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FOREWORD 2<br />






<strong>2023</strong> POLITICAL SCIENCE<br />

GRADUATES 23<br />


Publisher:<br />

Jay Goodliffe, Chair<br />

Editor:<br />

J. Matthew Clarke<br />

The BYU Department of Political Science, consistent with the aims of<br />

a BYU education, intends to foster “Lifelong Learning and Service.”<br />

We hope to provide our alumni with intelligent, thoughtful and<br />

sophisticated analysis of important issues, and to act as a catalyst for<br />

service in our communities, neighborhoods, nations and the world.<br />

Graphic Designers:<br />

Seraphina Johnstun,<br />

Abby Myers<br />


The BYU Political Science graduating class of <strong>2023</strong> spent some of their undergraduate<br />

education within the shadow of a global pandemic. Much of their education has been shrouded<br />

by a period of particularly virulent divisiveness in U.S. Politics. During the last year of their<br />

undergraduate education, a war persisted in Ukraine with global political and economic<br />

implications. Tensions and wars persist around the world. The study of politics has never been<br />

more relevant. The year <strong>2023</strong> moving forward is a time when we all need to be increasingly<br />

sensitive to the world around us, both locally and internationally, and the Political Science<br />

Department hopes to have nurtured skills that will serve our students in an increasingly<br />

challenging and complex global community. Problems need to be solved, people need to<br />

be understood, different perspectives need to be acknowledged. Our students are ready for<br />

the challenges ahead, and we want to acknowledge, herein, some of their accomplishments<br />

and plans for the future. We congratulate all of our students on a job well done, and we hope<br />

they will keep in touch with us. We’re here to help, not just for a semester, or just for an<br />

undergraduate education, but for a lifetime of intellectual support. Congratulations to our<br />

Political Science graduates for <strong>2023</strong>!!<br />


Karl G. Maeser Building, Brigham Young University Provo<br />



Clara Cullen<br />

Valedictorian <strong>2023</strong><br />

Clara Cullen, a political science major with a research and analysis<br />

emphasis, is the daughter of Sven and Nancy Wilson. Raised in Provo, UT,<br />

she is a middle child and the only girl of six children. Clara loves social<br />

science research, and her co-authored piece on parental time investments<br />

was recently published in Social Sciences. She is a fellow for the Center for<br />

the Study of Elections and Democracy and has presented multiple research<br />

projects at national political science conferences. In addition to being a<br />

Sigma editor, her paper on view-shaping and autonomy is published in the<br />

<strong>2023</strong> edition. She is the Political Affairs Society president and has loved<br />

the opportunity to help and learn from her peers. Clara served a mission<br />

in Frankfurt, Germany, and she enjoys reading Harry Potter in German<br />

before bed. She loves skiing, hiking, and biking, and she hopes to visit<br />

every national park one day. Clara is excited to pursue a graduate school in<br />

political science, and she is incredibly grateful for her family’s support and<br />

the meaningful mentorship she has received at BYU.<br />

Suzy Yi is from Colorado Springs, Colorado and is a proud daughter<br />

of Korean immigrants. She served a mission in Seoul, Korea and has<br />

subsequently pursued research interests in Asian American politics. She has<br />

focused her Honors thesis on Asian American political participation and hopes<br />

to help shift the narrative of Asian Americans being apolitical. During her<br />

time at BYU, Suzy has worked as a teaching assistant and research assistant<br />

in the political science department and as a teaching assistant in the Honors<br />

program. She has been able to present research at regional conferences with<br />

her professors and has presented original research at university conferences<br />

and meetings. Suzy has also been able to intern with the South Dakota State’s<br />

Attorney’s Office and worked on projects with recidivism and rehabilitation.<br />

After graduation, Suzy plans to attend law school after a gap year and hopes to<br />

continue conducting research in immigration and civil rights law. She would<br />

like to thank her faculty mentors, family members, and husband for their<br />

support and encouragement.<br />

Suzy Yi<br />

Salutatorian <strong>2023</strong><br />

15 3

Luke Lyman<br />

Salutatorian <strong>2023</strong><br />

Luke Lyman, a political science major and art history minor, is the youngest<br />

of six boys and the sixth to graduate from BYU. A Colorado native, he is<br />

the son of Dale and Heather Lyman—who are currently serving as Mission<br />

Leaders in Mexico City. First and foremost, he would like to thank his parents<br />

and many professors who showed him what it means to be a disciple-scholar.<br />

While at BYU, Luke earned multiple grants and fellowships that enabled<br />

him to study politics and art in California, New York, and across Europe, and<br />

started his own student journal of cultural criticism. He also worked as a TA<br />

and Research Assistant in the political science and art history departments<br />

in addition to the Maxwell Institute and was published in multiple national<br />

outlets. After graduating, he will work in New York as the Hilton Kramer<br />

Fellow of Cultural Criticism at The New Criterion. In his free time, he enjoys<br />

writing and proselytizing for Bob Dylan.<br />

Michael Pulsipher, the son of Dawn and David Pulsipher, grew up in Rexburg,<br />

Idaho, where he consumed a steady diet of potatoes and politics. As early as<br />

the fourth grade, he planned to study Political Science in college. At BYU,<br />

Michael worked part-time as a teaching/research assistant and full-time as<br />

a sarcastic critic in the back of the lecture hall. He joined the Summer 2022<br />

