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April '24 Honors Graduates

Embarking on a lifetime of learning and service

Congratulations to our April 2024 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. You embody the aims of a BYU education as you now embark on a lifetime of learning and service. Well done!

Penny Akre

April 04, 2024 12:22 PM
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Major: Nutritional Science / Korea Studies
Thesis: Evening vs Morning Exercise on the Appetite Hormones (View thesis)
Advisor: James LeCheminant
Plans After Graduation: Penny will be working as a quality supervisor at Factory6.

Rebecca Lynn Apgar

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Major: Civil Engineering
Thesis: Development and Demonstration of an Apparatus for Assessing Frost-Heave Susceptibility of Soil (View thesis)
Advisor: William Guthrie
Plans After Graduation: Rebecca will be working at Keller Associates.

Benjamin James Austin

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Major: Interdisciplinary Humanities
Thesis: The Nordstjarua Project: Recovering Voices of Mormon-Swedish Migration (View thesis)
Advisor: Christopher Oscarson
Plans After Graduation: Ben will be heading to the Appalachians to complete a master beekeeping apprenticeship at Spikenard Apiary in Floyd, Va.

Marshall Scott Butler

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Major: Manufacturing Engineering
Thesis: Using Lean Six Sigma Methodologies to Improve the Patient Experience at the BYU Student Health Center (View thesis)
Advisor: Britt Richard Berrett
Plans After Graduation: Marshall will be doing a research fellowship in Washington DC studying nanoparticles and then doing a study abroad at Oxford in England. Following that he will be attending graduate school.

Darien Alexander Campbell

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Major: Computer Science
Thesis: Explainable AI using Assumption-Alignment Tracking on Multiple Algorithms (View thesis)
Advisor: Jacob Crandall
Plans After Graduation: Darien will attend graduate school here at BYU this fall.

Melissa Chavez

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Major: Psychology
Thesis: Ecological Validity of Simulated Ethical Situations in Therapy Part 2 (View thesis)
Advisor: Benjamin Ogles
Plans After Graduation: Melissa will attend graduate school at Utah Valley University this fall.

Michael Phillip Dew

April 04, 2024 11:14 AM
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Major: Neuroscience
Thesis: The Role of Age, Sex, and mGluR5 in Hippocampal Depotentiation in Mice (View thesis)
Advisor: Jeff Edwards
Plans After Graduation: Michael will attend Medical School at Baylor College this fall.

Rebecca Lorraine Driggs

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Major: History
Thesis: Depictions of Black Girlhood in 19th Century Children's Literature (View thesis)
Advisor: Rebecca DeSchweinitz
Plans After Graduation: Becca is taking a gap year and then will pursue an MA in Public History at North Carolina State University.

Emma Kaye Fox

April 04, 2024 11:14 AM
Fox Family
Major: English
Thesis: "The History of Every Country Begins in the Heart of a Woman": Willa Cather's Reclamation of the Female American Immigrant through Edenic Western Narratives (View thesis)
Advisor: Kristin Matthews
Plans After Graduation: Emma is planning to attend graduate school this fall.

Mary Otilda Harris

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Major: Political Science
Thesis: Power and Participation: Women's Participation in the Arab Spring and Its Impact on Women Empowerment (View thesis)
Advisor: Joshua Gubler
Plans After Graduation: Mary is still weighing her post-graduation plans.

Alanna Hess

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Major: English
Thesis: Flight of the Gods: Charting the Terra Incognita of Belief through Dragon Literature
Advisor: Ann Dee Knight Ellis
Plans After Graduation: Alanna plans to write full-time and prepare her current novel for publication.

Ashley Lauryn Hunsaker

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Major: Experience Design & Management
Thesis: Transformational Experiences and Decision Making Processes: Factors Influencing the Choice of College Major (View thesis)
Advisor: Mathew Duerden
Plans After Graduation: Ashley plans to work full time, then apply to PhD programs next year.

Tyler Abraham Hutchinson

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Major: Mechanical Engineering
Thesis: Economic Impact Considerations for Sustainable Design Engineering as Derived from the Literature (View thesis)
Advisor: David Fullwood
Plans After Graduation: Tyler will be working at EPIC Systems.

Andrew Nicholas Jenkins

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Major: Physiology & Developmental Biology (Human Development)
Thesis: Rapid Discovery of House-Keeping Genes in the Bacterium, Kushneria, Using a Slalom-Library Based CRISPRi Forward Genetic Screen (View thesis)
Advisor: Jonathon Hill
Plans After Graduation: Andrew will continue to pursue his biomedical research interests over this summer before starting graduate school next year.

Kyle Joshua Kelley

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Major: Mechanical Engineering
Thesis: Economic Impact Considerations for Sustainable Design Engineering as Derived from the Literature
Advisor: Christopher Mattson
Plans After Graduation: Joshua plans to attend graduate school.

Kayla LaFroth

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Major: Communications (Advertising)
Thesis: Blue Moon: Exploring the Complexities of Human Love Through a Werewolf Romance Novel (View thesis)
Advisor: Spencer Hyde
Plans After Graduation: Kayla is seeking employment after graduation.

Ruth Jamison Larson

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Major: Public Health (Epidemiology) / Spanish Studies
Thesis: Linguistic and Cultural Barriers to Hispanic Immigrant Vaccination (View thesis)
Advisor: Brian Poole
Plans After Graduation: Ruth will attend graduate school at Ohio State University this fall.

