Summer Research Fellows for 2017

The 2017 Summer Research Fellows of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies have now returned from their internships and have begun the research and writing projects that will occupy them for the rest of the summer. Each year the Center welcomes a group of outstanding scholars who have completed their first year of study at the J. Reuben Clark Law School into the Research Fellows Program. The program brings the students into the worldwide work of the Center, as they complete internships with the offices of the legal counsels of The…

Amy Andrus – Auckland, New Zealand

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 Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Guatemala. She worked at…

Sara Plater – Lima, Peru

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, traveling, and playing racquetball. Sara is now in her first year of Law School and is excited to work part of this summer with the International Center for Law and Religion Studies in Hong Kong.

Shaun D. Belliston – Lima, Peru

Shaun Belliston was born and raised in Richland, Washington. He served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Viña Del Mar, Chile where he fell in love with Latin American culture and the Spanish language. After his mission, Shaun attended BYU-Idaho and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Humanities & Philosophy. After graduation, Shaun traveled for a year throughout the world, including places like India, Thailand, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Alaska, and Canada. During his travels, he developed a deep love for many world religions which led to his desire to work with ICLRS in Lima, Peru. Shaun married his beautiful wife in March 2016 and they are expecting their first child in April 2017. 

Athelia Graham – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Athelia Graham grew up in Orem, UT, the daughter of a BYU Linguistics Professor (dad) and an English Teacher (mom). She attended BYU earning an undergraduate degree in Spanish teaching and playing 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 Alexandria, VA. She loved the East Coast but returned to BYU for law school. She loves being active, hiking in the mountains, playing any kind of sport, playing the piano, reading historical fiction and non-fiction, and cooking delicious food.

Kyle A. Harvey – São Paulo, Brazil

Kyle Harvey was raised in Denver, CO. In 2010, he began his undergraduate studies at Southern Utah University and was a pitcher for SUU’s division 1 baseball team. After completing his freshmen year at SUU, Kyle served an LDS service mission in Lisbon, Portugal from 2011-2013. Following his mission, Kyle returned to Southern Utah University where he met his wife, Chelsee, and completed his degree in Economics, graduating summa cum laude, and earned a double minor in Finance and Legal Studies. Kyle is excited to pursue his legal interests at BYU and for the wonderful chance to work as an ICLRS Student Fellow with the LDS Church’s ALC in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Kyle enjoys dirt-biking, hiking, playing sports, and spending time with his wife and new-born son.

John Iler – Frankfurt, Germany

John Iler was raised in a southern Utah community that was surrounded first by alfalfa, and then by wilderness. He served a two year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in North Carolina, after which he graduated from Southern Utah University with a major in English literature and a minor in philosophy. He has held nearly a dozen volunteer and community positions including working as a tutor with kids and students from second grade to graduate students, and working with athletes aged two to twenty years as a swim coach and instructor. Before beginning law school, he interned in the United States Senate for Senator Harry Reid, and he interned at a tech university in Salzburg, Austria. Some of his life goals are: improving his German, going on a three-week cross country biking adventure, and doing sunrise yoga on the Mediterranean coast in Greece.

Neal Liu – Salt Lake City, Utah

Neal Liu was born and raised in China. He moved to Queens, New York when he was 18 years old. He graduated from the University at Buffalo with a joint degree in Political Science and Economics. During his first semester at BYU Law School, he became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Realizing the importance of faith and religion, Neal is highly motivated for the opportunity to serve people around the world for their religious freedom. Neal enjoys watching and playing basketball, weight-lifting and outdoor activities.

Justin Miller – Buenos Aires, Argentina

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 are excited to return to Mexico this summer where Justin will work for the Area Legal Counsel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In his free time, Justin enjoys reading literature, trail running, learning new languages, and spending time with his growing family.

Scott Mosley – Accra, Ghana

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 also loves to travel and hopes to visit every continent some day. Some of his hobbies include rock climbing, biking, dancing, and reading. 

Dianna Odell – Moscow, Russia

Dianna Odell was born in Provo, Utah but raised in California, Texas, and St. George, Utah.  She attended Brigham Young University as an undergraduate student, majoring in Social Work with a minor in African Studies, and spent a semester in South Africa on a field study. She met and married her husband while at BYU and following graduation they moved to Chicago where Dianna completed a Master’s degree in Social Work and her husband attended Medical School.  Following the birth of their first child, they moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand for a year while her husband worked as an NIH research fellow and Dianna volunteered with a local NGO.  Medical training took their family from Chicago to New Hampshire to Seattle, with a child born in each spot.  Dianna continued to work as a hospital social worker while raising their three children.  Dianna and her family are thrilled with the opportunity to live in Moscow for the summer. 

Joe Moxon – Johannesburg, South Africa

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 is thrilled to able to help advance religious freedoms to people everywhere as a Student Research Fellow for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies.

Shelise Rupp – Salt Lake City, Utah

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 has given her to bring these loves together. And though still exploring various career options, she values the chance to work with the Center to develop skills that she hopes to use throughout her life.

Taylor Shaw – Frankfurt, Germany

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. He is very excited to be a Student Fellow for the Center and work in the Office of General Counsel in Frankfurt, Germany. Taylor and his wife, Malorie, have a 5 month old boy also named Taylor. His personal hobbies include any and all sports (especially boxing and football), and he’s addicted to going to the movie theater. 

George Simons – São Paulo, Brazil

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 looks forward to his return to Brazil as a student fellow for the Center.