Class Notes Noteworthy news from featured alumni.


Josephine “Jody” K. Olsen

Jody Olsen BS’65, currently a visiting professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, who is a veteran official at the Peace Corps, has been named by President Donald Trump to lead the organization. Olsen, who initially served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tunisia in the 1960s, went on to hold several high-profile positions with the organization over subsequent decades, including a stint as acting director during the Obama administration. A Utah native, Olsen received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the U and a doctorate from the University of Maryland in 1979. “America and the world need the Peace Corps now more than ever,” says Glenn Blumhorst, president and CEO of the National Peace Corps Association. “We’re excited Jody has the opportunity to lead it.”


Marcia L. Lloyd

Marcia Lloyd EDD’86, a professor emerita of dance at Idaho State University, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Dance Education Organization last November, in San Antonio, Texas. Lloyd says she would like to share her award with the faculty and staff at the U who helped her to achieve her goal of earning a doctorate in education (1981-86), which led to her receiving promotions and tenure at Idaho State. During her 25 years teaching there, she specialized in creative dance, established a dance minor, and founded a student dance company. She also served as a Fulbright Professor in Dance at the University of Malaya and Universiti Sains Malaysia, and as a visiting professor of dance at several other Malaysian universities.

Ray Peterson

Ray Peterson MS’83 PhD’84, director of technology at Real Alloy in Knoxville, Tennessee, has been inducted into the 2018 class of Fellows of The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS). The Fellow award is the highest honor conferred by TMS and is considered a pinnacle achievement in the field of materials science and engineering. TMS is a professional society that connects minerals, metals, and materials scientists and engineers who work in industry, academia, and government positions in 94 countries on six continents. Peterson was honored for his significant contributions to the aluminum industry through his work in aluminum melting and molten metal processing and for his outstanding service to TMS. Peterson has authored 56 papers and holds five U.S. patents for his work in aluminum processing.


Paige Petersen

Paige Petersen BA’94 BS’94 was sworn in on January 19 as Utah’s newest Supreme Court associate justice. Petersen grew up in Emery County, Utah, and received an associate degree from the College of Eastern Utah. She graduated from the U with bachelor’s degrees in political science and English, both summa cum laude, and then received her juris doctorate from Yale Law School in 1999. She comes to her new position after a varied 18-year law career, including stints as an assistant U.S. attorney in New York; a prosecutor of war crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, The Netherlands; an assistant attorney in the federal attorney’s office in Utah; and a judge in 3rd District Court.

Dixie Rasmussen

Dixie Rasmussen MS‘98 DNP‘17, a certified nurse midwife at Mountain Utah Family Medicine in Richfield, Utah, received the 2017-18 Excellence in Advancing Nursing Practice Award from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Rasmussen is the second person from the U ever to win the national honor. The award recognizes an outstanding final project from a student in a doctor of nursing practice program. Rasmussen's project addressed the question “Can a Rural Hospital Reliably Perform an Emergency Cesarean Section in 30 Minutes or Less?” Her project showed the direct impact on improved patient outcomes and demonstrated an interprofessional impact with a rural/frontier focus. She credits the project’s success to Sevier Valley Hospital’s quality improvements. Her project was selected as the U’s top doctoral project in its College of Nursing.


Scott Neville

Scott Neville BS’17 (mathematics) BS’17 (computer science; both magna cum laude), of Clearfield, Utah, has received the prestigious Churchill Scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. He is one of only 15 students nationally to receive the award this year and is the third Churchill Scholar from the U, all of whom are mathematicians. Neville was drawn to math in high school when he was introduced to the Collatz Conjecture, a well-known math sequence problem first posed in 1937. It captured his attention, and Neville was ecstatic when he realized he could contribute to research mathematics. Neville aspires to become a professor at a research university so he can continue working on math and sharing it with others.

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