Weekly Quote: Kent Blad

Weekly quotes come from BYU faculty members who are regarded by their students as being both spiritually strengthening and intellectually enlarging.

“The students that are struggling—I’ll sit down with them, and I will emphasize with them,

‘I know that some of the other faculty may have emphasized with you that this program and the class that you’re in should be the number one priority in your life. … I’ll go out on a limb and tell you that it is not. And if it’s even anywhere in your top three, you probably ought to reevaluate your life.  If your family and your God and your church are not priorities in your life and this class is, there’s a problem right there.  You must get a balance in your life with those things at the top of your list.’

“And I can’t tell you how many students come back to me to tell me about that one statement.  That they had lost that focus and that priority and many times it was the fault of the faculty that had emphasized how important this particular class should be to them and that it’s everything, and it’s not.  I find when you can do that type of thing, … you can get them to operate at such a high level … if they understand that there should be a balance in their lives.  That’s what it’s about—priorities and balance.”

Kent Blad, College of Nursing

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Weekly Quote: Amy Harris

Weekly quotes come from BYU faculty members who are regarded by their students as being both spiritually strengthening and intellectually enlarging.

“For me it’s that phrase from the Aims of a BYU Education that students are supposed to be trained in how to be prayerful thinkers. … That’s pretty cool, to have that be your goal. … I remember very clearly using Joseph Smith … when he says, ‘I pondered on it again and again’ before he prays. I think if I can model a small aspect of that, talking about my research, talking about how I felt inspired to choose a topic, or talking about how I feel, that I have to have the Lord to help me have my mind open so I can figure out how to write about it, or how to ask the right kind of analytical questions. I think that’s just a life skill that they’re going to need … [to be] able to put the gospel together with critical thinking skills so they can be insightful about what’s good or not good, in the political or social concerns wherever they may live. And I would hope that we could work towards that more together as faculty and students about making prayer and critical thinking come together and not see them as antagonistic. And I think … thoughtful prayers and prayerful thinkers is a pretty ambitious goal to have as classroom goal.”

Amy Harris, Department of History

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Weekly Quote: Kim O’Neill

Weekly quotes come from BYU faculty members who are regarded by their students as being both spiritually strengthening and intellectually enlarging.

“I find many times when students come to your office, they come to maybe talk about a test. They are not there to talk about a test—that’s their excuse to come and talk to you because they want to hear, or they want to feel, or they want to know. And there is something that the Lord will tell you to tell them as you are sitting there. I remember one girl in particular who came about her test, and she complained and complained and went on and then she got up to leave, the Spirit said, ‘Talk to her.’  And I said, ‘Is everything okay?’  And she just turned with tears in her eyes, and she just sat down again and she just poured out her heart.  And … I would never take the place of a bishop … but it’s just as a BYU faculty member, I think they can look to you and they can find some source that they can feel the Spirit, and we can help in many different ways. And that’s what I try to do.”

Kim O’Neill, Professor of Microbiology

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Weekly Quote: Ryan Woodward

Weekly quotes come from BYU faculty members who are regarded by their students as being both spiritually strengthening and intellectually enlarging.

“Maybe one of my real purposes as a teacher is not necessarily to teach the process of animation, but the principles behind a successful career in animation. … And so I started sharing experiences with the students. I started sharing with them times when I was laid off in between productions, because they all struggle with that exact same fear. And what do you do? … Well, I get on my mountain bike, I go pray to God that another animation film is around the corner, that’s what I did. And … when I started sharing those experiences and how they relate to the gospel, boy, their eyes just got huge, and they soaked up the information, and they became more and more receptive to that kind of a teaching of personal experience.”

Ryan Woodard, Department of Visual Arts

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Weekly Quote: Tim Leishman

Weekly quotes come from BYU faculty members who are regarded by their students as being both spiritually strengthening and intellectually enlarging.

“We can be, and we can do, and we can say. And I think that perhaps the most important, if we look at the Savior’s teachings, is to be—to be someone who the Gospel means something to, to be someone who has a testimony, to be someone that has faith and spirituality. And through your example as a teacher, of being those things and not just doing them—maybe that’s the greatest sermon you could preach, is to be.”

Tim Leishman, Professor of Acoustics, Department of Physics & Astronomy

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Weekly Quote: Jean Applonie

Weekly quotes come from BYU faculty members who are regarded by their students as being both spiritually strengthening and intellectually enlarging.

“Here is what teaching through the Spirit feels like to me. My perspective comes from many years working with choirs. It may look different [for] different people; the means to the end may be different; but the result is the same. When a teacher serves as a conduit of the Spirit, there is a deep-seeded connection from one heart to another, where not only the concept, but also the love of God is communicated. The love of God is communicated either through miraculously knowing what [to say] or how to say something, or the miraculous empathic opening of your heart to the thoughts and feelings of another, or through the truth of a personal story that resonates for many others, or through the beauty and spirit of a piece of music, or through any other unique means and experience you bring to a situation. In addition to the concept, the love of God is also communicated.”

Jean Applonie, Director of BYU Women’s Chorus

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Weekly Quote: Craig Merrill

Weekly quotes come from BYU faculty members who are regarded by their students as being both spiritually strengthening and intellectually enlarging.

“I come in the first day and I do a slide show of my background. I show them a baby picture and growing up in the ‘70’s … and then meeting my wife. And so I tell my story … and I can’t help but tell them what my values and beliefs are. But I give them a context. I say, ‘You know, here’s my big picture of beliefs about family and life, and here’s where I see derivatives fitting in it. … You came here for derivatives. And we’re gonna do that really well.’ … And then, at the end of the semester, I bring it back to the big picture and say, ‘Okay, now we’ve [worked hard] together and we’ve had a tough semester, but remember; this is what it’s all about.'”

Craig Merrill, Professor of Finance, Marriott School of Management

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Lectures & Reflections on “My Journey as a Scholar of Faith”

We’ve changed the layout of the blog to make it easier for you to access all of the faculty lectures and interviews on the theme of “My Journey as a Scholar of Faith.” Just click on the Lectures & Reflections drop-down menu above to find the lecture or reflection that you would like to view.

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Weekly Quote: Mark Butler

Weekly quotes come from BYU faculty members who are regarded by their students as being both spiritually strengthening and intellectually enlarging.

You have to have “done your homework in the gospel area as well as you have in your discipline. You can’t draw from an empty well. And so what we do in our private faith and devotion is so imperative. … And part of my preparation in the classroom is I have to make sure that there’s not anger, contention and conflict between me and my wife at home. I have to make sure that I haven’t done things that push away that spirit, so that I can have that spirit in the classroom.”

Mark Butler, Professor in the School of Family Life, Marriage and Family Therapy

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Weekly Quote: Steven Shumway

Weekly quotes come from BYU faculty members who are regarded by their students as being both spiritually strengthening and intellectually enlarging.

“The next time you read the scriptures, especially the New Testament or when the Savior is teaching, … read them from the standpoint of looking at their teaching methods. And if you want to become a good teacher, have the Savior as your model and look and see how He presented information, how He connected with the people, how He provided for direct instruction, inquiry based instruction, Socratic method. He did it all. … He’s the great Teacher. … Look to see how He did it.”

Steven Shumway, Professor of Technology & Engineering Education

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