2021-22 Honors Scholars!
Each year the Honors Program awards scholarships to advanced Honors students in recognition of their academic achievement and progress toward Honors graduation. We are proud to announce this year’s recipients, all student-scholars who demonstrate Academic Excellence through service and scholarship:
Pictured left to right above:
Top Row: Kaylin Hill, Hadley Robertson, Jane Morrisey;
Bottom Row: Anna Osguthorpe, Autumn Clark, Amy Griffin
Robert K. Thomas Scholarship
The Robert K. Thomas Scholarship is named after the founder of the BYU Honors Program. Dr. Thomas “felt a special affinity for the aspiring few and truly believed they would set a standard that would raise the level of academic achievement throughout the university.” This scholarship is awarded to two Honors students each semester who are currently working on their theses.
Amy Griffin |Communications and Journalism Major
Born and raised in Utah, I've always loved cameras and stories, which is why I majored in journalism. But most stories aren't entirely happy ones, and I realized during my time in the Honors Program that I wanted to pursue interdisciplinary solutions to real problems. I needed to do more than just tell stories--I needed to get involved in them. For my Honors thesis, "Pixels and the Polls," I conducted original research under the guidance of Dr. Sarah Coyne, identifying how the representation of women leaders on TV affects public perceptions about real women candidates' competence. I chose this interdisciplinary topic after studying how stereotypical media affects women and the public's perception of women. I wondered if the power of the Netflix binge could be harnessed for social good. In my years at BYU, I've worked as a student employee for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies and fallen in love with approaching international human rights from a legal standpoint. I plan to attend law school after graduation: I've found my niche where I can make a difference and feel like I am effecting real change in communities, especially for minorities. My Honors experience helps me find creative solutions to real-world social problems, but I can thank the Honors Program for more than that: I met my husband, Garrett, at Late Summer Honors back in 2017. We married in early 2020 after my mission in Warsaw, Poland. Together, we enjoy spending time outdoors with our cowboy corgi, Scooter.
Jane Morrisey | Spanish and Latin American Studies
I am from Pocatello Idaho, have over 3,000 freckles, and am the oldest of eight children. After my freshman year as a pre-illustration major, I was called to the Arizona Scottsdale Mission. Returning to BYU, I changed my major, hoping to prepare myself to make life better for God’s children all over the globe. When the pandemic closed campus, I was awarded an Honors program summer fellowship working with a mentor. I decided to collaborate with a Spanish professor at my hometown university, where we discovered cases of Peruvian food insecurity. I created my own virtual project in Peru encouraging nutritional security through micro-gardening, growing plants such as tomatoes and peppers out of soda bottles. This project inspired my Honors Thesis topic: “Food Security: A Study of the History of Nutritional Insecurity and Implications of Development in the Rural Sierra and Selva Regions of Peru.” I learned how to conduct effective interdisciplinary research and discovered greater insight to the history, demography, public health, and culture of Peru. Throughout my time in the Honors Program, I have truly been able to itch my curiosity of all subjects. My current plans include applying for graduate schools to work towards a master’s degree in an International Relations or Global Diplomacy program. I anticipate that the excitement I have found in learning through my Honors experience will help me see that there are always multiple perspectives, and with that, countless ways to solve problems and help the world transform.
Anna Osguthorpe |Economics
I am an economics and art history student from Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. I love how the Honors Program teaches me to appreciate variety and to find the best in every aspect of my studies. Some of my best experiences at BYU have been semesters when the classes I take complement each other in order to help me focus on a particular skill or issue: this happened with Advanced Econometrics and American Modernism, and when I took Women in Art and Women in the Scriptures simultaneously. I love drawing "unexpected connections" in my education. My Honors thesis is an impact evaluation of Care For Life, a non-profit in Beira, Mozambique. My thesis has been an excellent way to use empirical analysis to identify ways to improve the world. After graduation, I will start as an economic consultant for corporate and non-profit sustainability operations. I want to get a master's degree in sustainability to follow up on my Honors thesis on sustainable development research.
