Get to Know our New Honors Faculty
The Honors Community welcomes our newest Honors Faculty members! The Alcuin Fellowship recognizes professors with proven excellence in teaching, willingness to pursue interdisciplinary education and potential to create exceptional educational experiences. Each of these remarkable faculty members will join the Unexpected Connections course rotation this year, and we invite you to get to know a little about each of them. Pictured above: (top row) Ryan Christensen, Curtis Child, (bottom row) Rex Nielson, Mikle South
Mikle South | Psychology
Research Specialties: Psychology and Neuroscience, with a focus on autism, including the interaction of anxiety and autism in brain and behavior; sleep in autism; risk factors for suicidal thoughts and behaviors in young adults; emotion regulation and decision making.
Why Honors? “Because I believe in the value of asking ‘why’ about everything, the question which is at the heart of the Honors Program. I love the joy of discovering new connections in the world, and that is what Honors asks us to do for ‘work!’”
Fun Fact: Professor South is particular about pizza, loudly insisting that in the United States, proper pizza is found only in New Haven, Connecticut. In non-pandemic times, Dr. South plays on an intramural soccer team that consists only of professors, including Associate Dean Chip Oscarson and Honors faculty Kerry Soper. Their motto is "Schooling BYU students since before you were born."
Curtis Child | Sociology
Research specialties: Nonprofit organizations, for-profit businesses, and the legal, cultural, and moral boundaries that separate the two sectors; and multi-level marketing as a way to understand how people navigate friendship and family relations in commercialized times
Why Honors? “I love teaching, and especially love teaching students who love learning. Teaching in Honors provides a unique opportunity to engage with engaging students from across the university.”
Fun Fact: Professor Child loves board games and birds, and sometimes board games about birds. A dedicated journal keeper, he is currently on a 438-day writing streak.
Ryan Christensen | Philosophy
Research Specialties: Truth, essence, philosophical logic, philosophical anthropology, and philosophical theology
Why Honors? “I am a philosopher. Philosophy is the love of wisdom, and wisdom doesn’t have disciplinary boundaries. Honors gives me a place to share my search and to learn the wisdom others have found.”
Fun Fact: Professor Christensen has a "Lego room" in his house, filled with hundreds of thousands of Legos. He has little use for chocolate, but is a snob about apple fritters and cinnamon rolls.
Rex Nielson | Spanish & Portuguese
Research specialties: Gender in Brazilian culture, ecocriticism and environmental ethics in Brazil and the global south, and language and literature pedagogy
Fun Fact: Professor Nielson loves to discuss literature, art, music, and culture, and he can also be found moonlighting as a baker’s assistant in his wife’s bakery. He’s also an avid handball player and member of the BYU handball club.
We are excited to see what Unexpected Connections will follow as their research and life interests combine in unique courses and perspectives this year. Welcome to the Honors Program!