Bully Pulpit Interactive Fellowship Program in Washington, D.C., and he<br />

returned to D.C. during his final semester to participate in the Washington<br />

Seminar as a communications intern in the House of Representatives. In April<br />

<strong>2023</strong>, he published his capstone research project “Local Partisanship and<br />

Trust” in the Sigma Journal of Political and International Studies. Michael<br />

loves to cook pesto paninis, play pickleball, and watch rom-coms. He is<br />

incredibly grateful for his friends and mentors who supported him throughout<br />

his undergrad. He continues to pursue his academic and professional goals in<br />

Washington.<br />

Mike Pulsipher<br />

Salutatorian <strong>2023</strong><br />















AWARDS<br />



Megan is a senior studying Political Science at BYU, with minors in Global<br />

Women’s Studies and Art History. She loves art museums, eating good food, and<br />

searching for wild lowers. Currently, she serves as an officer in the Political Affairs<br />

Society and the president of the Women in Politics Club. Megan is the incoming<br />

editor-in-chief for the BYU Political Review and a teaching assistant for POLI 472<br />

(the best Political Science class!). She hopes to figure out her constantly changing<br />

post-grad plans and decide whether to go to law school or get a Masters degree in<br />

international affairs, but either way she has many years of school ahead. She enjoys making colorful visualizations<br />

in R and writing witty titles for research papers, which she spends too much time coming up with.<br />


Ashlan Gruwell is a senior at Brigham Young University, is majoring in political<br />

science, and hails from the swing state of Pennsylvania. She is a dedicated student and<br />

a research fellow at the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy. In addition,<br />

Ashlan serves as a research assistant for Professors Monson and Patterson in the BYU<br />

political science department. Prior to her academic pursuits, Ashlan gained valuable<br />

experience as a reporter in Washington DC. Her passion for communication and<br />

writing also led her to minor in Professional Writing and Rhetoric. This summer,<br />

Ashlan will attend the Woolf Institute program at Cambridge, further broadening her<br />

perspective on world religions.<br />

Ashlan’s academic achievements extend beyond the classroom as well. She recently presented research at the MPSA<br />

conference in Chicago, showcasing her commitment to academic inquiry and professional development. Additionally,<br />

she is a member of BYU’s Honors program, demonstrating her dedication to academic excellence. Ashlan would like<br />

to express her heartfelt gratitude to her family, friends, classmates, and professors in the political science department<br />

for their unwavering support and guidance throughout her four years at BYU.<br />



Shari is a Utah-native, and always dreamed of the day she could come to BYU. While<br />

she started political science wanting to go into law school, she quickly fell in love<br />

with the research and data analysis side of the major. Shari is currently working with<br />

an amazing group of research assistants to study democracy support in developing<br />

countries, such as Mexico and Peru.<br />

In her free time, you can find Shari trying to keep all of her houseplants happy and<br />

healthy—sometimes unsuccessfully. She also enjoys classic literature and cliché teen<br />

dramas.<br />


Kaden is from Northern California and is finishing his second year studying political<br />

science and international diplomacy. The oldest of 6 siblings he enjoys participating<br />

in theater, music, and politics. He has always been passionate for finding ways to help<br />

organizations help people and enjoys learning about other cultures. Serving a mission in<br />

Brazil and South Carolina helped him develop a love for his countrymen and children of<br />

God all around the world. He loves BYU and all of the opportunities it has given him,<br />

including trying Model UN and the civic engagement program. After his undergraduate<br />

he hopes to attend law school to study constitutional and international religious liberty law.<br />


Brinley was raised in Fort Worth, Texas, and is the second oldest of four children.<br />

She is a junior studying Political Science with an emphasis in Political Strategy and a<br />

minor in History. She has participated in the Washington Seminar and has interned for<br />

multiple think tanks, including the Heritage Foundation, the Sutherland Institute, and<br />

the Institute for Women’s Health. This summer, she will work for Representative John<br />

Curtis’ office in Provo before attending the Woolf Institute Direct Enrollment program<br />

in the United Kingdom. After graduating this December, Brinley plans to return to<br />

Washington, DC, to work in politics before attending law school. In her free time, she<br />

enjoys being outdoors, spending time with her friends and family, and listening to podcasts. She is grateful for the many<br />

opportunities her BYU education has granted her and is excited to continue learning about the subjects she is passionate<br />

about as she completes her degree.<br />


Abigail McEuen is currently a junior at BYU. As a Political Science major, she is<br />

passionate about diplomacy, international relations, law, and global problem solving.<br />




Rachel was born and raised in Reston, Virginia, in proximity to D.C., which inspired<br />

an interest in the political sphere at a young age. Currently, she is a junior studying<br />

political science with minors in strategy and sociology. Her academic specialties<br />

reflect her life-long passion for advocacy and the betterment of her community. She<br />

hopes to graduate next winter and plans on furthering her education by attending<br />

graduate school. Rachel has been involved on campus through various clubs and<br />

organizations that focus on addressing social and political issues, including the Anti-<br />

Racism club and Their Story is Our Story. Outside of school, she enjoys reading,<br />

crocheting, and hiking.<br />


Dalton Lutz is a Senior studying Political Science, who grew up in a small town in<br />

