Highlights from BYU colleges: Study abroad program moves up in ranking, students sweep story contest

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College of Humanities

A Short Edition story dispenser is seen on the BYU campus. BYU students beat top schools including Harvard and Carnegie Mellon in the Short Edition writing contest. (Claire Moore/BYU Photo)

BYU students beat top schools including Harvard and Carnegie Mellon in the Short Edition writing contest. The nonprofit Short Edition invited BYU and 13 other universities to place short story dispensers on their campuses and to participate in the writing contest. BYU swept the contest, taking first place in every juried category. Several BYU students were also named runners-up in both the juried and the public portions of the competition. The eight BYU winners will receive a monetary prize, and some of their winning pieces will be published internationally in story dispensers. BYU additionally won a third dispenser by submitting more entries than any other school: a total of 272 stories and poems. 

“BYU students have compelling stories to tell, and they tell them beautifully,” said Leslee Thorne-Murphy, College of Humanities associate dean, who helped facilitate BYU’s participation in the Short Edition contest. “They represented our university admirably.”


David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies

Kennedy Center academic advisor Anna Ortiz was recently named the BYU Academic Advisor of the Year. (Anna Ortiz)

An academic advisor at the Kennedy Center was recently named the BYU Academic Advisor of the Year. Anna Ortiz has worked in the advisement center for nine years. Ortiz helps students map out coursework and connects them with resources. She also works with nonprofit organizations and has worked on community development projects across five continents. Nominees for the Academic Advisor of the Year are recommended by other advisors on campus and evaluated based on a portfolio, letters of recommendation, comments from students and a reflection of how the nominee contributes to the campus advisement community.

“There are some great advisors on campus, and it means a lot to me that my fellow advisors felt like I was someone worth recognizing,” Ortiz said. “My favorite part of being an academic advisor is helping students figure out how to prepare for uncertainties, in school and life, no matter what fortune has in store for them.”


The Kennedy Center’s International Study Program is the 14th largest study abroad program in the United States, says the Institute of International Education’s new report. (Kennedy Center)

The Kennedy Center’s International Study Program is the 14th largest study abroad program in the United States, according to the Institute of International Education’s new report. The institute’s most recent Open Doors report for the 2018-2019 academic year shows the Kennedy Center stepping up from its previous 19th place ranking. During that academic year, 2,560 BYU students participated in study abroad programs: 2,215 were directed by the Kennedy Center and the other 345 attended the Jerusalem Center or toured internationally with BYU performing groups. 

International Study Program Director Lynn Elliott said this report shows proof of BYU’s support of international education, giving faculty a greater chance to learn and providing students with enriching academic experiences.


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