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  Through The Years

Through the Years

LM - Life Member of the Alumni Association
AM - Annual Member of the Alumni Association

Jerold Ottley

Jerold Ottley MFA’67, former musical director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, recently completed a three-year appointment as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Music at Brigham Young University-Hawaii, in Laie. Ottley now resides in Salt Lake City and says he intends “to write my history, remembrances, and the Great American novel.” During Ottley’s 25 years as director (1974 to 1999), he led the choir in the preparation and performance of nearly 1,300 weekly radio and television broadcasts of the program Music and the Spoken Word, more than 30 commercial recordings, and 20-plus major tours in addition to regular concerts in the choir’s home in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. During his tenure, the choir received honors including two Emmy Awards and two Platinum Awards (recognizing an album’s certified sales of a million copies or more). Under his direction, the choir was also regularly involved with major American events such as the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Washington, D.C., and the Statue of Liberty Centennial Celebration in 1986.

Lonnie Paulos BS’69 MD’73, an orthopaedic surgeon world-renowned for his research and clinical expertise on the knee, has partnered with the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Gulf Breeze, Fla., to create the Andrews-Paulos Research and Education Institute there. Paulos has participated in more than 100 studies in orthopaedic research and holds 20 U.S. patents, the majority being bracing devices and procedures for the knee. He received national attention for his 2006 work on the left knee of Carson Palmer, the former Heisman Trophy winner and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback.

Kris Newby

Kris Dalebout Newby BS’81 recently produced the documentary Under Our Skin, billed as “a dramatic tale of microbes, medicine and money.” The movie promotional material states: “This eye-opening film investigates the untold story of Lyme disease, an emerging epidemic larger than AIDS.” The documentary launched at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival and has received two Freddie Awards (the Oscars of the international health and medical media). An award-winning screenwriter and science writer, Newby herself has Lyme disease. Her past film honors include first place in the Vanity Fair screenwriting competition for her screenplay The Horse Trader. She has also managed video and multimedia projects for Apple Computer and other Silicon Valley companies.

John Bender DPh’81 has been appointed senior vice president of research and development with Lpath, Inc., a leader in therapeutic agents that combat bioactive lipids. Most recently, Bender was senior vice president of clinical research at Favrille, Inc., where he was responsible for the clinical development of an immunotherapeutic biologic agent for the treatment of lymphoma. Bender was previously director of clinical research for oncology at Pfizer, where he held increasingly senior clinical-research positions in oncology clinical development over a 20-year span. Prior to Pfizer, he spent five years at the National Cancer Institute. Bender has also served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Michigan’s College of Pharmacy and is currently a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California, San Diego.

Allen Oster

Allen H. Oster MFA’83 was named a 2008 Alumni Fellow by the Dickinson State University Alumni Association and Foundation. Oster holds a bachelor’s degree from DSU, a Master of Arts in theater from North Dakota State University, and a Master of Fine Arts in directing from the University of Utah. A professor of theater at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, he has been recognized with honors including the University’s Teaching Excellence Award and its Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching. He has directed and acted in more than 100 productions professionally for college, summer, regional, and dinner theaters in Arizona, California, North and South Dakota, Texas, and Utah. The DSU Alumni Fellows Program was developed to bring prominent and outstanding alumni back to campus to share their experiences with students, faculty, administrators, and the community during Homecoming week.

Stephen W. Shpock MS’83 EE’84 (a doctoral-level professional degree) recently joined The Vitec Group RF Systems (VGRFS) as the company’s new president and managing director. VGRFS is a business unit of the Broadcast Systems Division of The Vitec Group, plc. It is composed of the wireless link companies Microwave Services Corporation (MSC), a leading microwave repair facility; Nucomm, a major global provider of fixed and wireless links; and RF Central, a leading distributor and integrator of microwave products. In his new position, Shpock will oversee all three of these prestigious U.S.-based companies and be responsible for their operations worldwide. Shpock is a 24-year microwave industry veteran. Prior to his current role, he was CEO of Thales Components Corporation, where he was responsible for all North American component activities for the multinational Thales Group.

