The College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences convocation ceremonies last Friday honored 1,321 graduates. Many BYU grads in the sea of blue caps and gowns are already making an important impact on and off campus.
Lieutenant Governor Deidre Henderson
Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson received her bachelor’s degree in history nearly three decades after first enrolling at BYU. Henderson paused her education at BYU at 18 years old after she met and married her husband, Gabe Henderson. By 28, the pair had five children together. She served in the Utah State Senate for eight years before she was elected to serve as Lieutenant Governor. In 2019, she returned to school full time with a dedication to lifelong learning. Utah Governor Spencer Cox and his wife Abby attended the ceremony in support of Lt. Gov. Henderson.
“There are a lot of women just like me in Utah,” said Lt. Gov. Henderson. “While I set aside college to raise my kids, the fire in me that wanted to finish school never died out. It was humbling, exciting, fulfilling — and frankly really, really hard — to return to BYU. But I hope other Utahns can see that it’s never too late to fulfill your ambitions.”
BYU distance runner Anna Camp-Bennett is no stranger to awards and her latest is a degree in family life. As an established member of the BYU women’s cross country and track teams, Camp-Bennett helped the cougars win the 2021 NCAA Cross Country Championship. Just months later she snagged another national title, triumphing in the NCAA women’s 1,500m race with a school record-breaking time.
US National Soccer Team member Ashley Hatch completed her degree in family life this year, capping off her outstanding contributions to the campus community. Hatch played on the BYU Women’s Soccer team from 2013-2016, where she set a school record for shots taken in a match and started in nearly every game she played. She now plays professional soccer for the Washington Spirit, assisting in the team’s 2021 National Women’s Soccer League championship victory, and as a member of the US National Soccer Team.
We’re proud of all our graduates! Spend a minute taking a look at some of their accomplishments on our graduation website.
Honored Alumni Lecture from Leslie Hinchcliff Edwards
Living in Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War will undoubtedly presents opportunities that are never to be forgotten. Leslie Hinchcliff Edwards, the 2021 Honored Alumni from the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences, graduated from BYU in 1971 with a BS in social work and teaching certificates in history and sociology. But her work in Saudi Arabia was with TV and radio as an NBC on-site coordinator.
Edwards and her husband Jack were given the chance to leave Saudi Arabia with their three children as tension thickened, but each of the family members received a distinct impression to stay and be of service.
“How to serve in a potential warzone?” Edwards mused. “We had no idea, but we packed and returned to the Kingdom, led by faith and sure answer to prayer.”
And serve they did. The family offered refuge to the U.S. soldiers, whether a much-needed hot shower, freshly baked cookies, or a phone call home. Edwards shared that when their time in Saudi Arabia was complete they didn’t have a church magazine or book left in their home because the soldiers were desparate for any reading material they could get their hands on. The Edwards family had a mission there that was created by a spiritual experience that gave them purpose and direction.
Speaking to students last week, Edwards taught the importance of identifying your purpose through a mission statement. She taught about three principles in the mission statement from the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences that could help students identify purpose and direction, much like her family’s spiritual experience did for them during wartime.
Part of the mission statement is here for reference, with Edwards’ principles in bold: “Through exacting research and dedicated teaching, that integrate the values and doctrines of the restored Gospel, we hope to provide an education that helps students become informed citizens and thoughtful leaders who make the communities and families in which we live more just, equitable, and happy.”
Edwards touched on each principle with examples from her own life and the lives of her family members. She encouraged listeners to be informed, identify values that are important to them, and lead with care and compassion.
On being informed, Edwards shared, “As a former journalist and very judicious American citizen, let me tell you that if you do not operate on a foundation of facts, no one is going to take you seriously… If you don’t know something, it’s okay! Be teachable and use your knowledge for good.”
Edwards’ daughter Kristin has had a decorated career with the U.S. government, especially with counter-terrorism work. Kristin has faced some difficult decisions in her line of work but in speaking to a group of students a few years ago, she said, “You’ve been taught your entire lives about setting goals, working for something important, and having a plan. That’s part of life. But the other part of life is knowing that the plan is always going to change. Identify what matters most to you, establish the values you want to live by, and then life’s tough, pressure-filled decisions will be easier.”
Each of us will face kinks in even the most well thought-out plan. But just as Edwards’ daughter taught, if we decide what is valuable to us, we will be able to stay true to ourselves when forks in the road do come.
The last principle Edwards touched on was the goal to be “thoughtful leaders.” She asked a series of questions to help reflect on your leadership style. She asked, “Are you collaborative? Are you action-oriented? Do you serve? How do you communicate? Are you resilient?”
