The International Center for Law and Religion Studies expresses its deep thanks outstanding scholars who have completed their assignments as the members of the 2016 Research Fellows Program. This year’s sixteen fellows have particularly impressive undergraduate records, with majors including philosophy, economics (with an interest in development), political science, business, Russian, interdisciplinary studies (with a religious studies emphasis), psychology, Middle East Studies/Arabic, and Linguistics. Three studied Arabic as undergraduates, and one has done some Hindi and Farsi and Burmese. Three had careers before law school — a certified social worker, an electrical engineer/compliance manager…
Reed Adlish was born and raised in Reno, Nevada. He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Santiago, Chile where he developed a great love for the people and culture of Latin America. Upon returning from his mission, he attended Brigham Young University, where he majored in Economics and Spanish, with a special interest in economic development issues worldwide. He worked at the Missionary Training Center teaching Spanish, where he was able to further his interests in Latin America and religious issues in general. He is excited to continue his work with the people of Latin America. In his free time, Reed enjoys watching and playing any kind of sport, reading, and traveling.
Alexander Alton was raised in Mira Loma, California. From August 2003 to August 2005 he served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Bahia, Brazil. Alex graduated cum laude with University Honors from Brigham Young University in April 2009, earning a bachelor of science in business strategy with a minor in music. Alex then spent two years as a Teach For America corps member in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While in Philadelphia, Alex taught 7th-12th grade English to students in the district’s alternative education program. He concurrently earned a master of science in education degree from the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in May 2011. Alex spent the last two years selling residential real estate in southern California. Alex’s interest in the work of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies was one of the principal reasons he felt compelled to attend the J. Reuben Clark Law School. Alex and his wife Samara, a native of Maranhão, Brazil, have been married for just over two years and have one son. Alex is thrilled to have the opportunity to return to Brazil and contribute to the Center’s work of advocating for religious liberty throughout the world.
Jarom Blackhurst was raised in Bountiful, Utah as the seventh of twelve children. He is passionate about studying languages and studied German and Russian in high school. After his freshman year at Brigham Young University, he served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Kiev, Ukraine. He returned to BYU where he graduated cum laude with a BA in Russian and a minor in Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic. He is currently pursuing a joint MBA/JD degree and is planning for a career that will allow him to serve and practice internationally. Jarom is married and has two children. He and his family are thrilled at the opportunity to live and work in Moscow this spring/summer.
Kaleb Brimhall was raised in Taylor, Arizona by parents who taught him the paramount nature of constitutional freedoms, especially the freedom of religion. From 1999 to 2001 Kaleb served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippines. Kaleb graduated from Arizona State University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. For the past 12 years Kaleb has worked in engineering, executive leadership, and compliance for water and electric utility companies in Arizona and Colorado. He married his best friend in 2004, and they have been blessed with four amazing children. Kaleb’s primary purpose for attending law school is to gain the skills and knowledge he needs to better defend the constitutional rights of all people, especially in regard to religious freedom. Kaleb considers this fellowship a tremendous blessing and privilege and is excited to work with the Center in furthering the cause of religious freedom.
Sarah Clifford grew up in Gilbert Arizona. She graduated from BYU with a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Humanities. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she worked with an academic advisor to create her own area of emphasis in comparative religious studies. Sarah enjoys baking bread, refinishing furniture and practicing yoga. She married her husband in June 2013, on what also happened to be her 20th birthday. Sarah is now in her first year at BYU Law School and is excited to work with ICRLS in Auckland, New Zealand next summer.
Jacob Crump was born and raised in Lehi, Utah, as the second oldest child of Stan and Holly Crump. Following his graduation from Lehi High School in 2008, he served a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Republic of Fiji, where he developed a love of Polynesian languages, culture, and food. After his mission, Jacob graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Linguistics and a minor in Rhetoric and Writing. Most of his interests in law lie in first amendment questions and issues dealing with civil rights. In his free time, Jacob loves hiking, camping, canyoneering, disc golfing, running, reading, and being a favorite uncle to his niece and nephews.
Jessica Farnsworth is from Provo, Utah. She graduated from BYU with a degree in Middle East Studies/Arabic. Before graduating she served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Thailand and studied abroad in Amman, Jordan. She loves learning about people through studying languages, politics and religions and traveling around the world. She is interested in human rights and comparative law. Getting the opportunity to serve the people of Asia again and research religious freedom issues is a dream come true for her.
