Jeremy Bray was born in Hawaii, grew up in Arizona, and attended high school in Connecticut. He is currently taking premedical coursework, while also studying Chinese and Management at BYU. After serving a Mandarin speaking mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Taiwan and California, Jeremy developed a passion for studying Chinese. In the fall of 2013, he had the opportunity to study abroad in China at Nanjing University. While there, he finished many of the requirements for a major in Chinese, as well as became certified as Advanced-High in Chinese fluency by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. In the summer of 2014, Jeremy completed an accounting and finance internship at Experian in Costa Mesa, CA. He is currently doing research at BYU in the Physiology and Developmental Biology Department of the College of Life Sciences. In October 2015, he presented his research about caffeine concentration and its effect on skeletal muscle differentiation at the American College of Sports Medicine conference in Newport Beach, CA. In addition, Jeremy is currently working at BYU in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department as an inorganic chemistry recitation leader. Jeremy is preparing to take the MCAT and hopes to attend medical school upon graduating from BYU in 2016. In his free time, he enjoys cooking with his wife, playing basketball, softball, and skateboarding.
McKenna Caskey is a capstone student in BYU’s Nursing Program. She is from Scottsdale, AZ and has high hopes of one day pursuing a career as a Nurse Practitioner. She will graduate December 2015 and is currently interested in critical care nursing and hopes to work in an ICU, preferably specializing in cardiology. She currently works as an Anatomy TA and research assistant in the College of Nursing. Her research focuses on nursing informatics and the safety of electronic health records in the clinical setting. She enjoys running, cooking, traveling, and spoiling her niece!
Alejandra Gimenez is a senior from Connecticut studying Political Science at Brigham Young University. She has been an Undergraduate Fellow with the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy since January 2014 and works as a research assistant for the Center. Alejandra also serves as the head of publicity for the student chapter of the BYU Political Affairs Society. Her research interests include voting behaviors, campaigns and elections, gender in politics, and survey methodology. In April 2015, she and her co-author won first place at the Mary Lou Fulton Mentored Research Conference for their work on studying the effects of question wording on public opinion of the minimum wage. Later that month, she presented her research on gender dynamics at caucus meetings at the annual Midwest Political Science Association Conference in Chicago, IL. After graduation, she plans to pursue a PhD in American Politics. In her spare time, she loves to play tennis, attend sporting events, and sing, and was a member of the BYU Concert Choir.
Lauren Livingston grew up in Utah as the oldest of six children. She is studying Information Systems at BYU, and will graduate in April 2016 with her Bachelors and Masters. She currently enjoys taking digital forensics, networking infrastructure, and user interface design classes.
During the summer of 2014, she studied entrepreneurship and innovation at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and had a wonderful time studying abroad in Europe this past summer. Lauren is a strong proponent for women in technology. Her favorite activities include dirt biking, playing the violin, snowboarding, and playing hockey.
My name is Taylor-Grey Miller. I’m a senior majoring in philosophy and minoring in logic and mandarin chinese. After graduation I plan on pursuing a J.D./PhD in philosophy, and I’m currently working on a research project involving Spinoza’s metaphysics. I am the Editor-in-Chief of Aporia BYU’s undergraduate philosophy journal, but in my spare time I enjoy putting on large-scale amateur firework shows and watching the walking dead.
Christopher Rytting is a junior studying Math and Economics. He is from Orem, Utah, and attended Timpanogos High School. Christopher aims to get a PhD in economics after graduating from BYU. After graduate school, he hopes to workas a university professor, hopefully helping to make public policy decisions. He enjoys the mountains, jazz and classical music, soccer, and learning in general.
Josh Schmidt is from Rocklin, CA and is a senior studying Mechanical Engineering at Brigham Young University. During the summer of 2013 Josh interned at SkyCraft airplanes where he helped the startup company manufacture the very first planes being sold by the company (…where he helped the startup company manufacture their very first planes on the market). The following summer, Josh interned at Valero Energy Corporation at their Benicia, CA refinery. His projects included repairing a service line, increasing pump performance, and installing permanant filters for the process. In addition to his internships, Josh has also worked as the Student Assistant to the Director of the Weidman Center for Global Leadership where he helped further the impact of the center, researched leadership education, and helped start the Leadership Lectures Series within the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology. He also has worked as a Research Assistant developing ways to measure ultra-high temperatures using radiative heat transfer methods. Josh hopes to continue his education and get his Master’s degree in either Mechanical Engineering, Business Adminstration, or both through the MS/MBA joint program. When he has completed his education, he hopes to be an influential leader in the technical workplace. Josh loves being outdoors, playing sports, and hiking with his wife. He is also excited to be (become) a father to his unborn child who he is expecting in November 2014.
Tyler Simms is from Carson City, NV and is a senior studying political science at BYU. Tyler is heavily involved in the political science department at BYU. He is currently the president of the BYU Political Affairs Society, a student research fellow for the Center for the Studies of Elections and Democracy (CSED) and works as an RA for Dr. Jay Goodliffe. Tyler’s research interests include presidential campaigns and donors, public opinion, and political participation. Tyler will graduate in April of 2015 and plans to attend law school the following fall. After law school, Tyler plans to have a career working in government. In his spare time, Tyler loves reading the news, reading books, attending athletic events (especially baseball games), going on hikes, and playing tennis.
Austin Unsicker is in a double major with the Math and Math Education programs at BYU. He was nominated “Outstanding Junior” this past year by the Math Department. He is participating in two math research projects: one on mathematical origami with Dr. Denise Halverson, and the other on geometric optimization with Dr. Gary Lawlor, both of the BYU Math Department. Last summer he presented his research to the MAA MathFest conference in Connecticut. He received the “Outstanding Presentation Award.” He was also an undergraduate session winner for the same research at the BYU Spring Research Conference of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. He has a passion for improving education, and enjoys tutoring as a volunteer. He plans to pursue Masters and PhD programs in math and/or math education. Summer 2014 brought a Research Experience for Undergraduates at Illinois State University. This is a unique internship with the opportunity to blend math research with exploring advanced teaching methods with select students from the Chicago Public Schools. Austin is engaged to be married to recent BYU Computer Science graduate Christine Kendall on August 15, 2014.
Hello, I’m Morgan Vonasek! I was born and raised in El Dorado, CA with seven siblings. I am a senior, majoring in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. I am anticipating graduation this spring and hoping to gain admission into a medical school. I am currently working in Dr. Riley Nelson’s entomology lab and discovering new species. I have been part of his lab for three years and have enjoyed every second of it. I love anything and everything outdoors including camping, hiking, and fly-fishing. My wife and I take every opportunity we can to go camping somewhere new. Being out in nature allows me to relax and feel at peace. I also am a huge sports fan and love to stay active. My favorite sports to both watch and play include football, basketball, rugby, and volleyball.