Students

Symposium 2013: Student Executive Committee

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies is pleased to announce the members of the Student Executive Committee for the Twentieth Annual International Law and Religion Symposium. The success of the Symposium each year is due in large part to the planning and performance of these outstanding students from the J. Reuben Clark Law School, under the direction of Center  Associate Director Elizabeth Clark and Center Coordinator Deborah Wright.

The committee members are…

Michelle Jeffs

Chair, Master Schedule

A native of Pleasant View, Utah, Michelle graduated from Weber State University in 2009, double majoring in English and Political Science. Upon graduating, Michelle served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in São Paulo, Brazil and then came to BYU to pursue her lifelong dream of studying law. Michelle loves law school and enjoys being involved with Moot Court, Trial Advocacy, and Jail Outreach. She spent summer 2012 working with the International Center for Law and Religion, spending time back in São Paulo and then doing research…

Chase Thomas

Master Schedule

Chase Thomas was born and raised in Mesa, AZ. He served a Spanish-speaking mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ft. Worth, TX. Chase graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University with a bachelor of arts in Political Science. In his spare time he enjoys playing the piano, singing in choirs, baking, and reading a good book. Chase enjoyed volunteering with the International Law and Religion Symposium in fall 2012 and is excited to help coordinate the Master Schedule this year.

Cherise Bacalski

Co-Chair, Recruitment

A published poet, Cherise Bacalski received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, emphasis in poetry, from Brigham Young University, where she is currently finishing an M.A. in English, emphasis in rhetoric, as well as enjoying her second year of law school. As a graduate instructor at BYU, Cherise has taught courses in first-year writing and rhetoric, creative writing, and advanced persuasive writing over the last three years.  As a 2012 student Research Fellow for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Cherise worked for the Area Legal Counsel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and contributed to…

Kia Hohaia

Co-Chair, Recruitment

Kia Hohaia is a native of Lacey, Washington and comes from a heritage that spans from the isles of Hawaii to New Zealand. He graduated from BYU in 2009 with a BA in Latin American Studies, an interest that developed from serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Veracruz, Mexico. As an undergraduate, Kia completed an internship with Centro Hispano in Provo, UT to help enhance the quality of life for the local Hispanic community. During law school, he has worked as an extern for Judge David Mortensen and Judge Fred Howard in the Utah State Fourth District Court. Kia also participated as a volunteer at the…

Rachel Bennion

Recruitment

Rachel Bennion was born and raised in Los Altos, California. Before starting her senior year of high school she moved to Paris, France where she graduated from high school. She served a Spanish-speaking mission in Richmond, Virginia for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After graduating from Brigham Young University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in English, she spent a year working full-time as an AmeriCorps VISTA community organizer. While completing a Master of Public Administration, Rachel worked at United Way of Utah County on their resource development team and…

Monica Gardner

Recruitment 

Monica Gardner grew up outside of Boston in the green hills of Massachusetts. After graduating from high school, she set out to see other parts of the United States. She spent time in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and California, and then finished up her undergraduate degree at Brigham Young University’s sunny Hawaii campus. While there, she studied human interactions and mediation to obtain an Intercultural Peacebuilding Certificate through the David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding. This experience, combined with a bachelor’s degree in English and minor in Theater, seemed to be the perfect preparation for law school. She plans on studying International Law and using her skills to help people throughout the world. She was selected by the International Center for Law and Religion Studies as a Student Fellow for 2013, spending a five-week summer visiting externship in Accra, Ghana. She has joned the Executive Committee for the 2013 Symposium as a member of the recruitment team. When not studying Monica enjoys writing poetry, photography, working out, and singing in the BYU Law School Choir.

Shantel Talbot

Recruitment

Shantel Talbot grew up in Murray, Utah and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology from Weber State University in 2008. After graduating she spent four months teaching English in Kiev, Ukraine and another nine months living in Zhongshan, and Weihai, China with a nonprofit organization. She enjoys traveling and scuba diving and is looking forward to externing with the Area Legal Counsel for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Manila, Philippines for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies this coming summer, 2013. She is in her first year of law school and enjoys being a part of the 5th grade mentoring program and is looking forward to being a part of the recruitment committee of the 2012 Symposium Student Executive Committee.  

