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

News | Campus Notebook | In Memoriam | Research Roundup

News of the University

Robert Goldberg Awarded the U’s Highest Honor

Robert Goldberg
Robert Goldberg

A phone call from the U’s Office of the President can rattle one’s nerves. What to do when someone calls and says Michael K. Young would like to have a chat with you? If you’re Robert A. Goldberg, professor of history and director of the Obert C. and Grace A. Tanner Humanities Center, you can anticipate the best. However, “A call from the president’s office is somewhat like a summons from the school principal,” says Goldberg. “Your first thought is, ‘Uh oh, what did I do wrong?’ ”

Turns out he needn’t have worried. Goldberg was called to President Young’s office to be informed that he had received the 2008 Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence, the U’s most prestigious award. The $40,000 gift is presented annually to a faculty member who displays excellence in teaching, research, and administrative efforts.

Goldberg is noted for his research of pop culture and social history, as well as his popularity among graduate and undergraduate students. Since June 2006 he has also guided the Tanner Humanities Center, which has become highly respected for hosting a wide variety of lectures, forums, workshops, and speakers.

“We all appreciate recognition of our work,” says Goldberg. “This, however, is the greatest honor that the University of Utah can bestow. I look to my students, colleagues, and fellow workers and know that I could not have won this award without their support.”

For a profile of Robert Goldberg, read the “Spotlight” in the Winter 2006-07 issue of Continuum magazine.

Return to Fall 2008 table of contents | Back to top

Planning for a Disaster-Resistant U

By John Blodgett

In September 2008, a team at the U will deliver a Pre-Disaster Mitigation plan for the U, part of a project supported by a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Begun in the summer of 2006, the project has also produced software—a separate component from the U’s plan—that will enable other universities to do the same.

“The plan’s intent is to identify issues that put [the U] at risk [in times of emergency],” says project manager Peter Van der Have. The plan will enable staff to “lessen the risk of loss to life and [University] systems” when disaster strikes.

Any number of events could constitute a disaster, but the team focused on those most relevant to the U—mainly naturally occurring wildfires and earthquakes, and human-caused terrorism.

No matter the unfortunate event, Van der Have says it is understood that buildings likely will suffer damage as a result. “The trick is to get people out safely and determine the cost of getting buildings [functional]. All this planning hopefully will help to achieve that.”

If FEMA accepts the plan, it will designate the U a Disaster-Resistant University (DRU). If that sounds trite, it isn’t—economically speaking. For starters, Van der Have says the software’s ability to formulate an accurate disaster-mitigation plan might lead to lower insurance costs for participating institutions. A more certain outcome is the U’s eligibility for a $2.9 million FEMA grant for each disaster-prep project—retrofitting or razing a building, for example. The catch is that the U will have to match or exceed that amount in each project’s budget. At the very least, the U will come away with a better idea of its greatest threats, and strategies for keeping the campus safe and running if the walls were to come down. For additional information, contact Marty Shaub, director of Environmental Health and Safety, at (801) 585-9311 or

Return to Fall 2008 table of contents | Back to top


  Patrick Lennox Tierney, a University of Utah professor emeritus of Japanese Art History, was awarded the “Order of the Rising Sun” by the Emperor of Japan for his contributions to understanding of traditional Japanese art and culture in the United States. The honor is the second most prestigious decoration given by the government of Japan after the Order of the Chrysanthemum. As Representative Commissioner of Art and Monuments for General Headquarters during the Allied Occupation of Japan, Tierney worked for the repair and preservation of cultural sites, art, and monuments bombed and destroyed in the country during World War II. In addition, he donated to the U’s Marriott Library close to 75,000 of his photographs related to the art and architecture of the Far East, Southeast Asia, and especially Japan. Tierney retired from the U in 1994.

  The University of Utah’s annual purchase of “green power” again places the school among the top 10 in the nation under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s College & University Green Power Challenge. The University’s annual voluntary purchase of 36,666,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of wind power has the equivalent environmental impact of avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of more than 5,000 vehicles. The school has been in the top 10 for the past three years.

  President George W. Bush presented recent University of Utah political science graduate Rick Pehrson BA’07 with the President’s Volunteer Service Award for Pehrson’s work with the Americorps Youth Service Corps. Pehrson logged more than 900 hours in AmeriCorps recruiting, training, and managing more than 1,300 volunteers for the reopening of the Utah State Capitol and the associated eight-day open house. Pehrson is currently beginning law school at the University.

