Think an internship is not for You? Think Again.

Does a student with a social science major have a potential place in the police department? The police department seems to think so. Otherwise, they probably wouldn’t have set up shop at the FHSS internship fair last month.

For the past four years, the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences has supported an Internship Fair for social science majors and minors. The fair has grown from 30 Internship Providers and 300 participating students the first year to 50 Internship Providers and 700 student participants this year. There were several kinds of internships offered at this year’s fair including:

  • Business
  • Non-profit
  • Social Work
  • Criminal Justice
  • Family Support
  • Treatment Programs
  • Gerontology
  • Fashion Design/Production
  • Interior Design
  • Victim Advocacy
  • International through BYU
  • Washington Seminar

Karen Christensen, Internship Coordinator for BYU’s College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences, has been organizing the event since its outset. “Often students think they need to finish up all of their coursework before they consider what they can do with their degree,” says Christensen, “But the best way to make the most of your undergraduate program is to integrate experience opportunities all along the way. Students can participate in basic volunteer opportunities early in their program and then participate in more meaningful internship experiences during their junior and senior years.”


“Sometimes social science majors start out planning on graduate school and then decide that is not the right plan for them. At that point, they think there are no other options available for them. That’s when internships can be really beneficial in trying out some other options. There are a wide range of opportunities available to students in the social sciences; it’s just a matter of getting out there in the mix to discover some of them.”

Social science majors can actually pursue a wide variety of careers, Many organizations are recognizing the benefits of hiring people who can think critically, problem-solve, communicate effectively, and understand people and relationships; and a background in the social sciences is the perfect fit.


That being said, social science graduates need to be able to connect the dots for the employer to show how their training and background has prepared them to be well-suited for the organization. And  internship experience can be what demonstrates that match. This is not only because it shows they have work experience, but because it can give them a chance to explain how they’ve applied the skills they acquired in the social sciences to real-world scenarios.


“It’s critical to get experience along with your coursework. Doing so really helps you to apply the skills you’ve learned in the classroom – and that experience helps you be more marketable at graduation,” says Christensen. The Internship Fair helps students see the  many opportunities available and can help them make connections with organizations that will strengthen their resumes and grad school applications in the future.

If you missed the fair, you can still find out about internships by calling 801-422-2168 or coming to 944 SWKT, or checking out their social media channels.

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Did you go to the Fair? What did you think?


I Seek Dead People: Family History Education


Brigham Young University-Provo is known for several things: being the number one stone-cold sober school, being the largest private religious university in America, and having the only four-year degree program for Family History–Genealogy. In the United States of America, Western Europe, Asia and elsewhere, no other university offers a Bachelor of Arts in this major that educates students in both history and genealogy.

At the recent RootsTech Conference, BYU had a presence, with representation from the Harold B. Lee Library Special Collections unit, the Center for Family History and Genealogy and the Family History Technology Lab as well as the Family History program.

Family History Coordinator and BYU History Professor Amy Harris, who supervises the program’s recruitment and curriculum standards says an event like RootsTech helps raise the profile and recognition of BYU’s commitment to genealogy research and education. “It’s my hope that BYU becomes more associated with high-quality genealogy and family history education and that BYU gets recognition as a major player in the genealogy community,” Harris says.

The Family History program, which receives support and funding on both the department level and college level and from donors, employs 40 students in the CFHG research lab and sends students domestic and abroad for hands-on field research and mentored student learning.

Students at the Center for Family History and Genealogy are currently seeing the migration and impact of their work for people’s use.  In partnership with LDS Church Historic Sites, students are identifying residents of Nauvoo, Illinois, from 1839 to 1846. Each resident, to the extent possible, has records trailing from birth to death. All this data is free and accessible for curious minds and researchers into the history of the Nauvoo community.

The findings can be located on FamilySearch’s Family Tree. Complete research logs along with other discoveries are just within a mouse-click reach. Learn more about the Nauvoo Community Project that is dedicated to academic genealogical research.

The Family History and Technology Research Lab also has multiple projects on the line like Relative Finder that allows you to uncover how you are related to your everyday associates: co-workers, prophets, historical figures…you name it. FHTR is always developing the latest in creative, fun applications for family history, so keep checking!


Rootstech and BYU: Enthusiastic About Family History


Connecting with your ancestors has never been easier and BYU is right there in the action. Students and faculty showcased the good work being done on campus for Family History this weekend through their interactive booth at RootsTech, the largest family history conference in the world.


BYU has participated in RootsTech every year since it began in 2011. This was the first year that most of the BYU departments that participated in the conference came together to form one large booth. This interactive booth encouraged conference attendees to explore BYU’s many resources for family history. It highlighted BYU’s 4-year family history bachelor’s degree, library resources, innovative computer applications, and opportunities to publish family history. Seven departments from BYU participated in the booth:

  • The Center for Family History and Genealogy,
  • Family History Program/Degree,
  • Family History Library,
  • HBLL Special Collections,
  • Computer Science,
  • Print & Mail,
  • Bachelor of General Studies/Independent Studies.

