Highlights from BYU colleges: McKay School of Education displays children’s artwork, brass quartet teaches students how to find their musical style


College of Engineering

BYU Civil and Construction Engineering professor Rollin Hotchkiss shares his low head dam knowledge with documentarian Ray Santisteban. (BYU Engineering)

After a Marine Corps veteran died saving two teens caught in a low head dam, San Antonio documentarian Ray Santisteban wanted to capture the story via film. He waited a year before interviewing the family to allow them mourning time, but once he was able to talk to them and piece together his work, the pandemic shut down in-person interactions. While continuing his work on the documentary remotely, Santisteban discovered BYU Civil and Construction Engineering professor Rollin Hotchkiss’ articles and set up an interview.

Hotchkiss had studied the deceptiveness of low head dams and worked with his students to find solutions to the hydraulic, which is what traps and can endanger people. Hotchkiss shared his findings with Santisteban, explaining how future human harm could be avoided.

“The work Dr. Hotchkiss and his team are doing is extremely important. I’m glad there’s a growing awareness in the engineering community,” Santisteban said.

David O. McKay School of Education

The David O. McKay School of Education displays artwork from nearby elementary schools. (David O. McKay School of Education)

The David O. McKay School of Education recognizes the importance of the arts. Each year, the McKay School chooses artwork from an elementary school within the five BYU-Public School Partnership districts and displays them in a gallery as part of the BYU ARTS Partnership. The BYU ARTS Partnership’s aim is to make sure that all children have opportunities to receive art instruction while integrating other subjects such as science, math and language arts.

This year, gallery curator Doug Allen chose specific pieces that “looked like they showed a variety of skills and artistic development.”

School of Fine Arts and Communications

The Westerlies teach BYU students how to find their individual musical styles. (BYU Arts)

The Westerlies, a self-described “accidental brass quartet,” visited BYU on Nov. 11 and taught students about brass musicians, their creation of music styles and the process of improvisation to generate music. The Westerlies invited students to conduct their own music with them, as practicing improvisation is how students can find their individual musical style.

“It was fun to stand up with these world-class, great musicians and be able to go with whatever I wanted with the composition. It was a cool experience and I enjoyed it a lot,” BYU student and euphonium and bass trombone player Luke Liechty said.

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