Highlights from BYU Colleges: Business student finds dream job through study abroad, researchers find ways to preserve artery health through heat therapy


Marriott School of Business

BYU human resource management student Megan Atkisson (center) visited the LEGO store in London on a study abroad trip through the BYU Marriott School of Business experience design and management program. (Marriott School of Business)

After a study abroad trip through the experience design and management program at the Marriott School of Business, human resource management student Megan Atkisson decided her dream job would be to become a creative human resource professional who designs employee experiences. This idea came to her after observing how employees at the London LEGO store were given the freedom to implement their ideas with autonomy and create their ideal workday.

“Being at BYU Marriott has been fun because I’ve been able to have experiences that have helped me develop as a person and find interests that I am passionate about. I feel like I’ve grown up here, and I’m accomplishing both my educational and professional goals,” Atkisson said.

College of Life Sciences

Jayson Gifford is one of threeBYU exercise science professors who, along with four students, administer heat therapy to study subjects. (University Communications)

A group of researchers at BYU have found ways to reduce the negative effects that limited physical activity have on the body through passive heat therapy, or by heating muscles. Heat therapy preserves artery health in less active individuals. BYU exercise science professors Jayson Gifford, Robert Hyldahl and Brad Nelson, along with four students, examined 21 healthy college students who had experienced disuse of their legs over 10 days. They found that the subject’s arteries responded as if they were 55-60 years old rather than 20.

“Overall, exercise appears to yield many benefits not captured by heat therapy, but looking down the road, people who aren’t in a position to exercise can have a lot more hope for their overall well-being,” Gifford said.

College of Family, Home and Social Sciences

BYU social work professor David Wood appears on PBS NewsHour to discuss veteran suicide. (School of Social Work)

BYU social work professor David Wood made an appearance on PBS NewsHour to discuss the root causes of veteran suicide and actions to solve that problem. Wood is a member of the Reserves and is the operational psychologist for the Utah National Guard.

“The transition out of the military can be very disconcerting, very disorienting for many veterans and service members. The loss of purpose, loss of camaraderie can be very, very distressing,” Wood told PBS.

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