Edwards ended her lecture with the story of the Ubuntu tribe of South Africa. When a tribe member does something wrong, that member is taken to the center of the village, where the tribe surrounds them. For two days, the tribe will remind the wrongdoer of all the good he or she has done. The tribe believes that each person comes into the world only desiring safety, love, peace, and happiness. They recognize that people make mistakes and that these mistakes are a cry for help. So, the tribe recounts all the good the wrongdoer has done to reconnect them back to their true nature.
How different would our lives be if we were constantly reminding those around us of the good they’ve done? Edwards shared that, “if we look for the good, we will find it,” and that our personal mission statement can help us want to find the good in ourselves and others.
To develop your personal mission statement, Edwards encouraged the following: Think about your most formative life experiences and how they have shaped you, “craft a concise purpose statement that leaves you energized, and finally, develop a purposeful plan.”
Take some time this week to think about what’s important to you and how you’re going to get there! Rest assured, plans will change, but a mission statement can remind you of why you started your educational journey and where you want it to take you.
For more about Leslie Hinchcliff Edwards and her career supported by a social science degree, check out this Y Magazine article.
“Suicide across the nation has become an epidemic, especially with young people,” says Ryan Leavitt (BA ’11), partner at Barker Leavitt and BYU political science alumnus. He served as a lead staffer for the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act of 2018, which led to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ultimately designating the phone number ‘988’ as a connection to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Crisis Center.
By July 16, 2022, all calls made to the number ‘988’ will be directed to the national crisis center. In Utah, you can already call this number and be directed to lifesaving resources.
“Right now if someone experiencing a mental health emergency needs assistance, the lifeline number they dial to get help is really long. People who are having a hard time are not going to know where to get help,” says Leavitt. “The idea is to have a simple three-digit number like you have for life-threatening emergencies (911) that everyone knows.”
Because the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number isn’t easily remembered, people end up calling 911 instead and then, according to Leavitt, “We are directing resources inefficiently.”
Utah has the fifth-highest suicide rate in the nation and suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control. The state of Utah was in desperate need of more streamlined resources before this bill was proposed.
Leavitt worked under the direction of former Senator Orrin Hatch and Congressman Chris Stewart, who authored the bill requiring the FCC to change the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline from 1-800-273-TALK to 988.
Leavitt is currently a partner at a Government Affairs and Political Consulting Law Firm in Washington, D.C. and he attributes a large part of his early career success to his educational opportunities starting with his undergraduate education at Brigham Young University. Leavitt earned a degree in political science in 2011. He took full advantage of internship opportunities throughout his undergraduate career, participating in the Washington Seminar and interning with the Utah State Legislature.
Over nearly a decade serving as a Congressional aide, Leavitt advised several of Utah’s Members of Congress, including Senator Orrin Hatch, Senator Mike Lee, and Congressman John Curtis among others. Utah State Senator Daniel Thatcher and Utah House Representative Steve Eliason had begun advocating in the Utah State Legislature to designate a three-digit number as the suicide prevention hotline number in Utah. The Utah senators then solicited the help of Senator Hatch and Congressman Stewart to expand their proposal nationally.
Leavitt describes the bill as a “great hope” for those struggling with mental health.
To get help in Utah, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. There is also a crisis text line. 988 is not currently active throughout all the states in the U.S. and 1-800-273-TALK (8255) is still in use.
Last Thursday, the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences awarded Geography Alum R. Clayton Brough with the Alumni Achievement Award. Brough is a graduate of the College’s bachelor (‘73) and masters (‘75) programs of geography, though with the ease and eloquence that he delivered his lecture it was evident that he’d had many years of practice in front of cameras and crowds as a schoolteacher and weekend climatologist for ABC 4. Brough shared with us valuable lessons accompanied by entertaining anecdotes of his life, while bringing an encouraging spirit into the room during his lecture “5 Lessons I’ve Learned in 50 Years.”
Lesson 1: Think Carefully before You Agree to the
Wishes of Others
In opposition to the culture of ‘sending
it,’ Brough encourages his listeners to “not push send until you’ve thought of
the end.” Giving us a very real and very comical example of a mistake he made
while here at BYU that led to people believing he had married his sister,
Brough reminded us that even innocent good deeds could not end well if the end
is not thought through first.
