Highlights from BYU Colleges: Dance project tackles questions of perception, professor gives tips on how to grow professionally

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College of Fine Arts and Communications

Living Legends and Kinnect Dance Company came together to create a dance project that explores the ideas of perception and stereotypes. Living Legends is a company that performs Polynesian, Latin and Native American dances. Kinnect Dance Company teaches dance and its importance to elementary schools. When Living Legends Director Jamie Kalama Wood and Kinnect Dance Company Artistic Director Angela Rosela Challis collaborated, they decided to make a video in which students could dance and discuss perceptions and stereotypes others have and how to combat them.

“I think it would be great to have a place where people can come and say, ‘This is how people perceive me, this is how I want people to perceive me.’ I think we should go further with this and include as many people who want to be included because everybody has something important to say,” Challis said. 

The project gives students the chance to share their voices, connecting physically and with others, Wood said. “Not everybody is a dancer, but we all have a kinesthetic awareness.”


David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies

Former BYU International Vice President Sandra Rogers retired after 41 years, with Renata Forste (center) taking her place. Forste previously served as director of the Kennedy Center and BYU’s associate international vice president since 2017. (Courtesy of David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies)

After 41 years, BYU’s former international vice president Sandra Rogers retired. Renata Forste will act as the new international vice president for BYU. Forste has served as director of the Kennedy Center and as associate international vice president of BYU since 2017. 

She has also been coordinator of the Women’s Studies program, sociology department chair, College of Family, Home and Social Sciences associate dean, coordinator of the Kennedy Center’s Latin American Studies program and associate director of research at the Center for Studies of the Family. 

Forste was most recently the associate international vice president. Stan Benfell, former associate director for research and academic programs will take her position. Benfell has worked as European Studies program coordinator and chair of the Humanities, Classics and Comparative Literature department. He has also been involved with the London Centre.


College of Family, Home and Social Sciences

A student studies in the library. Danny Damron, assistant dean of experiential learning and professional development, offered six ways students can grow professionally. (Rebekah Baker/BYU Photo)

Danny Damron, assistant dean of experiential learning and professional development, offered six ways students can grow professionally. The first way is for students to prioritize their time by using a time management matrix. The matrix uses four cells: Urgent/Important, Urgent/Not Important, Not Urgent/Important and Not Urgent/Not Important. The goal is to put one’s tasks into each cell and prioritize what is most pressing.

The second way to grow professionally is to create a purpose statement and apply it to professional endeavors. The statement is a three to five sentence opener that shares a professional intention, reflection and connection.

The third suggestion is to ask coworkers for advice instead of feedback. A study published in the Harvard Business Review found that when professionals were asked to give feedback on an employee or applicant’s performance, their comments were vague and generally focused on praise. When asked to give advice, the same professionals gave more specific, actionable items for improvement.

The fourth way for students to grow professionally is to talk to people who are successful in their field. The fifth way is to role play interviews to practice talking to employers. The last way for students to grow professionally is to read books or articles about strengths they want to develop.


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