at the University of Utah and was recently published in the Journal of Integrated Marketing.

Ray Sim BS’74 has been named director of the city of Houston’s Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care. Sim led an animal services department in the Gainesville, Fla., area from 2004 to 2007 after becoming a “certified animal welfare administrator” in 2004. He then spent a year in El Paso as deputy director of animal services before serving a short stint as the director of Animal Care and Regulation in Broward County, Fla. In addition to his bachelor’s degree in biology, Sim also studied business administration at Brigham Young University and Westminster College.

James Simon MA’95, associate dean of the Genesee Community College Medina (N.Y.) Campus Center, was commencement speaker for Medina’s Iroquois Job Corps graduation ceremony in May. Simon has been the associate dean of the Medina Campus Center since 2007. Prior to taking on duties as the associate dean, he taught history courses at the college, including World History, Western Civilization, American History, and History of the Middle East. Simon has an extensive background in the United States military. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, and his Air Force career spanned more than 20 years, with duties as a helicopter pilot, staff officer, military history teacher, commander, and strategic planner.

Amanda L. Smith BS’89 has been appointed executive director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality by Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. Smith had been Huntsman’s legislative-affairs director. A graduate of Park City High School, her bachelor’s degree is in political science, and she holds a law degree from Gonzaga University. She previously worked as the government-relations director for The Nature Conservancy. In her role in the governor’s office, she has worked on critical issues such as energy development, rural affairs, water, and public lands. The governor’s office conducted a national search before selecting Smith. Her appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

Robert Staab MA’73 PhD’80 recently retired from Washington State University (Pullman) after more than 30 years of college teaching. Staab, who retires as a senior instructor of history at WSU, found his calling during a two-year stint with the Peace Corps in a small Turkish village of 600 people living without electricity or other 20th-century amenities. He first taught at the University of Utah while working toward a doctorate in Middle East studies and Turkish and Islamic history. At WSU, he taught history courses primarily related to the Middle East and world civilizations for 10 years. LM

Matthew Stillings BS’97 recently relocated to Portland, Ore., from a three-and-a-half-year expatriate assignment in England as managing director for BAND-IT-IDEX (IDEX Fire and Rescue and Engineered Products). Stillings is now president of Micropump, Inc. (IDEX Health and Science Technologies), based in Vancouver, Wash.

Reed W. Topham BS’88 has been appointed practice group leader for the law firm Stoel Rives LLP’s Business Services Group. Topham is responsible for providing direction and management for the practice group, which includes more than 120 attorneys in 12 offices practicing in the areas of corporate, finance, securities, employee benefits, tax and wealth management. Topham has 18 years of experience in securities law compliance, corporate governance issues, and the sale and acquisition of businesses. Earlier this year, he was appointed to the firm’s Executive Committee.

Brandon Veltri BS’01 has been named the Carroll College (Montana) Saints’ new head men’s basketball coach. Veltri has been an assistant coach at Carroll for the past six years. In his tenure at Carroll, he has served as the program’s recruiting coordinator, overseen the team’s in-season scouting, and coordinated scheduling and travel. Veltri, 30, also served as sports information director. He received a master’s degree in athletic administration at Idaho State University in 2003 and was a graduate assistant at Idaho State before coming to Carroll.

John E. Warnock BS’61 MS’64 PhD’69 has been named a resident member of the Mathematical & Physical Sciences Class of the American Philosophical Society, the oldest learned society in the United States. Warnock is co-founder of Adobe Systems and co-chair of its board of directors. The American Philosophical Society was founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin for the purpose of “promoting useful knowledge.” Early members included George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, James Madison, and John Marshall. Since 1900, more than 260 members have received the Nobel Prize. 

Roy Wasden BA’99 has been hired as the new Turlock, Calif., city manager. Wasden, most recently the Modesto chief of police, has had an extensive public sector career of more than 30 years in law enforcement. He started his career with the Salt Lake City Police Department, where he rose through the ranks, serving as the chief in the investigations, operations, and technical services bureaus. He ended his time in Salt Lake City as the executive assistant chief and took on the role of police chief in Modesto in 2000. Wasden acknowledges his new role as city manager will present him with some new challenges but says he has the essential managerial, consensus-building, and negotiation skills necessary to do the job well.

Doug Wyles EdD’81, an expert on leadership training for business executives, helped coach the New Brunswick, Canada, province’s business leaders for success during the Wallace McCain Institute three-part workshop series Unleashing Innovation in late April. Wyles is a Rutgers School of Business professor and the president of Wyles & Associates Inc., a Canadian company specializing in the design and delivery of leadership coaching and training seminars. He travels nearly 200,000 miles around the globe every year speaking about his experience as an educator, consultant, and entrepreneur. The Toronto native spends several months a year overseas, giving his most recent previous seminar, on how to lead through a crisis, in Singapore earlier in April.


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Doug Wyles relaxes at his home in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada. Photo credit: Kate LeBlanc / Telegraph-Journal