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CHaSS Dean's Advancement Board

The Dean's Advancement Board for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences is an advisory board with the goal of promoting and advancing the college's needs. Made up of former Aggies who are now leaders and influencers in their communities and industries, the board seeks to fulfill three objectives:

1. To provide our students with needed scholarship funds.
2. To enhance a student's experience by providing such opportunities as internships.
3. To support students and faculty by securing funding for needed facilities.
We invite you to join the CHaSS Advancement Board in these endeavors.

Jim Ackerman

Jim Ackerman

Jim Ackerman is a '75 graduate in Journalism & Communication. He is a marketing and advertising speaker, trainer, marketing coach and author who specializes in direct response and alternative marketing.

He has written material for such companies as Novell, Franklin Covey, Nature’s Sunshine, Herba-Life, Jafra and Melaleuca. He also focuses on efforts to help small- to medium-size business owners increase sales and profits.

As the author of the book How to Market your Crap When the Economy is in the Toilet, Ackerman seeks to help businesses apply his "12 Vital Strategies to Unclog the American Economy, One Business at a Time." Also, Ackerman is the president and CEO of Ascend Marketing, Inc., the  founder of The Marketing Master’s Alliance and publisher of The Marketing Master’s Alliance Newsletter. He's also worked as a national columnist and author of many articles in a broad array of industry publications.

Nate Alder

Nate Alder

Nate Alder is a ’91 graduate of history. While a student, he was vice president of ASUSU and was named USU's Man of the Year.

Alder graduated from Indiana University-Bloomington with a master of public affairs and a law degree. After clerking for the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, he joined Christensen & Jensen, a litigation, trial and appellate firm in downtown Salt Lake City. His law practice focuses on commercial, business, pro-fessional, products, insurance and other complex litigation matters.

Alder was appointed by Gov. Gary Herbert to the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission. He's a member of the House of Delegates for the American Bar Association and serves on the Salt Lake City Police Foundation Board of Directors.

Alder and his wife, Laurel Cannon Alder, are committed to improving the lives of students through their volunteer work with the university.

Steve Barth

Steven Barth

Steve Barth is the owner of SB Strategies, a public relations, lobbying and consulting firm, specializing in local government, telecommunication, non-profit and hospitality issues.

A member of the Utah State House of Representatives from 1992 to 1998, service within the community is a priority for Barth. He has served on a number of boards of directors for such organizations as the Utah State Fair, Utah's Hogle Zoo, Utah Habitat for Humanity and Ririe/Woodbury Dance Company. His favorite service, however, has been as a Wishgranter for Make a Wish Foundation of Utah.

Barth is a Utah State Department of Corrections Honorary Warden and was the American Council of Young Political Leaders, Alumni of the Year in 2005, Utah Psychological Association Advocate of the Year in 2009 and is a  He has coached the Salt City Slugs Rugby Team, likes to collect books and music and, in any extra time, enjoys fly fishing.

Cecelia Foxley

Cecilia Foxley

Dr. Cecelia Foxley, an English alumnus, has served for over 10 years as commissioner of the Utah System of Higher Education and chief executive officer for the State Board of Regents.

Prior to that, she served the Utah System of Higher Educa-tion as the deputy commissioner and associate commissioner for academic affairs.

Foxley's institutional experience includes faculty and administrative positions at Utah State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Minnesota.

After graduating from USU, she taught high school honors English. She earned a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with emphasis in Administration, Teaching, Research and Counseling, as well as a  master's degree in English from the University of Utah.

She currently serves on several boards and remains active as a higher education consultant.

Catherine Goodman

Catherine Goodman

Catherine Goodman is a 1990 graduate of English literature with a minor in French. She has 20 years of experience in marketing, communications and branding and currently serves as national marketing manager for Summit Financial Resources, a private commercial lender in Salt Lake City.

Before her current position, she spent six years as a project director for Carbone Smolan Agency in New York City, where she managed multi-million dollar strategic marketing projects for clients such as Morgan Stanley, Deloitte and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

She also worked in New York as a vice president of marketing for Bankers Trust and associate vice president of marketing for the Zurich Group.

