FHSS Valedictorians: Paige Park, Sociology

Senior Paige Park

Graduate, Paige Park, was named valedictorian for the Department of Sociology.

She grew up moving around the country with her family for her dad’s job. Though she enjoyed all of the places she lived, Paige claims Columbus, Georgia, where she went to high school, as home. The racial injustice apparent in her Columbus community prompted Paige to study sociology at BYU, where she hoped she would learn how to eradicate systemic inequality. Almost immediately after choosing sociology, Paige became involved in research and internships with professors who have continuously instructed and inspired her throughout her time at BYU.

Paige has worked on projects related to community well-being, education access, and rural health care. Currently, she is working on a project related to paid family leave that she plans to turn into her master’s thesis at BYU next year. After completing the BYU master’s program, Paige plans to attend law school to become a public interest lawyer. She would like to thank her family, friends, and BYU mentors for their continued encouragement and support. 

FHSS Valedictorians: Pamela Love, School of Family Life

Pamela Love

Graduate, Pamela Love, was named valedictorian for the School of Family Life. She is the daughter of Ross and Jolene Davidson.

At age 10, she set a goal to attend BYU on scholarship. Her father mentored her until she accomplished her goal. After studying elementary education for a few years, she decided to continue her education at home when she married Kevin Love in 1993.  She devoted the next twenty-five years to her family and she and Kevin now have six children: McKaila, Hunter, Emily, Weston, Elisabeth, and Abigail. When Kevin’s health prevented him from working, she returned to BYU to finish her childhood dream.

She looks forward to using her undergraduate education as a foundation as she enters the Master of Social Work program at BYU in the fall. She would like to thank BYU, her professors and mentors, and especially God, her parents, husband, and children for their support, guidance, and encouragement. 

FHSS Valedictorians: Camille Carter Tuttle, Psychology

Senior Camille Carter Tuttle

Graduate, Camille Carter Tuttle, received valedictorian honors from the Department of Psychology. She is the daughter of Eric and Allison Carter and the fifth of seven siblings.

The activities she enjoys most are playing with her family, spending time outside, reading excellent books, and swimming. During her undergraduate studies and mission to Mexico, she was repeatedly drawn to the complex nature of cognition and the human experience. She is double-major in psychology and human development. Throughout her BYU education, she participated in the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) Student Outreach Council as well as Dr. Birmingham’s Health and Behavior Lab as a research assistant.

She began a master’s program in counseling psychology in January and looks forward to the day when she can open her own private practice for mental health counseling. She attributes her success at BYU to the support of her incredible husband, Lawrence, her wise professors, ambitious classmates, and to God for all He encouraged and helped her to accomplish. 

FHSS Valedictorians: Braydon Madson, Political Science

Senior Braydon Madson

Senior graduate, Braydon Wade Madson, was named valedictorian for the Department of Political Science. He is the son of Heidi and Greg Madson.

He was born and raised in Payson, Utah and served a mission in Brisbane, Australia. During his time at BYU, he participated in a variety of programs, including internships in Washington, D.C. and Melbourne, Australia; a study abroad in the Holy Land; and a fellowship in the Global Politics Lab. He is also majoring in ancient Near Eastern studies. He participated in research that looked at minority group relations, the effects of Brexit, and the impact of the global refugee crisis.

The highlight of his undergraduate experience was working as a teaching assistant for POLI 328, Statistical Analysis. He will attend Duke University in the fall to begin work on a Ph.D. in public policy studying refugee and immigration issues, as well as expanding his quantitative skills and teaching abilities. He is extremely grateful for all the support provided by BYU faculty, his family, friends, and his fiancé and fellow political scientist, Brynne Townley. 

FHSS Valedictorians: Maci Jacobson, Neuroscience

Senior Maci Jacobson

Senior graduate, Maci Jacobson was named valedictorian for the Neuroscience Center.

She was born and raised in Riverton, Utah. She is a passionate BYU sports fan and is an artist, often called the “Gumwrapper Girl” for her ability to make art out of gum wrappers. In high school, Maci played and lettered in basketball, tennis, golf, and track. When injuries cut her sports career short, she focused more on school and was led to study neuroscience. She has fallen in love with the field as it has taught her more about empathy, healthy lifestyle, and the gospel. 

At BYU she found her passion for research and received two grants for undergraduate research studying the effects of nutrition and exercise on cognition. Maci hopes to eventually return to BYU as a neuroscience professor and contribute to unlocking the brain through research. Maci has been married for almost a year to Trace, the man of her dreams, and they currently live in Draper, Utah. After graduation, Maci will start her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Utah. 

FHSS Valedictorian: Miranda Jessop, History

Senior Miranda Jessop

2020 graduate, Miranda Jessop, was named valedictorian for the Department of History.

She is an honors student double majoring in history and Spanish Studies with a minor in German, and is scholar at heart. Her parents Christopher and Tiffany Jessop often tease her about her first word, “book,” because it proved to be indicative of her future. She will graduate with four published works to her name (including one in Spanish) and has won multiple awards for her writing.

Miranda interned in Vienna, transcribing audio recordings of interviews with concentration camp survivors for the Mauthausen Survivors Project, and studied European History at the University of Cambridge. She belongs to numerous honors societies and has enjoyed serving as the president of Phi Alpha Theta and editing The Thetean.

When she isn’t researching and writing about women’s history, Miranda is likely to be found doing a jigsaw puzzle, lifting weights, practicing jiu jitsu, playing guitar, or hanging out with her four younger brothers. She would like to thank the outstanding faculty members and wonderful friends and family who have encouraged her to follow her dreams. 

