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D EC E MB E R 2012

It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas UNIVERSIT Y EMPLOYEES SHARE THEIR CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS » Compiled by Spencer Allen

After a long day of Christmas and gifts, my wife and I gather our family together to hold our traditional “Jesus Supper.” Because of the commercialization of the season, we try to bring the focus of the holiday back to the Savior. The meal of fish, cheese, nuts, tomatoes with light dressing, and grape juice is brought to life as lights are dimmed and we eat by candlelight. Our kids love it and it has become a highlight of the Christmas season. Kip Harris Dean of Students The Sunday after Thanksgiving our family puts up the Christmas tree. What adds to the excitement of the holiday season are the ornaments we’ve collected from family vacations throughout the years. Each ornament brings back great family memories. We wait until Monday night for Family Home Evening to finish the tree by putting the star on the tree. As the family gathers around, my husband reads the account in the Book of Mormon of Samuel the Lamanite and his prophecy of a new star. We take this opportunity to teach our children about the significance of the star and how it signified the birth of the Savior. At the end of Family Home Evening, we light the star in hopes that our kids understand and appreciate the Christmas star. Trulee Stocking Instructor, Department of English

Many of our family traditions stem from my time in Norway as a missionary for the Church. During the Christmas season, my wife makes a kransekake, or a ring cake. It stands at least two feet high and has over 20 layers. It’s shaped like a pyramid with the biggest ring on the bottom and each layer getting smaller. It is finished off with icing and tiny toothpicks with Norwegian flags on them. Our family also holds true to the Norwegian tradition of opening up the Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve. Ward Hicks Instructor, Department of Communication Years ago, our oldest was four and our second child was an infant. My husband and I were both finishing school, and although we could provide for ourselves, extra money was scarce. That Christmas we carefully purchased each of our children one toy. As I was preparing our Christmas Eve meal, there was an unexpected knock at the door. Much to my surprise, the doorway was empty except for two large plastic bags. As I looked closer, I noticed the bags filled to the brim with children’s toys, ingredients for a Christmas meal, and an envelope carefully tucked away with money. We were extremely touched by the generosity of the givers of this gift. Every year since we graduated from school, we have tried to do to others what someone did for us. Each year during the holiday season my kids ask if Santa Claus is real. And although he is a fictional character to some, that one year he was real to us. Bonnie Moon Instructor, Department of Mathematics

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Excerpts from President’s Executive Group Q&As O CTOBER AND NOVEMBER 2012

How will the announcement about making 18-year-old young men and 19-year-old young women available for missions affect our enrollment? How will it bless the university? President Clark: The exact impact is not completely clear yet, but in general terms, we expect it to be lower and less. It will probably result in the delay of some projects on campus because the resources required to implement this lower age requirement will cause significant reallocation of resources for a couple of years to support the new program. The Missionary Department used to get about 700 applications a week. Now they’re getting that many a day. So we shouldn’t be surprised if, in a year or two, there are somewhere around 100,000 missionaries out in the field. It will take considerable resource reallocation to do that. As far as the university goes, we’re surveying the students who are potentially affected. There are 5,250 of them who are in that relevant age group who we expect to be here in January. We’re surveying them to find out what their plans are. I think we can expect Winter Semester 2013 will be down from Fall Semester 2012, and Spring Semester 2013 will be down from Winter and so on. We just don’t know how much. We’ll have more information soon because we’ll have registration for Winter and we’ll have the beginnings of applications for next Fall. But over the next couple of years we’ll have fewer students on campus, and then they’ll come back. We’re just going to adapt as best we can, but it’s going to be very exciting. One clear benefit, I think, is that in the years ahead we’re going to have on our campus many more returned missionaries. Right now we have about 5-6,000 returned missionaries. You can easily see that number becoming much larger in the future. With that comes greater maturity, focus, depth, and purpose in the students. I think it will have wonderful consequences for the university. If you had an opportunity to talk to juniors or seniors in high school, what would you tell them to do to help prepare them to go on missions?


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President Clark: I would say three things. First, I would say, “Make sure you have many private, personal spiritual experiences so you may bear witness of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Restoration, the Prophet Joseph, and the Book of Mormon independent of any other person. That means you need to be worthy, have the spirit of the Lord with you, know how to pray and read the scriptures, and know how to kneel and get answers to your prayers.”

