U-News & Views, The University of Utah Alumni Association’s Online Newsletter—April 2010

Young Alumni Spring Awards Banquet – April 21

Each spring, the Alumni Association and its Young Alumni Board (YAB) have the pleasure of honoring an alumnus/a who attended the University of Utah within the last 15 years with its Par Excellence Award. The award is presented on the basis of the recipient’s outstanding professional achievements and contribution to the betterment of society.

The YAB also recognizes a faculty or staff member with the Philip and Miriam Perlman Excellence in Student Counseling Award for his/her dedication to students in helping them steer a successful course through their studies at the University. Following are this year’s award recipients:

Par Excellence Award – Brad Wilkins BS’01

Brad Wilkins in an architect and senior designer at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, a firm that specializes in sustainable, large, mixed-use buildings. He has worked on the Chicago Olympic effort, the world’s tallest building (the Burj Khalifa), and the world’s first zero-energy, supertall  skyscraper (71 stories),  the Pearl River Tower in China.

A native of Utah, Wilkins trained with Rocco Yim in Hong Kong and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, among others. He graduated in 2001 from the University of Utah’s architecture program and in 2004 from the University of Pennsylvania’s School  of Design with a master’s in architecture.  As a senior designer at AS+GG, Wilkins has influenced several award-winning designs.

Wilkins is one of a very small group of emerging world-class architects. His brief career has been marked with a number of significant designs in sustainable, energy-efficient, super-tall buildings. His design expertise and creativity have contributed to a variety of advances in this highly competitive field. He has earned the certification of the U.S. Green Building Council for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), and is an Accredited Professional.

In addition, Wilkins is involved in a number of charitable and civic activities, including as a founding member of the Taj Heritage Foundation in Agra, India; as a member of the Chicago Architecture Foundation dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Chicago’s unique architectural heritage; and as a member of the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust, dedicated to preserving and advancing the understanding of the work and contribution of one of America’s signature architects, through volunteer participation and contributions.

Honors Wilkins has received include a Gold Award for the Pearl River Towers from the 2008 Spark Awards; the 2008 Best Green Development from the Arabian property Middle East Awards; and the 2008 Utah Heritage Award from the Utah Heritage Foundation, among others.

His current pastimes include travel, photography, reading, golf, and running. He is also a die-hard fan of Football Club Barcelona, and, of course, the Running Utes, and Utah football.

In fact, Wilkins claims that “life for me started at the U.”  He was the child of “ two struggling but happy University of Utah law students (his father is Utah Supreme Court Justice Michael J. Wilkins BS’75 JD’77, and his mother is retired Judge Diane W. Wilkins BA’75 JD’79),” so his  life has always been tied to red in some way. Indeed, he claims that “red is my favorite color and always has been.”

Philip and Miriam Perlman Award for Excellence in Student Counseling – William “Jency” Brown

William “Jency” Brown is assistant dean in University College and the coordinator for the University of Utah Scholastic Standards Program administered through University College Advising.  An engaging practitioner, Brown has been advising students for more than 15 years, during which time he has assisted countless students with issues that have had a direct impact on their academic success.  

Through the Scholastic Standards Program Brown has counseled many students who have confronted serious academic challenges at the U and has also trained other advisors on the scholastic standards policies and services. He has been proactive in identifying avenues for reducing the number of students who face academic probation—for example, by collaborating with the Math Department on early identification of students struggling to make it through the program.

Brown continually polishes his advising skills through professional development, which includes attending workshops and presentations on enhancing developmental advising strategies, understanding interest inventories, and developing effective communication skills.  He is known by faculty and students alike as a friendly, caring, and knowledgeable person who engages students in a positive way, focusing on collaboration among advisors and departments to positively impact students’ chances of success.

One of Brown’s colleagues describes him as “a very conscientious and thorough advisor who goes the extra mile for students. He does not simply dispense information but encourages students to think about their education as a whole.” A former student advisee, now a U of U graduate, says that “Jency Brown believed in me and my abilities, even though everyone else, me included, didn’t. He gave me a second chance in life, and not only was he there to show me the way, but he was also there to guide me [over] the rocky road that ultimately led to success. Jency Brown is a wonderful and compassionate person, and an outstanding academic adviser!”

Also Honored

Outstanding Seniors, selected by respective faculties and administrators from each of the individual colleges, will be acknowledged; and the Alumni Association will allocate more than $250,000 in students scholarships for 2010-2011 to the Alumni Scholar, Young Alumni Scholars, Emeritus Scholars, Alumni Bennion Fellows, and Outstanding Seniors. Scholarship funds come from individual donations, affinity partner relationships (U of U credit card, insurance programs, etc.), U of U license plate fees, and the Homecoming 5K Run and Scholarship Golf Scramble.

Thanks to all those who support the Alumni Association’s programs for making this possible!

Click here (pdf file) for a complete list of scholarship recipients for 2010-2011.

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Brad Wilkins, recipient of the 2010 Par Excellence Award

(Click here to view the list of past Par Excellence recipients)












Jenzy Brown

William “Jency” Brown, recipient of the 2010 Philip and Meriam Perlman Excellence in Student Counseling Award