Kaylin Hill | Anthropology
My name is Kaylin Hill, I’m from Atlanta, Georgia, and I’m a senior here at BYU majoring in Sociocultural Anthropology. I love to read, paint, watch movies, roller-skate, and spend time with my friends and family.
I have absolutely loved my experience in the Honors program! The interdisciplinary nature of all of the courses has allowed me to study perspectives that I ordinarily wouldn’t encounter in my major, which has enriched my education here at BYU. The Honors Unexpected Connections courses are always among my favorite courses, and the professors for these classes have been amazing. I also really enjoyed writing my great questions essay, which focused on magic and the power of belief.
I’m currently working on my thesis about community building and identity at one of America’s largest evangelical churches, which just so happens to be in my hometown. Studying this community has given me a deeper understanding of the current evolution of evangelical Christianity and where it may go in the future, which will be important for all of Christianity and especially for American politics.
After I graduate this upcoming April, I plan to pursue a master’s degree in library science. I have always loved reading, studying, researching, and spending time in libraries, so this is the perfect path for me! My thesis research has introduced me to the full process of doing research, and I look forward to doing more research and helping others do their own as well.
The Khona Scholarship was established by the Khona family to benefit Honors students majoring in business-related fields. It is awarded to Honors students each semester who are business majors and currently working on their Honors theses.
Autumn Clark | Information Systems
When Autumn arrived at BYU, she had big plans for her time at college - studying abroad, research opportunities, challenging classes, and the chance to build something culminating and meaningful. The Honors program has enabled her (not to mention kept her accountable) to accomplish all of that and more. She is especially excited about the time she’s been able to devote to her thesis project as part of the Honors program. Autumn’s thesis focuses on overcoming the lack of pricing transparency in the healthcare industry. Using recently published hospital chargemasters, she is working to create a platform where individuals can quickly and easily identify exactly what they might expect to pay for a procedure at local hospitals with their specific insurance coverage.
After graduating with her joint Bachelor’s and Master’s degress in Information Systems Management in December, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in business information technology, with a research emphasis on information access and its role in alleviating poverty in developing regions. In the meantime, she hopes to grow her thesis project into a start-up and scale it to cover hospitals across the country.
Autumn is a technologist by trade but a humanitarian at heart, focusing her pursuits on the intersection of technological advancement and social innovation. This has instilled in her a deep appreciation for the Honors program’s emphasis on interdisciplinary learning and unexpected connections, and she is grateful for the support and encouragement she has received as part of the Honors family.
Hadley Robertson | Experience Design and Management
Hadley Robertson is a senior at BYU majoring in Experience Design & Management within the Marriott School of Business. She has been part of the Honors Program since she transferred to BYU from BYU-Hawaii after her freshman year. Hadley has loved the Unexpected Connections courses she has taken – from performing statistical analysis on sonnets to reading books written in Europe during the World Wars. Currently Hadley is working on her Honors thesis under the mentorship of Dr. Sarah Agate titled, “Inclusion and Deliberative Dialogues: Exploring Outcomes of Transformative Experiences for Adolescents.” Hadley became interested in inclusion initiatives after listening to Bryan Stevenson’s BYU forum address in 2018. After that, she read lots of books about the unique challenges facing people of color in our nation, and then took an “Experiences in Diversity and Inclusion” class as part of her major. She joined Dr. Agate’s research team at the beginning of 2021 and completed research on the National Issue Forum Institute’s (NIFI) deliberative dialogue program. When Hadley realized that she could combine these two important things into her thesis, she was thrilled!
Hadley is working on applications now to begin law school next fall. Hadley looks forward to discovering the needs of others and using the need finding skills from Experience Design to help facilitate solutions to problems. As an experience designer, Hadley wants to use the law to re-design the experiences of historically marginalized groups as a civil rights attorney.
Congratulations to all of these remarkable scholars!