campus map campus directory The University of Utah Home Page
Students    Future Students     Faculty & Staff     Alumni & Visitors

About Continuum Advertising Advisory Committee Archives Contact Us Continuum Home Faculty/Staff Subscribe

related websites

Alumni Association Marketing & Communications University of Utah Home

  Continuum Magazine

Alumni Association News

Founders Day 2007: A Celebration of Innovation

What better way to celebrate the founding of the University of Utah (in 1850) than to recognize the outstanding achievements of its graduates, the best representatives of the excellent education the school provides. The individuals selected to receive the Alumni Association’s prestigious Distinguished Alumni and Honorary Alumnus/a awards are all innovators in their own right.

Distinguished Alumni

Akhlesh LakhtakiaAkhlesh Lakhtakia MS’81 PhD’83, the Charles G. Binder Endowed Professor of Engineering Science & Mechanics at The Pennsylvania State University and a Visiting Professor of Physics at Imperial College London, has been widely recognized for his groundbreaking research on nanotechnology and on the behavior of electromagnetic fields and waves in complex materials. He has authored or co-authored more than 575 journal publications, 190 conference presentations, and 15 book chapters.
Craig H. NeilsenCraig H. Neilsen MBA’64 JD’67, Chairman and CEO of Ameristar Casinos and owner of Neilsen and Company, a construction and real estate development company in Twin Falls, Idaho, until his untimely death in November of last year, established a foundation in his name that funds programs focusing on spinal cord injury research and rehabilitation, including at the University of Utah. Ameristar Casinos has contributed generously to nonprofit organizations nationwide, and Ameristar’s national charity golf tournament, established by Neilsen in 2005, has raised more than $1.7 million for The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.
Jody OlsenJosephine “Jody” K. Olsen BS’65, Deputy Director of the Peace Corps, launched her career with the Peace Corps in 1966, when she began a two-year stint as a volunteer in Tunisia. She later served as Country Director for Togo; as Regional Director for North Africa, Near East, Asia, and Pacific; and as Peace Corps Chief of Staff. Olsen’s other professional roles have included five years as the Executive Director with the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, the organization responsible for managing the Fulbright Senior Scholar Program.
Leon PetersonLeon Peterson BS’64 MBA’67, President and CEO of Peterson Development Company, is a leader in land development throughout the Intermountain West, and a philanthropist for higher education and the University of Utah. For the past five years, Leon and his wife, Karen, have provided 25 to 30 Sigma Chi scholarships annually. Since 2004, the Petersons have also co-chaired the U of U’s School of Music Advisory Board, helping create 63 new music scholarships and graduate assistantships.

Honorary Alumna

Carolyn Tanner IrishCarolyn Tanner Irish, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah since 1996, is one of only 12 active female bishops in the worldwide Anglican Communion. A graduate with a Master of Letters from Oxford University and a Master of Divinity from the Virginia Theological Seminary, Irish also chairs the board of the O.C. Tanner Company. She serves as a member of the University’s National Advisory Council and the National Advisory Board at the Tanner Humanities Center.

Bay Area Scholarship Recipient Specializes in Serving Others

The recipient of the Bay Area scholarship for 2006-07 is serious about community service. As vice president of Pi Kappa Alpha, Justin Anthony Brown, currently a senior at the U, has overseen fraternity projects that amount

Bob Livsey, Justin Brown
Bay Area Chapter representative Bob Livsey BS’62 JD’65 with Justin Anthony Brown.

to more than 2,000 community service hours, including an annual event that has raised more than $60,000 over the last four years for Camp Hobe, which hosts children with cancer. He has also participated in “Service Learning Courses” offered by the U, focusing his energies primarily on environmental issues. In his spare time, he is an avid football player.

A 2002 graduate of Justin-Siena High School in Napa, Calif., Brown is working toward combined degrees in environmental studies, geography, and economics, with a minor in urban planning. Following expected graduation from the U in May 2007, he intends to pursue a law degree.

The Bay Area Alumni Chapter is the first U of U alumni chapter to offer a scholarship to local area students. Applicants must be either incoming freshmen or already enrolled at the U, have graduated from a Bay Area high school, and have demonstrated academic excellence and service to their school and community.

Scholarship funds are raised through the various events organized by the chapter throughout the year.

