Tom Lysaght 
M.F.A. ’91, Los Angeles, just published his book “Persian Passion: Of Gods and Gargoyles.” The novel describes a messianic movement instigated by a Persian prisoner in an Iranian village as the throne of Persia is fought over, all during Europe’s “Year of Revolution” in 1848. Lysaght has written multiple plays in Spanish and English, and he became founding director and resident playwright of El Teatro de Pan y Paz and manager of Radio Bahá'í of Lake Titicaca during a residence in the Andes. He also taught literature and writing at Brentwood School in Los Angeles for 20 years.


Michael Lee Perry
’97, M.Ed. ’02, Ed.D. ’13, Hot Springs, was just elected to serve as president of the Montana Association of School Superintendents.  


Justin Farley
’92, Casper, WY, was named the new president and CEO of the Casper Area Economic Development Alliance. Farley is a mentor and coach at the Wyoming Small Business Development Center and in his new position will focus on growing businesses in the Casper area. He has experience as an owner of Papa Murphy’s and Quiznos franchises.   


J.C. Weida
’92, M.S. ’95, Missoula, will enter the Montana Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame
He has worked as an athletic trainer at UM since 1996, and he became head trainer in 2013. Weida helped get the Dylan Steigers Protection of Youth Athletes Act passed by the Montana Legislature in 2013, organized an annual workshop for area athletic trainers for two decades and led an effort to ensure Montana required licensure for athletic trainers. He is only the third person to hold the title of head athletic trainer at UM since 1935.  


Mary D’Aversa
M.S. ’93, Rigby, ID, is the district manager for the Idaho Falls district of the Bureau of Land Management, overseeing nearly 4 million acres of public land. She completed the Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executive Fellows Program in 2018 and is married to Mark D’Aversa, M.S. ’98.  


David Logerstedt
’93, Newark, DE, recently was promoted to associate professor with tenure at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, where he has been a faculty member since 2015. He received the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2018. His research focuses on knee injuries, and he teaches in the musculoskeletal track of the physical therapy curriculum.


Chris Heard
’95, M.S. ’97, Butte, also will join the Montana Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame. Heard, hired right after graduating from UM, has worked with Montana Sports Medicine for 22 years and is head licensed athletic trainer. The program has 13 athletic trainers serving seven schools throughout Western Montana, and Heard has dedicated himself to providing concussion awareness to the community and pushing for state licensure for athletic trainers.


Michael Edward O’Brien 
’96, Fairbanks, AK, left Fairbanks last July for two years of adventure. Since then, his family has driven east and west across Canada and climbed, paddled and swam across the U.S. and Mexico. Along the way, they’ve enjoyed adventuring with UM friends Erika Serviss-Low ’97, Helena; Sarah Kerley Amaral ’96, Brookfield, CT; and Scott Roderick ’96, Harwinton, CT.


Michael O'Brien 


Ben Fitch 
B.F.A. ’98, Shoreline, WA, works as a special education teacher in Seattle, improving educational opportunities for traditionally underserved students, kids with special needs and students from diverse backgrounds. In his classroom, he especially fosters family and community engagement. While at UM, Fitch was Monte mascot precursor “Grizzly Otto.”
(pictured with Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau, J.D. ’04)

Ben Fitch


Daniel Breyer
’99, Peoria, IL, released a new lecture series called “Understanding the Dark Side of Human Nature.” The series, available on The Great Courses and Audible, dives into how all humans share something in common with those who do evil in the world. Brewer is an associate professor of philosophy and director of the religious studies program at Illinois State University. He has received numerous research grants for projects on philosophy and religious studies and prestigious teaching awards. “I loved my time at the University of Montana,” he says. “My experience there challenged me and even changed me in formative ways. The truth is, I wouldn’t be where I am now without that fabulous education.”  


Daniel Breyer