Jedidiah Gibson is from Miami, Oklahoma. He graduated with a B.S. in Political Science from Oklahoma State University, magna cum laude. During his undergraduate studies, Jed served as a teaching assistant for the Department of Political Science and was named a Lew Wentz Research Scholar. His research focused on the decisions of judges of the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals. Additionally, Jed spent three years working for the OSU Family Resource Center where he organized community and educational programs for international graduate students and their families. Jed has been married to his best friend, Hannah, for three years.
Ryan Hughes grew up in Mesa, Arizona. He attended Brigham Young University, where he majored in Middle East Studies/Arabic. His studies led him to become deeply interested in religious freedoms and how religious minorities are treated throughout the world. He participated in a study abroad in Jordan, Israel, and Palestine. After graduating magna cum laude in April 2015, he decided to attend the J. Reuben Clark Law School. He is excited to work in Frankfurt, Germany, during summer 2016 and then to continue doing research for the Center.
Nate Kinghorn is the oldest of ten children. He grew up in the small town of Sugar City, Idaho. He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Peru, Lima South Mission and fell in love with the people, culture, and cuisine of Peru. Upon returning from his mission he resumed school at BYU-Idaho, where he enjoyed participating in and serving in leadership positions of many campus organizations. He received a bachelors degree in Communication, with an emphasis in Organizational and Interpersonal Communication, and a minor in Business. He graduated magna cum laude and received the Gordon B. Hinckley communicator award. While at school, he worked as a legal assistant for Breck Barton & Associates in Rexburg, Idaho, where he became interested in law. He met and married Tawny Tanner and soon thereafter, they had a beautiful daughter. He and his family are enjoying Provo and excited to go to Peru. Nate enjoys spending time with family, friends, playing any sport, reading, and being in the outdoors.
Shad Larson is the youngest of five children and grew up in the small town of Paulden, Arizona. He spent his summers working for his dad on the family hay farm and graduated early from high school. He then left for Southern Utah University where he received an associates degree, and soon after left for a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Johannesburg, South Africa. While there he served in South Africa, and also had the privilege to serve in the country of Botswana. He loves Africa and is extremely excited to go back! After returning from his mission, he transferred to BYU and received a bachelors degree in Political Science, graduating cum laude, before coming to the J. Reuben Clark Law School. He married McCall Larson just two weeks before starting his first year of law school. He enjoys whitewater rafting with his family, playing soccer, watching sports, and reading historical books.
Brittani Nelson was raised in West Jordan, Utah by die-hard Brigham Young University Cougar fan parents. She graduated from BYU with a degree in Humanities and a very long bucket list of places to see. She then served a mission in Frankfurt, Germany. After returning home, she decided to pursue a legal career and is excited to return to Germany to work with the Area Legal Office. She enjoys swimming, reading, visiting the amazing places she studied as an undergrad and watching BYU football.
Thomas Palmer grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, and graduated concurrently from Brighton High School and Salt Lake Community College with an associate’s degree in 2011. He attended Brigham Young University for one year before serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Barranquilla, Colombia. After returning from his mission, he graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Thomas was married in the summer of 2015. He is enjoying his first year of law school and looks forward to working with the LDS Area Legal Counsel in Argentina next summer.
Joshua Prince was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. Upon graduating high school, he enrolled in Brigham Young University. After a year of study, he served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Donetsk, Ukraine. In Ukraine, Joshua developed a deep love for both the Ukrainian people and the Russian language that he spoke. Upon returning to BYU, he continued his study of the Russian language, ultimately earning a BA in Russian. During his time at BYU, he received several awards in national contests for written Russian. He was married in February 2013, and he and his wife are the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl. He has a deep respect for the goals of the ICLRS, and hopes that he can continue the work of religious freedom during his time with the center.
Brenden Stuart was raised in San Bernardino, California. He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Sydney, Australia. After his mission, Brenden moved to Utah and attended the LDS Business College in Salt Lake City. He then transferred to Brigham Young University-Idaho where he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in business management emphasizing in finance. Brenden has a strong desire to be a force for good in this world and is excited to work with the ICLRS in Hong Kong this up-coming summer. Brenden enjoys the outdoors and loves riding quads, hiking, shooting, and camping.
Ben Thornell was born and raised in Bountiful, Utah. After serving a two year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Louisiana, he obtained a B.A. in Philosophy from Brigham Young University with minors in Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Psychology, and Logic. Ben then went on to obtain a Master of Social Work degree, also from BYU. While doing social work, Ben learned to love fighting for the beliefs and rights of all people, especially the powerless and the marginalized. This love lead him to law school and the ICLRS, where is grateful to have the opportunity to serve.