Hunter Lindsay

April 15, 2024 08:40 AM
Major: Molecular Biology
Thesis: Characterizing the Role of Atypical Chemokine Receptor CCRL-V180M in Neuroinflammation and Alzheimer's Disease
Advisor: Kelly Weber
Plans After Graduation: Hunter will be attending medical school, where he hopes to specialize in neuroscience.

Joleah Christine Long

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Major: Geography (Geospatial Intelligence)
Thesis: The Abuse of Greatness: A Comparative Study Between a Leader's Recognition of Remorse and Their State's Economic, Political, and Social Success (View thesis)
Advisor: Perry Hardin
Plans After Graduation: Joleah will be teaching at Liahona Prep.

Matthew Covey McNairy

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Major: Philosophy
Thesis: How Fundamental Epistemic Limitations Impact My Human Experience (View thesis)
Advisor: Gordon Mower
Plans After Graduation: Matthew will attend BYU Law school this fall.

Jeremy Russell Mumford

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Major: Computer Science (Data Science)
Thesis: Improving Human Recognition of Deepfakes (View thesis)
Advisor: Quinn Snell
Plans After Graduation: Jeremy will be working as a software engineer for Pattern

Joseph Lance Nielson

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Major: Computer Engineering
Thesis: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease remote patient monitoring using spirometry: a systematic review (View thesis)
Advisor: Benjamin Schooley
Plans After Graduation: Joseph plans to attend graduate school at the University of Utah this fall.

Kelsi Taylor Niepraschk

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Major: Experience Design & Management
Thesis: The Implementation of Transformative Learning Theory and Immersion (View thesis)
Advisor: Camilla Hodge
Plans After Graduation: Kelsi will be working as a consulting analyst for Accenture.

Caroline Grace Ploeger

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Major: Physiology & Developmental Biology
Thesis: Effects of Enzymatic and Chemical Bisulfite Conversion on Cell-Free DNA Fragmentation (View thesis)
Advisor: Timothy Jenkins
Plans After Graduation: Caroline will attend Medical School at the University of Louisville.

Emily Maria Rodriguez

April 04, 2024 11:14 AM
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Major: Sociology
Thesis: Exploring the Border Identity of the Residents of Ambos Nogales: A Pilot Study (View thesis)
Advisor: Ignacio Garcia
Plans After Graduation: Emily plans to work for a year, then return to school for a Master's in Public Policy.

Amelia Alice Scott

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Major: English
Thesis: Eye for an Eye: Retributive Justice in the Hornet's Nest (View thesis)
Advisor: Spencer Hyde
Plans After Graduation: Amelia will attend graduate school here at BYU.

Zacory Dean Shakespear

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Major: Physics & Astronomy
Thesis: Silicates as an Explanation for Discrepancies in Atmospheric Modeling of L-Type Brown Dwarfs (View thesis)
Advisor: Denise Stephens
Plans After Graduation: Zac plans to attend graduate school this fall.

Dylan Michael Skinner

April 04, 2024 11:14 AM
Kimberly Walker
Major: Mathematics (Applied & Computational Mathematics)
Thesis: Using Deep Learning Techniques to Find the 4D Slice Genus of a Knot (View thesis)
Advisor: Mark Hughes
Plans After Graduation: Dylan will be attending Georgia Tech for his Master's in Computer Science.

Mitchell Thomas Smith

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Major: Interdisciplinary Humanities
Thesis: Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) in the Clinic: How the Humanities Affect the Way we Make Visual Diagnoses Within Medicine (View thesis)
Advisor: Nathaniel Kramer
Plans After Graduation: Mitchell is currently applying to medical school.

Zachary Dee Stevenson

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Major: American Studies / French Studies
Thesis: Leaving Town: Loss and Restoration in Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping and Gilead (View thesis)
Advisor: Makayla Steiner
Plans After Graduation: Zach plans to attend graduate school at Indiana University at Bloomington.

Lorin Marie Utsch

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Major: Communications (Journalism)
Thesis: International Asylum Law in the U.S. Supreme Court (View thesis)
Advisor: Edward Carter
Plans After Graduation: Lorin plans to work for a year, then attend the University of Virginia Law school.

Samuel Tj Wald

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Major: Information Technology
Thesis: Exploring Extended Reality in an Aqueous Processing Test Bed for Nuclear Material
Advisor: Derek Hansen
Plans After Graduation: Sam plans to pursue an IT position here in Utah.

Macy Rebecca West

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Major: Philosophy
Thesis: On Sensible Limits of Love: Implications of Moral Failure in Loving Relationships (View thesis)
Advisor: Justin White
Plans After Graduation: Macy will attend the University of Chicago Law School this fall.

Whitley Syria Williams

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Major: Psychology
Thesis: Facebook Complaints on Dating by Gender (View thesis)
Advisor: Adriane Ito de Queiroz Cavallini
Plans After Graduation: Whitley will be working as a manager at Chrysalis this year and then plans to apply to graduate school.

Josephine Beatrice Sampson Zenger

Gantry Group 2023
Major: Sociology
Thesis: The Belonging Process: How Low-Income, BIPOC, and First-Generation Students on BYU Campus Experience Belonging (View thesis)
Advisor: Gregory Thompson
Plans After Graduation: Josie plans on attending the London School of Economics.