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N A U C o n n e c t i o n s L u m b e r j a c k s L i n k i n g U p W i t h

Submissions to Connections are published in order of receipt and are edited for length; accompany- ing high-resolution photographs are welcome.


Ted Sorich, ‘60 B.S.ED., ‘64 M.A.ED., was the subject of a recent article in the Arizona Daily Star, recall- ing his extraordinary decision in 1956 to vacate his University of Arizona football scholarship and follow UA assistant coach Max Spilsbury to Flagstaff. Two years later, with Teddy at quarterback, NAU “rolled to 11 con- secutive victories,” and lost a nail-biter to NE Oklahoma in the NAIA champi- onship game, broadcast nationally on CBS. His unprecedented record with the Lumberjacks: 25-4-1.

Anna Ketley Becker, ‘68 B.S.ED., writes that she has kept in touch with another NAU classmate, Joann Simmons, ’69 B.S., and would love to hear from other alumni who gradu- ated about the same time. She is a semiretired college/university teacher who worked for 30-plus years in Oregon and California schools. Friends can contact her through alumni@nau.edu.


Mark Brewster, ‘70 B.S., retired in 2005 after 35 years of teaching physical education and coaching at Strath Haven High School in the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District (suburban Philadelphia). We know he must be living a busy and heads-up life, having settled in Pine- hurst, N.C., golf capital of the U.S.

A Tale of Two Newsies

Two alumni separated by a generation, Steve Zind, ’71 B.S., and Kennan Oliphant, ’00 B.S., have recently distinguished their diverse careers by winning prestigious 2007 Edward R. Murrow Awards, presented for outstanding news coverage by the Radio-Television News Directors Association. Kennan won a regional Murrow Award for investigative reporting; in 2003 he was part of a team that won for best newscast. Steve was recognized last year in two national categories: feature report- ing, for a story on a peace song competition held in Montpe- lier,Vt., and broadcast writing, about a local woman making arrangements for her own coffin.To listen to these talented broadcasters, tune in to Steve via Vermont Public Radio at vpr.net and Kennan at WDTN-TV, Dayton, Ohio, at wdtn.com.

Peter Wiebe, ‘62 B.S., Scientist emeritus with the renowned Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, passed on some photos from recent expeditions that sent us into a spiral of envy. His research interests, such as “dynamics of zooplankton popula- tions on the continental shelf region of the Western Antarctic Peninsula,” tie in with his description of the photos— including extreme locations such as “1,000 miles south of Chile, position 69.147S; 72.687W”—veritably, the ends of the earth.

Peter Wiebe,‘62 B.S.

Ron Roman Riales, ‘74 B.A., has written a science fiction novel, Red Moon (Looming of a New World Order), which is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. He was named an International Poet of Merit by the International Society of Poets and lives in Glendale, Ariz.

Debra May Himes, ‘75 B.S., a dedicated member of the NAUAA National Board of Directors, recently added several beautiful new feathers to her professional cap. In Paris for the American Society of Interior Designers 2007 Design Excellence Awards, she garnered an impressive slate of honors, including first place in product design for her “Jewels” drapery hardware.

Patti Felix Vessels Pettigrew, ‘75 B.S., wrote to NAU professor emeritus Ray Newton that she was looking for- ward to the NAUAA’s annual Del Mar race day. She also spent part of the summer “evaluating processes and streamlining” and moving/redecorat- ing offices at Cal State University San Marcos, where she is a field experience coordinator: “I have been given the task of making it a center with class and style. Fun—we don’t get to do that much in a state institution.”

Tim Delaney, ‘76 B.S., ‘77 MBA, writes of his two businesses, JDH Asset Management, a wealth manage- ment firm, and Linkenheimer LLP, CPAs and Advisors: “My client base is spread through the western U.S., which allows me to fly my airplane to see my clients.” He also notes proudly, “It has now been 30 years since I graduated from NAU.”

Michael Collier, ‘76 B.S., is a family practice doctor who spends his free time way off the golf course: flying a 52-year-old single-engine Cessna to tell the Earth’s story with breathtaking aerial images. Featured on NPR’s May 28, 2007 Morning Edition, he explains, “I want people to see beauty in the landscape … the plane is a visceral way to relate [to rocks and geology].” Michael also employs suspenseful aerobatics to capture the best sight- lines, light, and texture—and tries “not to fly into the cliffs. It’s considered bad form.”

Chris Mello, ‘78 B.S.ED., of the Alaska Energy Authority is seeing climate change fallout firsthand: the river closest to the eroded coastal village of Newtok is now so shallow that barges can no longer deliver fuel, spelling disaster for the villagers who

need to power their hunts for seal and halibut. Temporary solutions: con- structing alternative energy sources such as hydro projects, wind power- diesel hybrids or geothermal power projects.“It’s an enormous problem, says Chris,“that’s going to require enormous resources.”

Debe Campbell, ‘79 B.S., coordi- nator of the 2007 summer Junior Leadership Academy, reports on this multidisciplinary collaboration among agencies, educators, at-risk students, potential leaders and community members. Promoted by the NavCo Coalition Against Drug Abuse and de- signed by Gilbert Alvidrez, ‘81 B.S., last July’s two-week pilot academy for 15 youths focused on developing “goal setting, social and life skills, community service, oral and written communication, academic skill devel- opment, decision making/challenge exercises and drug awareness.”


John E. Cornely, ‘80 PH.D., recently retired from the Mountain-Prairie Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as migratory bird chief, has received the Department of the Interi- or’s Meritorious Service Award. His exceptional contributions to biological


Spring 2008 I naualumni.com

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