Right now we have about 5-6,000 returned missionaries. You can easily see that number becoming much larger in the future. PRESIDENT KIM B. CLARK

Second, “Gain experience working all day long for many days in a row.” Missionaries work all day long, for many days in a row. If they have never done that before, a mission is a big shock and some very good people find themselves unable to do it. So work many hours all day long, for many days in a row. It can be moving pipe, working in a grocery store, hauling rocks, digging ditches, anything. It doesn’t have to be hard manual labor. It can be working in an office. Just get experience working all day long for many days in a row. Third, “Gain experience living away from home. It doesn’t have to be in a harsh or hostile environment; it just has to be away from home where you have to make your way and do things away from your mother and father and your home environment. It’s very helpful.” In my case, when I was about 16, my mom and dad allowed me to go with two friends to work in the pea fields in Walla Walla, Washington, during the harvest. We lived in a migrant labor camp in an old World War II barracks. I worked all

day long for many days in a row and it was not easy. It was really hot and the work was hard, but it was a great blessing because when I got to Germany there were challenges in the mission field. They were more spiritual, emotional kinds of challenges, but it was not hard to do missionary work and to work hard all day long for two years because I had experience working. I knew what hard work was, and I had done it for weeks on end. President, you have talked lately about the importance of having a testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Could you tell us why you have felt that way? President Clark: I have had the feeling over the last two months that I need to bear my testimony more often about the Prophet Joseph Smith and his prophetic calling, his role in the dispensation of the fullness of times, and his place among the prophets of God. This first came about when I had an assignment to preside over a stake conference and I was impressed to bear my testimony about Joseph. I later received a very powerful, reconfirming witness of what I said. I think it’s important for all of us to take time to reconnect with the Restoration and renew our testimony that our Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph in the grove in 1820. Many prophets have said that experience was the most important thing that has happened on the earth since the resurrection of the Savior. It’s vital that we have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, priesthood keys and authority on the earth, the divine origin and prophetic guidance of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Doctrine of Covenants, and the many other gifts and blessings that came through the ministry of the Prophet Joseph. It’s also important for us to have a testimony that he is the head of the dispensation of the fullness of times and holds the keys to that dispensation to this day. We need that witness so that we can see the unbroken chain of power and authority linking the Prophet Joseph to President Monson and the Quorum of the continued on page 4

Department Spotlight: Academic Discovery Center » By Spencer Allen

The personal transformation that takes place somewhere between freshman and senior year is different for each student at BYU-Idaho. Some pursue accounting, others enjoy dabbling in Brahms and Beethoven, while a handful of students learn Computer Information Technology. Regardless of the journey each individual makes, a requirement for all is a stop at the Academic Discovery Center (ADC). In the summer of 2011 the Internship and Career Services Office and the Career and Academic Advising Center joined together to create the Academic Discovery Center. “We wanted to be more effective at helping students make educated decisions about what they want to do in life,” said Guy Hollingsworth, Associate Academic Vice President. Wanting to open doors for students, the ADC has organized multiple events and services for students to prepare for and exceed in life after graduation. Major and Career Exploration BYU-Idaho offers over 70 different bachelors degrees. With a variety more broad than Baskin Robbins, finding the right fit can be a challenge for students. The ADC offers a six-step online course that helps students identify interests and abilities, find careers that utilize those exact features, pinpoint a degree that would help enhance those skills, and then help students create an eight-semester graduation plan. This service not only increases the likelihood of satisfaction in the workplace, but it also assists in making the most out of each student’s time at BYU-Idaho.

major is in is the primary driver, the ADC still helps organize and promote in the internship process. “We want the students to have a good experience finding and fulfilling a meaningful internship. Our role is one of resource and support,” said Amy Labaugh, director of the Academic Discovery Center. HUB Missionaries Strategically located across the United States are successful missionary couples waiting to help BYU-Idaho students. As these couples near the end of their careers, they are willing and waiting to share information and connect students with professionals to help jump-start any student’s career. “We work really hard to maintain a good network so students have the opportunity to find internships and jobs,” said Labaugh. The missionary couples also host a group of students each year as they visit each couple’s city. Resume, Cover Letters and Interviews The Academic Discovery Center is part of a national accreditation for career preparation. From that stems training material for resume and cover letter reviews as well as mock interview assessments. One of the hopes of the ADC is that the students who graduate from BYU-Idaho are not underemployed. The one-on-one training provided will better prepare students to present themselves and their material in a way the job market and industry are accustomed to.



