Human Interest Stories of UA Graduates, May 13, 2000

May 3, 2000

In addition to the student award winners listed in the commencement release sent May 3, 2000, the following students represent the Class of 2000 with their successes and academic achievements:

Shannon R. Aichele will receive a bachelor's degree in Management and Policy from the Eller College of Business and Public Administration. Aichele has held a 4.00 grade point average since her freshman year at the UA. She is one of the founders and primary organizer of Project Shine. This volunteer organization has more than 160 UA volunteers who foster relationships with more than 1,500 elementary school students in the Tucson are to help increase their literacy level. She has served as a marketing intern for the United States Olympic Committee and will work for E & J Gallo wines in San Francisco upon graduation. Contact Aichele at 520-696-9755.

Steve Nover will receive his doctorate degree in Language, Reading and Culture from the College of Education. Much admired within and outside the Deaf community, Nover was educated orally at the Boston School for the Deaf in Randolph Massachusetts for 12 years. He attended Gallaudet University in Washington D. C. where he received a bachelor's degree in Psychology in 1978. After graduation, he returned to the Boston area where he served as a dorm counselor at the Beverly School for the Deaf. In 1981 he was appointed the first Deaf full-time coordinator for the Undergraduate Deaf Studies Program at Boston University. Nover obtained a Master's degree at the California State University at Northridge in Educational Administration in 1990 and came to the University of Arizona as an adjunct instructor in the Deaf Studies program. In 1991 he enrolled as a doctoral student with a minor in Anthropology. According to faculty members, Nover's impact on the department has been profound, "forcing us to rethink even the most basic concepts in language development, second language acquisition and education." He has continued his advocacy work for the Deaf in the Tucson community, principally with the Community Outreach Program for the Deaf. His dedication to Deaf education is such that has insisted on having a deaf dog with whom he practiced Dog Sign Language. In February 1997, he assumed the title of Language Planner for the New Mexico School for the Deaf where he received 1.3 million dollars in federal grants for a project called "Star Schools." The project involves a consortium of schools in Kansas, Texas and New Mexico that will develop a model for the integration of Deaf education and bilingual education approaches that will benefit Deaf children. Contact Nover in care of Professor Richard Ruiz, College of Education, 520-621-1311 or

Judy Young, the mother of three children ages 13, 11 and 5 years will complete a master's degree in Materials Science and Engineering. She has received an offer from Corning in North Carolina. The title of her thesis is "Sol-gel stabilization of high salt content nuclear waste." Young can be reached at 520-322-2301, or 722-6044 or via e-mail:

Alisa Dilic, originally from Bosnia, attended engineering school there. She and others were marched off to a "campu" where they would have been killed by Croats, but they were saved by a group of journalists. The group got to Germany and eventually to the United States. Dilic will receive her bachelor's degree with a major in mechanical engineering and is the first Bosnian graduate of the department. She is married and has one child. Alisa can be reached at 520-888-4905.

John Olson uses a motorized wheelchair. He will earn his doctorate in Electrical and Computer Engineering. In addition, he co-founded a National Science Foundation grant call Program ACCESS that encourages middle and high school students with physical disabilities to pursue a career in engineering, science or math. One of the components of Program ACCESS is a summer campu wehre students with physical disabilities come to the UA and are taught about science, math and engineering by some of the UA's top professors and graduate students. John can be reached at 520-722-4359 or via email:

Four seniors who completed a team project for Electrical and Computer Engineering with Miles Exploratory School: Austin Locke, Jordon Silk and Kevin Johnston chose to work with that school to upgrade their school computer network and to add a student-frienly user interface for video conferencing and multicast video. In the course of their work, they have gone to businesses in the Tucson area and have raised $3,600 for the necessary equipment and software as well as donating approximately 600 hours of their time which is worth between $10,000 and $15,000 in the current market. Contact Austin Locke:

The first students to receive degrees from one of the newest programs at the UA: Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering Interdisciplinary Program: Adam Budoff, Nicholas Cordaro and Kristi Hansen. The BME program was established in 1998. The research and the program's director, surgery professor, Stuart Williams has been recognized internationally for the program's work on a tissue patch that may be able to help the heart grow blood vessels that act as bypasses. Contact the students via email: or in care of Lori Taylor, Graduate Coordinator, Biomedical Engineering, 520-626-9134 or email:

Bevin Dunn was named the outstanding senior this year in the College of Fine Arts. Her goal as an artist and natural builder is to create sustainable, beautiful and healing environments for homes, schools and community spaces. She believes in finding natural and non-toxic alternatives in art and building materials. She has taught art and science to thousands of children and adults in Tucson since 1994 through performance, murals and building projects. She has incorporated her interests into a Fine Arts Studies major that combines Art, Architecture and Spirituality. She has worked with the Tucson Pima Arts Council, Pima County Parks and Recreation along with other community organizations. Dunn can be reached at 520-792-6466.

Mari Zevin-nalepa will receive her degree in Fine Arts Management with an emphasis on the visual arts, writing and business. She served as the liaison between Native Peoples and Peter Jennings ABC production staff, news crew and local media representatives for the New Millennium First Peoples' World Fair and Powwow held in Tucson during this past New Year 2000. Her energy hasn't been restricted despite a failed back surgery in 1986 which required extensive reconstruction of the spine in 1989. Contact Zevin-nalepa at 520-321-4725 or via email: