FHSS Valedictorians: Paige Park, Sociology

Paige Park

Graduate Paige Park was named valedictorian for the Department of Sociology.

She grew up moving around the country with her family for her dad’s job. Though she enjoyed all of the places she lived, Paige claims Columbus, Georgia, where she went to high school, as home. The racial injustice apparent in her Columbus community prompted Paige to study sociology at BYU, where she hoped she would learn how to eradicate systemic inequality. Almost immediately after choosing sociology, Paige became involved in research and internships with professors who have continuously instructed and inspired her throughout her time at BYU.

Paige has worked on projects related to community well-being, education access, and rural health care. Currently, she is working on a project related to paid family leave that she plans to turn into her master’s thesis at BYU next year. After completing the BYU master’s program, Paige plans to attend law school to become a public interest lawyer. She would like to thank her family, friends, and BYU mentors for their continued encouragement and support. 

FHSS Valedictorians: Pamela Love, School of Family Life

Pamela Love

Graduate Pamela Love was named valedictorian for the School of Family Life. She is the daughter of Ross and Jolene Davidson.

At age 10, she set a goal to attend BYU on scholarship. Her father mentored her until she accomplished her goal. After studying elementary education for a few years, she decided to continue her education at home when she married Kevin Love in 1993.  She devoted the next twenty-five years to her family and she and Kevin now have six children: McKaila, Hunter, Emily, Weston, Elisabeth, and Abigail. When Kevin’s health prevented him from working, she returned to BYU to finish her childhood dream.

She looks forward to using her undergraduate education as a foundation as she enters the Master of Social Work program at BYU in the fall. She would like to thank BYU, her professors and mentors, and especially God, her parents, husband, and children for their support, guidance, and encouragement. 

FHSS Valedictorians: Camille Carter Tuttle, Psychology

Camille Carter Tuttle

Graduate Camille Carter Tuttle received valedictorian honors from the Department of Psychology. She is the daughter of Eric and Allison Carter and the fifth of seven siblings.

The activities she enjoys most are playing with her family, spending time outside, reading excellent books, and swimming. During her undergraduate studies and mission to Mexico, she was repeatedly drawn to the complex nature of cognition and the human experience. She is double-major in psychology and human development. Throughout her BYU education, she participated in the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) Student Outreach Council as well as Dr. Birmingham’s Health and Behavior Lab as a research assistant.

She began a master’s program in counseling psychology in January and looks forward to the day when she can open her own private practice for mental health counseling. She attributes her success at BYU to the support of her incredible husband, Lawrence, her wise professors, ambitious classmates, and to God for all He encouraged and helped her to accomplish. 

FHSS Valedictorians: Braydon Madson, Political Science

Braydon Madson

Graduate Braydon Wade Madson was named valedictorian for the Department of Political Science. He is the son of Heidi and Greg Madson.

He was born and raised in Payson, Utah and served a mission in Brisbane, Australia. During his time at BYU, he participated in a variety of programs, including internships in Washington, D.C. and Melbourne, Australia; a study abroad in the Holy Land; and a fellowship in the Global Politics Lab. He is also majoring in ancient Near Eastern studies. He participated in research that looked at minority group relations, the effects of Brexit, and the impact of the global refugee crisis.

The highlight of his undergraduate experience was working as a teaching assistant for POLI 328, Statistical Analysis. He will attend Duke University in the fall to begin work on a Ph.D. in public policy studying refugee and immigration issues, as well as expanding his quantitative skills and teaching abilities. He is extremely grateful for all the support provided by BYU faculty, his family, friends, and his fiancé and fellow political scientist, Brynne Townley. 

FHSS Valedictorians: Maci Jacobson, Neuroscience

Maci Jacobson

Graduate Maci Jacobson was named valedictorian for the Neuroscience Center.

She was born and raised in Riverton, Utah. She is a passionate BYU sports fan and is an artist, often called the “Gumwrapper Girl” for her ability to make art out of gum wrappers. In high school, Maci played and lettered in basketball, tennis, golf, and track. When injuries cut her sports career short, she focused more on school and was led to study neuroscience. She has fallen in love with the field as it has taught her more about empathy, healthy lifestyle, and the gospel. 

At BYU she found her passion for research and received two grants for undergraduate research studying the effects of nutrition and exercise on cognition. Maci hopes to eventually return to BYU as a neuroscience professor and contribute to unlocking the brain through research. Maci has been married for almost a year to Trace, the man of her dreams, and they currently live in Draper, Utah. After graduation, Maci will start her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Utah. 

FHSS Valedictorian: Miranda Jessop, History

Miranda Jessop

Graduate Miranda Jessop was named valedictorian for the Department of History.

She is an honors student double majoring in history and Spanish Studies with a minor in German, and is scholar at heart. Her parents Christopher and Tiffany Jessop often tease her about her first word, “book,” because it proved to be indicative of her future. She will graduate with four published works to her name (including one in Spanish) and has won multiple awards for her writing.

Miranda interned in Vienna, transcribing audio recordings of interviews with concentration camp survivors for the Mauthausen Survivors Project, and studied European History at the University of Cambridge. She belongs to numerous honors societies and has enjoyed serving as the president of Phi Alpha Theta and editing The Thetean.

When she isn’t researching and writing about women’s history, Miranda is likely to be found doing a jigsaw puzzle, lifting weights, practicing jiu jitsu, playing guitar, or hanging out with her four younger brothers. She would like to thank the outstanding faculty members and wonderful friends and family who have encouraged her to follow her dreams. 

FHSS Valedictorians: Aspen Neville, Geography

Aspen Neville

Graduate Aspen Emily Neville was named valedictorian for the Department of Geography. She is the daughter of Ron and Lara Neville.

