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"Let me try to describe my work," ventures therapist Peggy Bennion Papp BFA'50, attempting to explain how she came to be distinguished by her theories on restoring damaged family relations. Papp's achievements reveal not only the source of her dramatic flair, but how her natural ability to listen to and learn from the stories that families tell has influenced psychotherapists the world over.
After graduating from the U in journalism and drama, Peggy Bennion headed for Hollywood, where she began freelancing for movie magazines. This led to a series entitled "I Had a Date With..." in which she wrote about dates arranged by publicity agents for her and Hollywood's leading men, such as Burt Lancaster, Rex Harrison, and Peter Lawford.
When that line of work grew tiresome, she decided to pursue a New York acting career. While performing in Death of a Salesman, she met, and later married, one of the most influential people in American theater, producer Joseph Papp. While her husband went on to found the New York Shakespeare festival, create the nation's most important showcase for new playwrights at the Public Theater, and launch such Broadway hits as A Chorus Line and Hair, his wife gave up the "unpredictability of the theater," earned a master's degree in social work, and raised a family.
Her pragmatism and ability to convey her insights as a therapist created such demand that she began presenting her work internationally. She was among the first to introduce techniques for family therapy to Japan, Russia, Hong Kong, and Turkey.
Papp's approach is based upon understanding emotional problems within the context of family belief systems. All families have such implicit belief systems, says Papp, who directs the Depression Project at the Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy in New York. Most are not aware of the expectations, values, and assumptions that govern family interactions, she says.
In 1991 she received lifetime achievement awards from the American Family Therapy Academy and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Recently, her work has focused on effectively treating depression for men and women, employing a "gender-sensitive" approach.
"Men and women get depressed for different reasons, cope differently, and the caretaking of a depressed spouse is different depending on whether the non-depressed spouse is a husband or wife," she observes, ticking off traits that often stem from men's and women's roles within a relationship.
Papp currently is editing Couples Therapy in the New Age, which will focus on the new problems that couples are facing because of rapid changes in society: dual careers, accelerated time schedules, remarriage, stepfamilies, cross-cultural marriages, and the changing roles of men and women.
Though her Park Avenue apartment and professional practice seem a lifetime removed from where she grew up, she joins with her siblings each year in honor of their late mother, Vera Weiler Bennion, honored in the Utah Hall of Fame for her civic activities, including presidency of the Womens Legislative Council, and their father, Heber Bennion, Jr., secretary of state under Utah governors Herbert Maw and J. Bracken Lee. They reunite on their family ranch near Manila, Utah. Papp will also return to the University of Utah Graduate School of Social Work July 17 for the first time since the College's 50th anniversary in 1987 to conduct a workshop for health and mental health professionals.
Victor Thornton BS'35 has continued his involvement in many ventures
throughout the years. He was president and is chair of the board of Thornton
Steel Company, Fort Worth, Texas, and president of Western Steel Company,
Corpus Christi, Texas. He is a member of the board of directors of the Bank
of Commerce in Fort Worth, and chair of Southview, Inc., a real estate company.
Thornton was president of Kiwanis, Fort Worth, and district secretary of
the Texas-Oklahoma District of Kiwanis. He has held many positions in the
Shriners, including Imperial Potentate, where he accomplished many acts
of service, particularly with the Shriners' Hospitals.
Scott A. Taggart BA'51, retired realtor and past president of the Utah Association of Realtors, was featured in a recent issue of "Utah Report," the Association's quarterly newsletter, for his history of volunteer service in the Utah Association of Realtors and the Salt Lake Board of Realtors, and his 40 years of service in the Utah and American Heart Associations. Among his many honors is the 1978 Gold Heart award for his work with AHA as chair of the committee which redesigned the organization's nationwide fund-raising program.
Dennis Van Gerven BA'68 is a winner of the 1998 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching "U.S. Professors of the Year" program. This program honors the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country and is recognized as one of the most prestigious awards honoring professors. Van Gerven received his doctorate from the University of Massachusetts and is a professor of anthropology at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Douglas J. Hammer BS'70 JD'77, vice president and general counsel for Intermountain Health Care, a position he has held since 1985, has been reappointed to a second third-year term on the Board of Directors of the American Health Lawyers Association. In this position Hammer will serve as program chair for the organization's annual Fundamentals of Health Care Law Conference. He is married to Karren Kelly Hammer BA'70. LM
At the 1998 American Red Cross National Convention held in Salt Lake City, Utah, Joseph B. Pereles BS'74 was elected chair of the Resolutions Committee for the 1999 American Red Cross Convention to be held in Richmond, Virginia. Pereles is chair of the St. Louis Bi-state Chapter of the American Red Cross and is president-elect of the St. Louis Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth. LM
James H. Clark PhD'74, chair of Netscape Communications Corp. in Mountain View, California, has been inducted into the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for the development of computer graphics and for technical leadership in the computer industry. NAE's main function is to provide independent advice to the federal government on questions of engineering and technology, and serves as a national forum for a full range of engineering issues.
