Skip to main content


April 2023 University Honors Graduates

Congratulations to our April 2023 University Honors graduates! Graduating from BYU with University Honors is no small feat, only achieved by about one percent of the graduating class. It takes careful planning, hard work, and collaboration with faculty and students alike. We applaud these outstanding students and recognize each for their contributions to our community of scholars and the expanding body of knowledge. We are confident you will represent BYU Honors well as you "go forth to serve!"

Samuel Barnes Benson

Samuel Benson.JPG
Major: Sociology/Spanish Studies
Thesis: Coming and Going to Zion: Conceptualizing Emigrant Motives of British Latter-Day Saints, 1840-60. View thesis.
Advisor: Jane Lopez
Plans After Graduation: Samuel is working as a writer for The Deseret News.

Magdalena Faith Scribner Briggs

Maggie Briggs.jpeg
Major: Public Health
Thesis: Just "Getting By" - Understanding Resource Deficits and Barriers to Medical Interpretation from the Perspectives of Spanish-speaking Patients and Emergency Department Nurses
Advisor: Robert Chaney
Plans After Graduation: Maggie will attend graduate school as a PA at the University of Utah.

Candace Elizabeth Brown

Candace Brown.jpg
Major: Art History & Curatorial Studies
Thesis: A Catholic Reads the Book of Mormon: Folk Carvings of Roman Śledź. View thesis.
Advisor: James Swensen
Plans After Graduation: Candace will spend a gap year working and writing before pursuing a Master's in Art History with an emphasis on Museum Studies and Museum Education.

Ashley L. Chase

Ashley Chase.png
Major: Communications
Minors: Spanish/Political Science
Thesis: Korean Pop Idols: The Dark Side of the Limelight. View thesis.
Advisor: Kevin John
Plans After Graduation: Ashley will be working as a morning producer for Fox 13 Now.

Jed Robert Christensen

Jed Christensen.jpeg
Major: Biophysics
Thesis: Effects of the Ketogenic Diet on Spatial Memory and Long-Term Potentiation in the CA1 Region of the Hippocampus in Young Rodents. View thesis.
Advisor: Jeff Edwards
Plans After Graduation: Jed will be attend graduate school at Scripps Research Institute

Austin James Davis

Austin Davis.jpeg
Major: Psychology
Thesis: Made in His Image: How Christian God Images Influence Interpersonal Judgements of Severe Mental Illness. View thesis.
Advisor: Timothy Smith
Plans After Graduation: Following a gap year, Austin will be applying to law school.

Selah Alexandria DeGering

Selah DeGering.jpg
Major: Theatre Arts Studies
Thesis: Hard to Be Won: A Theatrical Interpretation of Elizabeth Keckly's "Behind the Sciences, or Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House". View thesis.
Advisor: George Nelson
Plans After Graduation: Selah will be working with producers and companies in the theater field.

Ashley Lynn DiPenti

Ashley DiPenti.jpeg
Major: Korean
Thesis: The War on Gender Equality: A Comparative Study Between Feminism and Anti-Feminism Within South Korea and the United States. View thesis.
Advisor: Jonathan Jarvis
Plans After Graduation: Ashley will be attending Law School.

Joseph Orval Evans

Joseph Evans.png
Major: Accounting
Thesis: Elevating the Silicon Slopes. View thesis.
Advisor: Matthew Jennejohn
Plans After Graduation: Joseplh is working as an associate at Kirkland and Elllis LLP law firm.

Diana J. Gonzales

Diana Gonzales Gonzales.jpg
Major: International Relations
Thesis: The Politics of DACA: The Role of Electoral Concerns in Republican Support for DACA. View thesis.
Advisor: Alejandra Aldridge
Plans After Graduation: Diana will be attending Law School.

Paul Andrew Guarjardo

Paul Guajardo.jpeg
Major: English/History
Thesis: Trapped by the Past: A History and Translation of an Equatorial Guinean Poet. View thesis.
Advisor: John Talbot
Plans After Graduation: Paul will be attending University of Cambridge in the UK this fall.

Seneca Kate Heilesen

Seneca Heilesen.jpeg
Major: Physics & Astronomy
Minor: Music
Thesis: Investigations into u'-band Photometry of the Haumea System. View thesis.
Advisor: Darin Ragozzine
Plans After Graduation: Seneca will pursue her PhD in Astronomy here at BYU.

Amy Arabel Hernandez

Amy Hernandez.jpeg
Major: Microbiology
Minor: Sociology
Thesis: Comparing Multiple Sclerosis Age of Onset in African American and European Cohorts Via Polygenic Risk Score. View thesis.
Advisor: Mary Davis
Plans After Graduation: Amy will do a fellowship as a research assistant at the Nemours Children's Hospital.

Adam Royal Johnson

A Johnson
Major: Political Science
Thesis: An Evaluation of EPA Communication on Climate Change From 1997 to 2022. View thesis.
Advisor: Brigham Daniels
Plans After Graduation: Adam will be working as a Business Analyst for the Cicero Group

Emma Rae Kratz-Bailey

Emma Kratz.jpeg
Major: Civil Engineering
Minor: Chinese
Thesis: Accessible Methods, Novel Arrangement: Developing Self-Centering Composite Structural Frame Systems for Highly Resilient Buildings. View thesis.
Advisor: John Judd
Plans After Graduation: Emma will be attending graduate school at the University of Bath in the UK.