North Carolina. With a strong passion for the legal field, Dalton plans to further his<br />

education by attending law school after graduation. His interest in different cultures<br />

and their ways of life stems from his mission in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, where he had<br />

the opportunity to experience firsthand the diverse customs and beliefs of the people.<br />

Dalton’s love for travel and learning about different cultures is complemented by his<br />

strong values of faith, family, and friends. He believes that these three elements form<br />

the foundation for a fulfilling life. Dalton is a driven individual who aims to make a<br />

difference in the world through his legal career, while always remaining grounded in<br />

his values.<br />




Shayla was raised in Highland, Utah and attended American Fork High School. She<br />

enjoys playing soccer and basketball, running, and going on hikes. After attending<br />

a year at BYU, she served a mission in Fresno, California. Once she returned from<br />

her mission, she met her future husband playing co-ed intramural soccer. She is<br />

majoring in Political Science and minoring in International Strategy and Diplomacy<br />

and Nonprofit Management. She hopes to one day work for the State Department or<br />

manage an international nonprofit.<br />


Olivia is currently a senior studying political science with a minor in legal studies.<br />

After graduating from BYU this fall, she is planning to attend law school. Olivia grew<br />

up in Highland, Utah with her mom, dad, and five siblings. She served her mission in<br />

Nashville, Tennessee. Olivia was lucky enough to participate in the Washington<br />

Seminar at BYU and worked for Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto of Nevada. In<br />

addition to this, she has also participated in many on-campus organizations including<br />

the BYU Student Association, the Pre-Law Association, and the Civic Engagement<br />

Club. Outside of school, Olivia enjoys participating in local theater, teaching dance,<br />

and traveling.<br />


McKenna is an upcoming senior from Portland, Oregon. She is studying political<br />

science with a minor in Global Women’s Studies and plans to earn her JD/MPP after<br />

graduating. Currently, McKenna serves as Co-President of the Global Women’s<br />

Studies Honor Society and the Events Coordinator of the Women in Politics club. She<br />

also works as a gender and politics research assistant and is helping her team prepare<br />

to study women’s political participation in Malaysia this upcoming summer. When<br />

she’s not writing essays or catching up on the Mandalorian, McKenna loves to travel,<br />

rock climb, and eat chocolate!<br />


Hannah is a sophomore majoring in political science from Morgantown, West Virginia.<br />

She served a mission in Newport Beach, California where she learned Spanish. She is<br />

currently working as a research assistant for Dr. Kelly Patterson studying politics in The<br />

Book of Mormon, as well as a teaching assistant and research consultant in the Research<br />

and Writing Center at the Harold B. Lee Library. She has worked and volunteered on<br />

five political campaigns thus far, both in West Virginia and Utah. She is planning on<br />

attending law school or pursuing a graduate degree in urban planning. Her hobbies<br />

include genealogy, reading, getting 8 hours of sleep, and being the life of the party<br />

wherever she goes.<br />




Anna Nakaya is a senior political science major from Dallas, Texas who loves debate,<br />

art, music, and games. She hopes to pursue a PhD at a top school following her<br />

graduation from the political science program.<br />

Anna is a philosophy minor and is interested in the topic of American individualism<br />

within political philosophy and the international political economy of women. She<br />

hopes to eventually provide the fields of political science and philosophy with new<br />

knowledge to help counteract the negative impacts of increasing polarization and also<br />

to close the gender data gap in social sciences.<br />


Spencer is a rising Senior double majoring in Economics and Political Science. He<br />

plans to attend law school after graduating from BYU. He loves individual liberty and<br />

wants to help individuals secure their rights through the law. He is the fourth of five<br />

children and lived in six different states while growing up. Spencer served his mission<br />

in Brasilia, Brazil and New York City, and he speaks Portuguese and Spanish.<br />


Laura was born and raised in Long Branch, NJ. Laura’s passion for politics stems<br />

from her father’s active role as a Latino community leader. From a young age, she<br />

was captivated by the intersection of society and government, leading her to study<br />

political science with a minor in sociology at BYU.<br />

Upon graduating, Laura plans to contribute to the field by conducting research for<br />

policymakers and the public through a think tank. Laura has worked as a teaching<br />

assistant for Intro to Comparative Politics and Multicultural America. She exemplifies<br />

her dedication to promoting equality and support as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion<br />

officer through BYU Political Affairs Society. With her experience and interests,<br />

Laura hopes to make a meaningful contribution to the world of politics.<br />


Dallin is a senior at BYU studying Political Science with a second major in Spanish<br />

Studies. He loves being outside in nature and will take any opportunity he gets to<br />

climb, hike, and explore what the earth has to offer. His passion for nature inspires<br />

him to work in environmental politics with the hope of leading the redivision of the<br />

Colorado river among the western states. He plans on interning in DC this summer<br />

working for a data analysis and polling firm, going on a few big adventures, and then<br />

diving into the nitty gritty of federal and state environmental oversight.<br />




Originally from Wisconsin, Sydney moved to Utah for college when she was 17, and<br />

quickly fell in love with the mountains and the university setting. She is an avid student<br />

of history, government, politics, literature, and religion.<br />

She hopes to work in the intersection of government and religion, to promote civil<br />

discourse and cooperation, and to advocate for the marginalized. This scholarship will<br />

help her achieve her desire to making the world a better place.<br />


Belle De La Rosa-Thompson is a senior finishing her degree this fall <strong>2023</strong> in Political<br />

