Continuum Home Page - University of Utah Home Page - Alumni Association Home Page
Questions, Comments
- Table of Contents


Show business in New York – a lofty dream to most. But to Christopher Harrison BS'84, the goal of becoming a professional dancer on Broadway became a reality in 1989 when he danced, sang, tumbled, and ice skated in eight shows per week of Meet Me in St. Louis. He has performed in A Chorus Line, Cats, West Side Story, and in numerous television specials, print and television commercials, and worldwide tours. He holds his role as Donatello in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as his most amusing accomplishment.

Chris was a U cheerleader for two years, participating with its first nationally ranked squad in the National Collegiate Cheerleading Championships. Pioneer Theatre Company honed his dancing and acting talents, and he worked with the Repertory Dance Theatre.

In 1990 he started his own dance company. Revisiting his athletic roots, he used his knowledge to create a new movement form. With some of his fellow champion gymnasts-turned-dancers, he founded ANTIGRAVITY, which has performed in the Metropolitan Opera House, on Broadway, at Radio City Music Hall, and at Carnegie Hall. Harrison has become known in New York as the person who successfully "wraps world-class athletes in a fine arts package."

In August 1998 he was named New York City's "Person of the Week" for donating his time and talent to choreographing a performance with 32 inner-city children for the Goodwill Games.

The dreams continue for this former Brigham City, Utah, resident – but reality has been good, too.

In September 1998 Alexis Bucknam BS'96 arrived in Denver to be a team leader for the National Civilian Community Corps, dubbed the "Domestic Peace Corps." As a senior at the U, Bucknam had been involved in the service-learning program and the YWCA, where she first learned about NCCC, a service organization founded in 1990 in the tradition of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s. More than 40,000 young adults serve with NCCC, helping to improve the environment, education, public safety, and unmet human needs in communities across the United States. In exchange for their service, volunteers receive financial aid for higher education.

Bucknam's 13-member team is responsible for a 17-state region based in Denver and stretching across the central United States. Earlier this year, the team tutored children at an elementary school in Denver. Its primary focus was to improve literacy and math skills, but volunteers also instructed children in after-school enrichment programs, participating in a computer club, dance classes, gymnastics, and field hockey. In February, the team moved to Grand Forks, North Dakota, where flooding in 1997 destroyed most of the homes. Bucknam's team worked with the Lutheran Disaster Response team, hanging sheetrock in new homes for low-income families who lost everything in the floods.

"I feel that my life has come to a point where I can give back some of what

I've gained from higher education," Bucknam says.

Ronald Frederickson BS'59 MA'65 PhD'78 was recently honored as the Arts Educator recipient of the 1998 Kansas Governor's Arts Awards. This award is sponsored by the Kansas Arts Commission and Kansas Governor Bill Graves and recognizes artists, arts advocates, art organizations, and patron individuals and organizations across the state. Frederickson has been a member of the Emporia State University faculty for 26 years, where he has directed more than 60 theater productions. His production of The Voice of the Prairie was one of six productions chosen from a pool of 800 entries to be performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., for the 1993 Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival. AM

John R. Tapia MA'66 PhD'69 was recently inducted as a Distinguished Member of the 70th Armor Regiment during the Regimental Investiture Ceremony at Fort Riley, Kansas. He served as a tank platoon leader with the 70th Tank Battalion in the Korean War and was wounded five times. Tapia is emeritus professor at Fort Lewis College, Colorado, where he was chair of the department of foreign languages for 10 years. He also taught at Western Michigan University and Southern Illinois University. While at the U, Tapia was instrumental in organizing Sigma Delta Pi, the Spanish National Honor Society, and, among many other honors he has received, was awarded the Order of Don Quixote by Sigma Delta Pi, which recognizes exceptional service in the fields of Hispanic scholarship. Tapia and his wife, Bertha Cervantes Tapia ex'69, reside in Prescott, Arizona.

