Class Notes News about University of Utah alumni.



Photo by Stephen Trimble

Lily Yuriko Nakai Havey BFA’55 MFA’55 received the 2015 Evans Biography Award for her book Gasa Gasa Girl Goes to Camp: A Nisei Youth behind a World War II Fence (University of Utah Press, June 2014). Presented by the Mountain West Center for Regional Studies at Utah State University, the award carries a prize of $10,000 and is designed to encourage fine writing about the people who have helped shape the growth and character of the Interior West.

In the book, Havey combines storytelling, watercolor artwork, and personal photographs to recount her youth living in two Japanese American internment camps during World War II. The American Library Association also named the book one of the “Best of the Best” University press books for 2015.

BennettRobert Bennett BS’57 was inducted in January into the Hinckley Institute of Politics Hall of Fame, which honors distinguished individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to politics and public service in Utah. Bennett served three terms in the U.S. Senate from 1992–2011 representing the state of Utah.

Over his 18-year tenure, Bennett garnered the respect of his colleagues and a reputation as a lawmaker who offered creative and common-sense solutions to issues important to both Utah and the nation. He also served as a senior member of the Senate Banking Committee, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and the Appropriations Committee. He is now a senior policy advisor at Arent Fox and advises clients in the areas of tax, transportation, and energy.


MartyJoe Marty MS’76, a retired U medical technologist who discovered a new mineral called ophirite, received the inaugural Mineral of the Year award from the International Mineral Association. He discovered the winning mineral roughly 25 years ago at the Ophir Hill Consolidated mine of Utah located in the Oquirrh Mountains.

Marty’s discovery of ophirite is one of the approximately 60 new mineral species he’s discovered or participated in the discovery of—a record number for an amateur collector. Early last year he also received the 2015 Pinch Medal from the Mineralogical Association of Canada for his significant contributions to the advancement of mineralogy.

SieversMarc Jonathan Sievers BA’78 has been appointed by President Barack Obama as U.S. ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman. He is the first person to be named to the position and assumed the post in January.

A career member of the Senior Foreign Service since 1981, with the rank of Minister-Counselor, Sievers had previously served as visiting diplomatic fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy since fall 2014. Before that, he was U.S. deputy chief of mission and chargé d’affaires in Cairo for three years. His prior posts in Washington and across the Middle East included serving as political minister-counselor at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, Iraq; counselor for political affairs in Tel Aviv, Israel; and deputy chief of mission in Algiers, Algeria.

Sievers holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the U and a master’s degree from Columbia University.


PiggeeTimothy McCuen Piggee BFA’85, professor of theater at the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, was honored as the 2015 Gregory A. Falls Sustained Achievement recipient. Piggee was acknowledged at the Gregory Awards as a vital part of the Seattle theater ecosystem. In addition to teaching and directing at Cornish College of the Arts for 21 years, he has taught classes for the Seattle Children’s Theatre, Freehold Studio Theatre, and Seattle Repertory Theatre, and served as artistic director of Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center Theatre Camp.

He’s been honored with dozens of local and national awards, including the 2015 Lunt- Fontanne Fellowship and a 2012 University of Utah College of Fine Arts Distinguished Alumnus Award. As an actor, he has appeared with more than a dozen regional companies, including Pioneer Theatre Company at the U.

MattssonMichele Mattsson HBA’85 JD’88, chief appellate mediator for the Utah Court of Appeals and president of the University of Utah Board of Trustees—the first woman to hold that position— received the 2015 Peacekeeper Award from the Utah Council on Conflict Resolution. The award is presented annually to an outstanding member of the community who has exemplified a superior commitment to the process of peace and conflict resolution.

Mattsson has dedicated herself to the advancement of collaborative resolution of conflicts in Utah for many years, serving as vice president of the board of trustees for Utah Dispute Resolution, a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee with the Utah State Courts, and on the executive committee of the Dispute Resolution Section of the Utah State Bar.

At the U, she has served as president of the Alumni Association and has participated on the boards of Red Butte Garden, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, and KUED-7.


PearceJohn A. Pearce BS’92 has been confirmed by the Utah Senate as a justice on the state Supreme Court. Pearce was nominated by Utah Governor Gary Herbert to fill the vacancy created by the departure of Jill Parrish, who is now a federal judge. Pearce was appointed to the Utah Court of Appeals by the governor in October 2013.

Before joining the appeals court, Pearce was an associate at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto, California, and a shareholder at Jones Waldo in Salt Lake City. He served as general counsel to Herbert, and is a professor at the U’s S.J. Quinney College of Law.

Pearce holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the U and received his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

StantonNicole Stanton BS’95, managing partner at the Phoenix office of Quarles & Brady LLP, has been elected to the American Law Institute, which works to clarify, modernize, and improve the law. As a member of the institute, Stanton will have the opportunity to influence the development of the law with fellow judges, attorneys, and academics through legal reform projects.

In the Phoenix community, Stanton serves as a founding board member and past president of the Women’s Metropolitan Arts Council of the Phoenix Art Museum as well as a member of Charter 100 Women. She was named a “Philanthropic Leader of the Year” at the 8th Annual Positively Powerful Woman Awards. She also was honored as one of the “50 Most Influential Women in Business” by AZ Business Magazine.

Stanton received her bachelor’s degree from the U and her law degree from the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona.

To submit alumni news for consideration, email

Leave a Comment

Comments are moderated, so there may be a slight delay before approved comments are posted. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).