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Alumni Achievement Awards

Congratulations 2023 honorees!

At Homecoming, BYU colleges recognize alumni for contributions to their field, communities, and the university.

See past Alumni Achievement Award Recipients here.

Christopher Clason

Marriott School of Business

Christopher Clason

BS ’90 International Relations, MBA ‘92

Lecture: Value Creation through Inspired Leadership
Time: Wednesday, October 18, 11 AM
Location: 151 TNRB

Chris Clason holds a BS in international relations and an MBA from Brigham Young University. Chris has held leadership responsibilities in great companies including Honeywell, Citigroup, and Chevron as well as with a Devonshire Investors Private Equity backed transaction. Most recently, Chris served as senior vice president and chief human resources officer for Coterra Energy and led the merger integration process that formed the innovative new energy company.

Chris has also worked at BYU’s Marriott School Career Management team. He consistently recruits BYU students and mentors them in worldwide assignments. Chris and his wife, Kristy, currently reside in Denver, Colorado, and have four children and two grandchildren. Chris and Kristy have served on the Marriott School National Advisory Council since 2007, and they are dedicated to a lifetime of community service and service in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints. Together with their children they have formed and are currently working to sustainably scale a 501c3 non-profit, OneWater, that provides water filtration solutions to impoverished villages in Nicaragua.

Dr. Daniel Crosby

David O. McKay School of Education

Dr. Daniel Crosby

BS ’03 Psychology, PhD '08 Counseling Psychology

Lecture: All is Mind: The Unexpected Role of Psychology in Life's Successes and Failures
Time: Thursday, October 19, 11 AM
Location: WSC 3220/24

Dr. Daniel Crosby is a psychologist and behavioral finance expert who helps organizations understand the intersection of mind and markets. Daniel’s first book, Personal Benchmark: Integrating Behavioral Finance and Investment Management, was a New York Times bestseller. His second book, The Laws of Wealth, was named the best investment book of 2017 by the Axiom Business Book Awards. His latest work, The Behavioral Investor, was Axiom's best investment book of 2019 and is a comprehensive look at the neurology, physiology, and psychology of sound financial decision-making. His books have now been translated into 14 different languages. When he's not decoding market psychology, Daniel is a father of three, a fanatical follower of the St. Louis Cardinals, an explorer of the American South, and an amateur hot sauce chef.

Karl Fails

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering

Karl Fails

BS ’99 Chemical Engineering and Math

Lecture: Fueling Your Future
Time: Thursday, October 19, 11 AM
Location: JSB Auditorium

Karl Fails has more than 20 years of experience in the downstream energy industry with a track record of successfully leading various operations and commercial functions. He currently serves as the chief operations officer of Sunoco LP where he is responsible for overall financial and operational performance of the company, including direct management of transportation and midstream operations and commercial business development activities. During his tenure at Sunoco LP, he has held various other leadership positions, including chief commercial officer. He has helped strengthen and transform the company into the nation’s largest independent fuel distributer and one of the best-performing public energy MLPs of the last five years. Prior to joining Sunoco LP in 2010, Karl served in various operations and engineering roles in the refining business for both Valero Energy and Exxon. He holds bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering and math from Brigham Young University (1999) and an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley (2006). Outside of work, he loves skiing, running and BYU football. He and his wife, Jolene, have five children.

Mayor Michelle Kaufusi

College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Mayor Michelle Kaufusi

BS ’16 Geography

Lecture: A Career and Life Superpower: Teambuilding
Time: Thursday, October 19, 11 AM
Location: 250 KMBL

Michelle Kaufusi is a Provo girl born and raised and has long been actively involved in community service—eventually making history as Provo’s first female mayor. Honored as Utah’s 2019 Informed Decision Maker of the Year and the 2022 Utah Valley Chamber Champion, Mayor Kaufusi continues her regional leadership in many important appointed positions. Her leadership led to national accolades for Provo City—most notably being honored by the distinguished Milken Institute as the nation’s Best-Performing City for an unprecedented three consecutive years from 2021–23. In addition to raising five children, each of whom was a college athlete, there has been a steady stream of cousins and friends who have called the Kaufusi residence home. While raising her children, she volunteered wherever she could to be near them. In time, she found she was leading PTAs and even chairing the school board, as well as serving on a committee with regional or statewide reach. Married to her BYU sweetheart, Steve, she is proudest of her four (and counting!) adorable grandchildren.

