Class Notes Noteworthy news from featured alumni.


Ruth Strampe

Ruth Strampe BS’38, of Arcadia, California, celebrated her 100th birthday on February 15. Born in 1918, she entered the U at 16, majoring in education with a minor in Spanish. She was freshman editor of the Utonian yearbook, joined Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, received freshman scholastic honors as a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, and was a member of the U’s pistol club. Elected secretary of the junior class, and in her senior year, voted secretary of the Associated Students of the U, she was a member of Mortar Board and chosen Homecoming Queen of 1937. Of her active college experience, Strampe says the honor she holds most dear is her membership in the Alumni Association’s Beehive Honor Society. Strampe went on to teach in the Arcadia Unifed School District until she retired in 1974. Happy 100th birthday!


Michael Garibaldi

Michael Garibaldi BS’68 MS’69, a member of the U’s athletics Crimson Club Hall of Fame, continued his athletic career last April by finishing in the 70+ age group in swimming events at the Oregon State Masters swimming championship: 50 free (3rd), 100 free (4rd), 200 free (3rd), 500 free (2nd), 1650 free (2nd), and 200 free relay (1st). As a life member of the San Francisco Dolphin Club (47 years), Garibaldi swam in the club’s 100th anniversary Golden Gate bridge swim in September, his 26th crossing, with 13 wins after a 24-year layoff, finishing 33rd. His record of 18 minutes 25 seconds from 1978 remains intact. Garibaldi is a retired Screen Actors Guild actor and model, and coaches swimming and water polo. He lives in Bend, Oregon.


Kate Kendell

Kate Kendell JD’88 received Salt Lake’s Key to the City Award from Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski last October, in recognition of her longtime efforts to advance gay rights and her significant role in the national fight for LGBTQ equality. The award is presented to individuals who have used their voices, talents, or resources to improve the local community in a significant way. A native Utahn, Kendell has been with the National Center for Lesbian Rights based in Washington, D.C., since 1994 and currently serves as its executive director. As a nationally recognized spokesperson for LGBT rights, she has an active voice in major media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Advocate, NPR, and CNN.


Jessica R. Kramer

Jessica Kramer HBS’04, bioengineering assistant professor at the U, has been awarded The Dream Chemistry Award from the Czech and Polish Academy of Sciences in Prague, Czech Republic. Established in 2013, the award, which includes a monetary prize of 10,000 EUR, recognizes visionary projects in the field of chemistry and related disciplines that have the ambition and potential to make the world a better place. Encouraged to submit bold ideas for solving scientific puzzles and problems, Kramer investigated the protective saccharide coat of cell membranes (glycocalyx) as a tool to design new cancer therapeutics. Found on the surface of most cells but not well understood, glycocalyx undergoes changes in its structure that correlate with tumor growth in tissues. The aim of the project is to design specific cancer therapeutics based on an artificially synthesized glycocalyx.

Brian Steed

Brian Steed JD’02, a former prosecutor and professor who most recently served as chief of staff for U.S. Congressman Chris Stewart, was tapped in October as second in command for the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management. Steed also holds a doctorate from Indiana University and previously worked as an economics professor at Utah State University’s Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. He also is a former deputy county attorney for Iron County. Steed will oversee programs and policy of the federal agency, which manages 245 million acres of land in the country—more than any other agency. Steed became the second Utahn tapped in 2017 for a leadership role in federal agencies with oversight of public land.


Aden Batar

Aden Batar MPA’15, director of immigration and refugee resettlement for Catholic Community Services of Utah, and a member of the U’s Alumni Association board, has received the 2017 Gandhi Peace Award, which is presented annually by the Utah Gandhi Alliance for Peace to recognize someone in the community who exemplifies the well-known quote by Gandhi, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” After losing a son during the civil war in Somalia, he and his family fled and became the first refugees from Somalia to resettle in Utah. Batar took a job with Catholic Community Services in 1996 to help with resettlement and became director of the refugee program in 2001. For more than 20 years he has fought to bring refugees to Utah and to protect their rights and identities.

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