Highlights from BYU colleges

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Family Home and Social Sciences

  • Professor Dr. Jeffry Larson, chairperson for the marriage and family therapy department, found a model to explain three predictors for marriage satisfaction: individual traits, couple traits and individual and relationship contexts. Individual traits include how one handles stress, emotions and self-esteem. Couple traits include communication, intimacy and conflict resolution between spouses. Individual contexts are family-of-origin influences that one brings into the relationship, whereas relationship contexts are outside stressors like finances and work that influence the relationship. Larson said the model is designed to help couples find their strengths and weaknesses that they can work on.

    Dr. Jeffry Larson found the three predictors for marriage satisfaction. (BYU Speeches)
  • A recent study found having a sister, younger or older, makes 10- to 14-year-olds less likely to feel lonely, unloved, guilty, self-conscious and fearful. Lead author Laura Padilla-Walker said siblings give kids something that parents don’t. The study observed 395 families with two or more children, one of those children being between 10 and 14 years old. The study found preteens with loving sibling relationships are twice as likely to display charitable qualities than those with loving parent-child relationships do. Even though siblings fight, those experiences allow children to learn to forgive and control their emotions, according to Padilla-Walker.
  • A study by professor Alan Hawkins found hope for the future of a relationship is essential. The study examined 182 couples who participated in a 30-hour psycho-educational intervention. Those with the lowest amount of hope for their relationship in the beginning of the study benefitted the most from the intervention. Women’s relationship hope increased when they noticed their partner’s improvement in relationship skills. The purpose of the study was to help couples achieve healthy, stable relationships.

    Professor Alan Hawkins found hope is essential for successful relationships. (BYU FHSS Faculty)

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology

  • This year, 10 BYU engineering students earned honor society scholarships from Tau Beta Pi. The students received $2,000 for a full year or $1,000 for a semester toward their engineering studies. They were selected as the top engineering students in the nation, coming in at either top eighth of their junior year engineering class or top fifth of their senior year. The BYU recipients are Neal D. Gaffin, Jeremy D. Hardy, Damon J. Petersen, Samuel D. Thorpe, Logan S. White, Joshua S. McClellan, Dillon J. Despain, Jacob W. Garner, Brett Dagan Pielstick and Alex W. Whittier.

David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies

  • Thanks to a Boren Scholarship, student Alex Harper will enroll in an internship in Nanjing, China as part of BYU’s Chinese Flagship program. During this internship, Harper will expand his Chinese vocabulary, cultural awareness and conversational fluency. On top of his schoolwork, Harper will meet with a Chinese tutor for eight hours a week and work as a full-time translator for a Chinese news agency. After graduating, Harper hopes to work on United States-Chinese relations and obtain an master’s degree in international studies from Johns Hopkins University.

    Alex Harper will participate in the BYU Chinese Flagship program in Nanjing, China. (BYU Kennedy Center)

College of Life Sciences

  • A new study by Jeffery Tessem, assistant professor of nutrition, dietetics and food science, has found a way to combat Type 2 diabetes. Tessem’s lab, along with the labs of physiology and developmental biology professors Ben Bikman and Jason Hansen, worked with students to research what was happening at beta cell levels, only to discover how chocolate can help combat diabetes. The labs found certain compounds in cocoa help the body release more insulin and respond faster to increase blood glucose. The study, published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, found beta cells work better with more epicatechin monomers, a compound found in cocoa. Researchers are now looking for ways to take that compound out of cocoa in order to make it into a more useful diabetes treatment.

    Professor Tessem and alumnus Tommy Rowley are part of a BYU research team that helped uncover how compounds in chocolate help battle diabetes. (BYU News)

College of Fine Arts and Communications

  • MovieMaker Magazine listed the BYU Media Arts Program as one of the top 40 film schools in North America. It highlighted BYU for its international focus as well as for its outstanding theory and criticism training. The schools listed in the magazine represent the best bachelors and masters degree programs that higher education has to offer in film.
  • Catherine Winters Boyack was awarded first place in a national flute competition, the National Federation of Music Clubs Student Collegiate Competition. As the first-place winner, Boyack was awarded $3,000 toward future musical pursuits. In mid-September, Boyack will go to Dusseldorf, Germany to compete in her first international competition, the Aeolus Winds Competition. Boyack began playing the flute before she was six years old. Now, Boyack is a senior in the flute performance major at the BYU School of Music.

    Catherine Winters Boyack, BYU School of Music flute performance major, was awarded first place in a national flute competition. (College of Fine Arts and Communications)

 

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