Highlights from BYU Colleges: Nigerian student thanks Marriott’s Global Business Center for scholarship, art student finds healing with Jingle Dress project


Marriott School of Business

Marriott School of Business student Lady Ikeya moved to Provo to pursue her Master in Public Administration. (BYU Marriott School of Business)

Lady Ikeya moved from Nigeria to Provo with her husband and four children to pursue her Master of Public Administration from the BYU Marriott School of Business. This journey was made possible by the Cardon International Scholarship from BYU Marriott’s Whitmore Global Business Center. Ikeya completed her undergraduate education in economics at Imo State University in Owerri, Nigeria, while working for FamilySearch. This work exposed her to the extreme poverty within her community. Ikeya’s desire to help drew her to BYU Marriott’s MPA program, which focuses on service and leadership.

Moving to Provo has been an adjustment for Ikeya’s family. She completed the first few months of her degree virtually because of COVID-19, but her classmates were accommodating — even meeting at near midnight in Provo time so she could participate in group projects.

“I have come to understand that people at BYU are no different than the people back home in Nigeria. We may do things a different way, but at the end of the day, we are humans who want to do our best and achieve our goals,” Ikeya said.

David O. McKay School of Education

Nebo School District Superintendent Rick Nielsen spoke at BYU’s Alumni Achievement Awards on the power teachers posses and helped them discover optimism and trust inside themselves. (BYU David O. McKay School of Education)

Nebo School District Superintendent Rick Nielsen spoke at BYU’s Alumni Achievement Awards, inspiring listeners to bring out the best in themselves and their teachers. His lecture, titled “You Learn Lots from Zotz!” reminded current and future educators of the power they posses. The lecture title comes from the penny candy he would buy as a child with the fizzy, sour center, which he described as unique and special.

“We choose to be teachers because we have the brilliance to know where our passions lie, the intelligence to recognize the influence of a teacher, and the genius to use our talents to make that difference,” Nielsen said.

College of Fine Arts and Communications

Art student Eugene Tapahe’s daughter and her friends are pictured, acting as dancers to bring healing during the COVID-19 pandemic. (BYU Art)

BYU Master of Fine Arts and Diné student Eugene Tapahe began his project “Art Heals: The Jingle Dress Project” after having a dream about bison grazing the fields of Yellowstone National Park and four dancers performing the traditional Jingle Dress Dance. A version of the origin of the Jingle Dress Dance dates back to the 1918 flu epidemic. During this time, the daughter of a medicine man fell ill. The medicine man was visited by spirits in a dream who gave him instructions on how to create a dress and perform a ceremonial dance that would help heal his daughter. During the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tapahe had a similar experience with his daughters, and began photographing them and their friends dancing around national parks and significant Indigenous sites to help the healing process.

The goal of this project was to “Share the hope and healing of the jingle dress dance, and to share that goodness with others. Instead of trying to add to that negative spirit, we wanted to bring hope and healing, and to do it in a beautiful way,” Tapahe said.

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