Robert DiPaola

Robert S. DiPaola BS’84 MD’88 was named director of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey after a nationwide search. A noted cancer researcher, DiPaola completed a medical residency at Duke University Medical Center as well as an oncology and hematology fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, and has written more than 200 articles, abstracts, and book chapters on cancer and his research. He is a tenured professor of medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and chairs a National Cancer Institute committee with responsibility for the development of national and international clinical trials for treatments of prostate, kidney, bladder, and testicular cancers.

Thomas King PhD’86—a professor of English at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada—has twice been nominated for Canada’s main literary prize, the Governor General’s Literary Awards. While his work as an academic has brought him acclaim and honors, King is famous in Canada mainly from his performances as Tom King, an often frustrated, somewhat assimilated Canadian Indian (King is half Cherokee) who is the straight man in The Dead Dog Café Comedy Hour, a popular and long-running series of 15-minute radio programs he created and wrote. King, 65, recently suspended the radio program to run as a New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate for a seat in the House of Commons in Canada’s Parliament. His decision was, in an American context, about as predictable as Garrison Keillor abandoning Lake Wobegon for a shot at Congress—as a Green Party candidate. Although the NDP and the Liberal party share many priorities, Guelph is traditionally a Liberal stronghold, and King lost the Guelph seat to the Liberal candidate.


Samuel Stone MBA’90, P.E., has been elected a vice president with Stanley Consultants. Stone joined the company’s Salt Lake City office in 1997 as a senior project manager. He was most recently manager of the Abu Dhabi office in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Under Stone’s leadership, that office succeeded in achieving significant new business results and grew from a construction management services operation to offering design engineering services. Stone is a licensed professional engineer. In addition to an MBA, he holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Brigham Young University.

Nader Mehra Vafaie BS’91 and his wife, Sormeh Dowlatshahi Vafaie, cofounded the company Hoosh Hoosh Bahoosh, which produces educational DVDs that teach children Persian. Born in Beirut, Lebanon, to an Iranian diplomat father, Nader spent most of his young childhood living in China and Korea. “Although educated by an English system and being part Irish, we were only allowed to speak Persian at home,” he says. “I am proud of my Iranian heritage and want my kids and their kids to be as well.” When their firstborn began to watch educational baby videos, Nader wondered why there were no high quality Persian videos for young children, with no religious or political slant. “We felt that there was a true need for these products, especially for children like ours who lived outside of Iran,” says Sormeh. With a doctor of medical dentistry from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, specializing in endodontics [treating injuries to or diseases of the pulp, or nerve, of the tooth], Nader is a dentist in private practice full time.

Hans J. Rasmussen MS’92 has been appointed president of Maestro Ventures Ltd. Rasmussen has 24 years of experience in the mineral exploration business, including 12 years with the Kennecott-Rio Tinto group focused in the Americas, which also included three years as country manager of Argentina and Bolivia. From 2004 to 2007, Rasmussen worked as consultant for a variety of junior exploration companies in the U.S., Argentina, and Chile. Since January 2007, he had been president and chief operating officer of Eaglecrest Explorations Ltd. Throughout his career, Rasmussen has headed numerous exploration programs for gold and copper in the Great Basin.

David Memel

David S. Memel MS’01, M.D., has been named head of Aetna Informatics, the health informatics organization of Aetna, one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies. Memel was most recently the chief medical officer and head of medical affairs, professional diagnostics, for Roche Diagnostics, based in Rotkreuz, Switzerland. Prior to joining Roche, he was the corporate vice president of information management at PeaceHealth, a multi-state nonprofit integrated delivery system in the Pacific Northwest. Memel received his medical degree at the University of California, Los Angeles. He also holds an MBA from the Cornell University and Queen’s University Joint Program and did additional training in clinical effectiveness research at the Harvard School of Public Health.

We want to hear from you! Please submit entries to: Marcia Dibble. To read more alumni news, check out the “Honor Roll” column in the Alumni Association’s online newsletter, U-News & Views.

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