Intermountain Histories: a History of Us

On Sixth South in Provo, there is an old, old building that used to house the Startup candy company. Interestingly, today, it houses several small startup companies instead of the candy company. The story of the Startup building is one of many told on Intermountain Histories.org, a digital public history project that provides scholarly information and interpretive stories of historic sites and events around the Intermountain West regions of Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. The project is managed by the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University. In collaboration with professors and students from universities across the Intermountain West, new content is created each semester in classroom settings. Those stories are then edited and revised by the Redd Center and published on the site for the public.

Using an interactive GPS-enabled map, you can take virtual or physical walking tours of historic sites. As your personal tour guide, Intermountain Histories provides historical information, photographs and images, documentary videos, audio interviews, oral histories, bibliographic citations, and other resources for you to explore. Though created in academic settings, the content is meant to be used by the general public.

The first batch of stories is small, created by a “guinea pig” group of professors and students. In the upcoming weeks, additional stories currently being edited will be published as well. Moving forward, new batches will periodically publish as collaborating professors, students, and interns at the Redd Center research, write, and edit new stories. Intermountain Histories is available for free in iTunes, Google Play, and online at IntermountainHistories.org. To receive notifications when new stories are published, follow the project on Facebook or Twitter.

“Though small at our current launch,” said Dr. Brenden Rensink, co-director, “this project will grow and fill the map with countless pins and stories.”

 

BYU Hosts Social Science Fair Featuring Student Research on Relevant Social Issues

BYU students will fill BYU’s Wilkinson Center on April 13, 2017 with the tangible evidence of months of mentored research—their Fulton Conference posters. It is a wonderful opportunity for members of the community, parents, other students, and employers to support research that increases everyone’s collective ability to understand the world around us, and to see what great work our undergraduate students are capable of.

The Mary Lou Fulton Endowed Chair in the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences will host the 13th Annual Mentored Student Research Conference on Thursday, April 13, 2017. The conference will be in the Wilkinson Student Center Ballroom from 9 a.m. to noon and is open to the public.

The conference is a unique opportunity for hundreds of graduate and undergraduate students to present their most recent research visually and succinctly. BYU graduate and undergraduate students researched with faculty mentors, research that takes typically a full semester. Students will be present to answer any questions visitors may have about the research.

Topics will include child abuse and its effect on academic ability, internet addiction, depression in college students, social anxiety disorder, and consequences of transgender victimization. The conference will feature research done in the areas of neuroscience, sociology, social work, psychology, family life, geography, anthropology, history, political science, and economics.

Savannah Keenan, a graduate student in the School of Family Life, studied the portrayal of fathers in popular media, and the effects of those portrayals on real-life behavior, for her winning 2016 poster. Her research showed that, every 3.24 minutes, a TV dad acts like a buffoon, and that children responded negatively to those portrayals 48% of the time. “We know that dads are often portrayed negatively in the media,” says Keenan. “But not a lot of research has been done that shows how the father portrayals in the media actually affect real-life behavior and attitudes of children. I think the most important thing we need to know now is: how is this affecting our kids? If these television shows are portraying dads as incompetent— especially when they’re directed toward such a sensitive age group as tweens—what are these kids going to think about their own dads?”

For more information, please visit FultonChair.byu.edu. The Mary Lou Fulton Endowed Chair provides meaningful research and educational experiences for students, faculty, and children. Mary Lou’s passion for educating and elevating others is reflected in the many elements of the chair, established by her husband Ira A. Fulton in 2004 to honor and recognize her example.

Increase Your Understanding: Fulton conference

There is perhaps no more unique an opportunity for us to support research that increases everyone’s collective ability to understand the world around us and to engage with the people around us, and to see what great work our undergraduate students are capable of, than at the annual Fulton Mentored Student Research Conference. This year’s conference is just around the corner, and promises to inform on topics such as internet addiction, adolescent romantic relationships and their relationship to depression, and parental school involvement and responsible children, and many others.

The Mary Lou Fulton Endowed Chair in the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences is pleased to host the 13th Annual Mentored Student Research Conference on Thursday, April 13, 2017. The conference will be held in the Wilkinson Student Center Ballroom from 9:00 a.m. – 12 p.m. and is open to the public.  The conference will feature research done in the areas of neuroscience, sociology, social work, psychology, family life, geography, anthropology, history, political science, and economics.

