The logistics of hosting a conference as large as the annual Law and Religion Symposium are complicated. Fortunately, each year when the annual symposium rolls around, the Center can rely on the Symposium Executive Committee. Composed of BYU Law students who volunteer countless hours, the Executive Committee manages everything from the master schedule to transportation to and from airports and hotels to coordinating with translators. Under the direction of Professor Elizabeth Clark, they keep the symposium running smoothly. The students quickly strike up friendships with the delegates and are often spoken of with praise. As Symposium 2018 delegate Daneil Cere, professor of religous studies at McGill University put it, “The students have just been remarkable. It’s not just in terms of the work they are doing but in their cordiality. It’s been wonderful having the opportunity to meet, talk, and walk the walk with BYU students.”
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…
Chair, Master Schedule
Shelise Rupp is from Thousand Oaks, California, and graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English. Before coming to Provo, she had the opportunity to work as a docent at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, and she also served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippines. She loves the law and language and learning for its own sake, and is especially passionate about religious freedom around the world. She is grateful for the opportunities that the Center…
Erin Cranor and her husband Bud raised their four children in Las Vegas, Nevada. Just prior to law school, Erin was a trustee of the Clark County School District for 6½ years. As an elected official, Erin deeply enjoyed social justice policy development, including immigration, disproportionality, sexual orientation, gender identity, and religious freedom. She looks forward to a career in the law around these issues. Prior to serving on the school board, Erin was a technical writer for Boys & Girls Clubs and other youth…
McKenna Rammell is from San Antonio, Texas. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Music with an emphasis in piano, and a minor in English from Brigham Young University-Idaho. She also served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Billings, Montana. While in Montana, she learned that her education in music could only go so far in helping people tackle difficult challenges such as religious freedom, disability, and poverty. Her goal for her legal education is to gain the skills and knowledge that will allow her to be an advocate and leader in her community. McKenna has been interested in the International Center for Law and Religion Studies since she applied to the J. Reuben Clark Law School, and has joined the Symposium Master Schedule team this year as a first year student with the hope of staying involved throughout her time in law school.
Sara Plater was born and raised in Reno, Nevada. She attended Brigham Young University majoring in Sociology with a minor in Philosophy. During her time at BYU she volunteered and interned with social workers discovering a love for helping people one on one. She also did research on international human rights, which led to her love for international religious freedom. She served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from January 2013 – August 2014. She loves hiking…
Taylor Shaw was born and raised in Southern California. He graduated from high school and attended Victor Valley College where he was on the wrestling team. He then served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Rome, Italy where he fell in love with Rome and the Italian/European people. After his mission Taylor attended BYU-Idaho graduating cum laude with a degree in Business Management and an emphasis in Finance. He was the recipient of the Newel K. Whitney Outstanding Graduate Award. Taylor has always had a strong love for justice and felt drawn to a law degree. He loves to fight for those who cannot or don’t have the ability to fight for themselves. As a student Fellow for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies in 2016, he worked in the Office of General Counsel in Frankfurt, Germany. He has joined the Recruitment Team of the Executive Committee for the 2018 International Law and Religion Symposium. Taylor and his wife, Malorie, have toddler son also named Taylor.
Co-Chair, Interpretation and Documents
Athelia Graham grew up in Orem, UT, the daughter of a Brigham Young University Linguistics Professor (dad) and an English Teacher (mom). She attended BYU earning an undergraduate degree in Spanish teaching, and played soccer with the lady Cougars for 5 years. She continued with graduate school at BYU and studied TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages). After finishing her masters degree, Athelia moved to Washington, DC and taught English as a second language to elementary students in…
Co-Chair, Interpretation and Documents
Interpretation and Documents
Interpretation and Documents
Scott Balsmeier was born and raised in Manhattan, Kansas. He received his bachelor’s degree from Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana where he graduated with highest honors in Business Management. Scott enjoys learning about and experiencing other cultures, especially through food. He is also interested in learning more about how religious attitudes impacts cultures and societal values and is excited to assist with the Symposium this year, which he feels plays an important role in facilitating important conversations about the interaction of law and religion. Scott and his wife, Laura, have three children named Carter, Emily, and Cooper.
Interpretation and Documents
Andrew Birkinsha was raised in Michigan, Oklahoma, and Kansas as the oldest of five children. He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Frankfurt, Germany, and later graduated with degrees in economics and German studies. After graduating, Andrew took his family to Madison, Wisconsin, where he worked for the software company Epic Systems. After deciding IT work was not for him, he rekindled his love for debate and decided to apply to law school. Andrew enjoys playing ultimate frisbee and spending time with his wife and daughter. Andrew has been selected as a Student Research Fellow for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies for 2018, with an assignment to the Area Legal Counsel’s Office of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has joined the Executive Committee for the 2018 International Law and Religion Symposium as a member of the Interpretation and Documents Team.