Lesson 2: Don’t Leave Home without a GPS Receiver
Throwing it back to the good ol’ days of
no Google, no Siri, and a hard-to-read paper map, Brough related his experience
as a young Geography student to the importance of remembering to take our
spiritual guides with us wherever we go. On an assignment to map Utah County, Brough
and partner accidentally found themselves in the middle of the Dugway Proving
Ground, a military training area where new tactics and technology are tested. Whether
it be the still small voice or the strict direction of Siri, sometimes in life
it takes a couple of wrong turns in life to realize how important it is to have
a way to get back to the right place.
Lesson 3: Nourish a Good and Clean Sense of Humor
A good sense of humor is not just a fun
personality trait, but was extremely beneficial for Brough when he dealt with
negative comments during his time as a forecaster. Brough emphasized the
importance of being nice, and, again, thinking before you send.
Lesson 4: Find Happiness through Serving Others Including Those on
Both Sides of the Veil
The cheerful buzz in the room paused for
just one moment as Brough recalled the cancer diagnosis of both he and his son.
Brough, however, is grateful for the opportunity he had to reprioritize the things
in his life. Cancer caused him to slow down and appreciate his family and the
eternal significance of everything in this life. This focus sparked Brough’s
passion for genealogy and family history work, something he and his wife Ethel
Mickelson now do together.
Lesson 5: If You want to be Successful, Dream Big, Work Hard, and Pray
Brough spent 30 years working with students and in that time learned that we must allow even the youngest students to dream big and think outside the box. Students at Eisenhower Junior High proved to be a testament of that as the holders of seven world records. A feat made possible by a handful of creativity, a spoonful of studiousness, and a dash of daring dreams.
Clayton Brough ended as he started, encouraging us to keep a sense of humor and remember to serve. Brough has since retired and now works at the Counselling Center at Copper Hills High School in West Jordan, Utah.
In 1975, when Robert Clayton Brough was graduating with his masters in geography, BYU was celebrating its centennial birthday. On October 17, BYU’s College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences will be celebrating the life and achievements of R. Clayton Brough. Though Brough will be receiving an award from the College for distinguished achievements in his studies of geography, majority of Brough’s career was spent as an educator. For over thirty years, Brough taught Taylorsville middle school students geography, journalism, and science. The David O. McKay School of Education has also recognized Brough for the lives he touched throughout his career as a teacher. Brough will be giving his lecture Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 11 a.m. in 250 KMBL.
Brough taught people both in and out of the classroom. While most people use the weekend to relax after a taxing 9-5 week, Brough spent his time out of the classroom informing the people of Utah of the weather. For twenty-eight years, Clayton Brough served the citizens of Utah with a sunny smile as the weekend broadcast climatologist for ABC 4. A bright and lovable TV personality elevated Brough to something of a local celebrity, known best for his weekend spots and special 8-14 day forecast. This two-week glance proved helpful for Utahns in seemingly unpredictable seasonal weather.
Brough’s geographic background no doubt contributed to his success as a meteorologist and climatologist. He has held numerous board positions as a climatologist including the Vice President of the American Geographical Research Corporation of Utah, an organization dedicated to studying regional climates. Brough credits Dr. Richard H. Jackson and Dr. Dale J. Stevens, two BYU alum and geography professors Brough had during his time here as a student, for teaching him how to successfully interact with his students and inspire them to achieve their goals and dreams. Though Brough attributes these professors for helping his teaching career, they’re influence undoubtedly contributed to Brough’s own dedication to scholarly excellence. Years after his graduation, Brough came back to school and researched Utah climate with faculty members at BYU and Utah State University. Since then, he has published multiple scientific articles discussing the climate and geography of Utah. Brough’s degree did not limit his interest to education and climate. With a passion for his faith and family history, Brough has also published more than thirty articles relating to genealogy.
Genealogy is truly a passion of Brough’s. He has served four different times as Chief Genealogist for the Brough Family Organization, one of the world’s largest and oldest non-profit ancestral family organizations and surname associations. Brough has also served as secretary of the LDS Ancestral Families Association and was a member of the International Genealogy Consumer Organization for fourteen years. Of course, Broughs own direct family is of the greatest importance to him. His last night on air he stated that his leaving would fulfil his wish to “conserve my energy, preserve my health, and spend more time with my wife, children, and grandchildren.” Broughs immediate family consists of over a dozen grandchildren, four children, and his wife, Ethel Mickelson, of over forty-five years.