Science major with an emphasis in Global Development. Belle has been an editor<br />

for the Pre-Law Review 2021-2022 and the BYU Sigma Political Science and<br />

International Studies Journal 2022-<strong>2023</strong>. Being the first female American from both<br />

sides of her family, and having grown up in both the U.S. and Argentina, Belle knew<br />

from a very young age that she wanted to help immigrants who come to the U.S. –just<br />

like how she and her family were helped. Belle earned her Associate of Arts from<br />

Utah Valley University her senior year in high school and then chose to serve an 18-month mission. She was assigned to<br />

Cochabamba, Bolivia and served there for all of 2019 up until the end of the year when the civil coup erupted and forced<br />

her and all U.S. missionaries to take refuge in Sao Paolo, Brazil. There, she was reassigned to finish her last 6 months in<br />

Santa Fe, New Mexico. Being fluent in 4 languages has enabled Belle in working with several refugees in her missions<br />

and with immigrants back home. These experiences reassured her to pursue a law degree. She is the first in her family<br />

from both sides to pursue a graduate degree.<br />

Belle loves to cook, latin dance, travel, and spend any time she can with her husband–whom she loves dearly. A fun fact<br />

about Belle is that she is the lead singer of the female mariachi band, Color de Rosas–they have performed for Governor<br />

Cox, Gail Miller, and several non-profits such as the Utah Period Project 2022 and Ella Rises 2021.<br />


Anne is a senior studying Political Science and Sociology at BYU. She graduated high<br />

school in Newnan, Georgia. After graduating, she plans on attending law school.<br />

She loves running, hiking, kayaking, playing the drums, and getting to know new people.<br />

She is passionate about women’s rights and immigration reform.<br />




New Pi Sigma Alpha Members<br />

Mark Jeffrey Ahrens<br />

Alexis Rachele Arnold<br />

Tanner S. Bennett<br />

Emeline Benson<br />

Julia Chatterley<br />

Ali Critchfield<br />

Belle I. De La Rosa-Thompson<br />

Darin Alexander Dewsnup<br />

Matthew R. Gearheart<br />

Meggan Green<br />

Marshall Scott Job<br />

Abigail McEuen<br />

Tim C. McKeon<br />

Katelyn Ruby Moore<br />

Nicholas Mortenson<br />

Jacob N. Newell<br />

Isaac Overson<br />

Tanner P. Pomeroy<br />

Natalie Reese<br />

Caleb Chad Ringger<br />

Brenton Schnepf<br />

Christopher Nathaniel Sherrill<br />

Makenna Rae Stringam<br />

Mary Grace Troseth<br />

Angelina N. Wade<br />

Suzy Soochong Yi<br />

Grace Burns<br />

13<br />

Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society, is the only honor<br />

society for college and university students of political and social sciences in the<br />

United States. Its purpose is to recognize and promote high academic achievement<br />

in the field of political science. It is a member of the Association of College Honor<br />

Societies (ACHS) and adheres to all the standards set by ACHS for an upper-division,<br />

specialized honor society. Pi Sigma Alpha is not a social fraternity or club.



Best Paper Contest<br />

1st: Jody Messick, “The Impact of Gender on the Acceptance of Surveillance<br />

Technology”<br />

Jody Messick was born in Hong Kong to Athena and Owen Messick as the youngest of<br />

five children. Eventually, her amily moved to Shanghai, China, where she lived until<br />

she relocated to Provo to pursue her bachelor’s degree at BYU. Given her background,<br />

she decided to study international relations with an emphasis in Asian politics and<br />

history. Throughout her time at BYU, Jody worked as a teaching assistant and research<br />

assistant for the Political Science department. Jody’s mother is a professor at Fudan<br />

University in Shanghai and has inspired her to be a lifelong learner. Jody graduated this past December and plans to<br />

attend law school in the fall, where she hopes to sharpen her critical thinking and writing skills. She aspires to focus her<br />

career around bridges between the U.S. and China, whether that be through business or politics. Outside of school and<br />

work, Jody likes to participate in team sports, read, be outdoors, and travel. She draws inspiration from her family and<br />

loves spending time with her siblings, all of whom now live in Utah.<br />

2nd: Bryant McConkie, “Explaining Guatemalan Vigilantism”<br />

Bryant McConkie is the third of four children born to Lynne and Paul McConkie,<br />

and was raised in Bountiful, Utah. He married his wife, Liberty, in 2021, and they are<br />

excited to welcome their first child, a baby boy, in August. Bryant served a mission<br />

in Retalhuleu, Guatemala, where his experiences witnessing ethnic segregation,<br />

extrajudicial policing, and rampant immigration inspired much of his undergraduate<br />

research and ultimately led to an interest in law. He will attend SJ Quinney College<br />

of Law in the fall, following in the legal steps of his father, grandfather, and greatgrandfather.<br />

He enjoys watching the Utah Jazz and cheering on the Cougars, as well<br />

as playing Wiffle Ball and visiting small Utah towns with his wife. He would like to<br />

thank his wife and family for their support, and acknowledge the invaluable<br />

mentorship he has received from BYU faculty over the years.<br />

3rd: Caleb Ringger, “The Sino-Soviet Split: A Domestic Ideology Analysis”<br />

Caleb Ringger is the son of Alisa and Chad Ringger and is the oldest of four children.<br />