For more information about the Bay Area Scholarship program, or to make a contribution, contact John Fackler at the Alumni Association, (801) 581-6995 or

CareerBeam Me Up

Looking for a job just got easier, thanks to CareerBeam, the latest addition to Alumni Career Services’ arsenal of resources. In a nutshell, CareerBeam is a comprehensive, “U”ser-friendly Web-based program available 24/7 that helps jobseekers determine what they want out of their careers and offers steps to assist them in achieving it. It’s a self-paced instrument that allows users to clarify their career goals, produce professional résumés and cover letters, prepare for interviews, develop a network of contacts, and implement a strategic career search.

Julie Swaner
Julie Swaner

Alumni Career Services Program Manager Julie Swaner BA’69 points out that CareerBeam provides access to over two million international company profiles in more than 70 countries. “It’s not just for alumni looking for employment in Utah or the Intermountain West or, for that matter, in the entire country,” says Swaner. “It’s a tool that can give users access to information on companies and job prospects anywhere in the world.”

Each year, approximately 60 to 100 of Swaner’s clients find better jobs with significant pay increases, although she stresses that her office doesn’t specialize in placement. “Rather,” she explains, “my role is to give the tools to job hunters so they can search in a more productive, efficient way that yields faster results, and CareerBeam will definitely help with that.”

For more information about CareerBeam and/or the Alumni Career Services program, contact Swaner at (801) 585-5036 or, or visit

—Julie Swaner BA’69 (Philosophy), Alumni Career Services program manager, holds an MBA from the University of Connecticut. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy at the U.

New Board Members and Officers, 2006-2007

Emeritus Alumni Board

The Emeritus Alumni Board is composed of alumni who attended the University of Utah 40 or more years ago. Members’ activities include awarding scholarships to nontraditional students, designating Merit of Honor recipients, and organizing and participating in a variety of community service programs.

Emeritus Alumni Board

Left (L-R): Chic Stratford BS’56, E. George Mantes, Jr. BS’59, and Mona Daniels Clark BS’62 MS’83 PhD’91.

Right (L-R): Colleen D. Malouf BA’58, President; Duane C. Hill BA’50, President-Elect.

Beehive Honor Society Board

Founded at the U in 1913, the Beehive Honor Society is composed of students who have excelled in leadership, scholarship, and service to the University and the community. Approximately 20 to 25 students are inducted into the society each year. Current membership totals more than 1,200.

Front row (L-R): Jim Cannon BA’68; Lynn Davidson BS’64, President; Deanne Evans BS’63, Vice President; Jennifer Mantyla Lambert BA’05, Kristien McDonald HBA’03 MPA’04. Back row: Kraig Moyes BA’92, Amy Oliver BS’95, Jessica Judkins Pohlman BS’03, and Matt Broadbent BA’06. Not shown: Pat Denhalter Judkins BS’66. Emeritus Alumni Board

Student Alumni Board

The Student Alumni Board (SAB) offers a unique opportunity for students to get to know each other and to work with U of U alumni in planning and participating in various campus programs and events, including Homecoming, PlazaFest, The MUSS, and the Utah vs. BYU Food Drive, among other activities.

Student Alumni Board SAB leadership, followed by alphabetical listing of members (not all pictured): Russ Lindsay, President; Liz Bitner, Vice President, External; Deanna Farr, Vice President, Internal; Jesse Whitchurch, Vice President, Off-Campus Relations; Graham Anderson; Parley Baldwin; David Bauman; Lissy Black; Todd Clark; Toby Collett; Daniel Creer; Brian Davis; Mark Dibb; Katie Ence; Shadie Ghaibi, Senior Class President; Jonathan Hayes; William Hoang; Eric Hu; Andrew King; Jacob Kirkham; Kacee Kniazeva; Chalese Mauchley; Maryam Mortazavi; Spencer Pearson; Doug Petersen; Taran Rasmussen; Max Rohr; Kevin Stoker; Alicia Taase; Cassie Taylor; Spencer Thompson; Sarah Tingey; Philip Varghese; Tim Vogeler; and Tracy Wrigley.

U-News & Views

Have you signed up yet for U-News & Views, the Alumni Association’s online newsletter? It’s designed to keep the University community and its many friends aware of the variety of activities and events taking place on the U of U campus. It includes feature stories, Alumni Association happenings, travel programs, career tips, a “Reading Room” noting publications by members of the U of U community, and a long list of cultural events taking place on campus, among other surprises.

One of the most popular sections in the newsletter is “Post-it Notes,” where alumni can post news about changes in employment, marital status or geographical location, as well as books published or Nobel Prizes won. It’s a great way to let other alumni and friends know what’s “news” in your life.

The newsletter is monthly, and it’s free! You can subscribe on the Alumni Association’s home page at, where you’ll also find a link to the current issue.

Return to Spring 2007 Table of Contents