Ben Hoppe

College of Fine Arts and Communications

Ben Hoppe

BA ’98 Theatre and Media Arts

Lecture: Preparation for Possibility: The Plan of Happiness & a Stewardship-Focused Career
Time: Thursday, October 19, 11AM
Location: WCCB Auditorium

A seasoned professional with a passion for creativity, Benjamin Hoppe was born and raised in California the youngest of three boys. Before graduating from high school, he attended the BYU Summer Theater Workshop and performed in the Harris Fine Arts Center. Performing at BYU solidified a desire to come back as a student. After attending BYU for a year, Benjamin served in the Taiwan, Tai Chung Mission from 1992 to 1994. Upon returning to BYU, he earned a BA in theatre and media arts and relocated to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. In 2001, he joined the Disney Character Voices department of The Walt Disney Company. As creative director since 2009, he contributes to the magic and legacy of Disney's stories. Specializing in directing performers who voice Disney and Pixar animated characters for projects ancillary to feature films, he has worked with scores of business partners inside and outside of Disney, directing thousands of recording sessions with rookies, voice-over veterans, and celebrities. In 2010, Benjamin married Diana Olsen, and they have been blessed with a wonderful daughter.

Barry S. Olsen

College of Humanities

Barry S. Olsen

BA ’95 Spanish Translation

Lecture: Musings from a Life in Many Languages
Time: Thursday, October 19, 11AM
Location: B092 JFSB

Barry Slaughter Olsen is a veteran conference and diplomatic interpreter who has worked with world leaders and international organizations all over the world. For over 30 years, his career has centered on all things language and multilingual communication. In 2009 he cofounded InterpretAmerica, an entity dedicated to raising the profile of interpreting. From 2007 to 2022, he was a professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey where he taught translation and interpreting and pioneered the remote teaching and learning of interpreting. Barry has worked with some of the most innovative video and audio-conferencing companies like Zoom, KUDO, Boostlingo, and ZipDX to develop remote interpreting technology, and he is the coauthor of two patents. Barry has been interviewed by international media (CNN, CBC, MSNBC, NPR, PBS, and WIRED) about interpreting and translation, and he is an executive producer of the documentary Interpreters Wanted about military interpreters in Afghanistan. He currently resides in the Washington, D.C., area with his wife, Julieta. They have two children.

Steven Bennett

J. Reuben Clark Law School

Steve Bennett

BA ’87 Accounting, JD ‘90

Lecture: GO AND DO— The World Needs Doers!
Time: Thursday, October 19, 11 AM
Location: 303 JRCB (Moot Courtroom

Steve Bennett holds a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in accounting and a juris doctorate, magna cum laude, from BYU. He is a certified public accountant. Steve is the founder and managing partner of Bennett Tueller Johnson & Deere, a law firm in the Salt Lake City area that serves sophisticated clients in transactional, litigation, tax, and estate matters in the western United States. He is an advisor to numerous entrepreneurs and various business enterprises, and he serves on the board of trustees of many charitable and philanthropic organizations. In addition to practicing law and managing a law firm, Steve is an active entrepreneur involved in many other businesses including construction, real estate development, and technology investments. Steve and his wife, Brenda, reside in North Salt Lake City and are the parents of five children, all of whom are BYU graduates. Steve enjoys travelling, mountain biking, boating, hunting, skiing, and a myriad of other outdoor activities.

Earlene Durrant

College of Life Sciences

Earlene Durrant

BA ’62 Physical Education and Health Minor, MS '63 Physical Education and Health & Safety Education Minor, EdD Physical Education '75

Lecture: Faith: Determination and Resilience
Time: Thursday, October 19, 11 AM
Location: 267 RB

A trailblazer in exercise science, Earlene Durrant forged a place for women within her career by advocating for equal opportunities for female athletes/athletic trainers. Durrant earned a doctorate in physical education from BYU before completing postdoctoral studies at notable universities, including MIT’s Sports Medicine Institute. She was BYU’s head women’s trainer from 1972–1990, becoming the first female athletic trainer employed by the university. Jointly, she directed the athletic training program and developed its curriculum. She later chaired BYU’s Department of Physical Education. Dr. Durrant continuously championed opportunity, becoming the first Utah resident certified by the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA). She later became the first female chairperson within NATA, and the first female elected president of the Utah Athletic Trainer’s Association. She served in leadership capacities for many professional organizations, including the 2002 Olympic Organizing Committee. Her pursuit of gender equality within her field led to her induction in the National Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame (2000), the Utah Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame (2003), and the Utah Sports Foundation Hall of Fame (2012).