He grew up in Medford, Oregon and served a mission in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It<br />

was on his mission that he discovered his deep passion for politics, history, languages,<br />

and law. He is currently a junior at Brigham Young University earning a major in<br />

Political Science and a minor in Professional Writing & Rhetoric. He is an author for<br />

the BYU Political Review and an undergraduate fellow at the Center for the Study<br />

of Elections and Democracy, where he has conducted research into extremism and<br />

conspiracy theories. He has worked as a Teaching Assistant for writing and statistics<br />

classes in the Political Science department for the last year. After graduating from BYU, he plans on attending law school<br />

and practicing some kind of intellectual property law. In his free time, he enjoys reading about history, watching sports,<br />

and writing about music.<br />


Honorable Mentions ($100 each)<br />

Jonah Phillips: “An Ironic Alliance: The Domestic Foundations of Qatar’s Support for Democratic Revolution<br />

Abroad”<br />

Clara Cullen: “View-shaping, First Personal Authority, and the Asymmetry between Providing and<br />

Withholding”<br />

Isaac Lamoreaux: “The Growing Greens: How Young Postmaterialists Delivered Electoral Success for the<br />

German Green Party in 2021”<br />

Mike Pulsipher and Kelsey Eyre: “Local Partisan Agreement and Trust”<br />

Suzy Yi: “Party Contacting, Group Identity, and COVID-19: An Analysis of Asian American Voter Turnout in<br />

2020”<br />

BYU PAS Student Executives for <strong>2023</strong>-24<br />

Co-President: Julia Chatterley; Co-President: Megan Baird; Women in Politics President: Ally Stolworthy<br />

Thank you to our outgoing BYU PAS Executives:<br />

Clara Cullen (President); Tayla Ingles and Jackson Berthold (VPs); Megan Baird (WIP President); Kendra Pinegar, Grace<br />

Burns, Joe Peterson, Julia Chatterley and Amy Kurtzweil, Kate Moore and Laura Pacheco, Ali Critchfield.<br />




Ethan Busby is Assistant Professor of American Politics, and<br />

joined BYU Political Science over the summer of 2020. Ethan is a<br />

political psychologist specializing in extremism, public opinion,<br />

racial and ethnic politics, and quantitative methods. More<br />

specifically, his work explores what extremism is and what<br />

encourages and discourages extremism. He considers both a<br />

general approach to extremism and several specific kinds –<br />

including racial extremism, partisan extremism, and populism.<br />

His research on extremism relies on various methods, using lab experiments, quasi-experiments,<br />

survey experiments, text-as-data, surveys, big data from Google and Twitter, and artificial<br />

intelligence tools.<br />

At BYU, Ethan teaches classes on statistical methods, American politics, and political extremism.<br />

Ethan received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern University, 2018, an M.A. in<br />

Political Science from Northwestern University, 2015, and a B.A. in Political Science from<br />

Brigham Young University, 2013. Prior to coming to BYU, he worked for two years as an<br />

assistant professor at the department of political science at Clemson University in South Carolina.<br />

Ethan has lived in all kinds of places throughout his life, including New York, Texas, Illinois,<br />

Indiana, South Carolina, and Utah. As an undergraduate in the BYU Political Science department,<br />

he was mentored and influenced by many professors, including David Magleby, Kelly Patterson,<br />

Chris Karpowitz, Dan Nielson, Josh Gubler, and Kirk Hawkins.<br />

Ethan and his wife live in Provo and have two children, Ruth and Dean. Ethan and his wife met at<br />

Northwestern University, where they were both graduate students. His wife, Andrea, is also a<br />

faculty member at BYU in the School of Family Life. When he isn’t researching and teaching,<br />

Ethan enjoys barbequing and smoking meat, fried chicken, biking, hiking, audiobooks, and<br />

anything that makes his children laugh.<br />





DANIEL ADAIR - Bachelor’s in Political Science<br />

Aa a Political Science student, I had lots of opportunities to see the world thorugh the eyes of minority groups and better<br />

understand their perspectives. I am incredibly grateful to my parents, my siblings, and my fiance. Without them, I would<br />

not have been able to accomplish everything that I have. I am getting married this summer, and after a break to work, I<br />

will go to law school.<br />


I spent my time at BYU as an analyst and Chief Editor for the National Security Student<br />

Association’s web journal Praemon. I was also able to work as a research assistant on<br />

the Scandinavian LDS Women’s Hostory Project and the Global Families Research<br />

Initiative. These opportunities allowed me to take my learning beyond the classroom,<br />

and I was able to present my work at several research conferences.<br />


Political Science<br />

I am very grateful for the wonderful support system I have had throughout my<br />

whole college experience. In particular, I am grateful for my husband, Jose<br />

Angel Lizama, my mother Nancy, my second pair of parents, Nick and Suzen<br />

Bria, my in-laws, Jose and Sariah Lizama, and my best friend, Mariana de<br />

Souza. I thank all the wonderful scholarships and grants that have allowed me to<br />

graduate from BYU without incurring any debt. These scholarships and grants<br />

include: the Multicultural Scholarships, the Jack and Marilyn Roberts Scholarship, the Gene and Gwen Wickes<br />