Steve Rockwood, managing director for the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and President/CEO of FamilySearch International, as well as a BYU alum, was a keynote speaker during the conference. He spoke about the ever expanding definition of family history. “The millennials and the teenagers of today, they are a journaling generation like the world has never seen before. They just happen to do it in small little tweets and posts and snapchats,” said Rockwood. He encouraged participants of the innovator summit to think about the potential enhancements of everyday life if family history was used and thought about as frequently as math. He asked if anyone had used an alarm clock to wake up or determined what time to be out the door in order to make it to the conference on time. “You actually did math this morning and you didn’t even know it!” he said. Watch his full speech here.

Family History Portal page.JPG

One focus of the conference was looking to the future. Our own lives will one day be the family history for our posterity. Taysom Hill, a BYU football player, participated in the conference and spoke during the Family Discovery Day Youth and Family Session. In September 2015, Hill suffered his third season-ending injury, this time as the senior quarterback. Many stories have been told of his leadership, determination and influence on and off the field. Hill was asked what stories he thinks will live on with his children and grandchildren. Hill chose to focus on the future, not the past. He said, “As I look back, I’m 25-years-old, you know, I hope that I haven’t hit the pinnacle of my life. I hope that I can still accomplish a lot of really great things that will make my kids proud.”

Check out BYU’s new Family History Portal, where all of the resources we had available at Rootstech, plus many others, are available in one convenient place online. And find out more about our college’s involvement in RootsTech and in the nationwide surge of interest in family history in our upcoming 2016 Connections issue!


Did you attend Rootstech? What was your favorite part?

Students: Here Is a Great Opportunity to Add to Your Resume




The College of Family, Home and Social Sciences invites undergraduate and graduate students from all departments in the college to participate in the Annual Mentored Student Research Conference funded by the Mary Lou Fulton Endowed Chair.


Class Project Participants: Some classes require you to complete a research project. You may use that project to present at the conference. Individual and group projects are welcome.

Students with Specific Research Interests: You may have a particular idea of what you would be interested in researching. Search for a faculty member that shares that interest and see if they are willing to guide your project.

Students who have been invited by faculty to participate: You may be selected by a faculty member to assist with their research.


1. Create a research project.

2. Make a poster with your findings

3. Submit your poster online by the deadline.


• Your participation gives you an opportunity to develop your presentation skills by articulating your findings to a broad audience.

• It may help clarify your future educational and career goals.

• It looks good on a resume.

• Networking- you get to know faculty members who may write letters of recommendation.

• You may be able to publish your findings.

• You learn more about the research process.



Cash prizes are offered for winning posters in each department.

All students are welcome to participate!


April 7, 2016

For more information, visit

Harvard Professor to Speak at Durham Lecture

The BYU Political Science Department will be hosting this year’s G. Homer Durham Lecture, with Roger Porter, IBM Professor of Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Professor Porter’s lecture is entitled: “Presidential Leadership in a Challenging Time: How Shall We Measure the President?”

Cambridge, Massachusets

Roger B. Porter joined the Kennedy School faculty in 1977, and has served for more than a decade in senior economic policy positions in the White House, most recently as Assistant to the President for Economic and Domestic Policy from 1989 to 1993. He served as Director of the White House Office of Policy Development in the Reagan Administration and as Executive Secretary of the President’s Economic Policy Board during the Ford Administration. He is the author of several books on economic policy, including Presidential Decision Making and Efficiency, Equity and Legitimacy: The Multilateral Trading System at the Millennium. An alumnus of Brigham Young University, Porter was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where he received his BPhil degree. He was a White House Fellow from 1974 to 1975 and received his MA and PhD degrees from Harvard University.

February 4, 2016

11:00 AM

Room 250 SWKT (Spencer W. Kimball Tower)

The Realities of Trauma: Hope for Victims of Traumatic Brain Injury

Trauma appears to touch nearly everyone, from veterans in the post 9/11 era, to mothers, children, and people in your neighborhood. In fact, there seems to be no shortage of trauma-related events. Fifty-two percent of of combat veterans who served in the post 9/11 wars said they had suffered emotionally traumatic or distressing experiences while in the military, according to a Pew Research Center study.

The November 2015 Social Work Conference, sponsored by BYU’s School of Social Work, the Marjorie Pay Hinckley Endowed Chair, and the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences, brought speakers and specialists to discuss the newest data for and share ways to care for those dealing with trauma.

As defined by the School of Social Work, trauma is most accurately characterized as the emotional response to a disturbing or distressing event that an individual experience. It’s a difficult subject, but one about which faculty and mental health professionals were able to provide a variety of treatment options and inspiring success stories. There is hope for those who’ve suffered trauma.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

It is estimated that there are about 1.7 million for people each year who suffer from a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Fifty-two thousand people will die as a result of their injury. About 1.4 million people with TBI’s are admitted to and released from ER’s each year. Veterans from past wars are at increased risk for dementia from traumatic brain injuries are being added to long lists at Veteran Administration hospitals. The biggest causes of TBI are:

  1. Transportation/Motor Vehicle accidents (ex: alcohol/boating)
  2. Falls (elderly 65+ and young children)
  3. Assaults/guns (leading to open head trauma)
  4. Sports/ recreations (boxing/soccer)

Soccer-playing female athletes sustain the most head injuries because of contact with other players (usually on the ground). Field actions may lead to whiplash or an elbow to the head. Some research has found that neck strength is an indicator for concussions. For men, after football, the second biggest cause of TBI is ice hockey, followed by wrestling and rugby. For children who are younger than age 14, they most likely suffer TBI after falling or playing sports. For those older than that, the leading cause is motor vehicle accidents.