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The conference is a unique opportunity for hundreds of graduate and undergraduate students to present their most recent research visually and succinctly. Parents and family members, students across the Y’s campus, and members of the community are invited.

About Mary Lou Fulton

The College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences honors the life and contributions of Mary Lou Fulton by designating a chair in her name. Mary Lou was a wonderful example of a Latter-day Saint woman who, after devoted service raising her family, returned to college to finish her degree. Throughout her life, Mary Lou sought to help those with personal challenges, whether assisting her own students who struggled with reading or rendering quiet service to neighbors and ward members.

During her lifetime, Mary Lou and her husband Ira supported causes and programs that uphold and strengthen the family unit. This goal continues to be a high priority for Ira, as well as helping others remain free of addictive substances or crippling afflictions that limit their possibilities in life.

Fulton Photo

About the Mary Lou Fulton Endowed Chair

The Mary Lou Fulton Endowed Chair provides meaningful research and educational experiences for students, faculty, and children. Mary Lou’s passion for educating and elevating others is reflected in the many elements of the chair, established by her husband Ira A. Fulton in 2004 to honor and recognize her example. The Chair also funds internship grants, professorships, and young scholar awards.

 

 

“Forgiveness is not the Same as Trust,” Says Dr. Frank Fincham

This post is fourth in a series of videos available in our new BYU Social Sciences YouTube channel! The channel contains tidbits of many of our most popular lectures and useful, succinct, research-backed advice on relationship, political, religious, media, and financial issues. Follow us there to stay up-to-date on wisdom that will help you and  your family live better lives.

If you’ve ever been the victim in a hurtful incident or relationship, you’re probably familiar with the miasma of emotions they can kindle. How to handle them often seems unclear. Dr. Frank Fincham, in a 2013 BYU lecture, provided some powerful, research-backed words of advice and direction: “You the victim have a right to feel resentful,” he said, “but forgiveness involves working through, not avoiding that emotional pain. Hence, the Mahatmas [Gandhi] statement: ‘the weak can never forgive; forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.” Because you have to work through the emotional pain, you have to be strong to forgive.”

As the holder of a Rhodes Scholar doctoral degree in social psychology from Oxford University, then a professor and director of clinical training at the University of Illinois, a SUNY Distinguished Professor at the University at Buffalo, and an Eminent Scholar and Director of the Family Institute at The Florida State University, as well as an award-winning author of more than 250 publications about personal relationships and a Fellow of five different professional societies, he spoke with authority on the subject of forgiveness. His lecture was the ninth in a series of annual lectures honoring the legacy of Marjorie Pay Hinckley, wife of former president of the LDS Church Gordon B. Hinckley.

“We do our forgiving alone inside our hearts and minds,” Fincham continued. “What happens to the people we forgive depends on them. When we are forgiven, remember that doesn’t put us back to the same status we had with the person. That’s why forgiving is not the same as trusting the person again; you forgive them, then they have to behave in a way that earns your trust back. Forgiveness is not the same as denial or foolishness; you may forgive someone and yet protect yourself from future harm by that person. So if you’re the victim of spousal abuse, you may forgive the abuser, [but] that doesn’t mean you run back and put yourself in danger. That is foolishness…not forgiveness. You can forgive and keep your distance, and then when it is safe and prudent, you may or may not choose to reconcile with him or her. If you’re in a relationship where there’s consistent hurt all the time, then forgiveness doesn’t involve forgiveness of a specific hurt, it involves forgiveness for a hurtful relationship, and maybe the grounds for your thinking very seriously about whether this is a relationship that should continue.”

Watch these highlights here in the two-minute video below, or catch the full lecture here.

Marital Conflict: Better With Religion or Worse?

This post is third in a series of videos available in our new BYU Social Sciences YouTube channel! The channel contains tidbits of many of our most popular lectures and useful, succinct, research-backed advise on relationship, political, religious, media, and financial issues. Follow us there to stay up-to-date on wisdom that will help you and  your family live better lives.

As expressed in our mission, we are very intent on studying the family as the basic unit of society. Every department, program, and center relates in some way to that analysis. Much of what we talk about on this site has to do with it and the challenges facing the core part of most families, which is marriages. We know that married couples face a lot of challenges, ranging from addictions to everyday conflict. One of our School of Family Life professors, David Dollahite, has conducted a lot of research about some of those challenges, particularly the affect that religion has on them. In a 2015 lecture, he summarized his findings on whether or not the shared exercise of religion helps married couples avoid, respond to, or reconcile after conflict. “In a nutshell,” he said, “we found that religion has an impact at all stages of conflict. When you have a deeply-shared set of beliefs and understandings, you avoid a lot of problems off the bat.”

