People in the Church


  • James B. Conkling of the Roseville 4th Ward, Roseville California Stake, has been give the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Inc. President's Merit Award. Brother Conkling, whose career in the recording industry included serving as founding president for Warner Brothers Records, now suffers from Alzheimer's disease and is in a care center. The award ceremony was held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., with proceeds – more than $100,000 – donated in Brother Conkling's honor to the Alzheimer's Association. The award was accepted by his wife, Donna King Conkling. Performers at the ceremonies included Buck Owens, Peggy Lee and Bob Newhart. Brother Conkling also spent many years on the board of Bonneville International and has served in a bishopric and on a high council.


  • Lisa Hopkins, a Laurel in the Eighteenth North Ward, Salt Lake Eagle Gate Stake, recently received The Harvard Book Award from the Harvard Alumni Association for being an outstanding high school student combining excellence in scholarship with achievement in other fields. She was also a recipient of a Younger Scholars Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for her project on women's issues during the Revolutionary War as they related to two of her ancestors who lived during that time. The research was conducted largely at the Church's Family History Library in Salt Lake City. In the international writing contest sponsored by BYU's English Department, she was the second-place winner in the critical essay category. She also won third place in the personal essay category. Lisa is a student at Waterford School.
  • Bryce Ready, 14, recently passed the Washington Pre-College Test with a score high enough to be accepted at California State University-Los Angeles. He will enroll in January and will pursue a degree in electrical engineering. Bryce scored 1120 on the test; a score of 1000 was needed to gain early university entrance. Only five out of every 100 students permitted to take the test for the early-entrance program are admitted. A member of the Downey 2nd Ward, Downey California Stake, Bryce is currently a freshman at Warren High School. In April, he won first place in astronomy at a California State academic olympics competition at California State University at Fullerton.

Law enforcement

  • John Fisher, senior special agent for the U.S. Customs Service, recently received the International Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association Special Award of Honor. He was selected to receive the award through an association vote and it was presented at a ceremony in West Palm Beach, Fla. Brother Fisher was nominated for the award by the U.S. attorney for the Arizona District. It was based on Brother Fisher's performance as the lead agent in Operation Gopher Grab, a complex narcotics money-laundering investigation that culminated in the seizure of $6.5 million in assets. Brother Fisher is a member of the Hillcrest Ward, Glendale Arizona North Stake.


  • Emily Porter LeSueur of the Mesa 4th Ward, Mesa Arizona Maricopa Stake, is one of 10 members selected to the United States Olympic synchronized swimming team. She will perform with the team in competition during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games at Atlanta, Ga. Sister LeSueur is currently a student at Arizona State University.
  • MacKenzie Buffalo, 15, of the Hobbema Branch, Red Deer Alberta Stake, was named the best pitcher in the juvenile fastpitch division at the North American Indigenous Games held in St. Paul/Minneapolis, Minn., recently. MacKenzie's pitching led her Canadian softball team to a bronze medal at the games. She attends Samson Cree Nation Junior High School and also enjoys cross-country skiing, volleyball, basketball, badminton, floor hockey and ice hockey.
  • Robert Blunt of the Escondido 1st Ward, Escondido California South Stake, has earned 1995 all-America honors as a rugby player at Stanford University. He is currently a senior at Stanford majoring in mechanical engineering.
  • Sherida Rogers of the Willcox 1st Ward, St. David Arizona Stake, recently won the Arizona 1A-2A state championship in cross country at Tempe, Ariz. Sherida is a sophomore at Willcox High School. She also won a regional championship.


  • Paul K. Savage of the Falls Church Ward, McLean Virginia Stake, has been awarded a Fulbright grant to conduct research in Switzerland. The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and the U.S. Information Agency announced the grant. Brother Savage, who served a mission in Switzerland, is a graduate of BYU. He also studied at Columbia Law School in New York City. Brother Savage recently founded the National Center for Swiss-American Studies Inc., a non-profit educational institution, which he will direct following his return from conducting research on the Swiss government at the University of Bern.
  • Helen Emery of the Madison 2nd Ward, Madison Wisconsin Stake, recently received an award from the Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association for organizing an intergenerational computer class at the senior center where she is director. Sister Emery wanted to give seniors an opportunity to get into the high-tech age, and recruited students from a nearby middle school to teach the classes. Computers were donated by a local insurance company that was updating its equipment. The seniors gain basic computer skills and the young instructors gain self-esteem, according to Sister Emery.


  • La Viece Smallwood of the Macclenny Ward, Lake City Florida Stake, has retired after an award-winning career writing a popular genealogy column for the Florida Times Union in Jacksonville. The column, "Out on a Limb," also appears in other newspapers around the United States. Among honors she has received is an Award of Merit from the National Genealogical Society in Washington, D.C. She is also involved in community service. She has been lauded for organizing her city's annual Christmas parade and beautifying main street by steering a project to place trees and park benches in honor of citizens' ancestors.


  • John D. Dunlap III of the Chaffey Ward, Rancho Cucamonga California Stake, recently was confirmed chairman of the California Air Resources Board by the California state legislature. He was appointed to the post by Gov. Pete Wilson. He previously served as the chief deputy director in the state Department of Toxic Substances Control and also as the public adviser for the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Currently a high councilor, he joined the Church in 1983.