David E. Dangerfield BS'65 MSW'67 DSW'72 was named the 1998 recipient of the Norman S. Anderson Award, recognizing him for his distinguished service to community mental health and for advancing clinical, administrative, and training functions in the tradition of service exemplified by Norman S. Anderson, M.D. Dangerfield was the first social work student to receive the Doctor of Social Work degree from Utah's Graduate School of Social Work, and has worked in the mental health field for more than 30 years in Utah, California, and Wyoming, as well as in professional mental health training throughout the U.S. and Canada. He has written many articles and is the co-author of books in the mental health field.

Everett L. Frost BA'65 is chair-elect of the Western Institute Commission of Higher Education. The commission provides professional development degree opportunities in health and veterinary fields and in mental health, higher education information, policy development, and technology through the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications. Frost is President of Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. His wife is Janet Owens Frost BA'66. LM

Charles R. Brinkman BS'60 MS'61 PhD'66, a group leader at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, has been elected chair of the American Society for Testing and Materials Committee C-28 on Advanced Ceramics. This 122-member committee develops standards relating to the processing, properties, characterization, and performance of advanced ceramic materials. He also participates in the American Ceramic Society, the American Society for Metals International, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Worth, a financial magazine, recently featured its selection of America's top 300 financial advisors. Roger M. Smedley BS'73 MBA'75, CFP with Smedley Financial Services, Salt Lake City, Utah, was among those chosen. Worth selected its list by scrutinizing nominations from its readers and people in the trade as to personal and professional background, credentials, and company/client relationships. Worth refers to its list as "America's cream of the crop."

Alan Marchant BS'75 recently became operations manager in marketing and program development for Eastman Kodak Company's Commercial & Government Systems division. Marchant has been with Kodak for 19 years as a research physicist and manager, developing optical recording technology related to both media and hardware. He holds 12 patents and is an author of a major text on optical recordings. He earned an MBA from the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. from Cornell University. Marchant resides in Perinton, New York.

Philip Vise BS'76 is a regional marketing director for The Macerich Company, a premier real estate investment trust based in Santa Monica, California. Vise supervises the marketing programs at seven intermountain Macerich properties in Colorado, Montana, and Utah. For 14 years he was corporate marketing director for the Salt Lake City developer, J P Realty, Inc.

After six years as a U.S. Navy submarine officer and 18 years working for Science Applications International Corporation in New Orleans, Charles E. Morton, Jr. BS'73 and his wife, Carol, have left their secular careers to become missionaries with Latin American Mission in Miami, Florida, where Charles is vice president of administration and Carol is controller. AM

Alan G. Vitters MS'75 PhD'79 is included in Who's Who Among America's Teachers for making a significantdifference in the lives of young people. The U.S. Army has recognized his JROTC program as an "Honor Unit with Distinction" for the third consecutive year, and the U.S. Supreme Court recently cited research that Vitters had done earlier in his career while teaching at West Point. Vitters lives in Jacksonville, Florida. AM

Michael Eller BS'86 was promoted to the position of process and quality engineer for Blue Grass Cooperage, a division of Brown-Forman Distillery Company, Louisville, Kentucky. He will be responsible for providing process and quality engineering support to all manufacturing operations at this division. Eller was previously plant engineer for the Albany Sawmill for Brown-Forman. He also worked for four years in manufacturing and served seven years in the United States Army Special Force.

Research curator at the University of Utah Museum of Fine Arts William South MA'86 is co-curator of "Stanton Macdonald-Wright: A Retrospective," an exhibit that will open at the North Carolina Museum of Art in April 2001. South received a Ph.D. from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 1994, and is a recognized authority on Macdonald-Wright's career.

The satisfaction of having a first book published is great, but it turns to euphoria when the book receives outstanding reviews and reader awards. Such is the case for Adele EerNisse Budnick BS'86 who, under the pen name of Adele Ashworth, has written the successful My Darling Caroline, published in October 1998. With this book, Budnick is a finalist for the Virginia Romance Writers Holt Medallion Contest in the best first book category, and is one of seven finalists for the Romance Writers of America's Best First Book of 1998 Award. Her second book will be out in September 1999 and her third in summer 2000. She lives in rural Virginia with her husband and two children.

