12 takeaways from FHSS Alumni Achievement lecturer Jack Zenger

Like most students on campus, College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences 2018 Alumni Achievement lecturer Jack Zenger also struggled with deciding what to major in and what to pursue after graduation.

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

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Zenger continues to get the most out of his BYU experience at the 2018 Homecoming parade.

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.

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Preparing with hope: 2018-2019 Families at Risk lecture series

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.

Alumni Achievement lecturer John H. Zenger: Leading a field, leaving a legacy

“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.”

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FHSS Alumnus to Serve as Dean of the Marriott School of Business

FHSS alumni have the potential to lead the world in many positions—including as the dean of the Marriott School of Business.

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.

Brigitte at big tableMadrian 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.

Larry Eastland, Honored Alum, on Deciding, Leading, and Living Joyfully

Dr. Larry Eastland, an alum of our political science department and this year’s college Honored 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

  • the-climate-reality-project-349094Education. 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.”
  • brooke-cagle-170053Protect 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.

Adobe Spark (10)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.

To view the whole lecture, click here.

What decisions do you need to make in your life to gain  experiences you need to continue progressing? Are your decisions helping you to serve and lead others?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honored Alumni Larry Eastland to Give Lecture Titled “My Decade of Decisions Began at BYU”

Larry Eastland is a bit of a renaissance man to say the least. He plays multiple instruments at a professional level, is a combat-decorated US Marine Corps officer, BYU graduate, USC political science masters and doctorate graduate, has served four US Presidents in a number of national and international positions, has held numerous church callings, leads an international business advisory group, and is a loving husband, father, and now grandfather to 16 grandchildren.

While individuals may think that Eastland’s greatest decisions might have occurred while working in the White House or developing his business, he personally feels that “the decade from 18 to 28 is when the great decisions of life are made.” Between mission, marriage, family, career, education, and testimony, when individuals are in their 20’s they are determining the rest of their lives with the decisions they make, big and small, every day. 

The  impactful experiences that arose in Larry Eastland’s life were all possible because of the decisions he made in that very important decade, he says. In that important decade, he was a BYU student involved in campus organizations, served a mission in Berlin, Germany, served in the United States Marine Corps, fulfilled numerous callings in the church, worked in the U.S. Senate, married his wife, and began his further education in Political Science at U.S.C.

Eastland’s determination to stay close to the spirit and his love for service guided him to make the decisions that blessed his own life and allowed him to further bless his country and those around him. The choices made in Eastland’s youth led to experiences and blessings that affected not only him and his family, but everyone and everything he has been involved with.

“For most people, the rest [of life] is fulfilling what was laid as a foundation during this decade, ” Eastland shared. Larry Eastland laid his foundation well and has had incredible opportunities as a result.

What kind of a foundation have we and are we laying with the decisions we make? Share your thoughts below and continue pondering how your own decade from the ages of 18-28 have and will impact your life at Dr, Eastland’s Alumni Achievement Lecture, “My Decade of Decisions Began at BYU.” The lecture will take place Thursday, October 5 in room 250 in the Spencer W. Kimball Tower at 11 am. All are welcome to attend.

 

When You Can Ignore Your Kids, According to Positive Parenting Expert Denise Barney

This post is nineteenth 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.

Bette Davis once said: “If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.” Parenting is hard! In a recent lecture to the alumni of the School of Family Life, Family Studies graduate Denise Barney spoke about age-typical behaviors of children and how parents can move past them.

“When my daughter was around 16 or 17,” Barney said, “she became less focused on her family and more focused on her friends. She only wanted to spend time with the latter.” Understandably, Barney found this upsetting. However, she eventually came to realize that that’s just how teenagers act. Her attitude went from offense to understanding: “If someone had told me that was totally age-typical, that all teenagers at the age are self-absorbed. And it wasn’t because she hated us. It was just that she was being…normal. So, once I understood that, the rest of our kids at that age: ‘Be on your way, go be with your friends, hallelujah!’” According to Barney, if you ignore your child’s age-typical negative behavior, it will go away.

In this two-minute video, she talks about her experience, as well as the kinds of behaviors that can’t be ignored. The full lecture can be viewed here.

 

Denise is an expert in the Power of Positive Parenting, a parenting manual written by Dr. Glen Latham, having taught classes on it for 15 years. She is also the mother of six children ages 30 to 17.

 

 

Clinical Psychology PhD Receive Prestigious Post Docs in Pediatric Neuropsychology

Two BYU clinical psychology PhD graduates,  Ashley Levan and Ann Clawson, received prestigious post docs in pediatric neuropsychology.

Ashley Levan

Capturelkj;lkj;lkjLevan received her PhD in clinical psychology from BYU in 2016. Her dissertation research studied children with epileptic and non-epileptic seizures and learned how their social and executive functioning skills were affected by those seizures. Levan also researched social and cognitive functioning following traumatic brain injury in children.

Levan has practiced and researched at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Children’s National is a leading clinical and research institution, ranked best in the nation for children, and has been around since 1870.  Dr. Levan was accepted into the Pediatric Neuropsychology concussion and mild traumatic brain injury track.

As a postdoctoral fellow at Children’s National Medical Center, Levan’s clinical work focused on completing neuropsychological evaluations with children and adolescents with concussion, autism spectrum disorders, and additional neurodevelopmental and acquired conditions, according to Leesa Scott of the psychology department.  Levan also examines academic outcomes in pediatric concussion populations.

Ann Clawson

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At BYU, Clawson graduated in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral program with an emphasis in neuropsychology. She continues her training as a postdoctoral fellow in pediatric neuropsychology at Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Kennedy Krieger Institute is an internationally recognized facility dedicated to improving the lives of children and adolescents with pediatric developmental disabilities through patient care, special education, research and professional training.

