Highlights of BYU Colleges: Untold Stories music competition promotes diversity and inclusion, BYU English symposium on women in academia

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College of Fine Arts and Communications

Piano professors and the Untold Stories competition participants smile for a picture. (College of Fine Arts and Communications)

To promote composers who come from marginalized backgrounds, BYU piano professors worked together to plan and host the Untold Stories piano competition on Feb. 28.

“In the classical music world, composers of color, female composers and composers of underrepresented demographics often don’t get programmed,” piano professor Jared Pierce said. “The focus of our competition was to inspire our students to learn these works and tell their untold stories through performance and video.”

The students who participated in the competition chose a piece composed by an underrepresented person in the music world, and performed it to judges from New York City.

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering

The BYU Engineering Together organization gathered students, mentors and department heads for their first annual dinner on March 17. Each student in attendance had the opportunity to interact with mentors, eat a meal and listen to Steve Smith, the Student Development Services director and a BYU clinical professor.

He spoke about the need for self-compassion and recognizing the performance-pressure that students often feel.

“Our goal with the annual dinner celebration was to let our students know they are valued and belong in the College of Engineering,” said BYU Engineering Together coordinator Lisa Knowlton.

College of Humanities

A panel of women in the BYU English department gave presentations to students about pursuing higher education and believing in themselves. (College of Humanities)

The BYU English Department hosted a women in academia panel for the 2022 English Symposium. Women involved in the English Department answered questions and gave advice to students and faculty during the symposium on Feb. 25.

One of the big questions students asked was about getting a Ph.D., and balancing family life. The panelists emphasized how this is a difficult decision for many women who feel torn between their academic ambitions, societal expectations and personal goals.

“You can do multiple things in your life. If you choose to start a family young, that doesn’t mean it closes every option for the rest of your life,” BYU professor and panelist Jamie Horrocks said.

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