People in the Church


Arland Thornton of the Ann Arbor Ward, Ann Arbor Michigan Stake, has received two awards for his book Social Change and the Family in Taiwan. It won the 1995 Goode Distinguished Book Award given by the Family Section of the American Sociological Association, which honors the book that makes the most outstanding contribution to family studies. The book also received the 1995 Otis Dudley Duncan Book Award from the Population Section of the American Sociological Association for the best book in social demography. Brother Thornton is a professor of sociology at the University of Michigan, a research scientist at the Institute for Social Research and associate director of the Population Studies Center.


MacRay Magleby, creative director at BYU Publications and Graphics, recently received the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District Seven Tribute Award. CASE is a national organization of university and college development officers, public relations professionals, alumni officers and print and graphic designers. His recent accomplishments include the redesign of the LDS Church's logo, a commemorative postage stamp celebrating the Utah Centennial and a citation from How Magazine, which named him one of the "Twelve Most Influential Designers Today." He is a member of the Lakeridge 8th Ward, Orem Utah Lakeridge Stake.


Julie A. Barrus of the Alma 13th Ward, Mesa Arizona West Stake, has been elected to the board of directors of the National Science Teachers Association. She will serve as district director representing Arizona, Utah and Colorado beginning in June. Sister Barrus was also selected as 1996 Charro Teacher of the Year for Kiva Elementary School. She currently serves as a stake missionary.

Steven Bennion, president of Ricks College, was elected first vice president of the American Association of Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities at the association's recent meeting in Phoenix, Ariz. According to tradition, the first vice president succeeds to the presidency of the organization at the conclusion of the current president's two-year term.


Tina Johnson of the Thirteenth Ward, Salt Lake Central Stake, represented Utah at the Miss Black USA Scholarship Pageant in Washington, D.C., recently. Originally from Pennsylvania, Sister Johnson is now a sophomore at the University of Utah. In November, she was elected president of the university's African American Student Union and is involved in other school and community projects. She served in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission.


Thomas B. Griffith of the Leesburg Ward, Warrenton Virginia Stake, was recently appointed legal counsel for the U.S. Senate by then-Majority Leader Bob Dole. As Senate legal counsel, Brother Griffith is the Senate's chief lawyer and defends the Senate, its committees, officers and employees in civil litigation relating to their official responsibilities. He graduated from BYU and earned his law degree at the Virginia School of Law.

Robert A. Mills of the Odenton Ward, Annapolis Maryland Stake, recently received the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement from the director of Central Intelligence, John Deutch. The medal is one of the highest awards given to civilians in the intelligence community for exceptional service. Brother Mills is a mathematician for the National Security Agency. He was recognized for his work as lead evaluator for a range of cryptographic products developed by the federal government to protect the privacy and integrity of the communications of United States citizens and corporations.

David P. Avenius, a high councilor in the Albany New York Stake, has been appointed deputy commissioner of social services by New York Gov. George E. Pataki. The state Social Services system has 40,000 state and county employees. Brother Avenius is in charge of finance, contracting, personnel, training, planning and facility administration. He also administers all state welfare financial, program and fraud audit functions.


Reynold Gardner, elders quorum president in the Corvallis University 2nd Ward, Corvallis Oregon Stake, has received the 1995 Pacific 10 Conference Medal for Oregon State University. He was also honored as the university's top male student athlete. The conference medal recognizes exceptional achievements in athletics, outstanding scholastic accomplishments and significant qualities of leadership during the athlete's collegiate career. Brother Gardner was a two-time Pac-10 wrestling champion and was an honorable mention academic all-American.

Levi Madarieta, a priest in the Weiser 2nd Ward, Weiser Idaho Stake, turned in a winning performance in the Punt, Pass and Kick competition in the division for 15-year-olds at the National Football League's annual contest in Kansas City, Mo., earlier this year. Levi, a student at Weiser High School, had previously won competitions at Ontario, Ore., La Grande, Ore., and Seattle, Wash. His 428-foot, six-inch score in Seattle was the nation's highest total in his age group this year.

Clayton Curtis, a priest and priesthood pianist in the Alamosa 2nd Ward, Alamosa Colorado Stake, recently won his third Colorado state high school wrestling championship. He was also selected at the 1996 state tournament outstanding wrestler. He concluded the season with a 25-0 record, wrestling at 135 pounds for Class 4A Alamosa High School. He missed the first half the season after undergoing knee surgery.

Joshua Spencer, 18, won the 1996 North Carolina state high school Class 4-A wrestling championship. It was his second consecutive state championship; he claimed the Kentucky state crown at 119 pounds the year before. He won 45 of 47 matches during the past season and set a state record with 38 pins. The senior at Cary High School is a member of the Cary 2nd Ward, Raleigh North Carolina Stake.

Dan Duncombe of the Buffalo Ward, Anoka Minnesota Stake, earned high school all-America honors at a national wrestling tournament in Pittsburgh, Pa., recently. The senior at St. Michael-Albertville High School also won two Minnesota state championships, finishing his senior season with a 43-0 record at 152 pounds.


Frank Stevenson of the Champaign 1st Ward, Champaign Illinois Stake, is winner of the Wolf Foundation Prize in Agriculture for 1995-96. He has been a member of the University of Illinois agronomy faculty since 1953. He earned the award, presented by the nation of Israel, because of his work with field fertility systems, making farmers more productive. He has done some of his research in Israel.


Delecta Boman Karren of the Logan Nursing Center Branch, Logan Utah Central Stake, celebrated her 100th birthday recently. She was born in Lewiston, Utah, one of 14 children. She married Hyrum Sidney Karren on Dec. 10, 1919, in the Logan Temple and they have four children. Sister Karren now has 19 grandchildren, 41 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren. She served as a visiting teacher for more than 50 years, sang in ward and Relief Society choirs and still loves to sing alto in sacrament meeting. She is especially known for the quilts that she has made, numbering in the hundreds.


Scott S. Parker, president and chief executive officer of Intermountain Health Care, received the American College of Healthcare Executives' 1996 Gold Medal Award during a meeting in Chicago. A member of the Bountiful Hills Ward, Bountiful Utah Central Stake, Brother Parker earned the organization's highest award for significant contributions to the health-care profession during a long career. He has been IHC president since 1975.


Robert Crain and William C. Roberts of the Twenty Nine Palms 1st Ward, Yucca Valley California Stake, have distinguished themselves while stationed at the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Crain, who serves at the base naval hospital, has been qualified as a non-violent crisis intervention instructor by the National Crisis Intervention Institute. He now trains others in methods to control patients who could otherwise become violent. Marine Lance Cpl. Roberts received the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V" in a recent ceremony at the base. He received the commendation for his actions during a gun battle while he was participating in the humanitarian mission Operation Restore Hope in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed