Symposium 2011: The “Unmatched” Student Executive Committee

The Student Executive Committee makes the Symposium possible. The staff of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, and the delegates to the 18th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium are profoundly grateful to this year’s outstanding Committee: Rebecca Hansen, Heath Becker, Chase Gunnell, Nate White, Kimberly Tolman, Jordan Teuscher, Cecily Couture, Justin CaplinJosh Bishop, Tyler Albrechtsen, Jens Rasmussen, Brandon Bastian, Rachel Snow, and Carly Castle

The success of the Symposium each year is due in large part to the planning and performance of these remarkable law students, who assume heavy responsibilities during many months leading up to the October event…

Rebecca A. Hansen

Chair, Master Schedule

Rebecca Hansen grew up in Maryland and Pennsylvania. She graduated from BYU in 2008 with a BA in Communications, with an emphasis in Public Relations. As an undergraduate, Rebecca completed Public Relations internships in Connecticut and New York City and she served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Paris, France. Throughout law school, Rebecca has been a part of the BYU Law Review, the Trial Advocacy team, and the Family Law Society. She interned with the Office of the Attorney General for the state of Maryland, the law firm of Baker & McKenzie in Paris, France, and Utah Crime Victims Legal Clinic. Presently, Rebecca is a mediator and arbitrator for BYU’s Center for Conflict Resolution. She is married to Brett Hansen. Rebecca served as co-chair for Master Scheduling at the 2010 International Law and Religion Symposium and as chair for the 2011 event. In this capacity she presided over an “unmatched” 14-member law student executive committee, their 75-some student assistants, and was responsible for coordinating the logistics for the three-day Symposium and three more days of side events, including arrivals and departures of more than 85 participants and companions. 

Cecily Couture

Co-Chair, Master Schedule

Cecily graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a BA in Political Science and a minor in Middle Eastern and North African Studies. She also has an AS degree in Paralegal Studies. After her undergraduate studies, Cecily served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Thailand. While in Thailand, Cecily gained a deep appreciation for Asian cultures and furthered her interest in the interactions between religion and the state. Cecily’s husband, Brenden Scott, also served a mission in Thailand, and they hope to one day live in Thailand. Cecily is excited to return to Asia and assist the Church in its affairs there, in her assignment…

Kimberly Tolman

Chair, Concierge/Hosting

Kimberly Tolman has a degree in philosophy from Brigham Young University. During law school she has worked as a clerk for the Salt Lake City Immigration Court, with Catholic Community Services in Salt Lake City doing immigration work for refugees, as a research assistant for Shakti Vahini in Delhi, India on issues related to human trafficking, and with Dibbs Barker Lawyers in Sydney, Australia. She has also done law study abroad programs in India and Tanzania. Kimberly served as a member of the Transportation/Concierge Team for the International Law and Religion Symposium 2010 and returned as Chair of Concierge/Hosting for 2011. During the summer of 2011 Kimberly, as an extern for the International Center for Law and Religion, was part of the student team working on the Center’s amicus brief for the landmark religious freedom case Hosanna-Tabor Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC. After law school she has grand plans to save the world.

Brandon Bastian


Brandon Bastian grew up in Binghamton, NY and Manassas, VA, and served a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speaking Mandarin Chinese in San Jose and Carlsbad, CA. He graduated from Brigham Young University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and minors in both English and music. He stays as actively involved in his interests as he can, participating in the Law School Choir and American Constitution Society meetings at the law school, while heading up the non-BYU-affiliated club Understanding Same Gender Attraction on BYU’s main…

Heath Becker

Co-Chair, Recruitment

Heath Becker graduated summa cum laude from Brigham Young University-Idaho in 2007 with bachelor’s degrees in both accounting and business management. Thereafter, Heath worked for Deloitte and Touche auditing the financial statements of SEC registrants including Pepsi Bottling Group, Warnaco, and Dress Barn in the New York City metropolitan area. Heath also gained experience by working two tax seasons at the CPA firm Cooper Norman in Idaho Falls, Idaho, where he completed over 250 tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, LLCs, S-corps, and trusts. Heath traveled to Guatemala City to work with the Area Legal Counsel for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as an ICLRS Student Fellow during summer 2010. Returning to Provo he assisted in 2010, and again in 2011, in the complex work of producing the tax section of the Treatise, Religious Organizations and the Law. He accepted the assignment to serve on the Recruitment team of the Student Executive Committee for the 2010 Annual International Law and Religion Symposium, and chaired the team for 2011. In this capacity Heath recruited and helped supervise more than 75 student volunteers who acted as translators, drivers, ushers, and guides for more than 150 delegates, hosts, and other visitors to the Symposium. 