The college is honoring Clayton Brough for his academic achievements, though the rest of his life has truly been a model of the age-old saying “life is what you make it. Not only is Brough a cancer survivor, returned missionary, and an Eagle Scout, his teaching career was uniquely filled with the breaking of numerous Guinness World Records that he achieved with his students and coworkers. Amongst Eisenhower Junior High’s collection of records were World’s Largest Pan Loaf, World’s Longest Paperclip Chain, and World’s Fastest and Largest Human Mattress Dominoes. Eisenhower also held the record for most records held by one group. These record-beating feats were not all fun and games, Eisenhower teachers reported that they taught “teamwork, logistics, [and] problem-solving” to the students. Join us Thursday, October 17 to listen to Clayton Brough discuss his studies, world records, and more in his lecture “5 things I’ve Learned in 50 Years”.
Now a successful CEO and world-renown thought leader in leadership development, Zenger shared several pieces of advice on how to utilize psychology in the business world, how to succeed in life and business and how to become a powerful leader in your future organization in his recent lecture.
See his full lecture below.
Here are some takeaways from his impactful lecture:
1. Always ask (and accept) questions
This first takeaway comes from Zenger’s presentation itself. Zenger asked for and responded to questions at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of his lecture. Moral of the story: if you want to preach curiosity and learning, create an environment to do so.
2. Appreciate your entire college experience
There is so much more to the BYU experience than classes. Get involved in clubs and activities, find ways to continue your education once you leave BYU and develop lifelong friendships and relationships–they’ll truly become some of your greatest assets later on.
3. Reshape the balance of things
It’s hard to balance work and family. Zenger’s simple advice is to reshape what you’re doing so that you always have time for your family. For Zenger, this meant changing the nature of consulting so that he was selling scalable products instead of his time.
4. Take risks
Don’t be opposed to risk–any success in life requires at least a little. Transitioning from one thing to another can be risky, but if you have the will and determination, you’ll take the risky opportunities and find the success that’s waiting for you in the end.
We aren’t meant to be alone, and in a world continually changing, Families at Risk reminds us what the core of life is: our families. An upcoming series of lectures powerfully advocates effective communication, healthy sexuality, mental health awareness and more.
The Families at Risk lecture series is held every second Wednesday of the month for nine months, beginning on October 10th, 2018. Classes start at 7 am and last for about two hours. Prices vary from $10 to $25 depending on the class, and all lectures are held at the BYU Conference Center.
From parenting kids with behavioral concerns, helping children transition to adulthood, and building healthy relationships in all stages of life, BYU Continuing Education offers advice and techniques for you and those you care for.
With such a diverse range of subjects, you may register for only the topics which are most useful and compelling to you and your family.
In Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy asserted, “All happy families are alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” No family’s trials are the same, and yet they can all be reconciled through Christ. His hands are outstretched, offering hope and healing. The best thing we can do to build lasting, beautiful relationships with those who mean the most is to learn and grow together.
Registration is available in multiple convenient ways: over the phone (877-221-6716 weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., excluding holidays), by mail (Families at Risk Registration 229 HCEB 770 E University Pkwy Provo UT 84602), in person at 116 HCEB 770 E University Pkwy, or online at familiesatrisk.ce.byu.edu, where a full schedule and additional details are also posted.
“There are some people who are thinkers and others who are doers. You strike me as an enlightened doer.”
This simple comment from John. H. Zenger’s undergraduate psychology professor shaped his career and many other aspects of his life.
Zenger is the definition of an “enlightened doer.” Taking psychology research and using it to change the way we see leadership and train leaders, Zenger has changed the business world as he has built and strengthened organizations and helped thousands of individuals across the world.
As the 2018 Alumni Achievement Lecturer for the BYU College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences, we celebrate the intellectual curiosity of a man who has changed the way we see leadership and use it in the world around us. Zenger’s lecture will be on Thursday, October 11 at 11 a.m. in 250 KMBL.
Developing into a leader
Zenger grew up working alongside his father, a self-made man and an administrator at Utah Valley Hospital. Watching his father direct and lead a full staff of MDs when he himself had never had the opportunity to attend college made Zenger contemplate what leadership truly means.
“I watched the ability of a leader to impact an organization and what they could do and the amazing leverage they had. As a very young boy, I became interested in the phenomenon of why people go into leadership and what made them good leaders.”
BYU Economics alumnus Brigitte C. Madrian was recently named as the ninth (and first female) dean of the Marriott School of Business. On January 1, 2019 she will begin her five-year term as dean over the Marriott School’s four graduate programs, ten undergraduate programs and approximately 3,300 students. Madrian is currently the Aetna Professor of Public Policy and Corporate Management and chair of the Markets, Business and Government Area in the Harvard Kennedy School.
