Vol. 14 No. 4
Spring 2005

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

An Inspiring Walk in One Man's Shoes: A look at the life of Rocco Siciliano BA'44

Beverly Bistline JD’54 was recently honored by the Idaho State Bar with its Professionalism Award. Bistline grew up in Pocatello in a political family—her grandfather and father were both involved with politics, and her cousin, Steven, was a Supreme Court judge for 18 years. She was the 26th woman admitted to the state bar, in 1955, and is a former state representative and an active philanthropist. (The Bistline Thrust Theater, one of three performance venues in Idaho State University’s state-of-the-art Stephens Performing Arts Center, opened in October 2004.)

When Bistline earned her law degree in 1954, she was one of only two women in a class of more than 70.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson ex’62, an award-winning author and instructor for UCLA Extension’s renowned Writers’ Program, received a 2004 “Women of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award” from the California Legislature. The citation marks the first time an author has been honored with this award.

Howard-Johnson’s fiction, nonfiction works, and poems have appeared in numerous national magazines, anthologies and review journals. Her first book, This Is the Place, a look at love, prejudice and personal redemption in 1950s Utah, won eight literary awards; her second, Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered, garnered three.

Nick M. Bapis BS’64 has been named among the nation’s leading financial advisors in two leading business publications, Barron’s and Research Magazine. Bapis ranks 46th in Barron’s “The Top 100” list of “the 100 best wealth advisors from the brokerage industry,” published in its Sept. 20, 2004 edition. He was number 12 in the “horizontal team structure” category of “The Winner’s Circle Top 30” cover story in the September 2004 issue of Research. Bapis is a senior vice president at the Parleys office of Morgan Stanley. He has been with the firm since 1988.

John (Jack) H. Adams MBA’68 retired from the federal government in 2004 with combined active service in excess of 53 years. Adams started his federal career in 1950 working for the FBI while J. Edgar Hoover was the director. In 2003, he received the Meritorious Presidential Rank Award for exceptional long-term accomplishments. The United States Office of Personnel Management notes, “Winners of this prestigious award are strong leaders, professionals and scientists who achieve results and consistently demonstrate strength, integrity, industry and a relentless commitment to excellence in public service.”

Arthur F. Dalley II BS’70 PhD’75 received the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award, one of four presented nationally, from the Association of American Medical Colleges. The award honors “tireless efforts to provide the nation’s next generation of doctors with an outstanding educational experience,” according to the AAMC. Dalley is a professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and Master Clinical Teacher at Vanderbilt University.

Eddie F. Brown MS’72 PhD’75 (both in social work), has joined Arizona State University as director of the American Indian Studies program. For the past eight years, Brown, a member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, has been director of the Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. The youngest of eight children, Brown was the first in his family to receive a college degree. He previously held positions as executive director of the department of human services for the Tohono O’odham Nation and as director of the Arizona Department of Economic Security.

Harold Smith PhD’74 has joined the California State University at Northridge as associate dean of the College of Health and Human Development. Smith has extensive experience in health care systems and publications in the fields of therapeutic recreation and fund raising. He comes to Northridge from Boise, where he was therapeutic recreation specialist and director of activities for SUNHEALTH Behavioral System of Boise. Smith previously served in administrative and faculty assignments at Brigham Young University, Kent State University, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, the University of Oregon and other institutions.

Shelby Steele PhD’75 was one of seven distinguished Americans (and one historical society) awarded the 2004 National Humanities Medal for their contributions to the humanities. Steele was cited “for his learned examinations of race relations and cultural issues, which reveal a profound commitment to freedom and belief in the bright future of our nation.” Steele specializes in the study of race relations, multiculturalism and affirmative action. A widely published writer and contributing editor at Harper’s, his most recent book is A Dream Deferred: The Second Betrayal of Black Freedom in America.

Frances A. Mielach BS’76, Ph.D., has been named vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs for Myriad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Mielach joined Myriad from Aspen Biomedical Consulting, which she founded and served as president of for more than 10 years. Previously, she was with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the Division of Antiviral Drug Products of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

A board certified toxicologist as well as a registered pharmacist in Utah and California, Mielach is the author of numerous scientific articles, abstracts, presentations and book chapters, and a frequent lecturer on pharmacology and toxicology topics. LM

James Walker BS’83 MA’87 PhD’88 (all in mathematics) of the Southwest Research Institute was named to Popular Science’s third annual “Brilliant 10” list of the top young scientists in America, “people who are gaining recognition from their peers yet remain virtuallyunknown to the public.” Walker studies impact physics,creating mathematical models that help industries from the makers of body armor to NASA, which is awaiting Walker’s results before recertifying the space shuttle for flight.

Sandra Calman BS’84 MD’88 has been named a director of clinical research for Dow Pharmaceutical Sciences. She will oversee management at Dow’s Solano Clinical Research units in Davis and Vallejo, Calif. Calman brings to Dow Pharmaceutical Sciences more than 12 years of experience as an investigative research physician and in directing clinical research activities. She is a seasoned clinical investigator, having served in a leadership role in over 30 clinical trials, including seven in ophthalmology. Prior to joining Solano, Calman was director of clinical research and practice management for Premier Eyecare in San Francisco.

Mark R. James MPA’87 was recently appointed vice president of human resources for Honeywell Aerospace, based in Phoenix, Ariz. He leads a team of 360 human resources professionals responsible for supporting 42,000 employees worldwide. James has been with Honeywell for five years, serving previously as vice president of human resources for the company’s Aerospace Electronic Systems division in Phoenix and human resources director for its Federal Manufacturing & Technologies division in Kansas City, Mo. Prior to joining Honeywell, James held various human resources roles with Iomega in Roy, Utah; Toyota in Deerfield Beach, Fla.; and AT&T/Lockheed Martin at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M.