Daniel Scow

Recruitment

Daniel was raised in Henderson, NV and then came to BYU where he received his bachelor and master’s degrees in accounting before coming to law school. Daniel sang in the BYU Mens’ Chorus his freshman year and helped manage the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which completes and files tax returns for the local community each tax season, while studying accounting. In 2004, he learned Mandarin Chinese while serving a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Toronto, Canada. Daniel spent the summer after his first year of law school in Taiwan clerking at Wu & Partners, a local law firm, in addition to externing with the United States District Court, District of Nevada. He currently works as a research assistant for Dennis Sears researching international and foreign law. Daniel married Suzanne Walton in 2009 and they currently have a one-year-old daughter, Michelle.

Jorge Gavilanes

Co-Chair, Transportation

Jorge Gavilanes grew up in Guayaquil, Ecuador. He served a Spanish-speaking mission in Richmond, Virginia for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After graduating from Brigham Young University in 2009 with a BS in Business Management, Jorge worked for multinational corporation as a Financial Analyst. During the summer of 2012, Jorge was a Research Fellow for the International Center of Law and Religion Studies. His assignment was to work with the Area Legal Counsel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Lima, Peru, and revise the Bankruptcy…

Joseph Ricks

Transportation

Joseph Ricks grew up in the rural town of Winslow, Arizona and later served a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Rio de Janeiro Brazil.  After returning from Brazil, he continued his language studies and received a BA in Spanish and Portuguese with a minor in English from the University of Arizona in 2011. Prior to being accepted to the J. Reuben Clark Law School, Joseph worked at ACHIEVE, a daycare program for adults with developmental disabilities and taught religion classes for the LDS Institute of Religion in Tucson, Arizona.  Joseph enjoys running with his wife, reading, singing, and playing guitar. A volunteer at the 2012 International Law and Religion Symposium, Joseph is returning in 2013 as a member of the Transportation Team.

Jason Sweat

Transportation

Jason Sweat comes from a small town in Utah called Fruitland. His mother is Chilean and his father is a Utah native. He received a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in Provo, where he majored in Communications and minored in Latin American Studies. He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Peru, and since returning has performed internships in both Peru and Chile. His wife is from Peru. He enjoys reading, music, and the outdoors. His principal focus in the law is natural resource law. He has joined the Student Executive Committee for the 20th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium as a member of the transportation team.

Natalia Peterson

Co-Chair, Documents

Natalia Peterson is from Bluffdale, Utah. She earned her BS in Early Childhood Education from Brigham Young University. Prior to entering law school she worked as an elementary school teacher, teaching both kindergarten and second grade. She was an ICLRS Student Research Fellow for the summer of 2012 and spent part of the summer working for the South Africa Area Legal Counsel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When not busy studying, Natalia loves reading any good book, cooking Italian food, scuba diving, and traveling around the world. She served as a part…

Eimi Priddis

Co-Chair, Documents

Eimi Priddis grew up in a small town in Wyoming. She served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Fukuoka, Japan, then graduated from BYU in 2009 with a BA in English Language. She also completed a Masters degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages in April 2012. While completing her Masters, she worked as an ESL teacher at BYU’s English Language Center. She also spent two summers as an intern teaching English in Japan. During summer 2012, after completing her first year of law school, Eimi worked as an extern for the International…

James Heilpern

Documents

James Heilpern has served the International Center for Law and Religion Studies as a member of the Documents sub-team for the International Law and Religion Symposium and a member of the Center Management Board with responsibilities for Latin America. Since coming to law school, he has worked on numerous amici curiae briefs submitted to courts around the world including the U.S. Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of Texas, and the Constitutional Court of Colombia. In 2013, he interned at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, where he worked on several high-profile First Amendment

Bryant Hinckley

Documents

Bryant T. Hinckley enjoyed working with the International Law and Religion Symposium in fall 2012 as an informal translator. He plans on spending the summer of 2013 as an extern in Johannesburg with the South Africa Area Legal Counsel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Bryant is also looking forward to joining the documents team for the 2013 symposium. Originally from Salt Lake City, Bryant is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Utah where he earned a BA in history, anthropology, and Latin American studies. Prior to entering law school, he worked part-time at a Salt Lake City law firm. He enjoys practicing his Portuguese and staying current on world events, and he loves spending time with his wife and daughter.