Michael Larson, associate professor of psychology at BYU, reported that there is a huge need for skilled people, such as neuropsychologists, to examine traumatic brain injuries (TBI) more closely . TBI is the leading cause of death and disability for adolescents in America and results in emotional and cognitive difficulties, particularly because the brain’s frontal lobe is not fully developed until age 24. Brain injury before then can result in poorer inhibition and less mature decision-making. It can also have other effects:

Common Behavioral Changes:

  • Irritability
  • Impulsiveness
  • Poor ability to manage social relationships
  • Low motor coordination

As such, it is important to educate caregivers, such as family members, to recognize those changes and know how help a victim who is experiencing them. A common treatment for TBI victims is psychotherapy. Michael Twohig, an associate professor at Utah State University, focuses on Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), or treatments for social behavior (a form of psychotherapy). He suggested that therapists instruct clients in the practice of diffusing thoughts, during which an individual allows thoughts to play out as just thoughts and envisions them as words in his or her head. He said that if you change the context in which you experience those thoughts, they can be easier to handle.

He shared the story of a recent exchange he had with his  10-year old son while they were driving  and witnessed an injured man on the ground. They saw the man lying down in a bloody mess and his son asked him questions about the situation and said, “Dad, I can’t get that image out of my head.” Twohig instructed his son to “find a place for those events in his head:”

“These are thoughts in your head. It’s chatter that’s up there. Your mind will throw out things that you like and things you don’t like but don’t forget it’s just your mind putting things in your head. It’s okay to have inappropriate pictures in your head like from a horror movie… You don’t need to make it go away,  it’s stuff about the event, you just kind of have to wait around with it.”

Although Towhig admits this isn’t necessarily the solution, he says its a way to handle the trauma. To educate yourself more on this topic and other clinical practice methods, visit resources from the Association for Contextual Behavior Science.

Click here to find conference video.

Feature image of brain courtesy of Flickr.



Meet with Reps from The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Are you interested in geospatial intelligence? Whether you are pursuing a career in this area or simply want to learn more about it, mark your calendars for an amazing opportunity coming up next week!

Representatives from The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency will be on campus to meet with students and discuss potential research collaborations and employment, as well as internship and scholarship opportunities. These representatives will include Dr. Ernest Reith, NGA Directorate of Technology/OCIO and others from his office. This is a great opportunity to meet one-on-one with the director of a federal agency. Sign up to be in attendance by clicking this link:  National Geospacial-Intelligence Agency information meeting.


The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) delivers world-class geospatial intelligence that provides a decisive advantage to policymakers, warfighters, intelligence professionals and first responders. Anyone who sails a U.S. ship, flies a U.S. aircraft, makes national policy decisions, fights wars, locates targets, responds to natural disasters, or even navigates with a cellphone relies on NGA. NGA enables all of these critical actions and shapes decisions that impact our world through the indispensable discipline of geospatial intelligence (GEOINT)… GEOINT is the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information that describes, assesses and visually depicts physical features and geographically referenced activities on the Earth.”


February 9, 2016

4:00 PM

Room 270 McDonald Building

There will be refreshments!

Tips From the CFSL: Young Children & Screen Time

If you’re the parent of a toddler or young child, you may be familiar with the strong desire to provide everything possible for their optimal physical and mental growth, but the opposing problem of not knowing exactly how to do that or where to look for guidance in such a monumental task. Your own parents and friends can be great resources. Know also, though, that our own Child and Family Studies Laboratory has gone to great lengths to learn and apply appropriate growth-encouraging methods, and has many tips to share with you. Among those are pointers on how to encourage and control their screen time.

These days, it is impossibly to deny the utility and perhaps even the value of introducing computers and other devices to young children. They can be another tool for children to explore, to investigate, and to master. The CFSL considers them a valuable asset, as long as they’re geared to the way young children learn and develop. Parents are encouraged to so as well, with these tips:

Tips for Appropriate Computer and Device Usage by Young Children

  • Place the home computer where children can interact with you as they work with it. They are developing social skills during these years, so it is helpful to have either a parent or older sibling at the computer at all times with them. This arrangement allows for collaborative problem solving and sharing of ideas.
  • Choose sites or software with verbal instructions or picture menus that allow children to work with little adult intervention. Children need to have opportunities to work independently of adults, and they learn by doing. is a great example.
  • Developmentally appropriate software is open-ended and calls for thinking and active problem solving.

child at computer

Check out these tips and others on their Parent Tips blog.

What sites or software has your young child enjoyed?


Photo courtesy of Flickr.