Jeff Zhenning Song PhD’88 has been named president, Ingersoll-Rand China, and a vice president of Ingersoll-Rand Company Limited, a leading diversified industrial firm. Based in Shanghai, Song is responsible for identifying new business development opportunities, elevating the company’s brand in China, and fostering relationships with regulatory and local government authorities and joint venture partners. Song joins Ingersoll-Rand from Honeywell International, where he was managing director and general manager for Honeywell China Company Ltd. He joined Honeywell in 1988 and has held a variety of company positions in both China and the United States.

Linda Priebe JD’89 made her Carnegie Hall debut on Oct. 10, 2004, singing Bach’s beloved “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” Priebe, a mezzo-soprano, performed as a featured soloist with renowned soprano Veronica Tyler in her dramatic concert, “Woman, Thy Color is Love.” Priebe was a semifinalist in the 2004 International Classical Singer Competition. She is also assistant general counsel at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and has served as ethics advisor at the White House Office of the Counsel to the President.

James Morales BA’91 is the new associate vice chancellor for enrollment at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Most recently he had been the director of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Connecticut, in Storrs. He has served universities for more than 10 years in various admissions and enrollment management capacities, including admissions counselor, assistant director of admissions, associate director of admissions, assistant to the vice chancellor for academic support and student life, and director of undergraduate admissions.

Gwendolyn A. McMillin PhD’94, DABCC, was awarded the second-ever Young Investigator Award from the Therapeutic Drug Management and Toxicology Division of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. McMillin is an assistant professor of pathology at the University of Utah and medical director of the Clinical Toxicology and Trace Elements Laboratories at ARUP Laboratories, a Utah-based national reference laboratory.

Ryan Raddon BA’95 has leapt in just four years from being an assistant at San Francisco-based Om Records to becoming one of its most popular artists. As a “house” electronica musician/producer/DJ recording under the name Kaskade, Raddon released his debut album It’s You, It’s Me at the label in 2003. His 2004 album In the Moment produced the single “Steppin’ Out,” which has become a club and compilation favorite.

Matthew Brimhall BS’98 has joined Del American, a nationally recognized and award-winning developer of multifamily communities, as vice president of marketing and public relations. Brimhall holds a master’s degree in professional communication from Westminster College. He is currently a special guest lecturer at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and an adjunct professor of public speaking at the Community College of Southern Nevada.

Brenda Miller PhD’99 has been awarded her fourth Pushcart Prize (awarded annually for the best work published in the small literary presses) for her personal essay “Raging Waters,” set at Raging Waters theme park in Salt Lake City. Her essay first appeared in the Spring 2003 issue of Witness (www.webdelsol.com/Witness) and will be reprinted in the Pushcart Prize Anthology 2005 (www.pushcartprize.com).

Eric Meier BS’00, a mechanical engineer who had previously worked in the aerospace industry at Aerojet, co-founded Space Transport Corporation (www.space-transport.com) with a fellow engineer in Forks, Wash., in part to pursue the X Prize, the $10 million prize recently won by renowned airplane designer Burt Rutan. “But a bigger incentive in our minds was the potential to commercialize space by creating easy and extremely reliable access for people and cargo,” says Meier.

Wade C. Roberts BA’04, a doctoral candidate in economics, is one of 30 students nationwide selected to receive a 2004 CREON® Family Scholarship from Solvay Pharmaceuticals for his triumph over cystic fibrosis (CF), an incurable genetic disease. Roberts will receive $2,000 per year for up to two years of study and a year’s supply of a supplement for a digestive enzyme insufficiency often associated with CF. Family Scholarships are awarded to students based on academic achievement, financial need, leadership qualities and ability to serve as a role model to others with CF. While earning his undergraduate degree in economics from the U, Roberts maintained a high grade point average. Outside the classroom, he was head coach of the Greater Ogden Swim Team, held leadership positions on mission trips, and taught disabled children how to swim.


From Salt Lake City 84105 to Beverly Hills 90210, with a World War and a lifetime of achievement in between, Walking On Sand, The Story of an Immigrant Son and the Forgotten Art of Public Service unfolds the life of Rocco C. Siciliano BA’44.

Siciliano was born in Salt Lake City to struggling, immigrant parents. He grew up in a predominantly Northern European-American community without benefit of the old-country camaraderie of a “Little Italy,” intensely aware of the many ways he was “different” from the children around him, from his brown eyes to his uniquely Italian name. (“In school I was quite aware that the most common name was Jensen,” he writes.)

Siciliano suggests that it was a heightened desire to fit in that led him to develop a creeping feeling of inferiority, which ultimately motivated him to strive for success.

Stung by incidents such as being made to repeat the second grade and having his humiliatingly low “scholastic
intelligence” test read aloud in his fifth-grade class, Siciliano pushed himself, becoming valedictorian of his South High School senior class and graduating from the U in 1944 with an honors degree in political science.

From there, he went on to decorated service as a combat infantry platoon leader in Italy during World War II, then earned a law degree from Georgetown University.

In the many years since, he has continued to serve an exemplary life of leadership and public service, including appointments in the administrations of two presidents, Eisenhower and Nixon. In 1997, he endowed the U’s Rocco C. Siciliano Forum for Public Policy to encourage thoughtful deliberation of public issues.

As Siciliano writes, “Success, as I see it, consists of guiding your own life and reacting to the coincidences that impact your life, thus redirecting it.” His book is full of recollections and reflections, both on his early hopes and strivings toward guiding his life, and on how history and chance affected and shaped his aspirations. It examines the incidents and factors that drove his ambition, and those that knocked him down a notch.

Walking On Sand is a fascinating memoir of one man’s soul-searing struggles and stunning successes.

—Marcia C. Dibble is assistant editor of Continuum.

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