Eye on the Y: BYU School of Communication alumni assist in publishing Tara Bench’s latest cookbook, BYU alumni finds E. coli bacteria in Turkeys

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Former BYU student, food blogger, and founder of Tara Teaspoon, Tara Bench, took three BYU communication alumni on her team to assist in the publishing of her latest cookbook. Britney Fronk, Amy Hamilton, and Lindsay Steele all contributed to the project in various aspects. (Photo courtesy of BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications)

Former BYU student, food blogger, and founder of Tara Teaspoon, Tara Bench, brought BYU communication alumni Britney Fronk, Amy Hamilton and Lindsay Steele to her team to assist in the publishing of her latest cookbook.

Fronk graduated from BYU in 2019 with a BA in public relations. As part of the ‘Tara Teaspoon team’, her responsibilities include writing newsletters, engaging with specific audiences, and planning and running events and campaigns. Fronk was brought onto the team not only for her experience in the marketing and communication industry, but also for her love for biscuit baking.

Hamilton was a broadcast journalism student who graduated in 2020. As the social media manager for Tara Teaspoon, she posts on Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook and actively engages with followers and with partnered brands.

Steele graduated from the public relations program in 2015 and is the brand manager for the team. She oversees content being published, promotions, partnerships and assists with influencer marketing. Steele currently works full-time with four food blogger clients.

“Truthfully, I like working with them because I love their personalities,” Bench admitted. “For my business, I really love seeing where they excel and where they jump in and enjoy different tasks.”

BYU alumnus finds E. coli bacteria in Turkeys

Andy VanDomelen used his love for photography to transform his research of birds to a study of bacteria samples from turkeys. VanDomelen worked with professor David Erickson in his lab to study the various bacteria in a turkey’s DNA. (Made in Canva by Carly Ludlow)

BYU alumnus Andy VanDomelen worked with BYU associate professor David Erickson in his lab to study bacteria samples from turkey DNA samples.

VanDomelen and Erickson conducted sequence analysis of both wild and domestic turkeys. The analysis concluded that wild turkeys carry less E. coli bacteria compared to turkeys raised on poultry farms and suggests that farm-raised turkeys are more resistant to antibiotics. 

VanDomelen received a College Undergraduate Research Award for his mentored research about domestic and wild turkeys and hopes to continue to push himself in his journey in genomics as a lab assistant or as a wild bird researcher. 

“In your research, you could think you have the answer, but then a year later, someone publishes results that refute your answer,” VanDomelen said. “I would really like to do something that challenges me and pushes me to keep improving.”

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