Goodman began her career in public relations at Imperial Bank in Los Angeles.

Robert C. Gross

Robert Gross

Robert C. Gross has served as a private and public sector CEO, a commercial attorney, a member and chair of many boards, and an educator.

He is the founder of Robert C. Gross Associates, a public policy/ commercial conflict resolution firm. As such, he advises boards and organizational executives in both the public and private sectors.

Gross is the former president and executive board chair of First Interstate Bank of Utah, where he also worked as general counsel and head of retail banking.

As the founding executive director of Utah's Department of Workforce Services, he consolidated six state agencies into a streamlined one-stop agency. Later, at the request of the White House, he served for six months in Baghdad, Iraq, as an adviser to the Iraqi Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

Medhi Heravi

Medhi Hevari

Dr. Mehdi Heravi was born in Tehran, Iran. He moved to Logan, Utah, for high school and remained in Logan to continue his education.

He received a bachelor's degree in Political Science in 1963 and a master’s degree in 1964, both at USU. He received his Ph.D. from the American University School of International Service. Heravi later served as vice president and provost at the University of Iran.

After retirement, Heravi focused his time on philanthrophy, providing support to academic programs and charities, including an orphanage in Iran.

 He is passionate about encouraging young academic talent, and he cares deeply about students receiving access to international programs and other academic opportunities.

Sylvia Jones

Sylvia Jones

Sylvia Jones successfully merges her expertise in finance and bank-ing with a passion for improving education and mentoring young women.

She works with Wells Fargo’s Consumer Lending Group, a leading provider of student loans. There, she serves as assistant vice president / market relationship manager for education financial services. Her focus is helping clients make informed decisions about financing a college education.

Jones is a veteran of the financial education industry. She has held leadership positions at Citibank and Discover Student Loans. Earlier, she served as director of financial aid at Colorado Mesa University.

A resident of Macon, Ga., Jones and her husband Paul have two children, both Aggies. She holds a bachelor's degree in economics from USU and an MBA from Western State Colorado University.

James King

Brig. Gen. James King

Lt. Gen James C. King, retired, is a former military intelligence officer who served on active duty from 1968 to 2001. Following retirement, he was the director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, an intelligence agency.
King earned a bachelor of science in political science, where he was a distinguished military graduate in USU's Army ROTC. He later received a master's degree in public administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

A former member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he was director of intelligence for the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).

As a civilian, King continued to work in defense and intelligence-related industries. In 2005, he was named CEO of MZM, Inc. He also served on the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the U.S. Regarding Weapons on Mass Destruction.

Kathie Miller

Kathie Miller

Kathie Miller is the founder of the Mark and Kathie Miller Foundation, along with her husband Mark Miller. She and her family fund a variety of projects and charitable efforts, including the Huntsman Cancer Center, Utah's Hogle Zoo and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.

Miller earned her USU bachelor's degree in English in 1971. She and her husband are the owners of the Mark Miller Auto Group, which operates five dealerships in the Salt Lake Valley.

Miller currently serves on the executive committee of the United Way of Utah, the advisory board of the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault, as secretary for the Planned Parenthood Action Council of Utah and as director of the nonprofit Artspace.

The Millers received the Next Generation Spirit of Giving Award at Utah Philanthropy Day in 2000. 

John Lewis Needham

John Needham

John Lewis Needham has enjoyed a lifelong association with Utah State. He completed a bachelor of arts degree in Liberal Arts and languages, with honors. While taking courses in the American Studies graduate program, he taught beginning French.

Needham also studied at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the International School of Manage-ment in Paris, and the University of Vienna. Needham is currently the VP of business development for The Table of Contents Group (wigglish.com), an online retailer.

In eight years at Google, he developed strategic partnerships and managed partner programs for Google Search and other Google products including Book Search, Earth, Finance, Maps and Scholar.

