Trenton Blair is a senior studying environmental science with a minor in political science at Brigham Young University. He is a cadet in BYU’s Air Force ROTC program with plans on to attend law school and become a JAG in the Air Force. He has worked as a research assistant with professor Bryan Hopkins since his freshman year studying phosphorus fertilizers and increasing use efficiency of fertilizers to lessen environmental effects of agricultural fertilizer applications. He is also the president of BYU’s Environmental Science Club and helped to begin the Planet Earth Panel Series that regularly invites experts from different disciplines to come to BYU to talk about current environmental issues. His lab work and educational background has lead to an internship in Washington D.C. working for Schramm, Williams, and Associates, an agricultural lobbying firm that represents specialty crop growers. His interests include running, backpacking, and just about anything else that will get him away from the daily grind.
Mark Castillo is a Junior majoring in Finance. Shortly after returning from a church mission to Central Chile, he spent a semester interning at the U.S. Treasury in Washington D.C. and subsequently completed a summer internship with Goldman Sachs in New York City. He enjoys reading and learning about current events in his spare time. He plans to continue his education and work in the financial services industry after graduation.
Rebecca Udall Cowan
Rebecca Udall Cowan is a senior studying Elementary Education at Brigham Young University. She agrees with David O. Mckay that “the noblest of all noble professions is that of teaching” (Mckay, 1953). Beginning this August, she will begin an internship teaching third grade in Jordan school district. Rebecca believes teaching is a moral endeavor and public education is the cornerstone of a prosperous democratic society. She is currently a research assistant for an early literacy program called Project SEEL (which stands for Systematic Engaging Early Literacy). This project, developed by Drs. Barbara Culatta and Dana Kovarsky, aims to teach young children to read through meaningful, playful activities. (For more information visit: education.byu.edu/seel ). After graduation, Rebecca plans to obtain a Master’s degree in School Leadership. Mckay, David O. “Address of President David O. McKay.” Faculty Workshop. Brigham Young University. 18 09 1953. Address.
Alyssa Erickson was born and raised in Boise, Idaho, where her house is located on the same street as her elementary, middle, and high schools. After enjoying classes in the elementary education and business programs, she found her niche in Latin American Studies, with minors in Music and Global Business & Literacy. In graduate school, Alyssa is interested in studying how technology can enhance the effectiveness of classroom teaching (especially to Spanish-speaking English Language Learners), as well as curriculum design. After teaching English in Mexico through a program called ILP and then living in the foreign language housing, she hopes to learn more about how second languages can be best taught and learned through immersion and online. She enjoys her job as an Instructional Design Assistant at BYU Independent Study. Alyssa is a Program Director for BYU Tutoring Services, which connects BYU student tutors with students who are struggling in a given class, and she looks forward to the the launch of a new website system that will connect with Learning Suite and make it easier for tutors to serve. Her hobbies include piano, organ, guitar, varying styles of dance, yoga, tennis, soccer, practicing her Spanish, and reading.
Ryan Hill graduated magna cum laude from BYU in April 2014 with a BS in Economics, Mathematics, and Political Science. He has been accepted to the Ph.D. program in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he will enroll in the fall of 2014 and is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in economics. His research interests include applied microeconomics, industrial organization, and political economy. In the summer of 2012, Ryan completed an internship with the American Action Forum in Washington D.C. where he researched health and economic policy. The following summer he participated in mentored field research in Kampala, Uganda with Dr. Daniel Nielson in the BYU Political Science Department where he helped administer randomized program evaluations about microsavings and NGO accountability. Ryan is currently working as a research assistant to Dr. Joseph Price in the BYU Economics Department. They are studying family, labor, and behavioral economics. Ryan and his wife Sarah enjoy skiing, taking road trips, and attending baseball games.
Ryan Hopkin is a Junior pursuing a degree in Latin American Studies with minors in business management and communications. Ryan was born and raised in northern Wyoming where he lived and worked on his family’s farm until graduating from high school. After serving a mission in the Dominican Republic, he began his studies at BYU where he has had a number of remarkable opportunities. In 2012, Ryan interned with the Embassy of Ecuador to the United States in Washington DC and recently completed a global marketing study abroad this past spring that took to through Europe and Asia meeting with business executives of companies including Google, eBay, Barclays, and others. His love and passion for different cultures and customs has motivated him to work toward a future career in marketing and public relations throughout Latin America.
Alyxis Keller is a senior at BYU double majoring in Music, with an emphasis in piano, and in the Humanities, with an emphasis in Comparative Literature. She has always been interested in the power of the arts; throughout her life, she has learned that access to the arts provides means of expression, lessons in discipline, and the creation of cultural unity. After completing her undergraduate studies, she hopes to pursue a Masters in Public Administration so that she is better equipped to share this knowledge with others. More specifically, she is working to promote the arts and their positive influence in local communities.
From a tiny town in Connecticut, Alyxis has studied the piano for nearly two decades. She also has academic interests in the French language, world music, literary period studies, and music history.
Brock M. Mason
Brock M. Mason is a PhD candidate in philosophy at Fordham University. He graduated from Brigham Young University in April of 2014 with a degree in philosophy and minors in logic and ancient Near Eastern studies. While at BYU, Brock served as the editor for Studia Antiqua, as a research assistant for professor David L. Paulsen, and as an associate editor of Aporia. He has been a Kennedy Scholar (2011-2012) and an ORCA grant recipient (2012). In addition to his work in Provo, Brock has studied and conducted research in Israel, Turkey, Greece, and Austria. Brock has won various awards for his academic writing, including first place in the annual Phi Kappa Phi essay contest (2012). He has published or presented various papers on ethics, philosophy of religion, theology, and scriptural interpretation. His academic interests include philosophy of religion, philosophy of law, biblical studies, and the philosophy and theology of Mormonism. Brock is married to Jessica Andersen Mason and loves married life.
Shayla Nuttall is from Las Vegas, NV and is a junior studying finance at BYU. She enjoys learning new things and especially enjoys learning about business strategy. Shayla wanst to pursue a masters degree, possibly in business, information systems, or statistics and might try to get a PhD. She enjoys reading books and articles online and sharing what she has read with others.