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Through the Years


Gordon R. Hall BS’49 LLB’51 (bachelor of laws) has become the first judge in the state of Utah to have a courthouse named after him. The new Tooele County court complex was dedicated and officially named the Gordon R. Hall Courthouse in April of this year. Hall, 81, served as chief justice of the Utah Supreme Court for a record-setting 12 years, from 1981 to 1993. After receiving his law degree, Hall first set up a practice in his hometown of Tooele before serving as chief council for the Tooele Army Depot and as city attorney for Tooele, Grantsville, and Stockton. In 1955, he became the county attorney and served three terms. In 1966, he served as the 3rd District Court judge. Hall was a Utah Supreme Court Justice from 1969 to 1977.


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, and New England College, among others. King holds master’s and doctoral degrees in linguistics from UCLA.

Gordon Gee BA’68 was named the 14th president of The Ohio State University in July of this year. Gee, 63, has been the chancellor of Vanderbilt University since 2000. He previously served as Ohio State’s 11th president (1990 to 1997), and as president of Brown University (1997-2000), the University of Colorado (1985-1990), and West Virginia University (1981-1985). Gee holds a law degree and a doctorate in education from Columbia University. He was assistant dean of the University of Utah law school from 1973 to 1974, followed by a year as senior staff assistant and judicial fellow for U. S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger. Gee was the first recipient of the U of U Alumni Association’s Par Excellence Award, in 1982, and received the Association’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1994. To see a video of Gee addressing the faculty of Ohio State, visit


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 creating solar cells with the highest solar conversion efficiency ever achieved, 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—powering, for example, the vast majority of satellites.

Brad Bourland BA’75 MA’76 has been named head of research and chief economist for United Arab Emirates-based Jadwa Investment. Bourland was previously the chief economist at Samba Financial Group in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for almost nine years. He has published regularly on issues related to the Saudi and global economies and the world oil market, and is quoted frequently in domestic and international media. Before joining Samba, Bourland spent 18 years as a diplomat, an economist, and a manager with the U.S. Department of State, including serving in Riyadh as the American Embassy’s First Secretary responsible for financial aspects of U.S.-Saudi relations, such as participating on the U.S. negotiating team for Saudi accession to the World Trade Organization.

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 (radiation measuring) and health effects of radionuclides and radiopharmaceuticals used for diagnosing and treating cancer, is currently a senior scientist with 28 years of 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.

David L. Miller BS’79, P.E., was recently elected a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). ASCE is the country’s oldest professional engineering society, and less than six percent of all ASCE members are elected fellows. Currently director of the American Petroleum Institute (API) standards program, Miller joined the API in 1985, focusing on codes and standards in the oil and chemical processing industries. Standards documents that Miller has authored at the API are cited in the Code of Federal Regulations, and he has been instrumental in developing codes and standards that have advanced the oil industry’s operations worldwide.


Paul Kershisnik BS’80 has been named senior vice president of marketing strategy and innovation, a new position, for Wendy’s International, Inc. 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.


William Shunn BS’91 was nominated this year for both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for his 2006 novella Inclination, which first appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. Since 1993, Shunn’s short fiction has appeared in Salon, Storyteller, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Science Fiction Age, Realms of Fantasy, Electric Velocipede, and various anthologies. He is a previous Nebula Award nominee for his 2000 story “Dance of the Yellow-Breasted Luddites” (in the collection Vanishing Acts, from Tor Books). A chapbook of his stories, An Alternate History of the 21st Century, was published this summer by Spilt Milk Press. Shunn lives in New York City and also works as a computer programmer. On 9/11 he created the first online “survivor registry,” a site where New Yorkers without phone service could post messages to let loved ones know they were okay.


Romney Evans BA’03 has launched True Jeans (, an online retail business that helps consumers find the ideal jeans for their individual body types. Customers input their measurements at the Web site, where proprietary software then identifies brands and styles of jeans that best fit their unique shape. Evans, who had prior experience in e-commerce and management consulting, co-founded True Jeans’ parent entity True Apparel Company with fellow Babson College 2006 MBA recipient Jessica Arredondo. A finalist in the 2006 Babson College Business Plan Competitions, True Apparel was accepted into Babson’s Business Hatcheries, which provide a year of rent-free space and resources to students launching new businesses.

Isaac Chung MFA’04 is the only director from the United States to be accepted into the Official Selection of the 2007 Cannes Film Festival with his first dramatic feature, the Rwanda-based film Munyurangabo, alternately titled Liberation Day in English. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in biology from Yale, Chung found himself so drawn to film that he realized he shouldn’t become a physician as planned. He filmed Munyurangabo, the first feature-length narrative made in Kinyarwanda, Rwanda’s primary language, while in Kigali, Rwanda, to teach a course in filmmaking and photography at Youth With A Mission (YWAM). When Chung first came to Utah, he says his taste was mainstream because he had grown up on a farm in Arkansas, without access to art-house cinemas.

Jason Waltman MS’04 works with special effects for PDI/DreamWorks, contributing to such films as Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third, released this past May. First hired in early July 2003 as an effects developer to write computer systems and programs, Waltman is now officially an “effects artist.” However, he often pulls double duty doing both development and effects for the screen. He originally worked on background characters, but for the latest Shrek film his major task was acting as a graphic hairstylist to two of the movie’s main characters, Sleeping Beauty and Artie. He also wrote systems for the movie in which smoke is involved, as well as various effects shots featuring water foam, a campfire, and the flying sparks when Sleeping Beauty files her glass slippers.

Margot Singer PhD’05 received a 2006 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction for her collection The Pale of Settlement, to be published by the University of Georgia Press this fall. Each year, the press selects two or more award-winners, each of whom receives a cash award of $1,000, and winning collections are subsequently published by the press. The first Flannery O’Connor Award-winning book was published in 1983. Previous winning collections have included Why Men Are Afraid of Women by Francois Camoin (a University of Utah professor of English) and Caution: Men In Trees by Darrell Spencer PhD’86. Margot Singer is an assistant professor of English at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. Her fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in journals including The Sun, AGNI, North American Review, Western Humanities Review, Third Coast, and Ascent. She was a finalist for the Prairie Schooner Book Prize and has been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes.

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