FHSS Valedictorians: Aspen Neville, Geography

Senior Aspen Neville

Senior, Aspen Emily Neville, was named valedictorian for the Department of Geography. She is the daughter of Ron and Lara Neville.

Aspen grew up in Vail, Colorado. While deciding a major, she participated in the Kilimanjaro: Global Adventure Travel in Tanzania study abroad with the Geography Department. That eye-opening experience helped her find a love of geography and a desire to learn about the world around her. With the Geography Department, she has been a teaching assistant and has been involved with the BYU weather station. Additionally, Aspen has worked as a GIS (geographic information system) intern with a water conservancy district. She joined both Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key International Honor Society at BYU.

Outside of school, she enjoys long-distance running, including having run the Boston Marathon two times while attending BYU, skiing, hiking, and just being in nature. She would like to thank her parents for their constant support and love as well as the Geography Department for making her experience at BYU a memorable one.

The Rollins Center: Building the Business of Social Science

Marriott School of Business Students in the Tanner Building. Jaren Wilkey © BYU PHOTO

Have you ever had a class where you were required to ask for a discount every time you bought something in person? Students in the Business Fundamentals and Advertising for Startups course are given this very assignment. This class is one section of Topics in Entrepreneurial Management (ENT 490R) offered by the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, whose aim is to prepare students to begin and expand their own businesses.

Although ENT 490R is a business class, students from the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences are branching out of their classes in the college to learn how to apply what they are learning to the business world. FHSS students share that their experience with business has enhanced their majors by providing them with new opportunities and social connections.

Referring to the assignments of ENT 490R, Taylor Hollingshaus, a junior majoring in economics, shares “all of the class assignments have been unique…you are not going to get an assignment you get in this class from other classes.” He reports that these assignments are teaching him that it is important to “be okay with being uncomfortable.” Juan Saaved, a junior majoring in sociology, says that the discount assignment in particular “taught me that you aren’t going to lose anything you don’t have.”

Harrison Riehle, a senior majoring in Geography, Urban & Regional Planning, says that the “most interesting and rewarding things I’ve done have come from the Rollins Center…I have met people I never could have met by just being in class.” Hollingshaus adds that it is “good to get outside of what we normally do” and that FHSS students also have the opportunity to bring a unique perspective to the ENT 490R class that can benefit their peers.

For Saaved, ENT 490R is enhancing his education by teaching him the business skills he needs in order to create his own start-up. His dream is to create a more affordable tourist package for students who want to travel to Machu Picchu, complete with housing, food, and guides. He wants to help students overcome language barriers and prevent common travel problems like avoiding pickpockets. Because Saaved hopes to create a business that will foster unique travel experiences for tourists, he sees ENT 490R as a course that “helps you make your idea a reality.”

The benefits of ENT 490R for FHSS students go beyond the business skills. For Riehle, taking a business class as an FHSS student is about becoming well-rounded. It is also about understanding more about how the world works, since he feels “business plays a part in any career.” For Saaved, participating in business is meaningful, because it brings people together. He shares that ENT 490R has individuals from a variety of backgrounds. “When it comes to the business world,” says Saaved, “we are all speaking the same language, [enabling] us to overcome social barriers.”

Due to all the valuable skills and connections students are making, it is no surprise that FHSS students are finding that the course is enhancing their college experience. For students interested in business but who are hesitant, Riehle says that “no one cares if you aren’t a business student or wearing a suit or something… when it comes to your educational goals, you can do anything you want to do.” For more information, visit the Rollins Center.

FHSS Valedictorians: Savannah Hurley, Anthropology

Senior Savannah Hurley

2020 graduate, Savannah Hurley, was named valedictorian for the Department of Anthropology. She is the daughter of Charlotte and Bryan Hurley. She grew up in Moab, Utah, and fell in love with studying people during her freshman year at BYU. She discovers a passion for new subjects each semester.

Last year she participated in an anthropological field school in Southeastern Utah and subsequently wrote a research thesis on the archaeology of trade in southern Utah and surrounding areas. She has enjoyed rubbing shoulders with brilliant and inspiring peers at this university.

Apart from learning, Savannah enjoys spending time with her family, collecting snakes, reading, traveling the world, and trying new foods. She would like to thank her family for their support, as well as all of her professors at BYU. In particular, she would like to thank Joseph Moody, Alexandra Brattos, James Allison, and Zach Chase for their skill in teaching and their considerate stewardship over, and even love for their students. Their inspiring words distinguished them and assured her she was worth teaching. 

FHSS Valedictorians: Victoria Beecroft, Economics

Senior Victoria Beecroft

2020 graduate, Victoria Beecroft, was awarded valedictorian honors for the Department of Economics. She is the daughter of Collin and Melinda Beecroft and the oldest of three children.

She grew up in Belmont, Massachusetts, and served a mission in Ribeirão Preto, Brazil. As an undergraduate, Victoria worked as a teaching assistant and research assistant for various professors in the Economics Department, Marriott School and Kennedy Center. She enjoyed the opportunity that the Economics Department and the Honors Program gave her to explore various disciplines and make the most of her academic experience. Victoria also worked as an intern for finance, technology, and management consulting companies.

Through her classes and work experience, she developed a passion for economic development and education, which she hopes to incorporate into her career as a consultant.

After graduation, Victoria plans to work for McKinsey & Company and apply to graduate school. She is very grateful to the professors who took time to work with her one-on-one. She is also grateful for her friends and family for their support.