Chase Gunnell

Co-Chair, Recruitment

Chase Gunnell was born and raised in Orem, Utah. He loves to travel and was excited to receive a mission call to serve in Kiev, Ukraine. On his mission Chase grew to love and appreciate the law, since the law saved him on countless occasions in Ukraine. Chase has had many opportunities to return to Eastern Europe, whether vacationing, debating with the BYU Russian Debate team, or doing internships in both Moscow and Kiev. After returning home in 2006, Chase studied Russian at BYU, where he graduated in 2009. It was during his 3 years at BYU that Chase met his wife, Christy, who is a seminary teacher at Mountain View High School in Orem, Utah. His love for foreign cultures, customs, and people led Chase to BYU with the hope of practicing law in the international arena. Chase served on the 2010 Symposium Recruitment Team and is returning for 2011 as team co-chair.

Justin Caplin


Justin grew up in Grand Prairie, Texas and Santa Clara, Utah and served a mission for the LDS Church in Tampico, Mexico. He received an AA from Dixie State College, and attended Utah State University where he graduated with a BA in Sociology. The focus of his study and work over the last few years has been children who suffer from abuse and/or social/behavioral problems. Justin and his wife, Haylee, both enjoy playing basketball and other sports and hiking/camping in the mountains of southern Utah. Justin loved his opportunity to volunteer at the Symposium in 2010 and was fascinated by the respect and unity that he saw among such a diverse group of delegates from different nations and languages. He is excited to participate again in 2011, as a member of the Recruitment Team.

Joshua Bishop


Josh grew up in Orem, Utah and served a full-time, Spanish-speaking mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Mesa, Arizona. He finished his degree in Psychology in 2009 and then worked as a domestic court clerk in the 4th District court in Provo before starting law school. He is involved with the Immigration Law Forum, Family Law Society, and Law School Choir. He enjoys traveling and spending time with his wife and two children. Josh sang in choirs during his undergraduate years and played the guitar as well as other instruments. Now he loves to sing and read to his children in both English and Spanish. As a 2011 Student Research Fellow for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies Josh worked with the Area Legal Counsel for the LDS church in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and contributed major revisions to the Immigration chapter of the Treatise Religious Organizationa and the Law.

Nathan White

Chair, Transportation

Nathan White graduated from BYU in 2010 with a degree in English. During his undergraduate studies, he worked extensively in the service and hospitality industries. Following his first year of law school, he worked as an intern at the firm of Christensen & Jensen in Salt Lake City, and then as an intern at the Utah Crime Victims Legal Clinic. Nate served as a missionary in the Utah Salt Lake City South Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 2004 to 2006. He is a native Texan and loves his home state. Nate served on the Transportation/Concierge Team of the 2010 International Law and Religion Symposium Student Executive Committee and returned in 2011 as Transportation Team Chair, responsible for the complex task of coordination of student volunteers and assuming ultimate responsibility for transporting the 75 delegates and their companions between the Salt Lake International Airport and Provo, and between the various events in Provo and Salt Lake City during their six-day stay in Utah.

Tyler Albrechtsen


Tyler Albrechtsen grew up in California. He lived in the Dominican Republic for two years as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and he has traveled extensively throughout the Western Hemisphere. He graduated cum laude from Brigham Young University with a degree in Latin American Studies in 2005. Following graduation he worked in the health care industry as a licensed skilled nursing facility administrator. Tyler is married and has one daughter. He plans to spend part of this summer in England studying at Cambridge and the other part working as an extern for a healthcare company in California. Tyler…

Jens Rasmussen


Jens Rasmussen is a native of Utah and earned his B.A. from Brigham Young University in International Studies. During his time as an undergraduate student, Jens served as the German Society president, interned for Bridge Atlantik Corporation, a start-up international consulting firm, and spent a summer as an exchange intern in Hamburg, Germany for HWF-Hamburg. Following graduation in 2007, Jens worked for Melaleuca, Inc., an Idaho Falls based health and wellness company. He worked in various roles, including sales manager for the southern states division and later as manager of sales communications for the North American sales team. In the summer of 2011, Jens will travel to South Africa as an extern for Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, a DLA Piper Global Alliance firm. Jens assisted with transportation for the 2010 symposium and has accepted the opportunity to serve on the Transportation Team of the Student Executive Committee for the 2011 Symposium.

