Homecoming Conversation 2015, “Time, experience and joy”

Anne Cullimore Decker, Homecoming 2015

Recipient of the U’s highest award, the Honorary Doctorate, Anne Cullimore Decker.

We celebrate Homecoming 2015 with U arts alumni, Anne Cullimore Decker. Utah’s “grand dame of theater,” Anne Cullimore Decker, was recently awarded University of Utah’s highest award, the honorary doctorate.

This makes it an important year for this famed alumnus who has made huge contributions to the performing arts throughout her life and career as thespian and teacher. Anne was preparing for a trip to celebrate her 80th birthday in London with husband, Ashby and three sons.

“Our job in theater is to provoke people into looking at a fictitious character on stage, so they get a glimmer, or glimpse of themselves.”

Before the conversation had gone too far, Anne shared thoughts on the past and present that ended with an important suggestion for all students.

When asked about Decker’s achievements in the arts, graduate of the U’s Bachelor of Fine Arts, Actor Training Program, Stein Erickson said, “Anne is amazing. She is a steward of the arts and artists.”

Homecoming Conversation 2015

We got together with a few alumni to celebrate Homecoming 2015.

Distinguished alum, Larry Gluth, SVP of Habitat for Humanity (US and Canada) reflects on then and now. Larry described that leadership is about service and giving back, leadership values learned from his parents that Larry continues to rely on today.

“I’m fiercely independent. I had to work my way through school,” said Gluth.

Essentially, Larry’s job is to support hundreds of others, who support a growing network of affiliates and partners who help others build a roof over their heads. In a word, Habitat’s program is “holistic rather than incremental,” said Gluth. It’s about partnerships with families.

“My organization focuses on providing people with a decent and safe place to live.”

After a “brutal winter” at Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota, Larry and a friend visited Park City, Utah. From a “very practical perspective,” they promptly decided University of Utah “sounded terrific.”

“We realized we could go to school, and ski in the same day,” said Gluth. “So Utah it was.”

Larry and son, Connor, at Utah vs. Michigan in Ann Arbor last fall.

Larry and son, Connor, at Utah vs. Michigan in Ann Arbor last fall.

Associate Professor, Communication, University of Utah

“You can’t look at women’s health without talking about feminism.”

Robin Jensen says, “You can’t look at women’s health without talking about feminism.”

Jensen is currently exploring the rhetorical history of women’s health, and how we define what it means to be fertile.  Jensen continues to take a serious look at the implications of reducing access to healthcare, opportunity, education and professional outlets for women.

Jensen is what you call a rhetor, the kind that wins high honors in communication study, like the Karl C. Wallace Memorial Award. Rhetor, by way of Greek and Latin, is a ‘big-brained’ way to say, she is an expert on issues related to rhetoric and health communication. She is award-winning author of the book Dirty Words, teacher and student of rhetoric.

“The question is, how do we talk about these things?” said Jensen.

Taking “Newspaper to news organization”

Katherine Ellis, Editor in Chief, Daily Utah Chronicle, University of Utah. Photo by Kiffer Creveling.

“From newspaper to news organization,” a few words with Katherine Ellis, Editor in Chief @TheChrony

Its no wonder Katherine found a niche at the Chronicle. She didn’t become an editor in the traditional way. She went from night owl to early bird. She has been a writer since her first word, and her love for the written word had her editing copy long before she got to the newsroom.

“Before I could even write, I felt like I was writing,” said Katherine. “I understood the concept, but I just didn’t know how, but that wasn’t going to stop me from pretending I could.”

Despite her quiet confidence, it was exciting to hear Katherine describe how Chronicle staff once out-scooped the pros. On the job for only a year, her vision for student news paints a bright future for those seeking real-world experience.

The Rostrum: Making Noise: Sound Art and Digital Media


Erik Brunvand, Associate Professor, School Of Computing, University of Utah

This week, it’s about innovation at work. And being part of an ‘innovation ecosystem’ that will exceed your wildest expectations.

U computer science and engineering professor, Erik Brunvand, is using experimental music and electronic noise to teach non-technical students “technology fluency,” in his new class, Making Noise: Sound Art and Digital Media.

Technological fluency means you learn to understand how things operate from the inside. It’s a process where insight begins by first taking something apart, like a Barbie keyboard, and then putting it back together in a unique way that you control.

Erik Brunvand is a gregarious, bass-playing, bluegrass-loving guy. He’s open and eager to help, a TEDx featured speaker, and a fascinating expert to talk with.

If you’re a student, or anyone, who gets woozy when you think about how your iPhone works, discover how that doesn’t have to get in your way.

Erik Brunvand, Associate Professor, School Of Computing, University of Utah



Planned Parenthood CEO Kerrie Galloway on the Controversy

As we all know, the contending views on Planned Parenthood’s place in our world continue. In an interview with SLC CEO of Planned Parenthood, Kerrie Galloway confirmed the flash of recent controversy is nothing new.

Galloway smartly rebuked the tactics played by influences characterized as “’edit-savvy opponents.’” Galloway also explained that federal money never pays for abortion.

Kerrie describes the opposition that created this controversy: “Dog days of summer come,” she said. “This particular episode they formed a dummy corporation, three years ago‑BioMax, incorporated in California. They started purporting themselves as wanting to get into the business of tissue transfer for research.”

Kerrie emphatically denied SLC Planned Parenthood’s involvement in the sale of fetal tissue for profit. She said this. 

“It allows women the choice to donate tissue for scientific research, as with tissue donation at any hospital,” said Galloway. “It’s not the pretty part of medicine, but it is incredibly important.”

Dalton Edwards @TheChrony puts a cap on the issue in a recent article even as Republican lawmakers circle to defund Planned Parenthood.