He has also held editorial and marketing positions at Cambridge University Press and Congressional Quarterly. 

Jessie Lynn Richards

Jessie Richards

Jessie Lynn Richards teaches writing, communication and rhetoric at the University of Utah and Westminster College in Salt Lake City. She's a CHaSS Aggie, having earned a bachelor's in Engish with an emphasis on technical and professional writing in 2004.

Richards also directs a nonprofit foundation, Fight Against Domestic Violence. FADV seeks to provide education, awareness, as well as outreach and financial resources to domestic violence victims and their communities.

Richards earned a Ph.D. in communication and writing studies from the U of U, as well as a master's degree in rhetoric and writing studies from San Diego State University. Her research investigates the intersection of memory, trauma and identity in the context of war. She also runs a corporate communication consulting business, Intercom Strategies.

Chris Seibert

Chris Seibert

Chris Seibert, a member of USU's class of 1975, has 35 years of experience in banking, automation and data management. He began his career at Chase Manhattan in Heidelberg, Germany, where he oversaw military banking in support of the U.S. Defense and State departments.

Over the next 14 years, he held assignments with international financial institutions in Stuttgart and Frankfurt, as well as Athens. He returned to the U.S. in 1995 to focus on a global-automation program with American Express in Salt Lake City. He retired in 2013 as the firm's director of finance for data management.

Now a resident of Sandy, Seibert is trust administrator for a number of individuals and organizations. With his brothers, he has esta-blished six scholarships, including two at USU, as well as an annual student aid grant program.

Tim Stewart

Tim Stewart

Tim Stewart has been a founding partner of three consulting and government relations firms: American Capitol Group, Energy North America and most recently The Bennett Group, a business-consulting firm founded in 2011 with his former employer, Sen. Robert Bennett.

Stewart is also the vice president of the U.S. Oil and Gas Association.

Stewart's long-time career in the federal government began as legislative staff for Sen. Bennett, specializing in energy, natural resources, public lands and environmental policy. Those skills carried to his next position as chief of staff to the House Committee on Natural Resources. Stewart continues to shape energy policy, representing a number of energy interests, universities, municipalities and trade associations.

Roger O. Tew

Roger Tew

Roger O. Tew has been involved with state taxation and other public policy issues for more than 30 years. During his career, he served in several positions in Utah State government, including three terms as a member of the Utah State Tax Commission, executive director of the Utah Constitutional Revision Commission, and general counsel for the Utah State Legislature.

Tew now operates his own legal and consulting firm, where he specializes in state and local taxation and government affairs.

Tew earned an undergraduate degree from USU, as well as a master's degree in economics. He later received a law degree from Brigham Young University.

Tew and his wife Paula, also an Aggie alumnus, have four children, including two Aggie graduates and one current USU student.

Brian L. Tarbet

Brian Tarbet

A retired U.S. Army major general who commanded the Utah National Guard for 12 years, Gen. Brian L. Tarbet, retired, currently serves as general counsel in the Utah Attorney General's Office.

Previously, he served as the division chief of Tax & Revenue in the Attorney Genera's Office, which included serving as counsel to the Utah State Tax Commission.

Tarbet earned his B.A. from USU in Political Science, Business and German. Later, he received his law degree from the University of Utah. He was named a National Security Fellow by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

As part of a 40-year military career, Tarbet served from 2000-2012 as Adjutant General of Utah in the Utah National Guard.

Tarbet and his wife Mary live in Kaysville.

Ara Serjoie

Ara Serjoie

Ara Serjoie, who has held fundraising leadership positions at five higher education institutions over 20 years, now serves as vice president for advancement at Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C.

Before moving to that position in 2016, he served concurrently as vice president of university advancement at California State University East Bay and as president of the Cal State East Bay Educational Foundation.

In many non-academic professional roles, he was director of development and alumnae relations for the Girl Scouts of Utah, director of organizational advancement for the Utah Diabetes Center at the University of Utah, and develop-ment director for the College of Applied Science and Technology at Weber State University, where he was part of a team that raised over $90 million.