Madrian comes to this position with a myriad of experience and expertise. Through her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from BYU and her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Madrian is an expert on behavioral economics and household finance. She has a specific focus on household saving and investment behavior, of which she spoke on in her 2016 FHSS Alumni Achievement Lecture. The work she has done in this field has changed the design of employer-sponsored savings plans in the U.S. and has influenced pension reform legislation around the world. Madrian is also engaged in research on health and uses behavioral economics as a way to understand health behaviors and to improve health outcomes.
Because of her work and service, Madrian received the Retirement Income Industry Association Achievement in Applied Retirement Research Award (2015) and is a three-time recipient of the TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award for Scholarly Research on Lifelong Financial Security (2002, 2011 and 2017). In addition to this, she serves as the co-director of the Household Finance working group at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Madrian is also a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Board of Governors, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Academic Research Council, as well as other advisory boards.
BYU Academic Vice President James R. Rasband remarks in an article that current Marriot School of Business Dean Lee T. Perry has left a “long record of setting aside his own passion for teaching and research to instead focus on providing opportunities for his colleagues and for our students.” Madrian will no doubt add to this legacy of service and learning with her own unique perspective and experience.
Dr. Larry Eastland, an alum of our political science department and this year’s collegeHonored Alumni, believes in young adults, particularly those at BYU, because they have the opportunities and resources to change the world. Though he’s had a storied and impactful life since his graduation, he credits the decisions he made between the ages of 18 and 30 with the most importance in his life because they were ones that have allowed him to impact and change the world. Last week, he spoke to a group of current students about the five major decisions that he has made, and that all individuals within these years usually have to make, and how best to make them:
The Top Five Decisions of a Lifetime
Education. Each individual must choose to continue their learning in some form or another even after organized education. People must ask themselves what is worthwhile for them to spend their time on.
Develop and nurture your testimony. When life is easy, you have to decide if you will stick with the gospel when things get tough. When Dr. Eastland was going through Marine Corps. training and was ridiculed and punished for being a Mormon, he stayed firm in his testimony and succeeded in difficult situations because he had already decided to be true to his testimony. “Testimony is an everyday thing,” he said, “and you must make the daily decision to strengthen, believe, and live it or not.”
Protect your marriage. First, make the decision to marry and then to marry someone who will challenge you to do your best every day. The blessings and happiness from this decision will bless your family for generations to come. Then, protect your marriage at all costs.
Live worthy of your family. Be worthy of your spouse, your children, and what and how they are doing—protect them at all costs.
Profession. Be prepared with the knowledge and skills to get the job you want and make your knowledge and skills transferable. Most individuals will have numerous occupations throughout the career so make sure that what you choose to study and the skills you choose to develop can be applicable and helpful in multiple fields.
Decisions are Not Necessarily About Their End Results
Decisions need to be made so that we can continue progressing in our lives, but as Dr. Eastland shared, we make certain decisions in life not because of their end results, but because those decisions will give us the experiences we need to to find joy in this life and to fulfill our Heavenly Father’s goals. When Dr. Eastland worked in Washington D.C., he didn’t realize until later in his career that he had been placed there so that one day he could stand as a witness of the church and make sure that the Missouri Extermination Order was not expunged from national history but that it was preserved and brought to light. Likewise, when Dr. Eastland was impressed to move his family from Washington to Idaho to pursue an experience that did not succeed, he learned that experiences often lead us to more experiences that allow us to gain the necessary perspective to make the world a better place.
Eleven Rules for Great Leadership Decisions
The path we follow in life is always of our own choosing. The decisions we make when we are between the ages of 18-30 will dramatically determine this path and the joy we experience. If we make them well, chances are that we will be chosen to lead others at some point in our lives. Dr. Eastland shared 11 rules that will help us become great leaders through the decisions we make:
Officers eat last. Know that the privilege of command and leadership is that you take care of your people first.
Never expect of those around you that which you are not willing to do yourself.
If you don’t set concrete, measurable, achievable goals, you will never achieve them. Know your goals so that when you have to change your plans you know why you did so.
You are only as good as the people with whom you surround yourself with. Remember that first class people will always find ways to make an idea first class, so work with first class people.
If your people have no part in the process, they will have no stake in the outcome. Involve others in what you are doing so that they feel ownership and responsibility for what is being done.
Praise in public, punish in private.
To get people to work with you, you need to be able to say three things and mean them: I need your help. I won’t forget. Thank you very much.
Trust– but verify.
Never take “title” to someone else’s problem or assignment.
When someone brings you a good idea, ask them to put a plan together to implement it. Allow others to be a part of what you are doing.
Email is for information. Personal contact is for inspiration. Create a relationship, serve, and people will listen to you.