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Celebrating April 2021 Honors Graduates

Congratulations Honors Graduates

To the 2021 Honors Graduates:

I admire you like no other students before you. During a year that challenged our world, our country, our university, and the social fabric of the Honors Program, you finished your coursework and Honors theses. Despite the challenges, you forged and nurtured interdisciplinary relationships that allowed you to learn from others, collaborate with faculty and peers, seek feedback on your work, and create new knowledge to impact the world for good. I am astounded by your essays and theses. They look good even through the mask-induced fog on my glasses.

Speaking of good, the world needs more of it in a big way. Who better to be an example of goodness to our communities, families, and faith than Honors graduates? Who better to grasp the amazing complexity of the problems facing us than Honors graduates? Who better to address those problems by making productive connections between diverse people and institutions than Honors graduates? Who better to bring concepts of faith and charity to the world than Honors graduates?

Now get out there, spread your rays of sunshine, and bring hope to this world after a time of hunkering down and uncertainty. May God bless you in your pursuits.

Dr. Spencer P. Magleby

April 2021 Graduatees

Alyssa May Baer

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Alyssa will present the student address at University Commencement Exercises on Thursday, April 22 at 10 am.  
Major: Public Health
Thesis: Mothers Without Borders Program Evaluation: Establishing Effective Program Evaluation and Assessing the Impact of Holistic Orphan Care (View Thesis)
Advisor: Aliceann Crandall
Plans After Graduation: Alyssa will attend graduate school at either George Washington University or the University of Utah.

Alixa Hadiya Janiece Brobbey

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Major: English
Thesis: Censorship and The Satanic Verses: Policing Blasphemy in a Secular World (View Thesis)
Advisor: Nicholas A. Mason
Plans After Graduation: Alixa will attend BYU Law School.

Hannah Rae Cagle

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Major: Linguistics
Thesis: Cognitive Effects of Grammatical Gender in L2 Spanish Acquisition: A Study Among Latter-day Saint Returned Missionaries
Advisor: Jeffrey R. Parker
Plans After Graduaton: Hannah plans to attend graduate school.

Jacob Andrew Davis

Major: Economics
Thesis: Gender Composition and Group Dynamics: Do Female Majority Groups Lead to Greater Emergence of Positive Group Behaviors? (View Thesis)
Advisor: Olga Stoddard
Plans After Graduation: Jacob has accepted a position with Cornerstone Research, an economic consulting firm.

George Reuben Garcia

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Major: Economics
Thesis: The Effects of Actual and Perceived Air Pollution on the Sentiment and Interests of U.S. Twitter Users (View Thesis) 
Advisor: Clive Arden Pope
Plans After Graduation: George has accepted a position as a Research Fellow at Stanford University.

Weber Keith Griffiths

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Major: Media Arts Studies
Thesis: The Man in the Tree: Death, Fantasy, and the Healing Found in Grief (View Thesis)
Advisor: Jeffrey L. Parkin
Plans After Graduation: Weber plans to work for a year and develop/pitch several TV series he's working on. Then he hopes to attend the MFA programs at UT Austin for film production.

Demitri Elias Haddad

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Major: Information Systems
Thesis: Building the Future of Real Estate Through the Blockchain (View Thesis)
Advisor: Mark J. Keith
Plans After Graduation: Demitri has accepted a position with Amazon.

Hunter Ted Hallows

Major: Geography
Thesis: Environmental determinism and professional football: A study of how climate and demographics determine success in the NFL (View Thesis)
Advisor: Ryan Russell Jensen
Plans After Graduation: Hunter will attend Law School

Denise Diandian Han

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Major: Finance
Thesis: The Real Effects of the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 During COVID-19 (View Thesis) 
Advisor: Benjamin C. Iverson
Plans After Graduation: Denise will attend Yale Law School.

Katelynne Sue Hinckley

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Major: Global Supply Chain Management
Thesis: How has COVID-19 Changed the Willingness of Consumers to Participate in Value Co-creation in Service Industries? (View Thesis)
Advisor: Scott Edward Sampson
Plans After Graduation: Katelynne will be employed as a merchandising operations analyst for Walmart in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Kaitlin Nicole Hoelzer

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Major: English
Thesis: Seeking the Feminine Divine: Mormon Women's Religious Authority, Power, and Presence in Rachel Hunt Steenblik's Mother's Milk (View Thesis)
Advisor: Trenton L. Hickman
Plans After Graduation: Kaitlin will be working on an MA in English here at BYU, and plans to pursue a PhD.

Caleb Dee Johnson

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Major: Computer Science
Thesis: The Communicative Effects of Anonymity Online: A Natural Language Analysis of the Faceless (View Thesis)
Advisor: Nancy Ellen Fulda
Plans After Graduation: Caleb will pursue graduate work and is currently deciding between Carnegie Mellon, UC San Diego, and the University of Utah.

Moriah Hanna Longhurst

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Major: Chemistry
Thesis: Telsam-Target Protein Fusions Can Form Diffraction-Quality Crystals Without Direct Inter-polymer Contacts (View Thesis)
Advisor: James D. Moody
Plans After Graduation: Moriah will attend graduate school at Oregon State University.

Casey Lee McClellan

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Major: Geography
Thesis: "To Hold the World Together": A Uinta Basin Spatial History (View Thesis)
Advisor: Samuel M. Otterstrom
Plans After Graduation: Casey will attend BYU Law School

Michaela Anne McCown

Major: Genetics, Genomics & Biotechnology
Thesis: Lymphocyte proteomics for monitoring long term immune system dynamics (View Thesis)
Advisor: Samuel Harris Payne
Plans After Graduation: Michaela will attend graduate school.

Hannah Sue Pfost

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Major: Applied Physics
Thesis: Light and truth: Measuring unseen harm in individuals and communities (View Thesis)
Advisor: Robert Clinton Davis
Plans After Graduation: Hannah will pursue graduate school in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Connecticut.

Sydney Ann Rasmussen

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Major: Psychology
Thesis: Is Thinness Truly Next to Godliness?: Examining Moral Judgments Against Women With Larger Bodies in an LDS Population (View Thesis)
Advisor: Sarah Marie Coyne
Plans After Graduation: Sydney will spend the next several months gaining clinical experience and plans to apply to Ph.D. programs in Clinical Psychology this fall.

Jacob Charles Reese

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Major: Interdisciplinary Humanities
Thesis: A Return to Ecological Awareness in Traditional and Modern Media (View Thesis)
Advisor: Christopher P. Oscarson
Plans After Graduation: Jacob plans to attend graduate school and is currently considering offers from BYU in Comparative Studies, Georgia in Digital Media, and Syracuse University in English.

Joseph Gabriel Richardson

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Major: Physics
Thesis: Development of Miniature Quantum Spectrometer for NASA Applications (View Thesis)
Advisor: David D. Allred
Plans After Graduation: Gabe will begin a PhD in Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona.

Dezhang Wen

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Major: Information Technology
Thesis: Automated Cyber Ranges: Design Features, Architectures, Scenarios, and Impacts (View Thesis)
Advisor: Justin S. Giboney
Plans After Graduation: Dezhang will begin graduate studies at Carnegie Mellon University.