Highlights from BYU colleges: Virtual show unites choirs, new class teaches strategies for evolving workforce


Marriott School of Business

A new strategy class at the Brigham Young University Marriott School of Business prepares students to adapt to evolving technologies in their future careers. (Jonathan Francisca)

A new strategy class at the BYU Marriott School of Business prepares students to adapt to evolving technologies in their future careers. Strategy Analytics 2 (STRAT 412) is designed to give students collaborative learning opportunities as it teaches them essential new software programs. Strategy senior Ty Tousa said the class helped him develop marketable job skills, including an increased sense of confidence in quickly learning how to use new software. Recent graduate Derek Lowe said the course helped him not only learn how to use technology to solve problems but also learn more quickly and effectively. 

“Because trends in software change rapidly, this new course builds students’ confidence with these analytical tools so they can continue to learn and enhance their analytical abilities throughout their careers,” course instructor Ben Lewis said.

“The class was built on open communication, so my classmates and I felt free to comment and ask questions to understand the different strategic tools,” Tousa said. “I can say that because of this class I feel more comfortable trying to learn any new software and understand a decent portion of it within a two-week period. That is definitely a marketable asset.”

Chris Crittenden was hired as the new director for the BYU Marriott School of Business’ Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology. (Chris Crittenden)

The Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology gained a new director. The Rollins Center at the Marriott School of Business is a resource dedicated to helping BYU students learn how to start and grow their own businesses. As the newest director, management professor Chris Crittenden plans to expand the reach of the on-campus resource, creating new projects and programs to build more connections with students. Crittenden’s past entrepreneurial successes include co-founding the app Yumprint that was recently acquired by Walmart, leading national implementation of Walmart’s online grocery service and growing Reef Capital Partners to almost $1 billion in investments. 

“We are thrilled to have Chris as our new director of the Rollins Center,” BYU Marriott dean Brigitte C. Madrian said. “I’m confident that Chris’ expertise, combined with our students’ passion for innovation, will lead to continued success in the students’ entrepreneurial endeavors with the Rollins Center.”

“I’m excited to join the Rollins Center team,” Crittenden said. “We have a lot of momentum, and I look forward to using that momentum to build programs across campus that deepen our impact with students.”

College of Fine Arts and Communications

The BYU Singers record a socially distanced YouTube video in Fall 2020. BYU choirs uplifted audiences with their annual Winter Choirfest, held virtually this year. (BYU Singers)

BYU choirs uplifted audiences with their annual Winter Choirfest, hosted virtually this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The show featured the Concert Choir, Women’s Chorus, BYU Singers and Men’s Chorus and included a variety of music, from the Venezuelan “Fiesta” by Cristian Grases to the spiritual “My God Is a Rock in a Weary Land” by Daniel Kallman. Concert Choir conductor Brent Wells said the pandemic safety measures feel normal to the singers now, giving them a chance to focus solely on making music. The online setting also gave the choirs a unique opportunity to share subtitles to enhance the audience’s experience. 

“The world has been so disrupted; making music has been tough for so many people,” Wells said. “BYU choirs can continue to perform and make an impact thanks to our live-streamed performances, and our audiences appreciate the positivity.”

The Women’s Chorus’ program was intended “to offer reassurance, peace and comfort in uncertain and challenging times,” said conductor Sonja Poulter.

Individual performances from the respective choirs will be streamed later this semester.

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