Brayden Michael Lane

Brayden Lane.png
Major: History
Thesis: Christianity on Homebrew: Alessandro Valignano, Indigenization, and Japan’s Hidden Christians. View thesis.
Advisor: Aaron Skabelund

Isabella Vivianne Maire

Izzy Maire.jpeg
Major: History
Minor: Sociology, Global Women's Studies
Thesis: Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Hakimas, and “Enlightened” British Men: Female Medical Professionals in Midcentury Great Britain and Egypt. View thesis.
Advisor: Rebecca DeSchweinitz
Plans After Graduation: Izzy has accepted a position as an Academic Assistant Advisor for Ohio State University Athletics

Dallyn Hugh McCracken

D McCracken.jpg
Major: Linguistics
Thesis: Creating the Listener Language: A Constructed Language with Semantic Rhythms and Tones. View thesis.
Advisor: Dirk Elzinga
Plans After Graduation: Dallyn has been hired as an Area Manager for Amazon.

Bronwyn Meldrum

Bronwyn Meldrum.jpeg
Major: Biology
Minor: Business
Thesis: Creating Habitat Suitability Models for Restoration of Sesbania tomentosa and Chenopodium oahuense on Molokai, Hawaii. View thesis.
Advisor: Richard Gill

Madeleine Meldrum

Madeleine Meldrum.jpeg
Major: Sociology
Thesis: "What's Gonna Happen to Us?:" How Social Networks Change After Marriage.
Advisor: Jonathan Jarvis
Plans After Graduation: Madeleine will be attending Indiana University in the fall 2023

Lindsey Nicole Meza

Lindsey Meza.png
Major: History
Minor: Latin American Studies
Thesis: Mujeres Latinas en Acción: Pragmatic Feminism and the Longevity of Grass Roots Organizations. View thesis.
Advisor: David-James Gonzales

Washington Carlyle Pearce

Washington Pearce.jpeg
Major: English/Spanish Studies
Minor: Digital Humanities & Technology
Thesis: A Valley Lost to Time: An adventure to the Fey and back, written for the World's Greatest Role-Playing Game. View thesis.
Advisor: Dennis Cutchins
Plans After Graduation: Washington will attend graduate school here at BYU this fall.

Allison Grace Pickens

Allison Pickens.jpeg
Major: Genetics, Genomics, and Biotechnology
Minor: Music
Thesis: Identifying and Knocking Out Deep Brain Photoreceptors in the Larval Zebrafish Optic Tectum. View thesis.
Advisor: Arminda Suli
Plans After Graduation: Alli will be working as a medical scribe for Slocum

Emily Quan

Emily Quan.jpg
Major: Computer Engineering
Minor: Computer Science
Thesis: Creating a Homophone-Based Chinese Language Censorship Evasion Tool. View thesis.
Advisor: Philip Lundrigan

Ashley Rands

Ashley Rands.jpg
Major: Music Performance: Brass
Thesis: Repertoire for a Graduate Tenor Trombone Audition, an Annotated List of Trombone Solos for a Master’s Program Audition. View thesis.
Advisor: Wilford Kimball
Plans After Graduation: Ashley plans to attend graduate school.

Gabrielle Lyn Shiozawa

Gabrielle Shiozawa.jpeg
Major: Communications
Minor: Creative Writing
Thesis: Extra, Extra, Read All About It: An Analysis of News Platform Preferences. View thesis.
Advisor: Miles Romney
Plans After Graduation: Gabrielle is working as a news reporter for

Austin James Simonson

Austin Simonson.jpg
Major: Global Supply Chain Management
Thesis: Utah's Inland Port: The Future of Logistics in the Intermountain Region of Gambling with Taxpayer Money. View thesis.
Advisor: Simon Greathead
Plans After Graduation: Austin will take a couple of years off and will apply for graduate school.

Jordan Devon Spriggs

Jordan Spriggs.png
Major: Political Science
Thesis: Political Propaganda in Young Adult Fiction. View thesis.
Advisor: Spencer Hyde

Dallin Crawford Swanson

Dallin Swanson.jpeg
Major: Exercise Science
Minor: Gerontology
Thesis: Validity of Intrinsic Foot Muscle Size Measured by MRI and Ultrasound. View thesis.
Advisor: Aaron Johnson
Plans After Graduation: Dallin will attend medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch

Emily Janelle Takamasa

Emily Takamasa.jpeg
Major: Family Life
Minor: Design Thinking
Thesis: Main and Interactive Effects of Mental Health, Parent Ethnic Socialization, Discrimination on BIPOC Teens' Ethnic Identity. View thesis.
Advisor: Ashley Fraser
Plans After Graduation: Emily will be attending graduate school here at BYU, starting this fall.

Quincy Claire Taylor

Quincy Taylor.jpeg
Major: Cybersecurity
Thesis: Analyzing Online Media Platforms for Hacktivist Group Organization and Proliferation. View thesis.
Advisor: Derek Hansen
Plans After Graduation: Quincy will attend graduate school at the University of Cambridge in the UK.

Brooke Woolley Williams

Major: Psychology
Minor: Family Life
Thesis: Turn Towards Each Other: Emotional Connection as a Catalyst for Marital Satisfaction, Especially During Times of Conflict. View thesis.
Advisor: Blake Jones
Plans After Graduation: Brooke will attend graduate school in the Marriage and Family Program at Utah Valley University.