Watch this less-than-two-minute video discussing those findings here:

Does Religion Create or Address Anxiety in Your Family? Research Says…

This post is second in a series based on videos available in our new BYU Social Sciences YouTube channel! The channel contains highlights of many of our most popular lectures and useful, succinct, research-backed advise on relationship, political, religious, media, and financial issues. Follow us there to stay up-to-date on wisdom that will help you and  your family live better lives.

As we mentioned last week, the exercise of religious faith in a family’s culture looks quite different across religions, families, and time. “What is it about religion that helps some people be incredibly…functional and happy and seems to cause other people some serious issues?,” asked Professor David Dollahite of our School of Family Life in an October 2015 lecture. “How can [the practice of religion cause joy and harm?” Professor Dollahite has spent the last ten years delving into research that answers those questions for the American Families of Faith project, and he presented much of it at that lecture. He and fellow BYU Family Life professor Loren Marks sampled more than 190 families who identified with the following faiths: Asian Christian, Black Christian, Catholic & Orthodox Christian, Evangelical Christian, Mainline Christian, Latter-day Saint Christian, Jewish, and Muslim. They asked them how they felt about ten different “dualities,” or possible dichotomies of their religious practice. They asked, for example, about the extent to which the practice of religion in their families created and addressed anxiety, and the extent to which that practice was both transformative and conservative. In this two-minute video, watch what they found.

 

Talking Religion With Your Child: Should it be Child-Centered or Parent-Centered?

This post is the first in a series based on videos available in our new BYU Social Sciences YouTube channel! The channel contains highlights of many of our most popular lectures and useful, succinct, research-backed advise on relationship, political, religious, media, and financial issues. Follow us there to stay up-to-date on wisdom that will help you and  your family live better lives.

The question of the prominence of faith in a family’s culture is a very personal one, and the evidence of the answer to that question can look quite different across religions, families, and time. But some things are universal. All families have parents or guardians who love and/or care for children, and by virtue of their experiences or age or parental position, strongly hope to influence, if not determine, their progeny’s religious behaviors. Most do it through multiple conversations and activities throughout the formative lives of their children. How effective those conversations are can depend on a lot of different factors. David Dollahite, a professor of Family Life who has conducted much research on the topic and advises parents to make sure those conversations are “child-centered.” What exactly does that mean? Watch this short video to find out:

 

Fun, Prizes, and Free Stuff: Geography Awareness Week is This Week!

Have you ever wanted to go onto the roof of the SWKT? Do you like competitions and prizes? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, then the Geography Department’s Geography Awareness Week is the week-long festivity for you. This is an annual activity meant to make geography fun and interesting for everyone.

The event kicks off on November 14.  Here is a rundown of the week’s activities:

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November 14

Repp-ing It Up

A week long Geoguesser competition. Similar to last year’s geocaching competition, this year’s competition will involve hunting for things to win a prize. This year’s prize, though, will be a national parkannual pass (an $80 value). Visit their booth in Brigham’s Square outside of the Booth in the WILK everyday from 10am to to 2pm with details on and sign up sheets.

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November 15

SUPA Day

3pm. Student Urban Planning Association’s Tour of Campus. Conducted by Dr. Michael Clay. Meet at the Geography department office

November 16

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

SWKT Rooftop tours from 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

OSM (Open Street Maps)  Lab 2-3 640 SWKT: An effort to ” crowd source digitizing of roads and rural areas.”

November 17

Chauncy Harris Lecture at 11am 250 HBLL

They’ll also have a Bowl of Heaven (1283 N University Ave #101,) fundraiser from 3 -8 p.m., in which 15% of your purchases will be donated to the Geography Club. Be sure to place your receipt in the fundraiser donation box!

November 18

Geography Major Picture: All geography majors gather on the SWKT lawn (time TBA) for free hot chocolate and donuts and picture-taking!

Geoguesser winner announced at 12 noon

This event is bigger than just BYU’s Geography Department; it has in fact been going on around the country for more than twenty years. 