Scholarships, the Brigham Young Grant, and lastly, FAFSA. I have obtained a position at the Rogers & Russell<br />

law firm.<br />

JOHN CHERRINGTON - Bachelor’s in Political Science<br />

I will be preparing for the GMAT and applying to MBA programs while I continue to work at Regions | EnerBank USA.<br />

MATT GEARHEART - Bachelor’s in Political Science<br />

Matt loved the football games and gospel-supported learning in classes. He is grateful for his parents, Scott and Cindy, and<br />

his wife, Kayla. On to law school!<br />


ALEX DEWSNUP - Bachelor’s in Political Science<br />

Alex enjoyed pursuing an education in a place surrounded by people committed to<br />

both spiritual and secular growth. Also, the friendships and unforgettable experiences<br />

forged during my time at BYU. The best part of his education was his legislative<br />

internship with the Utah House of Representatives! I am grateful for my wife, family,<br />

friends, coworkers, and professors for inspiring and supporting me to do my best<br />

work every day. Pursuing a Juris Doctor from the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney<br />

College of Law, starting Fall <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

ALIX HESS - Bachelor’s in Political Science<br />

My favorite things about BYU? My mentorship of my brilliant professors and<br />

all the friends made along the way! Honorable mentions include Y Mountain,<br />

Model UN, less commonly taught language courses, and the music the library<br />

plays over the intercom when it closes.<br />

Model United Nations competitor and teaching assistant, Sigma Iota Rho VP of<br />

Outreach, International Law Student Association, Washington Seminar Summer<br />

2022 cohort, Cougar Consulting Group Analyst, and SIGMA academic journal editor. Minors in International<br />

Strategy and Diplomacy as well as Business. Named Kennedy Scholar and Wade Jacoby Inspiring Learning<br />

Scholar. Recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Grant. In January, I took a position in D.C. as Program<br />

Coordinator for the Washington International Business Council.<br />

MELE NGALU - Bachelor’s in Political Science<br />

BYU is not easy. It has stretched and enriched my mind and spirit. My BYU experience<br />

has taught me to be more courageous, persevering, diligent, honest, and charitable.<br />

Aside from the secular education I have received, I am most grateful for the experiences<br />

that have led me to have a stronger testimony of my Heavenly Father and Savior.<br />

I am grateful for my parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, and cousins who have been<br />

supportive throughout the journey. I am grateful for my friends who were there for<br />

me since I began this journey in 2016. I am also grateful for my MSS counselor (who has since retired), Estela! I will be<br />

working as Executive Assistant and Manager at Bacon Inc. I am excited to further my experience in preparation for my<br />

desire to return to school to receive my MBA in 2 years.<br />


HAYDEN REEVE - Bachelor’s in Political Science<br />

The faculty have such a breadth of experience that I felt like I was brushing shoulders<br />

with those whom history will see as giants in their field. For so many classes, I<br />

walked away with a greater depth of understanding for my subject-matter and a<br />

stronger belief in my ability to be an emissary of Christ throughout my life. I couldn’t<br />

name another university that gives this to its students.<br />

To date, the most difficult class I ever took at BYU was POLI 200 with Professor<br />

Christensen. The class required hours of reading and writing that felt like it was<br />

stretching my soul. However, that class refined me in a way that almost no other class at BYU has. It refined my writing<br />

and critical thinking skills in such a way that I have constantly refer back to lessons he taught. I was dealing with a lot that<br />

semester, but even today I am in awe at how much information I still retain from that class and how often I continue to use<br />

it. Professor Christensen helped me to self-improve and be optimistic about my prospects. I was not his best student, but<br />

he is one of my favorite professors and people.<br />

I will be working with the Government Accountability Project during the summer working on their National Security<br />

Whistleblower program. I will continue to look for employment in the national security apparatus with the goal of one day<br />

becoming an ambassador for the United States.<br />

NATHAN SEAL - Bachelor’s in Political Science<br />

I love the people at BYU and how so many peculiar organizations, and<br />

resources are available to support the various students. Interning during<br />

the 2022 general session, and working with Representative Maloy and the<br />

Legislative Office of Research and General Counsel full-time gave me so<br />

many useful lessons for life and the profession.<br />

I am grateful for CAPS and the UAC for getting me the help I needed when I<br />

was at my weakest. I’ll have fond memories of Student Development, EXDM, Swell, and Dance classes forever.<br />

I am so glad I took advantage of various professors’ office hours, excellent teaching assistants, the writing<br />

center, BYUSA (specifically the Mission Inclusivity Club) and the HBLL. Special shout out to the internship<br />

office, BYU Parking, BYU Laundry, Food to Go, and Aspen Grove for great student employment.<br />

LAUREN TIPPS - Bachelor’s in Political Science<br />

The best learning experience I had was participating in my research capstone class and<br />

presenting at the Fulton Poster Conference. My family and friends. I would not be where<br />

I am without the support they gave me throughout my college career. I am planning to<br />

start my career in Human Resources.<br />


ABBIGAIL THACKER - Bachelor’s in Political Science<br />

My favorite learning experience was taking International Law with Professor Ray<br />

Christensen. I am so grateful to all of my professors throughout the years. They have<br />

helped me to understand so much more about the world that we live in and what I can<br />

do to help make it better. Furthermore, they have inspired me in a multitude of ways.<br />