Cities with HUB missionaries


Cover letter reviews


Companies and graduate schools at the Discovery Fair

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Practice interviews

Resume reviews

Internships being worked on this semester


Students who attended Graduate Fair

Discovery Fair Twice a year the ADC holds a Discovery Fair. Recruiters from dozens of companies and organizations gather to mingle with hundreds of attendees. The fair eases the process for students to discover an internship or potential career they’re interested in. Internships To better prepare students for expectations in the work field, internships have become a necessity to graduate from BYU-Idaho for many departments. Although the department each student’s

At the ADC, students can receive feedback on resumes, cover letters, as well as practice interviews with trained mentors. D EC E M B E R 2 012


BYU-Idaho interns contribute to Eastern Idaho Public Health Department » By Abby Stevens

With the understanding that experience can prove more valuable than lectures or weekly assignments, BYU-Idaho students in the Department of Health, Recreation, and Human Performance are participating as interns for the Eastern Idaho Public Health Department. “My internship’s been great because it’s focused on one project,” said Mikayla Bunnell, a senior studying health science. “It has also given me experience in working with public health.” Bunnell is working with the gestational diabetes program, gathering information to find a better way to address and prevent this type of diabetes. BYU-Idaho currently has 14 interns working for the department’s Eastern District in fields including injury prevention, cancer, diabetes, and a program for the elderly called “Fit and Fall Proof.” Lisa Hokanson, a senior studying health science is currently interning

with the “Fit and Fall Proof ” program. Her responsibilities include assisting in teaching 40 minute classes to the elderly that address stretching and mobility. “I do a lot of the behind the scenes stuff, and I enjoy the honesty of it in that the whole purpose of this is to help people,” Hokanson said. “They try really hard to keep it free—even without a lot of funding—because it’s such a great cause and it helps people a lot.” The BYU-Idaho interns in the Eastern Idaho Public Health Department programs render valuable service. “The Eastern Idaho Public Health Department runs on grants,” said Jim Hopla, an instructor in the Department of Health, Recreation, and Human Performance. “It’s getting to the point where the money’s drying up, but we’re trying to sustain it by putting its programs into our coursework.”

Excerpts from Q&As: continued from page 2 Twelve Apostles as the Lord carries out His work. In Doctrine and Covenants 6:18, Oliver Cowdery is instructed by the Lord to “stand by my servant, Joseph, faithfully in whatsoever difficult circumstances he may be for the word’s sake.” I think that’s an assignment we all have. In our day, it’s his reputation, his standing, and his role in God’s work. We need to stand by Joseph. He has been under attack since the day he walked out of the grove, and he remains under attack. We are privileged to be in this dispensation, and I think we all need to stand by Joseph and have that witness and testimony.

I leave my witness that he is the prophet of the Restoration and is exactly what he claimed to be. He saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. I love him. I hope someday to hear him preach the gospel of Jesus Christ because those who had that privilege on the earth said it was sublime— that no one taught the gospel of Jesus Christ like Joseph. And you can see why.

CORRECTION In the November issue of News & Notes, Aki Hirota was incorrectly identified as Lei Shen in the photo with the WCAAS article on page 5.

Students place 2nd and 3rd at national agronomy meeting » By Spencer Allen

After five years of attendance at national agronomy meetings, students in the Department of Applied Plant Science are already making a name for themselves. At a recent conference in Cincinnati, seniors Eric Larsen and Jerry Mattson placed 2nd and 3rd in the undergrad poster competition with over 30 other contestants. “This is a confidence boost for all of us,” said Greg Blaser, instructor in the Department of Applied Plant Science and advisor for Larsen during his research. “We competed against universities with very prominent agronomy programs including Texas A&M and Iowa State. Our students’ recent success shows that BYU-Idaho can compete with any agronomy university in the country with undergrad research.” Each year over 4,000 scientists, teachers, and students gather to present research and enhance teaching methods in agronomy. Although competing isn’t necessary for all who attend, instructors in the Department of Applied Plant Science encourage students to participate each year. “The idea is to help our students prepare for the real world by either gaining employment or preparing for grad school,” Blaser said.

THANK YOU Thank you for your kindness. The flowers were beautiful and so appreciated.

Betty and Brooks Oldham Family

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A D V I S O R Marc Stevens W R I T E R S Spencer Allen, Ben Burke, Abby Stevens P H O T O G R A P H E R S Michael Lewis, Doug McKay, Marcus Journey, Lana Strathearn If you have any ideas for future issues, please e-mail


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News & Notes December 2012  
News & Notes December 2012  

The December 2012 edition of News & Notes.