Aspen grew up in Vail, Colorado. While deciding a major, she participated in the Kilimanjaro: Global Adventure Travel in Tanzania study abroad with the Geography Department. That eye-opening experience helped her find a love of geography and a desire to learn about the world around her. With the Geography Department, she has been a teaching assistant and has been involved with the BYU weather station. Additionally, Aspen has worked as a GIS (geographic information system) intern with a water conservancy district. She joined both Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key International Honor Society at BYU.

Outside of school, she enjoys long-distance running, including having run the Boston Marathon two times while attending BYU, skiing, hiking, and just being in nature. She would like to thank her parents for their constant support and love as well as the Geography Department for making her experience at BYU a memorable one.

FHSS Valedictorians: Savannah Hurley, Anthropology

Savannah Hurley

Graduate Savannah Hurley was named valedictorian for the Department of Anthropology. She is the daughter of Charlotte and Bryan Hurley. She grew up in Moab, Utah, and fell in love with studying people during her freshman year at BYU. She discovers a passion for new subjects each semester.

Last year she participated in an anthropological field school in Southeastern Utah and subsequently wrote a research thesis on the archaeology of trade in southern Utah and surrounding areas. She has enjoyed rubbing shoulders with brilliant and inspiring peers at this university.

Apart from learning, Savannah enjoys spending time with her family, collecting snakes, reading, traveling the world, and trying new foods. She would like to thank her family for their support, as well as all of her professors at BYU. In particular, she would like to thank Joseph Moody, Alexandra Brattos, James Allison, and Zach Chase for their skill in teaching and their considerate stewardship over, and even love for their students. Their inspiring words distinguished them and assured her she was worth teaching. 

FHSS Valedictorians: Victoria Beecroft, Economics

Victoria Beecroft

Graduate Victoria Beecroft was awarded valedictorian honors for the Department of Economics. She is the daughter of Collin and Melinda Beecroft and the oldest of three children.

She grew up in Belmont, Massachusetts, and served a mission in Ribeirão Preto, Brazil. As an undergraduate, Victoria worked as a teaching assistant and research assistant for various professors in the Economics Department, Marriott School and Kennedy Center. She enjoyed the opportunity that the Economics Department and the Honors Program gave her to explore various disciplines and make the most of her academic experience. Victoria also worked as an intern for finance, technology, and management consulting companies.

Through her classes and work experience, she developed a passion for economic development and education, which she hopes to incorporate into her career as a consultant.

After graduation, Victoria plans to work for McKinsey & Company and apply to graduate school. She is very grateful to the professors who took time to work with her one-on-one. She is also grateful for her friends and family for their support.

Global Women’s Studies Spring 2019 Study Abroad: Every Drop Counts

Study abroad group outside abolitionist William Wilberforce’s house in Hull, England

England, France, Switzerland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the Netherlands…sounds like the perfect European getaway, but Global Women’s Studies (GWS) students traveled to these countries for more than just sightseeing. They met with individuals and organizations who fight for human rights and women’s human rights. This past spring was the first ever BYU Human Rights/Women’s Rights study abroad, with 30 students, all GWS minors, participating in the program. 

Dr. Valerie Hegstrom, coordinator of the Global Women’s Studies program, and political science professor Dr. David Kirkham, who focuses on human rights, co-founded the study abroad. During the program, human rights classes were taught by Kirkham and women’s rights classes were taught by Hegstrom at Hyde Park Chapel in London. Hegstrom said that in addition to attending classes, students visited historical monuments involving human and women’s rights issues and met people who promote those rights. The main emphases of study were the two worst offenses of human rights: slavery and the Holocaust.  

Because of the intensity of the subjects they were studying, students shared that the program was both deeply meaningful and challenging. Emma Beaumont,  a student majoring in nursing, shared that the study abroad was “eye-opening, perspective-changing… [and] very humbling.” Joseph Fitzgerald, double majoring in psychology and German, explained that as a returned missionary from Germany, learning about the Holocaust was difficult. It was hard to learn about, because the Holocaust is “emotional” and “so many different perspectives” need to be considered when addressing it. Beaumont added that although the study abroad was “overwhelming at times, [it was] motivating to be the change and the difference you want to see from these problems.”  

Katherine Kramer, a political science major, shared that the study abroad excelled at “helping us connect with lots of different people in the sphere of human rights.” Fitzgerald said that meeting with these individuals was the “most impactful part of the study abroad,” because it was “cool to see so many organizations and people working towards progress, [since it is] easy to complain about injustices, [but] hard to make a change.” Hegstrom said that the group also visited several human and women’s rights sites, including:  

  • A concentration camp in France and the Holocaust Center in England 
  • Amar Foundation in London, where a Baroness spoke about refugees  
  • The International Criminal Court in Hague, Netherlands, where they witnessed a trial   
  • Bletchley Park, where codebreakers (many of which were women who were good at puzzles) worked to break the codes the Nazis used during World War II 
  • The European Court of Human Rights, where a human trafficking spokesperson met with them  

For GWS students, the human and women’s rights study abroad impacted them on a professional as well as on a personal level. Beaumont shared that the study abroad was “life-changing.” She used to “have the blinds on” about these issues, but now she “want[s] to be more proactive and open in talking about human rights.” Kramer said that she learned from the program that “not every person in vulnerable place/situation is going to have the same narrative/story.”  For Fitzgerald, one of the main takeaways of the program was that “we need to celebrate progress but not become complacent” with the progress made. Beaumont added that she had felt like her influence was a “drop in a bucket,” but then she learned that “every drop counts,” because these organizations have made an impact. GWS students learned that although there are many challenges still facing the world, every drop does make a difference.