ICLRS Student Fellows 2019 – Biosketches

Joseph Castro – Frankfurt, Germany

Joseph Castro is a family man, Star Wars fan, and prospective tax attorney. He grew up in both Levittown, NY and Rexburg, ID before ultimately graduating high school in Ventura, CA.  He is looking forward to interning at the Frankfurt, Germany Office of the General Counsel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the summer of 2019. Joseph served a mission for the Church in Manchester, England from 2012 to 2014. A single conversation on the return flight from England inspired Joseph to pursue a degree in Accounting from Brigham Young University. As a student, Joseph submitted a paper on religious freedom to an essay competition, and it was ultimately chosen for publication in BYU’s Student Symposium Journal. While attending BYU, Joseph met and married his wife, Mary. Together they have one daughter. When time provides, they enjoy playing music and reading together. Joseph also enjoys superhero comic books, movies, and TV, and playing piano.

Summer Crockett – Hong Kong

Summer Crockett was born and raised in Utah. She is the second oldest in her family, and has four brothers. They are her best friends. Ever since she was little, she has been fascinated with Asia. By the time she was ready to serve a mission, she prayed and hoped that she would be sent stateside because she really loves the United States, and the freedoms we experience here, especially in regards to religion. She ended up serving as a missionary in Bangkok Thailand. She loved it! She then went to BYU and got her bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Upon graduating, she discovered she disliked therapy and had no idea what she was going to do with my life. But, after talking with several alumni, she decided BYU law school was for her. She has loved every minute here and is so happy to keep learning and growing.

Christopher B. Fore – Provo, Utah

Christopher Fore will serve his summer externship as a Student Fellow for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at the Center’s office at Brigham University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School.

John Geilman – Salt Lake City, Utah

The oldest of seven children, John Geilman was raised in Draper, Utah. He majored in Political Science at Brigham Young University, graduating with honors in 2018. While at BYU he worked as a research assistant for Professor David Magleby, participating in the writing and revising of several books and articles. He also spent a semester in Washington D.C. working as an intern for Senator Orrin Hatch. He is enjoying his first semester at law school and looks forward to spending the summer working with the Center in Salt Lake City and Provo. He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Utica, New York from 2013-2015. On his mission he saw firsthand the importance of religion in communities, which influenced his decision to attend law school.  When he isn’t studying, John enjoys spending time with his family, playing basketball, woodcarving, and landscaping.

Hannah Leavitt-Howell – Accra, Ghana

Hannah Leavitt-Howell graduated from Brigham Young University in 2018 with a BA in Art History. She spent the majority of her time as an undergraduate studying cultural themes in the art of culturally-repressed people. In law school, she is interested in studying both federal Indian and environmental law. Hannah and her husband, Parker, enjoy running, reading, and going to art museums. Hannah will spend her summer 2019 externship in Accra, Ghana.

Andrew Navarro – Lima, Peru

Originally from Miami, FL, Andrew Navarro has always been internationally-minded.  The son of two immigrants, in a city filled with immigrants, Navvarro loves learning about new cultures and how people mix.  He concentrated in Medieval Middle Eastern History in college with a secondary field in Statistical Applications in Government.  He also worked as Head Translator in Romney for President in 2012.  Navarro then worked in the Bay Area as a financial analyst, eventually working his way into Utah as a program director for a non-profit.  Andrew is incredibly elated to be heading to Peru with his phenomenal family, composed of his wonderful wife, Megan, and adorable son, Eli.

McKenna Rammell

Headlines Assistant

McKenna Rammell is a third-year law student. Her interest in the International Center for Law and Religion Studies was a key reason for her applying to the J. Reuben Clark Law School. A 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, with a particular focus on religious freedom issues. As a fellow for Center during summer 2019, McKenna completed an externship for the Office of General Counsel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Auckland, New Zealand. She also assisted with the editing of a commentary on the Punta del Este Declaration on Human Dignity for Everyone Everywhere.  More …

Kody Richardson – Salt Lake City, Utah

Kody was born in Mesa, AZ and lived there for all of his life outside of a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Santiago, Chile and his time here in Provo. Outside of his family and the Church, he has two main passions: aviation and studying the U.S. Constitution and the proper role of government. Since he was a young child, he has always loved airplanes and flying, and earned his private pilot certificate while studying at Arizona State University. Later, he developed a strong desire to learn the principles of free government and support the Constitution and divinely-ordained rights, especially freedom of religion, which influenced his decision to study law at BYU and participate in the International Center for Law and Religion Studies. He married the love of his life in 2014, and they now have one daughter.

Aaron Stinson – Mexico City, Mexico

Aaron Stinson is a first-year student at BYU Law School. He was born and raised in Alabama then served a Spanish-speaking mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the California Los Angeles Mission. Upon returning from his mission, Aaron studied criminal justice and national security at Utah Valley University. In 2015, he joined the Air Force Reserve where he maintains survival and life support equipment for F-35 fighter pilots. Aaron chose BYU Law in part due to the success that BYU has in placing its students into the JAG Corp. Being in the Air Force sparked an interest in public service for Aaron, and he is determined to begin his career as a Judge Advocate in the military. Aaron and his wife, Abigail, can often be found at the movie theatre with a bucket of popcorn in hand. And if it is football season, they will most certainly be cheering on the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Jessica Volmar – Frankfurt, Germany

Jessica Volmar is currently a first-year law student at BYU Law School, particularly interested in corporate law. She grew up in the Salt Lake City area and earned her undergraduate degree in Accounting at Utah State University in December 2017. While attending Utah State, she was a Writing Fellow, studied French, and found a love for discussing social issues. She enjoys hiking, baking, playing the piano, and trying new restaurants. Jessica is excited to go to Frankfurt, Germany and grateful for the opportunity to work with the Center.

Ellen Huish Welch – Salt Lake City, Utah

Ellen Welch a first year student at the BYU Law School. She is originally from Southern California, and from there moved to Provo to study at BYU. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations. During her undergraduate time, she studied in London, New York, and New Zealand. Through her studies she became interested in all things digital, including photography, videography, and graphic design. However, her dream was always to one day follow in her father’s footsteps and become a lawyer. She looks forward to finding her person passion within the law. Ellen is a fan of sushi, superhero movies, traveling, and running. She married her husband, Ryan, a few weeks before law school started, and the two are expecting a baby boy later this year.

Vanessa West – Buenos Aires, Argentina

Vanessa West claims Provo as her hometown since she has lived here since she was eleven. She graduated from BYU with a degree in Interdisciplinary Humanities with an emphasis in film and a minor in Spanish. She served in the Uruguay Montevideo Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is headed back to Argentina, where she spent six weeks in the Missionary Training Center, for her summer 2019 internship. Her last job was working for the Church History Library’s Latin America Global Acquisition Team, so this internship will combine her love for the people, places, and law into one experience. She cannot wait to return to her South American home! She also dabbles in other languages, including French, Japanese, and craft store. It makes her happiest to sleep, eat good food, bake, read, and spend time with her family. Her most useful but random knowledge banks are fashion, Asian television dramas, classic videogames, alternative rock music, house-flipping shows, and how to declutter.