The 2011 Summer Research Fellows

We at the Center express our deep gratitude to this year’s Student Research Fellows for their diligence and fortitude this summer, in completing their assignments in legal settings worldwide, and in their competent work during the eight weeks’ efforts of the Hosanna-Tabor amicus brief, followed by complex and demanding assignments involving this year’s revision of the Bassett/ Durham/ Smith treatise, Religious Organizations and the Law.  The important work of the Center could not succeed without these excellent students from the J. Reuben Clark Law School, and as fall semester begins we recognize their contributions and look forward to our continued associations with them, as…

The Center Announces the 2011 Summer Research Fellows

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies is pleased to announce the 2011 Student Research Fellows and locations of their assignments for next summer. The ICLRS Student Research Fellows Program invites students from the J. Reuben Clark Law School to participate in an international externship followed by a guided individual research project. The five-week externships take place at the offices legal counsels in ten foreign countries and in Chicago and Salt Lake City. Students become active participants in the current work of the legal counsel with whom they are affiliated. Returning to Provo for the remainder of the summer, the student fellows become engaged in one or more of the Center’s research and publication endeavors.

Joseph Ballstaedt

Joseph is excited to work for the Area Legal Counsel in Peru this summer. He plans to go with his wife and their baby boy who is scheduled to be born early March. Joseph learned Spanish during a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Uruguay. He graduated from Brigham Young University in 2010 in studio arts and still enjoys drawing and painting (and sometimes doodling during class). He is the ninth of twelve children and the first in his family to venture into the field of law, and he is loving it. He and his wife enjoy traveling, playing basketball, hiking, and spending time with family.

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, Spirit in the Law club, Family Law Society, and American Constitution Society meetings at the law school, and as a member of the BYU Singers on BYU’s main campus. Brandon worked with the Office of General Counsel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake…

Josh Bishop

Josh grew up in Orem, Ut 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, among activities. 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. He looks forward to working with the Area Legal Counsel for the LDS church in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Cecily Couture

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. During Summer 2011 Cecily returned to Asia to assist the Church in its affairs there, in her assignment with the Area…

Matthew Cox

Matthew Cox grew up enjoying life on the farm where his family lives in Central California. While studying at Brigham Young University, his agricultural background helped him continue his education while interning with the Ag Production division at Welfare Services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. More importantly, during his time at BYU, he fell in love with and married Brenna Jackson. Matthew graduated from BYU with honors in 2010 receiving a degree in Business Management (Finance) and Economics. Matthew loves learning, working hard, solving problems, and playing golf when it’s not snowing. Matthew and Brenna are excited to live and work in Germany this summer.

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. 

Eric Jeppsen

Eric looks forward to working with the Office of General Counsel for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City during summer 2011. He also looks forward to carpooling with his wife, who is a researcher for the Church. Eric served a two-year LDS mission in Arequipa, Peru, and graduated from BYU in 2006 after majoring in linguistics and minoring in Spanish and editing. Eric enjoys trail running and reading. Before coming to law school, he worked as an editor at a small publishing house in Salt Lake City and spent his free time training and racing as an elite amateur cyclist. 

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. She will work with the LDS Church Area Legal Counsel in Accra, Ghana during summer 2011.

Alex Mason

Alex Mason, a native of Tucson, graduated magna cum laude from the University of Arizona with a degree in Spanish linguistics and a minor in political science. Having served a mission in South America, Alex looks forward to again interacting with the people of Latin America and expanding his understanding of the law during his time with the office of Area Legal Counsel for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Guatemala. As a music and history afficianado, he is excited for the music and culture he will be able to explore there. He also enjoys traveling, campiong, reading, and good movies. Alex is grateful to his wife for her love and support in this and all of his endeavors.

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 is delighted to be working with the New Zealand Area Legal Counsel this summer. She will also serve as a member of the Documents Team on the Student Executive Committee for the 2011 International Law and Religion Symposium.

Joseph Stewart

Two occurrences have impacted Joseph Stewart greatly in his life. The first was his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in São Paulo, Brazil. The second occurred nearly four years ago when Joseph married his wife Kristie whom he met while earning his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Utah. Joseph is excited and humbled to return to São Paulo to work for the Area Legal Counsel’s office there and to learn in the country he grew to love during his earlier church service.

Katelyn Trottier

Katelyn Trottier graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and a minor in English. Highlights of her college education include an internship with Guardian ad Litem in Provo, Utah and semesters abroad in Madrid, Spain and London, England, where she pursued her passion for travel and developed an enthusiasm for immersion in other cultures. She is thrilled to travel to the Dominican Republic this summer to work for the LDS Area Legal Counsel, utilize and improve her Spanish-language skills, and learn the merengue!

Crystal Wong

Crystal Wong graduated from BYU in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in music. She took a break from her undergraduate studies in 2008 to serve an LDS Spanish-speaking mission in San Francisco, California. There she learned to love the various Latin cultures, meeting people from all over Central and South America. As a Student Research Fellow for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies during Summer 2012 Crystal worked in Mexico City with the Area Legal Counsel for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and also made extensvie contributions to the Center’s ongoing work on the treatise, Religious Organizations and the Law. As she enters her third year at the J. Reuben Clark Law School in fall semeter 2012, Crystal has joined the ICLRS Editorial Team.