Anyone is eligible to win other prizes as well, including t-shirts, maps, and books by:

Says Geography club president Roman Huerta about the purpose of all of these activities: “We hope to raise awareness of the power of maps and spatial analysis.  When people understand its power and abilities they will use it more and apply it more to various aspects of their studies, research, and lives.  It is super relevant in today’s world, and the more people are using mapping software the more new and creative applications for geography will come forth and continue to grow and advance.”

You Think You Have Old Shoes? You Should See New Old Shoe Exhibit

On October 17th 2016, BYU’s Museum of Peoples and Cultures will open its shoe exhibition titled Steps in Style. The exhibition will display a collection of shoes from around the globe and shoes from various time periods. Additionally, the exhibition will include an interactive portion for young visitors. The museum is free general admission.

Steps in Style

“Shoes are something all cultures have in common. Having this point of connection helps us relate to each other,” says Jaquelyn Johnson, the doctorate student spearheaded the curation, design, and installation of this exhibition. Similarly, our choice of shoe style reflects our personalities and circumstances. The shoes in the exhibit reflect the personalities and needs of people across the world.

The highlights of the collection are bone skates, moccasins from various Native American nations, wooden clogs, intricately beaded slippers, and Caribou boots. A pair of Samoan sandals made of tapa cloth, woven coconut leaves, and coconut seeds. Of the mocassions, Johnson points out that they “show how much time and effort went into creating such a unique shoe. Today, we go to the store without putting nearly any time or thought into the purchase.”

Families, scout groups, students, and people of all ages are welcome to explore this unique exhibition, says Lacy Schmoekel, promotions manager at the museum.

5 Ways to Get Kids Excited About Anthropology

Our world is shrinking, so to speak. It’s now possible to send communication to the other side of the world in an instant, and perhaps even more impressive, to physically travel to the other side of the world in a matter of hours. Our ancestors could have never imagined the heights to which humanity would soar. With interaction between societies becoming ever more frequent, it becomes ever more important to study human society in all its forms—past and present. That’s why anthropology, the study of human cultures and civilizations, is more important now than ever before. Last week, we ran a detailed article about why children should be interested about anthropology. This week, with the help of BYU’s Department of Anthropology, we’ll share some tips for how to actually get our kids excited.

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Tip #1: Take Your Kids to a Local Dig

You can take your kids to a local field school dig. Your older kids can even volunteer! There’s nothing like seeing an actual dig, helping to sift out the relics, and relating it to people who were here long ago. Contact the department (801.422.3058) to find out when the next local one is, and to arrange a guide!

All of BYU’s Anthropology majors are required to attend a faculty-supervised field school. They conduct digs to learn more about ancient civilizations, sometimes right here in our own backyard! There are digs in Goshen and on the shores of Utah Lake.

Tip #2: Visit the Museum of Peoples and Cultures

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The Museum of Peoples and Cultures, on the campus of Brigham Young University, cares for the anthropological, archaeological, and ethnographic artifacts in the school’s possession. There may be no better way to inspire a child than to take him or her to this vast collection of exhibits.

Currently, the museum has a couple of special exhibits, including one focused on the archaeology of the historic Provo Tabernacle (now the Provo City Center Temple), and a detailed exploration of the fine textiles of the ancient Andes.

The museum holds plenty of exciting programs for younger kids, and some of the older kids might not mind taking a date!

Tip #3: Arrange for an Anthropologist to Visit Your Child’s School

SearcyIf you have a child going into fourth grade this year, contact their school principal or teacher! They can put in a request to BYU’s Anthropology department for a school visit by faculty member Mike Searcy, who brings a unique and exciting perspective on anthropology, as well as several actual relics, to classrooms. Your kids will love it!

 

 

Tip #4: Check out a Culture Case

For only a small fee (which is waived for educators), you can borrow a Culture Case from BYU’s Department of Anthropology. These cases include artifacts, replicas, CDs, books, and other teaching tools to help children learn more about various cultures.

Culture Case Web Banner
Culture Case Web Banner

These detailed and informative cases are available for regions such as the Great Basin, the American Southwest, Mesoamerica, Polynesia, Egypt, Ancient Greece and Rome, and many more!

Tip #5: Go to the Utah Lake Festival

The annual Utah Lake Festival in Provo is a great place to take children who are excited about anthropology. The Museum of Peoples and Cultures will have a booth and various activities available for children and families. Contact Utah Lake Commission Executive Assistant Noelia Deaton (801.851.2900, ndeaton@utahlakecommission.org) for more information!