Scott Mosley was born and raised in Mission Viejo, California. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Philosophy. In-between his first and second year of university he served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Calgary, Canada. From a young age he has been interested in the concepts of fairness and justice and hopes to help the International Center for Law and Religion Studies in its mission to promote religious freedom around the world. He spent part of summer 2017…
George Simons was raised in Covington, Washington, the youngest of four children. He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salvador, Brazil, and later graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from BYU-Idaho. He spent the next few years working, flip-flopping between outdoor recreation and political campaigning as the seasons saw fit. He currently studies the laws of man in light of the laws of God at J. Reuben Clark Law School. George spent part of the summer of 2017…
Hayley Cousin was born and raised in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. She graduated from Brigham Young University, the alma mater of her parents, with a degree in English Linguistics. While her original goal was to become an editor, she returned to her childhood dream of becoming a lawyer, choosing to study the law at the J. Reuben Clark Law School. She seeks out opportunities to serve those around her through mentoring and other opportunities. She has joined the Executive Committee…
Justin Miller was raised in Star Valley, Wyoming. Following his graduation from Star Valley High School in 2011, and two academic semesters at Brigham Young University, he served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Chihuahua, Mexico. After his mission, he returned to Brigham Young University where he majored in history and minored in Latin American Studies, graduating with University Honors in 2016. Justin married his best friend Megan in 2016, and they returned to Mexico during summer 2017, where…
Malea Moody was raised in St. George, Utah. She studied Physics for 3 years at Utah State University and worked as a research assistant at the Space Dynamics Laboratory. She served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Lima, Peru, where she developed a desire to help people who cannot help themselves. When she returned, she transferred to Brigham Young University and graduated with Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and a minor in Mathematics. During the summer of 2017, she was an extern with Spain’s Ministry…
Amy Andrus was raised in Orem, Utah, after her father retired from the Air Force. Following a Spanish-speaking mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Los Angeles, California, Amy graduated summa cum laude from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in English teaching and a minor in Spanish teaching. She then earned a master’s degree from BYU in International and Area Studies, with an emphasis in international development. Her thesis focused on the Gospel Literacy Effort of The Church of…
Austin Atkinson grew up in West Jordan, Utah and served as a Russian-speaking missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Baltic Mission, living in Latvia and Lithuania for two years. He graduated magna cum laude from BYU with a double major in Geography and Russian. His passion for the culture and language led to an internship with the Slavic Center for Law and Justice in Moscow, Russia in 2016. The Yarovaya laws restricting foreign proselyting in Russia were passed during his time there. This experience renewed his interest in the complex dynamic that is religious freedom in the former Soviet Union. The son of a banker and a calculus teacher, he made the logical decision after graduation to continue his education and attend BYU Law School. Austin was a 2018 Student Fellow for the ICLRS, and spent the summer working with the Church’s Office of General Counsel in Moscow, learning more about the different aspects affecting religious freedom in Russia, and around the world. He currently serves on the Management Board for the Center, and worked on the Concierge team as a part of the 2018 Symposium Executive Committee.
Gabriell was born in Louisville, Kentucky to an American mother and a Filipino immigrant father. She attended college at Brigham Young University–Hawaii and there obtained a Bachelor of Arts in International Cultural Studies with a primary emphasis in Intercultural peacebuilding, a secondary emphasis in communications, and a minor in music. During her undergraduate years, she took a break to serve for a year and a half as as missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Chiclayo, Perú. After graduating, she went to work at the Justice Court in Sandy, Utah. She is currently pursuing a juris doctorate degree from Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark School of Law. Last year, she did an externship with the Church’s Office of General Counsel over the Caribbean Area. She currently works as a research assistant for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies.
Joe Moxon thinks learning the law is a lot of fun, and feels incredibly blessed to be able learn through experience this summer in South Africa, where he served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 2010-2012. Following his missionary service, Joe studied public relations at BYU and completed several internships in that field, including one in New York City. He also participated in study abroad programs in Jerusalem, London, and Western Europe. Joe is a Provo, Utah native and a lifelong fan of the Denver Broncos and all BYU sports teams. He is passionate about service and freedom, and recently fulfilled an eight-year enlistment in the Army National Guard. Joe has traveled and participated in religious experiences all over the world, and enjoyed being able to help advance religious freedoms to people everywhere as a Student Research Fellow for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, with an assignment in Johannesburg, South Africa, in summer 2016. As a third-year law student, he has joined the Executive Committee of the 2018 International Law and Religion Symposium as the member in charge of Publicity.