Shannon Francis-Clegg

College of Nursing

Shannon Francis-Clegg

AD '83 Nursing, BS '87 Nursing, MBA '90 Business Administration

Lecture: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
Time: Thursday, October 19, 11 AM
Location: Alice Louise Reynolds Auditorium (1060 HBLL)

Shannon Clegg’s career focused on combining her nursing and MBA degrees to improve patient care and healthcare delivery. Her career began in Newborn Intensive Care, helping develop two Perinatal Outreach Programs. In 1996, she became one of Utah’s first internationally board-certified lactation consultants. She led Intermountain Lactation Services redesign and helped found Mountain West Mother’s Milk Bank. Shannon designed and led many services including Physician Recruitment and Pain Management. The past 18 years focused on healthcare strategy while maintaining a few clinical shifts each month to work directly with patients and colleagues. Volunteer work included serving in the Church’s Missionary Department for twelve years overseeing nurses caring for missionaries. She led a maternity hospital’s development in Tanzania and serves on the Board of Edna Adan Maternity Hospital in Somaliland. Currently, she’s helping the Utah Department of Corrections open a nursery in the prison so eligible incarcerated women can keep their babies with them. Retired after 39 years at Intermountain Healthcare, Shannon started a healthcare consulting business and enjoys humanitarian work. She and her husband, Steven are the proud parents of six children and four grandsons.

Tom Chidsey

College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences

Tom Chidsey

BS '74 Geology, MS '77 Geology

Lecture: Life Lessons as a Student of the Earth
Time: Thursday, October 19, 11 AM
Location: C295 ESC

Tom Chidsey, an Emeritus Senior Scientist for the Utah Geological Survey (UGS), officially retired in 2020 after 31 years of service. Tom graduated magna cum laude from BYU with a BS and MS in geology. During his 45-year career, Tom worked for Exxon in South Texas and for Celsius/Wexpro (now Dominion Energy) in Salt Lake City, generating 70 oil and gas drilling prospects. While with UGS, Tom researched Utah petroleum geology, carbon dioxide resources and sequestration, hydrogeology, microbial carbonates, Mars rover protocols, and the general geology of Utah’s parks. He has authored or co-authored over 170 papers and 100 abstracts, also working as editor or co-editor of 13 geologic books and bulletins. He served on the BYU Geology Alumni Board from 2002 to 2020 and has been a member of the CPMS Volunteer Leadership Council since 2007. Tom continues to enjoy leading field trips, giving lectures, and conducting core workshops for geologic societies, the public, and universities— especially BYU. Tom and his wife, Mary, have two sons, one daughter, and nine grandchildren.

Marc Chenn

David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies

Marc Chenn

BA '01 International Studies, MBA '07 Finance

Lecture: Thinking Big and Showing Up: How to Work and Win on a Global Stage
Time: Thursday, October 19, 5 PM
Location: 238 HRCB

Marc Chenn co-founded and was CEO of SaltStack, an industry-leading enterprise security operations platform which he led to a successful acquisition by VMware in 2020. He has extensive experience in the systems management industry with Altiris where he participated in its 2002 IPO and eventual acquisition by Symantec. In 2009, Marc joined fin-tech startup Compliance11 which was acquired by Charles Schwab. He also worked for Morgan Stanley’s investment management division in New York City. Marc earned a BA in International Studies and an MBA in Finance from Brigham Young University, where he was an All- American high jumper and member of the U.S. Olympic development team. He serves on the Forbes Technology Council, Silicon Slopes Board, and on BYU Kennedy Center’s International Advisory Board. Marc lives in Highland Utah with his wife and has three children. He loves to travel and enjoys cooking, cycling, and supporting other entrepreneurs.