Michael R. Pearson BS'83, program director at Utah Youth Village, has been named president of the National Teaching-Family Association. Utah Youth Village is one of 26 members of this association, each dedicated to providing quality foster and group care for troubled children in the United States and Canada. Pearson is a 14-year veteran of the Teaching-Family Model, which is used in all Utah Youth Village programs.

Page layouts and graphics for Alabama-based Southern Living magazine are the new responsibility of graphic designer Claudia Hon BFA'88. Prior to joining Southern Living, Hon was production manager for Earl's Communications in Hailey, Idaho, and from 1989 to 1997 she was art director and designer for Omni Studios in Boise, Idaho. She now lives in Birmingham, Alabama.

Susan Andrus Wood BA'88 MA'90 received the 1999 Donald C. Roush Award for Teaching Excellence from New Mexico State University. The award is based on information gathered from students, department heads, deans, and branch campus directors. Wood teaches in the developmental studies program at NMSU's Dona Ana Branch Community College, Las Cruces, New Mexico.

A professional artist for the U's Continuing Education Department, David Meikle BFA'94 has had his painting of "Little Cottonwood Canyon in Autumn" accepted by the New York Society of Illustrators for its 41st annual exhibit. Fewer than one of 10 paintings submitted is accepted for this exhibit. Meikle's painting will also appear on the cover of the Springville Museum of Art's 74th annual Spring Salon exhibition catalog.

Angie Baker Nelson BS'94 will concentrate her practice on commercial litigation with Parsons Behle & Latimer law firm in Salt Lake City, Utah. She earned her J.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1998.

LM: Life Member
AM: Annual Member



The University lost a valued member of its community with the death of Lee Ence, 71, on February 9, 1999. Ence had served as director of the Alumni Association for 22 years, overseeing the construction of the Alumni House in 1980 and the addition of many new programs and services. She was also a member of the National Advisory Council, the executive committee of the Health Sciences Council, the Red Butte Garden and Arboretum advisory board, and the Crimson Club board.

In many ways, Ence was a pioneer in the community, as well. She was the first woman president of the Utah Advertising Federation and the first woman elected a member of the Chamber of Commerce and to serve on the board of directors. Her influence was felt far and wide; she was a member of the ZCMI board of directors, the West One Bank board of directors, and the Utah Shakespearean Festival board of directors.

But to the U friends that knew her, Ence was a unique combination of thoughtfulness, energy, and true loyalty to the U. "Spending time with Lee was always informative, stimulating, and rewarding, and she always made you feel as if you were the most important person in the room," remembers Vice President for Development Mike Mattsson BS'60. "Generous and caring, she never wanted to be the focus of attention," echoes Susan Turpin, assistant to Ted Capener BS'53, vice president for university relations, who himself notes Ence's kindness. "I remember her excellent memory and attention to every detail, her thoughtfulness in thanking people – and doing so immediately (the day after an event), and often with thoughtful gifts."

In her work at the Alumni Association, Ence focused on people: the people she served and the people with whom she worked. "She encouraged volunteers and staff members to pursue ideas from a variety of angles," says Bill Coen BS'83, director of alumni relations. "She always had time to listen to your ideas and help you take them to a new level." Quite simply, says Toni Lehtinen BA'74, an executive director of development, "Lee loved people." Adds Mattsson, "I've never known anyone who had such a large and diversified following as Lee Ence."

Using that following to the U's advantage was a special talent of Ence's. "Without her persistent and creative work, her vision, and her huge network of friends, the University would not have a first-rate alumni association, an Alumni House, or a Block U that flashes to celebrate victories," says the current executive director of the Alumni Association, John Ashton BS'66 JD'69. "And boy, could she throw a fun alumni party," adds Capener.

For so many who knew Ence, those flashing lights, the commodius Alumni House, and files full of thank-you notes will be continual reminders of a woman who served her beloved U with warmth and enthusiasm.

"There will be a huge void in life without Lee."

Continuum Home Page - University of Utah Home Page - Alumni Association Home Page
Questions, Comments
- Table of Contents

Copyright 1999 by The University of Utah Alumni Association