I am also grateful for all the fellow classmates that I have had. The comments that<br />

they have shared have had some of the greatest impacts in my learning experience.<br />

Finally, I am grateful to my friends and family that have supported me through the<br />

long nights of studying, I could not have done this without them. After graduation I hope to attend law school.<br />

ALVARO MOLINA - Bachelor’s in Political Science<br />

My favorite thing about BYU is the access to professors who want nothing more than to see you succeed. The best<br />

learning experience I have had has been being a TA for Political Science 200. I learned a lot about myself, my teaching<br />

style, and the best way to help others pass a difficult class. I’m grateful for wonderful professors like Dr. Darren Hawkins<br />

and Dr. David Romney.<br />


Bachelor’s in Political Science<br />


Bachelor’s in Political Science<br />

LANDON HOOLEY - Bachelor’s in Political Science<br />

PRESTON LAU - Bachelor’s in Political Science<br />

SEBASTIAN STEWART-JOHNSON - Bachelor’s in Political Science<br />

CLARA CULLEN - Bachelor’s in Political Science<br />

NOAH BOUTON - Bachelor’s in Political Science<br />


<strong>2023</strong> POLITICAL<br />


Adair, Daniel Kenneth<br />

Albello, Samuel Shemrah<br />

Aldridge, Luke Swain<br />

Allred, Sarah Eliza<br />

Anderson, Madison Lynne<br />

Anderson, Russel Aaron<br />

Anderson, Tabitha Emily<br />

Arnold, Alexis Rachele<br />

Bailey, Samantha Nicole<br />

Baldwin, Michael James<br />

Balfe, Fischer Edward<br />

Barrett, George Vincent<br />

Bates, Grace Alice<br />

Beckstead, Colby<br />

Beeson, Jane Layton<br />

Begay, Sunni Laila<br />

Bouton, Noah Christopher<br />

Bowen, Jordan Taylor<br />

Bronson, Evynn Charlene<br />

Brown, Hanna<br />

Butler, Kannon DiVon<br />

Camp, Samuel Howard<br />

Cann, Megan Celeste<br />

Cannon, Spencer Layne<br />

Cappillo Montes, Alexandra<br />

Carrillo, Tania Yadira<br />

Chalmers, Jon Wallace<br />

Charles, Amelia Anne<br />

Cherrington, John Robert<br />

Childers, Ansel Charles<br />

Christensen, Cole McGwire<br />

Collier, Brittany Ashleen<br />

Crawford, Benjamin Michael<br />

Cullen, Clara Wilson<br />

Dastrup, Amie Nicole<br />

Dewsnup, Darin Alexander<br />

Diether, Elle<br />

Doney, Karlie Londyn<br />

Duersch, Molly<br />

Fawcett, Davis Darin<br />

Fernandez, Samuel Emigdio<br />

Flake, Dallin Bae<br />

Fleming, William Coleton<br />

Flick, Emma Lorraine<br />

Fontano, Kathryn Eileen<br />

Forrest, Duncan John<br />

Foster, Katie Elizabeth<br />

Foutz, Benjamin Eric<br />

Freeman, Jefferey Alan<br />

Gearheart, Matthew Ray<br />

Gracia, Shanay Gloria<br />

Griffeth, McKenzie Lynn<br />

Habashi, Bryan Robert Hazard<br />

Hale, Dallin Jerron<br />

Harris, Romney Hendricks<br />

Hartman, Naomi<br />

Harvey, Elizabeth Julianna<br />

Hayward, Christian S<br />

Heard, Melissa Jane<br />

Herrera, Joshua Aaron<br />

Hess, Alix Nicole<br />

Hodges, Brett Ashton<br />

Holmes, James Austin<br />

Holmes, Chance Jacob<br />

Hooley, Landon Eric<br />

Hunt, Katheryn Elizabeth<br />

Hurst, William Keegan<br />

Huston, Fiona Aileen<br />

Hwang, Yunha<br />

Ingles, Tayla Belle<br />

Jacobson, Kaitlyn Ann<br />

Jankowski, Dayna Elizabeth<br />

Jarvis, Joshua Andrew<br />

Jensen, Anders Frank<br />

Johnson, Jonah<br />

Johnson, Elizabeth Jane<br />

Johnson, Cody Lee<br />

Jubeck, Kray Allen<br />

Kennedy, May Christine<br />

Kennedy, Joseph Michael<br />

Khatami, Kimia<br />

Kramer, Nathan Michael<br />

Lamoreaux, Isaac Ullman<br />

Lane, Julia Eve



Lau, Preston David<br />

Lee, Savana<br />

Lund, Brittany Elizabeth<br />

Lunt, Jacob Nathaniel<br />

Lyman, Luke Daniel<br />

Mahoney, Sheamus Michael<br />

Martin, Madison Nicole<br />

Maughan, Jacob Mark<br />

Maynard, Miranda Kay<br />

McBride, Allie Nicole<br />

Miller, Weston Wade<br />

Mitchell, Collin Kirk<br />

Molina, Alvaro Enrique<br />

Moreti de Vasconcelos Gome,<br />

Isabella<br />

Mortenson, Nicholas David<br />

Newell, Jacob Neil<br />

Ngalu, Mele Tamole Kaulalani<br />

Nickerson, Simon Robert<br />

Olsen, Savannah Jean<br />

Orencia, Aurea Bianca Ign<br />

Overson, Isaac Dale<br />

Packer, James Jeffrey<br />

Pauole, Preston<br />

Pearson, Bethany Jane<br />

Penner, Cameron<br />

Perry, Autumn Lee<br />

Petersen, Lauren Brooke<br />

Pitts, Ethan Gabriel Thomas<br />

Pomeroy, Tanner Patrick<br />

Puffer, Benjamin Ward<br />

Pulsipher, Michael David<br />

Quesenberry, Sarah Malaine<br />

Raleigh, Daniel Christian<br />

Randall, Kyle Bruce<br />

Reese, Camden David<br />

Reese, Natalie Emma<br />

Reeve, Hayden D<br />

Rogerson, Connor Michael<br />

Rosario, Isabella<br />

Rudy, Spencer Paul<br />

Rushforth, Morgan Elizabeth<br />

