Highlights from BYU colleges: Business, mathematics professors win awards


Marriott School of Business

BYU management professor Ben Lewis won the Emerging Scholar Award. (Ben Lewis)

A professor in the BYU Marriott School of Business management program received a prestigious award from the Academy of Management. Ben Lewis won the Emerging Scholar Award from the Organizations and the Natural Environment division in August. This accolade is awarded each year to academics starting their careers and making strong research contributions. Lewis was recognized for his research on how corporate social responsibility is impacted by rankings, a project he worked on with BYU entrepreneurship professor Chad Carlos. Carlos won the Emerging Scholar Award in 2019.

“To me, the award is a reflection of the type of high-quality scholarship that is typical of all BYU Marriott professors,” Lewis said. “I believe awards like these are simply a symbol of the outstanding research culture that has been accruing for many decades here at BYU Marriott. I’m grateful to be part of that growing trend.”

College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences

BYU mathematics professor Kening Lu was named a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. (Kening Lu)

A BYU mathematics professor was named a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) this month. Kening Lu was one of 46 mathematical scientists recognized for contributions to communication, advancement, creation, and utilization of mathematics. The work Lu was recognized for was a contribution to stochastic and infinite-dimensional dynamics and the ways they can be applied to differential equations.

“Dr. Lu’s excellent research and teaching make him a valued colleague in our department,” mathematics department chair Paul Jenkins said. “I am happy to see him receive this recognition from his peers for his extensive contributions to mathematics.”

College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences

A counselor from BYU’s Counseling and Psychological Services meets with a client virtually. A study revealed internet-delivered therapy to be as effective as in-person treatment. (Madeline Mortensen/BYU Photo)

A study from BYU’s Counseling and Psychological Services revealed internet-delivered therapy to work just as well as in-person therapy. This is promising for social distancing guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as for the fact that university mental health services have increased 10-15% over the past five years, the Center for Collegiate Mental Health said. BYU CAPS is continually working to make therapy more accessible and shorten their sizable waitlist. The switch to online therapy has shortened wait times, made therapy more accessible, lowered costs, increased anonymity among patients, and more. Internet-delivered cognitive-based therapy offers tools to help students understand and manage stresses and behaviors. One such program being used by Counseling and Psychological Services is SilverCloud, where patients can watch videos and perform exercises to learn therapy skills.

“Self-help programs may ultimately prevent the need for intensive services for some students,” BYU counseling psychologist Tyler Pedersen said. Pedersen explained that when students address problems through online therapy, counseling centers are more available for higher-need patients who need in-person care.

The study notes that online therapy is not for everyone and some benefit from a more traditional therapeutic experience. Research is still being conducted to find increasingly effective online treatment options.

“Programs like SilverCloud are a great first exposure to therapy for people wondering, What would therapy look like for me?” said clinical psychology Ph.D. student Meredith Pescatello. “Just having a simple positive interaction in the mental health world can help de-stigmatize it.”

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