Jordan Teuscher

Chair, Documents

Jordan Teuscher graduated cum laude in 2007 from Brigham Young University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/Philosophy. While at BYU, he served as the Phi Beta Lambda president, and took first place in public speaking for the state of Utah for three consecutive years—finishing fourth in the nation in 2007. After graduating, he co-organized the First Annual Trial Advocacy Tournament for the Leavitt Institute for International Development in Kyiv, Ukraine. He was the deputy campaign manager for a national congressional race during the 2008 election. After the campaign, he worked as a consultant on several other political campaigns, while working as a legal assistant at a local law firm. He entered law school at BYU in 2009. He is fluent in Ukrainian and has significant international experience throughout Eastern Europe. As an ICLRS Student Research Fellow for 2010, he completed his externship with the Area Legal Counsel of the LDS Church in Kyiv, Ukraine. Jordan has also worked for the Center in designing elements of websites, book covers, newsletters, and flyers. Jordan was one of 37 Brigham Young University students to receive a Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) grant for the 2010-2011 academic year, chosing Romanian as his language of study. In 2010 Jordan served as a member of the Documents/University involvement team for the Annual Symposium, and he will return as Co-Chair of the Documents team for 2010.

Kandis Bryant

Co-Chair, Documents

Kandis Bryant graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. After completing her undergraduate program she pursued a master’s degree in accounting (MAcc) with a tax emphasis. She worked in the accounting offices of Shaw Mumford & Co., PC for approximately four years, during which time she became a certified public accountant. Continuing her education at J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU, Kandis participated in consecutive externships at the U.S. Trustees Office in Boise, ID and Baker & McKenzie, Wong & Leow in Singapore. Kandis served as a member of the Documents/University Involvement…

Rachel Snow


Rachel Snow graduated summa cum Laude from BYU-Idaho, with a BA in art history and minor in English. Upon graduation she furthered her love of international culture by teaching English in China. Prior to enrolling in law school, she served a mission in Columbus, Ohio for the LDS church. When she is not enjoying the law library, Rachel can be found reading novels, conducting culinary experiments, and jet skiing. She has been named an ICLRS Student Research Fellow for 2011, with the assignment to work with the New Zealand Area Legal Counsel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  She will also serve as a member of the Documents Team on the Symposium 2011 Student Executive Committee.

Carly Castle


Carly Castle graduated cum laude from the University of Utah with B.A.s in political science and anthropology. During her undergraduate studies, she was an intern at the Utah State Legislature and worked on several political campaigns, while working as an editor for a polling company and serving as an inner-city service missionary in Salt Lake City. Before starting law school, Carly worked for the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office as a consultant for a bond election campaign, and then joined the mayor’s staff as a writer and content manager in the mayor’s Department of Communications. Carly spent the 2011 summer working as an intern at the Utah Court of Appeals. She serves as a member of the documents team for the 2011 Symposium.

Cynthia Hale


Cynthia Hale graduated summa cum laude from DePaul University in Chicago with a degree in Political Science. She became interested in law and religion at DePaul University, after taking several courses on the subject. Before college, Cynthia spent four years in the U.S. Air Force as a Munitions Systems Specialist, and deployed to Kuwait and Afghanistan. Cynthia has been married for five years to her husband Tim, whom she met while serving in the Air Force. Cynthia looks forward to her fellowship at the International Center for Law and Religion Studies and the opportunity to learn from her superiors and classmates. She has also accepted…

Szonja Ludvig


Szonja Ludvig graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada in 2008 with a degree in political science and business administration. After she graduated, she returned to her native New York City, where she coordinated a project addressing faith-based concerns of abused women at a domestic violence agency. She also interned at a nonprofit organization recognizing religious peacemakers in conflict areas. In 2009, she traveled to Jordan, where she studied Arabic and worked at a think tank researching influential Muslims in North America. Szonja loves to hike, eat exotic food, and read books about the role of religion in politics. In addition to her assignment to work with the LDS…