Erica Berrett

Chair, Concierge/Hosting

Erica Berrett grew up in Laguna Hills, CA and Henderson, NV. She graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University in 2010 with a degree in linguistics. While at BYU, Erica studied Spanish, French, Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese, Italian, and Classical Latin, and attended study abroad programs in Paris and São Paulo. Before beginning law school, Erica spent two years working as an editor for Western Governors University in Salt Lake City. During the summer of 2012, she worked with the public law team at PLMJ in Lisbon, Portugal. Erica loved volunteering in…

John Anderson

Concierge/Hosting

John Anderson has lived in many different states, having moved 11 times while growing up. He served a mission for the LDS Church in Eugene, Oregon. His undergraduate is from Utah State University with a major in history and a minor in Political Science. John and his wife were both competitive volleyball players and have also coached in a youth volleyball club. As a 2013 Student Research Fellow for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, John completed a five-week summer research externship in Auckland, New Zealand. He volunteered at the Symposium both before and after his admission to Law School. He has enjoyed his experience as a volunteer and is excited to be a member of the Consierge/Hosting Team.

 

Lynn Nouri

Concierge/Hosting

Lynn Nouri is excited to serve in her position as Co-Chair on the Concierge/Hosting sub-team for the 2014 Symposium. Lynn loved volunteering at the 2012 and 2013 Symposia as it gave her increased hope and inspiration watching the diverse representation of cultural and religious backgrounds work towards unified missions of religious tolerance and freedom. Lynn was born in Iran, and has lived in a number of cities including San Diego, Toronto, Boston, Seattle, Charlotte, and Cincinnati. She graduated magna cum laude from Xavier University in 2011 with a BS in Marketing. She worked for a number of years at Procter and Gamble and…

Joshua Bishop

Concierge/Hosting

Josh Bishop grew up in Redlands, California and Orem, UT, and spent two years as a full-time, Hungarian-speaking missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Budapest, Hungary. He graduated in 2011 from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in political science, and worked as a teaching and research assistant for multiple professors during his time there. He and his wife welcomed their first child into their home in 2013, and they love watching her learn and develop. During the summer of 2013, Josh worked as an intern for the Utah Fourth District Court and for a law firm in Rochester, New York. He enjoyed volunteering for the 2012 International Law and Religion Symposium, and looks forward to further involvement in 2013 with the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, the Family Law Society, and the Government & Politics Legal Society. 

James Egan

Co-Chair, Transportation

Apart from brief stints in Palo Alto and London, James Egan spent most of his childhood in Salt Lake City. He earned honors degrees in both English Literature and Political Science from the University of Utah before enrolling at J. Reuben Clark Law School. His thesis in literature analyzed how faith and freedom are represented in the novels of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, and his thesis in Political Science compared the style and character of public reason in India with public reason in the United States. Before beginning work for the International Center for Law and Religion…

Chris Pieper

Co-Chair, Recruitment

Chris Pieper received a degree in Government from the College of William and Mary in 2008. After his undergraduate studies, Chris lived in Kazakhstan for one year as a Fulbright scholar and researched state attitudes towards civil society. He subsequently interned at the US Commission on International Religious Freedom and worked as a Legislative Assistant for Congressman Eni F.H. Faleomavaega in Washington, DC. Chris recently returned from Moscow, Russia where he interned at Baker & McKenzie and VimpelCom (NYSE: VIP). He speaks Russian and Turkish and lives with his…

Symposium 2018: The Student Executive Committee

Every year a talented group of BYU Law Students devote countless volunteer hours to the success of the International Law and Religion Symposium. Under the direction of Center Associate Director Elizabeth Clark, Committee Members do everything from coordinating the complicated master schedule of all events, including the schedules of numerous delegates, to coordinating transportation of the delegates to and from the airport and various venues, and many important tasks in between. Preparation starts weeks in advance and, beginning with the arrival…