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Young Alumni Acknowledge Excellence

Each year at its Spring Awards Banquet, the Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Board (composed of alumni who graduated from the University of Utah within the past 15 years) recognizes an outstanding alumnus/a for his or her professional achievements and service to the University and the community with its prestigious “Par Excellence Award.” Also honored are select faculty and staff members for superior student counseling and advising, and for service to the community.

The following recipients were honored by the Alumni Association and its Young Alumni Board at the 2007 Spring Awards Banquet on April 23:

Kirk JowersPar Excellence Award: Kirk L. Jowers BS’92 became the fourth director of the University’s Hinckley Institute of Politics in April 2005. While a student at the U, Jowers was a Harry S. Truman Scholar and served as a Hinckley Institute intern in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1995, and is currently a partner at the law firm Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, D.C., specializing in political law. He has advised a variety of clients on election, lobbying, and government ethics law strategy and compliance, including a number of U.S. Senate and House of Representative candidates in the 2002 and 2004 elections. He frequently lectures on campaign finance laws, government ethics, and the First Amendment, and has published widely on these topics.

At the U, Jowers teaches courses on the U.S. presidency and political finance in the Department of Political Science. He has also been a regular guest lecturer at Brigham Young and other universities.

“I still remember the first time I walked into the Hinckley Institute of Politics in the fall of 1988. My experiences and contacts gained [there] paved the way for my subsequent career. I never lost touch with the Institute once I graduated from the University, in spite of spending most of the next 13 years on the East Coast. It is great to be back home.”

Faculty/Staff Community Service Award: MaryAnne Smith BS’70, office manager for Student Recruitment, has a noteworthy history of service to the community. For the past 15 years she has volunteered as a chaplain at University Hospital. She has also served as a nondenominational chaplain for the Salt Lake City Police Department, assisting at crime scenes and offering guidance to family; pays weekly visits to a bedridden multiple sclerosis patient; and has participated in the Walk for Life in Park City and in American Cancer Society golf tournaments in Utah, among other service projects. Smith has taken on all these responsibilities with caring and concern, and without remuneration.

“I don’t think I could exist without doing volunteer work because it is such a part of me. It feeds me. It makes me a better person. I definitely get more out of it than I give. When you help someone who’s hurting and they look at you and say ‘thank you,’ you know it’s genuine.”

Perlman Award for Excellence in Student Counseling (Faculty): Mark Matheson MA’85, associate professor/lecturer and student advisor, is a respected and popular instructor in the Department of English. He has devoted his academic career to mentoring and teaching students, and was recently appointed head faculty and honors advisor. Matheson frequently goes beyond what is required to ensure that students get the best advice possible, taking personal interest in individual concerns. He has been involved in all aspects of student life and is frequently called upon to serve on scholarship committees, judge essay contests, and make Sterling Scholar Award selections. He currently serves as advisor to the English Student Advisory Committee and Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society.

Matheson received his B.A from Utah State University, his M.A. from the University of Utah, and his doctorate from Oxford University.

“Advising and counseling students is deeply rewarding. Each of their stories is compelling and unique, and I’m in a privileged position to see (and be inspired by) the collective energy, intelligence, and idealism that they’re carrying into the world from the University of Utah.”

Perlman Award for Excellence in Student Counseling (Staff): Martina Stewart, associate director of University College advising, says that personally engaging with students is the most rewarding part of her job. She advises students on academic policies, procedures, and degree requirements, as well as on major exploration, institutional transition for freshmen and transfer students, and low academic standing. She is also co-director of the Freshman Priority Advising Program, where freshmen are invited to interact early on with a campus advisor in order to address their basic informational needs and challenges.

Stewart received a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.S. in Counseling from San Francisco State University.

“It’s a wonderful experience to interact with students as they navigate their early college years, helping them to better understand themselves and their options as they meet academic challenges and as they pursue the many opportunities offered at the University of Utah.”

Alumni Scholars and Outstanding Seniors At the Spring Awards Banquet the Alumni Association also acknowledged recipients of Association-sponsored scholarships (totaling approximately $100,000) for 2007-08—numbering more than 70, including awards to almost 40 incoming freshmen—as well as Outstanding Seniors, who represent 13 colleges on campus. The Outstanding Seniors are chosen by the deans of the respective colleges in collaboration with department chairs and faculty members, and represent the best among the graduating class of students.

Outstanding Scholars
The 2007 Outstanding Seniors are (L-R): Abril Atherton, College of Pharmacy; Darren Van Cleave, College of Mines and Earth Sciences; J. Antonio Bucio, College of Nursing; Lee McClure, David Eccles School of Business; Cortney Mild, College of Fine Arts; Brian Billy, College of Engineering (see sidebar at right); Jesse Swift, College of Health; Matthew Weinstock, College of Science; Abbie Steed, College of Social Work; Jack Lewis, College of Humanities; Bryson Morgan (see Gazette), College of Social and Behavioral Science; and Crystal Christiansen, College of Education. Not shown: Benjamin Butler, College of Architecture + Planning.

Homecoming 2007 — September 24-29

Homecoming 2007On Sept. 24, 2007, members of the University of Utah community are advised to leave their anxieties and cares behind and come to campus to participate in Homecoming Week 2007 festivities.

Included in the weeklong event are the popular 5K Run/Walk/Stroll, organized by the Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Board, and the expanded Scholarship Scramble 18-hole golf tournament. The purpose of both events is twofold: to raise funds for student scholarships while offering participants a jolly good time.
Several reunions are in the works—for the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center, Emeritus alumni, and the College of Nursing, among others—along with Greek house decorating, the Songfest competition, a spirited pep rally, and the Bennion Center’s Hunger Banquet.

Homecoming 2007 concludes on Saturday, Sept. 29, with the traditional pre-game tailgate and barbecue, organized by the Alumni Association, followed by football and a fraternal battle between the U and Utah State University.

For more information, including an updated schedule of events, go to the Alumni Association’s homepage at

Beehive Honor Society Welcomes New Members

The purpose of the Beehive Honor Society is to acknowledge and honor University of Utah graduating seniors who have excelled in scholarship, leadership, and service to the University and the community. Every year, 25 to 30 new graduating seniors are added to the Society’s roll, and every year their academic achievements and extensive volunteer experiences—benefiting both student and society alike—are impressive and inspiring.

beehive 07
The 2007 Beehive Honor Society inductees are (L-R, women): Chalese Mauchley, Anmy Tran Mayfield, Mary Ann Crall, Shadie Ghaibi, Erin Peterson, Virginia Cannon, Cortney Mild, Elizabeth Bitner, Erika Johnson, Lindsay Clark; (men) Jason Croft, Jacob Kirkham, John Baldwin, Toby Collett, Jeff Adams, Brian Davis, Griffin Jardine, Jackson Owen, Justin Brown, David Bonnemort, Jack Lewis, Jordan Judkins, Russ Lindsay, Matt Homer, Jesse Whitchurch, and Jesse Swift.

Return to Summer 2007 Table of Contents