Christina Riley: Fulbright Scholarship Recipient

Christina Riley, a recent BYU Applied Social Psychology doctoral candidate, has recently been awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. With it, she intends to work in India, studying the likelihood of physical abuse in that country.  Her interest in helping resolve social justice issues like domestic violence effectively through prevention efforts is what drove her to apply for the scholarship, and what drives her research. She’s published five papers examining effective domestic violence prevention programs cross-culturally, as well as the social factors that contribute to domestic violence perpetration, as well as gender roles and obesity.

Who is Christina Riley?

Riley is a graduate of Baylor University with a degree in psychology and two minors in English and World Affairs. She came to BYU to pursue a PhD in psychology. While here, Riley has taught the online version of Intro to Psychology, Developmental Psychology: Lifespan, and a Peer Mentoring Capstone. She plans on going into “…into academia for research and teaching…[and]…to collaborate with international research agencies and NGOs focused on ending violence against women.”

What is a Fulbright Scholarship?

The scholarship that will be the catalyst for her dynamic research is one of many awarded by the J. Williams Fulbright Scholarship Board, whose members are all appointed by U.S. presidents. Each year, it gives around 1,900 grants and works in over 140 countries. It is administered overseas by bi-national commissions and U.S. embassies, who all work to increase mutual understanding between people of the U.S. and of other countries through exchange. In a time when both the physical and virtual worlds are more accessible that they have ever been, such increased, mutual understanding, acquired by as many students as possible, is perhaps more important than it has ever been. BYU’s College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences is not only proud of Christina, but interested in making sure that other students know about this great opportunity. To that end, the college hosted events in March to increase awareness and facilitate application preparations.

At that meeting on campus, Lee Rivers, an outreach specialist for the U.S. Student Fulbright Program and other international scholarship programs, encouraged students to consider applying for the next round of Fulbright scholarships, as the next deadline for applications will be in October 2017.  During their grants, Rivers said, Fulbrighters will meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences.  “The program facilitates cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field, home, and in routine tasks, allowing the grantee to gain an appreciation of others’ viewpoints and beliefs, the way they do things, and the way they think. Through engagement in the community, the individual will interact with their hosts on a one-to-one basis in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity, and intellectual freedom, thereby promoting mutual understanding.”

Other Students Are Encouraged to Apply

All of the following are encouraged to apply to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program:

  • graduating seniors and recent bachelor’s-degree recipients that have some undergraduate preparation and/or direct work or internship experience related to the project.
  • master’s and doctoral candidates who can demonstrate the capacity for independent study or research, together with a general knowledge of the history, culture, and current events of the countries to which they would like to apply
  • Young professionals, including writers, creative and performing artists, journalists, and those in law, business, and other professional fields   Competitive candidates who have up to 5 years of professional study and/or experience in the field in which they would like to apply will be considered. Those with more than 5 years of experience should apply to the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.

More information on the scholarship program can be found at us.fulbrightonline.org. This programprovides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs.” The research will take place outside of the United States. Applications can be found here.

The Fulbright Scholarship

The Fulbright Scholarship was proposed in 1945 and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman in 1946. A student does not need to be currently enrolled in an institute of higher education to apply. They can apply for two kinds of grants, based on their desire to do independent research or study abroad, or to teach English abroad. Each grant funds 8 to 10 months of work. The grant funds round-trip airfare and provides a monthly stipend, as well as accident and sickness insurance and other possible benefits.

 

Featured image courtesy of Flickr.

 

 

 

Students: Four Ways You Can Help Others This Holiday Season

For many, this is the Happiest Time of the Year, and for good reason.  The getting of presents is generally an experience enjoyed by all. But the giving of not only presents but also time and service can make the season much more meaningful. The true enjoyment of the season, however, is one that might take some time and a little bit of creativity to develop, but is truly worth it. Here are four ways that you as a student in BYU’s College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences can help others this holiday season:

Support the Refugee Empowerment Club

This group, as we mentioned here, “…offers students the opportunity to become aware of the refugee crisis in Utah and around the globe.” Currently, there are 21.3 million refugees in the world, with more than half being less than 18 years old. There are things that students can do to educate themselves about the issue, right here on campus. Check out their Facebook page for information on their next activity. 14495385_615473538613308_7091328931985394175_n

Courtesy of the Refugee Empowerment Club

Do Your Family History

Just because they’re dead doesn’t mean we can’t serve them. The prophets and apostles have spoken on this and why it is imperative that we do it. Doing family history can also help you to be a better missionary. Furthermore, who knows what you might find?