In her post doc program, Clawson is developing skills and knowledge through working with a variety of children and youth in the oncology, genetic/congenital, and epilepsy clinics. Clawson is receiving specialized training in autism spectrum disorder. She continues her research in autism and am currently involved in a project examining neuropsychological outcomes in autism.

“I am incredibly grateful for my current opportunities, and for all those at BYU whose guidance and support have helped me succeed,” Clawson said.

 

We’re proud of the great work Doctors Levan and Clawson are doing to expand knowledge of pediatric psychology and development!

Alumni: YOU can Make a Difference by Being a Mentor

Author Mark Twain said, “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” Alumni, how did you get to where you are now? How did you get started? Did you know that you can help current BYU students get their start? Mentoring is an easy way to give back your alma mater.

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Benefits for Current Students

What are the benefits for students? Steve O’Brian, Customer Success team leader at Chronus, a company that designs software that facilitates those mentoring relationships, lists them as:

  1. Help finding jobs:Smart universities are improving job placement rates after graduation by developing students and alumni through mentoring programs. These development programs connect and enhance a student’s networks to provide them with better tools for their job search.” Have you ever had someone who taught you the tricks of the trade? How helpful was it? Wouldn’t you want to do the same for someone else?                                                                                                                                                  
  2. Encouragement: Getting a college education can be difficult. Alumni members of all professions and backgrounds can make a difference by mentoring and encouraging current students. You can help give them the confidence and boost they need to continue their education and to succeed.

However, it isn’t just students that benefit from mentoring: You can too!

Benefits for Alumni who Mentor

Here are three ways you as an alumni can benefit from mentoring a current BYU student:

  1. Stay involved: Professor Sarah Stanley of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said, “Often alumni want to become involved in activities that further promote and serve the university, and being a mentor allows them to become involved.” There are other ways to be involved than by donating money. If you aren’t in the position to give financially but still want give back to BYU, then look into mentoring!                     people-office-group-team
  2. Recruit workers: When you mentor, you establish a relationship with a student. You’re passing on the skills of your trade and teaching them how to thrive in the workforce. By the time they graduate, your student will most likely need a job, and since you’ve already trained them, they make good ideal candidates.
  3. Feel happier and healthier:  “Generosity has been found to reduce stress, increase longevity, and produce happiness hormones,” says Sandra Gurvis of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. “When [people] helped others, they felt more energetic and stronger and even experienced a sense of euphoria, or ‘helper’s high.'” By mentoring and being generous with your time, you help others and yourself. Says BYU Psychology professor Brent Slife in his soon-to-be-released book Frailty and Flourishing: “Self-benefit and other-benefit are usually and naturally co-mingled because relationships and mutual activity are central to a good human life. Attempting to separate them into egoistic and altruistic activities is a pointless distraction from the primary business of acting well together.”

It’s obvious that mentoring a student will greatly impact their college experience and future career while strengthening your relationship with BYU and making you overall happier. It’s a win-win. So why not take the plunge? Here are some websites to help you out:

BYU Career Services

For General Mentoring: Alumni Career Services

For Political Science Alumni: BYU Political Affairs Society

For Economics Alumni: Alumni Mentoring Program

Did you have an alumni mentor?

Featured image courtesy of Flickr.

Dr. Edin defines family instability and complexity

Part 1: The Problem

“By the time a child of unwed parents turns five, 23 percent of them have 3 half siblings,” said Dr. Kathryn Edin at our most recent Hinckley lecture. Edin’s decades-long ethnographic research about low-income families revealed that:

  • 78% of families are unstable and complex
  • 18% are stable two-parent families
  • 4% are stable single mother families

Family or relationship instability refers to the forming, breaking, reforming, breaking cycle of family life. This cycle of parents not staying together leaves the child with many parental figures who enter and leave their life, often while the child is very young. “In the first five years of a child who belongs to unmarried parents,” she said, “twelve percent of these children see one parent transition; 30 percent of children see three or more parent transitions in the first five years of their life.”

“Family instability and complexity,” she said, “are both consequences and causes of poverty. It is more common among low-income families. And they are at an all time high.”

These causes and consequences are parts of a difficult and complex societal issue, but her research provides both illumination for every member of society wondering how to help, and suggestions for improvement at the public policy level. That research began decades ago when she began roaming the country in her 20’s interviewing poor single mothers about their budgets. In her 30’s, she sought to get a more complete picture by focusing on the stories and laments of single fathers.

A major cause of family complexity and instability in poverty: unplanned pregnancy

captureNow as a distinguished sociologist at Johns Hopkins University, she investigates low-income and middle class family planning styles. These observations have proven crucial to discovering how to lessen family instability and complexity.

She found that those in low-income families often had unplanned or ill-timed pregnancies in non-committal relationships. Children tended to come along when the parents were still trying to “find themselves.”

In contrast, middle-class families meticulously planned and timed births. Parents were in a stable and committed relationship, often marriage. Parents had children when they both had “arrived” in a career-sense—they were confident with who they were and they felt fulfilled. Children who were born into families like the second scenario had a better upbringing in a more stable family.

The key lesson Edin learned in her 30s: “Moving the needle on mobility from poverty must include the family contexts into which children are born and raised. This is not a popular opinion, but I became convinced this was essential.”

With all of this in mind, Edin asked: “What would it take to ensure that every child can be planned and well-timed?” The answer? SPARKS (Supported Pathways through the Arts, Recreation, Knowledge, and Schools). Children and teens who have a SPARK identify themselves outside of their hard home life—they find themselves. They make better family decisions.

Stay tuned to fhss.byu.edu for more posts about how to help low-income families become more stable as we provide further coverage of the Hinckley lecture and explanation of SPARKS.

You can view the whole lecture here: