Profiles Retirees

H Blaine Furniss

Professor H. Blaine FurnissA native of Darby Montana, Professor H. Blaine Furniss began his career 37 years ago in the department of Botany and Range Science as a laboratory supervisor and transitioned to teaching as the department changed. His teaching loads increased until teaching consumed the majority of his time, yet Furniss continued to perform outstanding service behind the scenes in program management. Nevertheless, teaching was his most rewarding experience at BYU. "I loved the association I had with students and faculty," he says. "I had a wonderful career."

Professor H. Blaine Furniss
Dr. Furniss taught his last class in the Maeser Building an Honors Plant Science class in which he challenged students to engineer improvements superior to what plants already used to thrive. He received three Teaching Excellence awards during his career.
Furniss broad knowledge of botany and his love of teaching endeared him to students and colleagues alike. Dr. Duane Atwood of BYU's Stanley L. Welsh Herbarium named the plant species Phacelia furnissii after him. Another is in the process of being named after him as well.

 Dr Furniss will satisfy his passion for botany and nature by continuing to collect plants with an eye on new county or state records. "Part of the excitement in collecting is that you never know when you might encounter a new species," Furniss explains.

A talented carpenter, he built beautiful arbors and a pergola in his large backyard for family gatherings and a woodshop where he plans "to make sawdust and whatever else emerges from that endeavor." Professor Furniss enjoys outdoor activities and plans to do some fly fishing and hunting during retirement. He also hopes to visit the scenic and historic places in America that he and his wife Kay have not seen, as well as spend more time with their four married daughters and 11 grandchildren."

Duane E Jeffery

Professor Duane E. JefferyA native of Delta, Utah, Professor Duane E. Jeffery graduated from Utah State University in with a B.S. in Wildlife Management. He earned an M.S. a year later. He then studied fruit flies at University of California Berkeley receiving an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Zoology-Genetics in 1966 and 1969. He joined the Zoology Department at BYU in 1969 and become a full professor in 1988.
Dr. Jeffery spent a sabbatical year at University of Hawaii at Hilo in 1974-75, largely because Hawaii is a Mecca for fruit fly research. His research interests are in evolutionary genetics. For years he was the director of Fanny Farkle's Fantastic Fly Factory-the name his students gave his lab. "I love gaining new knowledge and sharing it with dedicated students," he say. "I can't imagine anything more exciting for a career."

Professor Duane E. Jeffery
The fruit fly has always been Dr Jeffery's passion so much, so that his students named him director of Fanny Farkle's Fantastic Fruit Fly Factory- aka his lab.
While at BYU, he won numerous teaching awards, including ASBYU "Master Teacher" (1971), BYU Honors Professor of the Year (1979), a College of Biology-Agriculture Distinguished Teacher Award (1984), a university Alcuin Award (1986-91), the Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Teacher Award (1991), a Zoology-Outstanding Service Award (1996), and a Biology-Agriculture Distinguished Teacher Award (2004). He was a long standing member of the Board of Directors of the National Center for Science Education (1994-present). He has written extensively about the compatibility of science and religion. "The church has long had the fundamental concept that God works through natural laws," he says. "Science is the study of those laws."
He and his wife, Kaye, have three children and six grandchildren. They look forward to spending more time with family and friends writing traveling and doing volunteer work."

Richard O. Kellems

Professor Richard O. KellemsAfter receiving his Ph.D. at Oregon State University, Dr. Kellems taught and conducted research at the University of Hawaii, the University of California at Davis, and Oregon State University. He later worked in industry as a ruminant nutritionist for MoorMan Manufacturing Company. BYU hired Dr. Kellems in as a large animal nutritionist to teach Animal Feeds and Feeding and Dairy Production and to conduct dairy nutrition research He was nutritionist to the university's highly acclaimed 400-cow dairy.

Professor Richard O. Kellems
Professor Kellems used his lab to research how to process carp from Utah Lake for a variety of products
Dr Kellems is the lead author in the widely used animal feeding text Livestock Feeds and Feeding that was recently translated and published in Chinese. As a Fulbright scholar to Hungary, contributor to FAO in Rome, and a dairy consultant in China, he made significant contributions to international animal agriculture. "One of the highlights of my career was to accompany undergraduate students when they worked on educational and development projects in Ecuador Bolivia and China," he says.

Over the years Dr. Kellems has collaborated with Dr. S. Fekete of Hungary. Together they have published articles on animal feeding and toxicology. In 2003, the Western Section of the Society of Animal Science recognized him for his outstanding contributions to the student Academic Quadrathlon, an academic bowl between western universities. Professor Kellems consistently fielded the strongest team in the region. As a member of the Department of Plant and Wildlife Sciences, his research has focused on the enzymatic hydrolysis of carp, an effort to make the carp population of Utah Lake a valued resource.

Dr. Kellems and his wife Wendy have 7 children and 19 grandchildren. In retirement, they plan to work on a variety of international development projects, travel, and enjoy the outdoors. "And serve a mission," he says.


Clayton M White

Professor Clayton M WhiteOrnithologists are often much like their favorite birds. Perhaps two that best describe Professor Clayton M White are the large wandering albatross and a small shorebird the wandering tattler.
Nothing defines his career better than the flow of scholarly papers he has published about raptors. With collaborators far and wide, he relentlessly pushed back the frontiers of ignorance especially when it came to the peregrine falcon. Like his favorite bird, he wandered the planet for insights and
Professor Clayton M White
Passionate about all feathered creatures, Professor White shares a particular kinship with peregrines, once endangered birds he has studied and worked to preserve since 1990s
understanding often with his family alongside.

Dr White is a collector of biological treasures. He did his collecting mostly in the summer. During the academic year, he was never far from the classroom where his students received instruction seasoned with show-and-tell skulls feathers, scales, and teeth harvested from seashores, tundra jungles, and deserts.

In addition to teaching evolution, biogeography, bird families of the world, ornithology, and vertebrate zoology, Dr. White's resume includes hundreds of published papers and technical reports, ranging from biogeography to birds killed by vehicles on Utah's highways. He has written several books, including Peregrine Quest, a book that captures his passion for world's fastest animal.

Dr. White and his wife, Merle, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this March. They have 5 children and 9 grandchildren. In retirement, Dr. White will continue to spend time with the bird collection at the Monte L. Bean Museum, and he will make weekend treks to his wife's homestead at Grouse Creek in Box Elder County, counting ravens, hawks, and falcons on the way. "