  ARUP Laboratories, a national clinical and anatomic pathology reference laboratory and an enterprise of the University of Utah and its Department of Pathology, received the Recycling Coalition of Utah’s (RCU) Business Recycler of the Year award. The coalition’s board unanimously selected ARUP to receive the award due to the company’s outstanding efforts in recycling and sustainability. ARUP began its recycling program five years ago, and since then has recycled some 288,000 pounds of paper and plastic per year. And of its 2,200 employees, more than 500 use some form of mass transit at least once a week.

Return to Fall 2008 table of contents | Back to top

Campus Notebook

New Building

Kennecott Utah Copper Donates $15 Million to Support the UMNH
Kennecott Utah Copper has given $15 million to support the new Utah Museum of Natural History at the University of Utah. When the museum building opens in 2011 in upper Research Park, it will be named the Utah Museum of Natural History at the Rio Tinto Center (Rio Tinto is the parent company of Utah companies Kennecott Utah Copper, Kennecott Land Company, and Kennecott Exploration). The donation represents the largest single corporate gift in the University’s history.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Receives Endowment
The U’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) recently received a $1 million endowment from the Bernard Osher Foundation. The endowment will allow the institute to operate in perpetuity, and the funding helps support the program’s offerings, which include courses, lectures, and special events. With its first Osher Foundation grant of $100,000 in April 2004, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute began the development of community-based lifelong learning programs for people 50 and over across the Wasatch Front and Back. OLLI has since grown to more than 500 members who enjoy today’s current inventory of 40 courses as well as numerous lectures and special events.

Environmental Humanities Program Receives Major Gift
Started in 2005 with a $500,000 seed grant from the Kendeda Foundation, the Environmental Humanities program provides an interdisciplinary approach to exploring broad issues of environment as they are impacted by history, culture, religion, and ethics of place. The program, the first of its kind in the country, has received a new gift of $2,700,000 from the Kendeda Foundation, intended to launch the environmental humanities graduate program endowment. Over the course of the next year, the college hopes to raise the additional funds to fully fund the endowment and cover all programmatic costs.

New Director of the Bennion Center Named
Linda Poulson Dunn BS’81 MEd’95, vice president of Dunn Communications and recent executive director of Utah Campus Compact, has been named director of the University of Utah’s Lowell Bennion Community Service Center. Dunn comes to the U following a 25-year teaching career in the Salt Lake and Granite school districts and service with Utah Campus Compact, promoting service-learning and student participation in civic and community service throughout the state. Dunn recently became a member of the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors, where she will serve a term of three years (see Association News in this issue for more).

Nola Lodge
Nola Lodge
Lena Judee
Lena Judee

New Appointments to American Indian Programs
Nola Lodge has been appointed director of American Indian Teacher Education (AITE) in the College of Education, and Lena Judee has been named coordinator for American Indian students in the Center for Ethnic Student Affairs (CESA). Lodge, a faculty member in the Department of Education, Culture, & Society (ECS) for the past 13 years, is a member of the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin. Judee, a Navajo from northern Arizona, comes to the University from Dixie State College of Utah, where she served at various times as the director of Indian Studies, director of the Multicultural Center, coordinator for Upward Bound, and as an academic advisor.

Tom Parks

Parks Chosen as Research VP
Neurobiologist Thomas N. Parks—executive director of The Brain Institute at the University of Utah and a faculty member for 30 years—has been selected as the University’s vice president for research. Parks takes the job as the U continues to gain stature as a major research university, collecting $322 million in research funds during the 2007 fiscal year, spinning off 17 new companies based on faculty technology innovations the same year, and seeing geneticist Mario Capecchi win the 2007 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology. Parks, a professor and former chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, took the job on an interim basis at the beginning of this year when geneticist Raymond Gesteland returned to his lab after seven years as research vice president.

Return to Fall 2008 table of contents | Back to top

In Memoriam

James Tsai Yuan Wu PhD’72, 71, longtime University of Utah professor and medical director at ARUP Laboratories.

For additional information and memoria, click here.

Return to Fall 2008 table of contents | Back to top