13774249_1138204039572875_2058881546_n

 

Participate in #LightTheWorld

For each day in December, the LDS church has challenged us to participate in an act of service. These range from helping the homeless to helping someone who is struggling. They’re simple, yet meaningful acts that we can all do.

light-the-world
Courtesy of LDS.org

Partner Up with Y-Serve

Y-Serve offers a vast amount of service projects. Programs include: International Network of Tutors of Languages, Cougar Coaches, Jimmerosity, and RAH (which comes with bowling.

web-banner_0
Courtesy of Y-Serve

Service doesn’t have to be grand or loud to be impactful. As Markus Zusak said, “Big things are often just little things that people notice.”

What will you do to help out this holiday season?

GIFs courtesy of giphy.com

Students: How to Navigate Christmas FHSS Style

It’s that time of year again! Candy canes, ugly sweaters, and an endless barrage of Hallmark movies. You may be tempted to navigate Christmas like this:

wake-up

 

However, that’s not what Christmas should be; we need to be focusing on its true meaning. Try these steps instead:

wake-up-1

 

If you need help, BYU Speeches has some great material that applies to navigating Christmas:

How do You Navigate Christmas?

Student News: Even You Can Help Refugees, Right Now

Owing to an increase of global unrest, we have heard much about the global refugee crisis.  Because our country is not physically connected to the countries most affected by this unrest (like Europe, which is connected to the Middle East where many refugees are fleeing from), we mistakenly assume that there is nothing we can do to really help.  This assumption is incorrect.  There is more you can do than just donate money to refugees in Europe. There are refugees here in the United States. There are refugees struggling in Utah. Dr. Stacey Shaw, one of our new professors and a collaborator with the International Rescue Committee, says that the IRC resettled 1,245 people as refugees in Utah in its last fiscal year. The main countries of origin for these people were the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Iraq, Burma, Syria, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Sudan, Eritrea, Burundi, Central African Republic, and Iran. Most of them are being resettled in Salt Lake County and a few are going to Ogden, but agencies are also considering possibilities for resettlement in Utah County and St. George. She advocates, as do others, helping them, not only because of their obvious need but also out of sheer empathy.

“If we could see, hear, smell, touch, and feel what people are experiencing, I believe we would live differently,” she says. “[Like] Cecilia Razovsky, who was a great advocate for refugee resettlement and services during World War II when Americans were resistant to immigration in ways that are very similar to what is happening today, [we should recognize that], ‘When you are asked to help in the cause, bear these things in mind and say with others- There but for the grace of God, go I!’ Elizabeta Jevtic-Somlai, visiting professor of political science, adds, in a recent BYU Magazine article, “Look at refugees as human beings, not as a service project. If you want to extend yourself, be a real friend and be there. Do small, consistent acts rather than a one-time project. Really assess, ‘What can I do?’ and ‘What am I willing to do?’ If you can do more, a practical way to help is to create opportunities for self-reliance.”

For that very purpose, a club has been organized at BYU, to help BYU students empower refugees.

Join the Refugee Empowerment Club

14495385_615473538613308_7091328931985394175_nThe Refugee Empowerment Club offers students the opportunity to become aware of the refugee crisis in Utah and around the globe.  It also gives students opportunities to serve refugees.  The goal of the club is to change the community in to a more understanding, unified, and empowering place to thrive. Dr. Shaw said of the club, “It is great to see students interested in learning more about refugee issues and finding ways to serve.”

Students Norma Villenueva and Rachel McAllister created the club to help students know where to start in supporting refugees.

“We realized there wasn’t one source for students who want to get involved in refugee resettlement and the issues with that,” says McAllister, “So we started researching and compiling those resources and were connected with some other individuals who wanted to create a formal organization.” The Refugee Empowerment Club meets twice a month on Wednesdays in the FLAC in the basement of the JFSB.  One meeting will be the speaker series (mentioned below). The other meeting is an involvement activity. The club helped with the Spice Kitchen Incubator project for the International Refugee Committee.  They also had a refugee cultural night. The club’s involvement activities are chosen based on the refugee’s current needs and the interests of the club members. The Refugee Empowerment Club has the following events in the works:

  • a cultural night in collaboration with SID on Thursday, November 17
  • a refugee-run catering service where participants can buy the cultural foods sold by refugees
  • an evening to write letters to Congress and the UN to urge better human rights practices related to refugee resettlement
  • a benefit concert to raise money for refugees (Fall 2017)