Russell, Mitch<br />

Sanofsky, Erika Joan<br />

Schlesinger, Madison Ruth<br />

Seal, Nathan Hunter<br />

Shaw, Whitney<br />

Sherbert, Madelynn Grace<br />

Smith, Arabella<br />

Smith, Joshua Joseph Shumway<br />

Smith, Macy Marie<br />

Spencer, Pearl Elizabeth<br />

Spriggs, Jordan Devon<br />

Starr, Alec<br />

Stewart-Johnson, Sebastian<br />

Suaava, Desttany Legaloimoe<br />

Sumsion, Amy Rose<br />

Sweetin, Zachary Jordan<br />

Tanner, Megan Brooke<br />

Thacker, Abbigail Slade<br />

Theobald, Grace Ellen<br />

Tipps, Lauren Mattie<br />

Toney, Noah Michael<br />

Trendler, Dallin Jeff<br />

Wade, Angelina Nichole<br />

Welch, Jameson Charles<br />

Welch, Brigham Thomas<br />

West, Blake Addison<br />

Westberg, Darrin Troy<br />

Whitaker, Maria Kathryn<br />

Williams, Michael James<br />

Wilson, Ashleigh Brook<br />

Wimmer, Micah<br />

Wolthuis, Jack Hennis<br />

Woodfield, Abigail<br />

Woods, Courtney Annette<br />

Workman, Samuel Eric<br />

Yi, Suzy Soochong<br />

Zuniga, Bonnieblue<br />




Congratulations, graduates! We have reached the end of our undergraduate journey at BYU.<br />

As I reflect upon my own experience at BYU, I am filled with gratitude. We have all been told that gratitude leads to<br />

happiness. I would suggest that part of the reason for this is that reflecting on what we are grateful for can guide our future<br />

actions and perspectives in positive ways.<br />

Now that I’m on the other side, I’m grateful for how challenging our major was. I remember entering my first political<br />

science class and approaching the professor, concerned about the immense time it took me to read and understand research<br />

articles. But thanks to her helpful tips and resources, and much practice and work on my part, I, like the rest of you,<br />

can now quickly and accurately understand, interpret, and communicate large amounts of information. And so now, I’m<br />

grateful to our program and professors for the opportunities we’ve had to learn and improve. For teaching us how to turn a<br />

terrible first draft into an insightful final paper. For teaching us how to move into and through an intellectual challenge and<br />

how to put aside pride to receive feedback and make improvements. For giving us the skills to be confident in our ability<br />

to produce good work, but also the awareness that doing so is a process, not a singular event.<br />

As BYU political science students, we are taught how to think about and engage with many of the most meaningful and<br />

difficult issues of life. I am grateful that political science has taught me to think critically, regarding both the information<br />

I come across and my own opinions and biases. We have learned to identify and understand the meaning and intent of<br />

a speaker and how to evaluate evidence provided (or not provided). We have been given tools to research and evaluate<br />

arguments in their larger context, often a context with conflicting data and views. We have been taught how to grapple<br />

with the reality that problems and solutions are rarely simple.<br />

Perhaps more importantly, we have been taught to think critically while being both compassionate and faithful. Although<br />

we understand that good decisions and policies should be grounded in research, we have come to understand that<br />

data represent more than just numbers; they reflect real people – people with families and dreams and struggles. We<br />

have learned to approach solutions and difficult discussions in ways that are respectful and empathetic toward other<br />

perspectives and experiences. In ways that are led by a love for the good of humanity. In ways grounded in the faith in a<br />

good and loving God, and in a Savior who will heal the messiness of our world.<br />

Most of all, I’m grateful to the many individuals who provide daily evidence that good in the world is worth pursuing. I’m<br />

grateful to the exceptional professors in our department, without whom none of the preceding points would have existed.<br />

I’m grateful for their dedication not just to their work and research, but to their students and our growth. I am grateful for<br />

the many friends I’ve made during my time at BYU and for my supportive family. We are so blessed to be surrounded<br />

by individuals and a community whose goodness continually reminds us to be compassionate, forgiving, hopeful, and<br />

proactive.<br />

And so, Class of <strong>2023</strong>, I encourage you to reflect on your own experiences, what you are grateful for, and how that<br />

gratitude can guide you as you embark on the next chapter of your life.<br />

Clara Wilson Cullen, Valedictorian, Class of <strong>2023</strong><br />



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