Kim P. Harris BS'80 was recently honored as the 1998 "Engineer of the Year" by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration & Air-conditioning Engineers for his mechanical design expertise. Harris is a principal of Van Boerum & Frank Associates, Inc., in Salt Lake City and St. George, Utah. He is currently responsible for the mechanical design of the Huntsman Cancer Research Institute, University of Utah Student Housing at Historic Ft. Douglas, the Grand Summit Hotel at The Canyons in Park City, Utah, and the Salt Palace Expansion Phases I and II.
Bruce J. Benzley BS'82 MBA'83 is senior vice president and manager of secondary marketing with HomeSide Lending, Inc., one of the largest producers and servicers of residential mortgage loans in the United States. Benzley has been with HomeSide for five years and will now be responsible for pricing that company's mortgage loan products, managing the interest-rate risk, and executing loan sales. He also oversees relations with mortgage investors and the preservation of product eligibility standards.
Denison University English professor David Baker PhD'83 is the first recipient of the Julia Peterkin Award, an award established by Converse College (Spartenburg, South Carolina) in 1997 to recognize outstanding poets and fiction writers. Baker has published six books of poetry and was the recipient of a 1997 grant from the Ohio Arts Council and the 1994 Outstanding Writer prize from the Pushcart Press. Baker, a member of the Denison faculty since 1984, is holder of the Thomas B. Fordham Chair in Creative Writing.
A former director of alumni and public relations at the University of Utah College of Law, Amy McDevitt MPA'86 recently became vice president of women's financial services at First Security Bank in Boise, Idaho. This service is a new program intended to provide easier access to financial products and services for women.
The Utah Museum of Natural History and the Hansen Planetarium have appointed Tal Harry BS'87 marketing and advertising manager for featured Museum exhibits and public Planetarium shows. He will conduct research to track and analyze visitation trends and ad placement, and assist in the development of long-term communications efforts.
U.S. Public Health Service Capt. Mary R. Ingram PhD'89 received the "Pioneer in Nursing Award" from the South Dakota Nurses Association in recognition of her work on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Combining the roles of family nurse practitioner and community health nurse, Ingram and a colleague opened three field clinics, provided health care in homes and schools, and conducted health-care classes. This work has led to a significant reduction in the number of hospital admissions during her tenure at the reservation.
Kenneth E. Horton BS'90 is a recent addition to the Intellectual Property and Technology Group at Parsons Behle & Latimer. He will represent companies and organizations in patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, and licensing law. Horton earned his law degree at Catholic University of America in 1993.
Ziba Marashi BA'90 is the new marketing manager for InfoPlex Corporation in Hayward, California. She worked previously in Washington, D.C., doing nonprofit fund-raising. Marashi will initially be working on various programs for Fujitsu Computer Products of America and the Network Conference Center.
Catherine Caine Stirling BA'91 is an associate with T. Baugh & Company Marketing Communications in Washington, D.C. She was a Hinckley Institute intern with T. Baugh & Co. over six years ago. Stirling is a communications consultant on a women's health initiative, Social Marketing for Change for the U.S. Agency for International Development. In 1998 she spent time in the Central Asian Republics of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to start a hotline that allows women to speak to a trained doctor or pharmacist from their homes at no cost. Her responsibilities have included training hotline counselors in customer service and providing media training to project spokespersons. LM
Todd Pennington MS'95 received his doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and is now an assistant professor in the department of physical education at Brigham Young University.
Susan Hanson PhD'95 has joined the faculty of Adrian College, Adrian, Michigan, as an assistant professor of earth science. She was previously a consultant with Kennecott Exploration Company.
Lieutenant Erick Wettstein BS'96 became 1st Lieutenant in the Navy in March 1998 and accomplished his first solo flight in the Beechcraft T-34C "Turbo Mentor," a naval aircraft. He has now completed his initial flight program and is in advanced helicopter flight training at Whiting Field in Pensacola, Florida. With the encouragement of his mother, Irma Burgos, Wettstein participated in the Upward Bound program at the U and hopes his accomplishments will give encouragement to other Hispanic youth.
Gregory S. Emerson BA'97 won the Third Place Oralist title at Southwestern University School of Law's 1998 SCALE Intramural Moot Court Competition. SCALE (Southwestern's Conceptual Approach to Legal Education) is an intensive two-year program of study leading to the juris doctor degree.
Michael Fredrick PhD'99 is a new faculty member at Quincy University, Quincy, Illinois, where he is assistant professor of physical education. During his doctoral studies at the U, Fredrick was an adjunct faculty member at Salt Lake Community College, providing consulting services on performance enhancement for individual and team athletes.
LM: Life Member
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