The Refugee Empowerment Club will begin a speaker series about the refugee crisis.  In the series, a member of main organizations in refugee resettlement and assistance in Utah, or refugees themselves, speak about specific refugee issues, their organization, and how to get involved.  The first speaker will be the director of the Women of the World organization, Samira Harnish.  She will speak about what it’s like to be a refugee, and especially the experience of female refugees.  Harnish’s speech will be on November 30 from 7:00-8:30 p.m. in Kennedy Center’s main conference room.

chain-690088_1280If participating in any of the club’s activities is not a possibility for you, you could consider these opportunities as well:

 

Student Rachel Stone: Passionate About Political Science

Confucius once said, “The truly wise person goes beyond knowledge.” Nobody exemplifies this more than Political Science student Rachel Stone. An active member of the university and the community, she has used her skills and knowledge to better everyone around her. Recently, we had the opportunity to talk with her:

Q: What’s your major? Why did you choose it? Was there a particular experience that led you to it?

A: I study Political Science with a minor in Computer Science, with the intention of using technology to change the way that governments interact with their citizens. rachel-stoneI became converted to the future of 21st century government after conducting research for a venture capitalist after my first year at BYU.

Q: What are you involved in (i.e. extracurricular activities)?

A: I co-founded and served as President of Women in Politics, a branch of BYU’s Political Affairs Society. I was raised by feminists to become a feminist, and am passionate about empowering women in fields of leadership and STEM. After two years of heavy involvement with Provo City, I also helped launch the nonpartisan Provo Student Project. It is currently registering students to vote and orienting students to Provo when they first move in.

Q: Any tips for getting involved?

A: First, know your strengths and offer them.

Second, someone else on campus feels the way that you do too.

Third, persistently ask and ye shall receive. Boldly, continuously asking for the jobs, internships, scholarships or extracurricular roles that you want will open doors for you.

Q: What do you like to do outside of school?

A: Shop the Provo Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning during the fall, drink hot chocolate on Provo Center Street during the winter, attempt to out-cycle Mayor Curtis during Provo Bike Week during the spring, and run all of the Provo 5K’s during the summer.

Q: Random fact or story about yourself?

A: Right now, I am writing you from the BYU Jerusalem Center. I came to Jerusalem to realize more of my identity as an Asian Ashkenazi Jew (from which my dad converted to Mormonism). From here, I am voting by email, believe it or not! I encourage you to invest energy to vote this year!

For more Student Spotlights, be sure to check out Sarah Curry!

Sarah Curry, FHSS Student Extra-ordinaire

It has been said that “the quality of a university is measured more by the kind of student it turns out than the kind it takes in.” If this is true, then BYU is a very fine university, based at least on political science major Sarah Curry . fhsspictureThe senior has traveled both the world and the U.S. and is involved in many things on-campus.

Recently, we had the opportunity to talk with her about her school experience:

Getting to Know Sarah Curry

Q: What’s your major? Why did you choose it? Was there a particular experience that lead you to it?

A: I am studying political science with an emphasis in political strategy, and minoring in global studies and nonprofit management. I grew up in the Washington DC area, which exposed me to politics at a young age. When I came to BYU, I knew I wanted to learn how to serve my community. Political science has taught me valuable quantitative and writing skills, as well as a practical understanding of institutions that I will need to serve effectively. Additionally, the faculty and students in political science are fascinating! Their perspectives and experiences are far-reaching. Everyone is supportive and wants to pull you into their network. I really have found my tribe.

Q: What are you involved in (i.e. extracurricular activities)?

A: I am the special events director for BYU Political Affairs Society. I am the co-founder and president of BYUPAS Women in Politics. I am also a member of both Nonprofit Management Student Association and Students for International Development. I am a Undergraduate Fellow at the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy. I was a TA for POLI 201 for three semesters and have been a RA since January. This semester, I am involved with the KBYU-Utah Colleges Exit Poll, and encourage everyone reading this to volunteer for it as well.

Q: Any tips for getting involved?

A: Be bold! Go to activities hosted by clubs and student associations. Every major has at least one. Talk to people in class. Turn group projects into a way to make friends. Meet and work with your professors and TAs. I have been connected to opportunities that I would not have found otherwise through classmates and faculty. Show commitment to learning as much as you can while you’re at BYU. Our college can be improved by your ideas and insights — you just have to share them!

Q: What do you like to do outside of school?

A: Tap dance, SCUBA dive, cook international food, go to book club and Bombay House with my ladies, watch Parks and Rec and The Office with my husband. I also love to road trip and explore new places.

Q: Random fact or story about yourself?

A: My order at Sodalicious is a 24oz. I Love Lucy extra dirty.