Highlights from BYU colleges: BYU performing arts begins a free week of performances, professor discovers new effects of epilepsy


College of Fine Arts and Communications

The World Tour will feature performances from the Ballroom Dance Company, Living Legends, Vocal Point, Young Ambassadors, and the International Folk Dance Ensemble. (BYU Photo)

BYU performing arts is holding free virtual performances, workshops and devotionals for a week. The week began Apr. 28th and ends May 4th. The livestreams will feature BYU Ballroom Dance Company, Living Legends, Vocal Point, Young Ambassadors and the International Folk Dance Ensemble. There will also be devotionals and testimonies given by some of the dancers as well as workshops on social media. The workshops will teach viewers cultural songs and dances.

“I’ve been impressed and inspired by the resiliency of our students. They are looking forward to performing in this alternative format,” said Curt Holman, director of BYU Ballroom Dance. “It’s an opportunity for the students to do what they love. They want to perform what they’ve been practicing. Doing this virtually means that we are going to connect with some people we wouldn’t have connected with otherwise.”

The performances and the schedule can be found on byu.edu/live

David O. McKay School of Education

Richard Osguthorpe will be the new dean of the David O. McKay School of Education. (BYU PHOTO)

Richard Osguthorpe is the new dean of the David O. Mckay School of Education. He will be taking over the position of Mary Anne Prater who recently retired after 20 years working for the college, including eight years as the dean. Osguthorpe previously taught as a professor in the Department of Teacher Education and the Center for the Improvement of Teacher Education and Schooling at BYU. Prior to working at BYU he worked as a professor, department chair, and dean of the College of Education at Boise State University.

“Rich’s leadership traits of thoughtful perspective on the moral foundations of education and a desire to help colleagues succeed will be a blessing to the McKay School,” said BYU Academic Vice President C. Shane Reese.

College of Life Sciences

Evan Thacker conducted a ten-year study that reveals epilepsy increases the risk of cognitive decline in older adults. (BYU College of Life Sciences)

Evan Thacker, a public health professor at BYU, recently published a ten-year long study that shows cognitive decline after experiencing epilepsy in older adults. He along with professors from Columbia University and the University of Washington studied 5,000 adults over 65 years old who took cognitive tests once a year every ten years. Those with epilepsy were shown to have to have their average cognitive test score decrease over the years, with 200 of the subjects with epilepsy declining faster than those without. They hope to expand the study to 40,000 subjects. 

“The health of our brain matters,” he said. “Our research is aimed at trying to understand the connections between these different brain diseases.”

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