Editor’s Notes: Inside the Fall 2015 issue

Fall 2015 coverFalling leaves, crisp temperatures, and pigskin—autumn and football are intrinsically linked in America.

Last year thirty-four of the most-watched fall TV shows were National Football League games, garnering a total of 205 million viewers. For comparison’s sake, the only other program to gobble up enough eyeballs to make the top thirty-five was Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The colossal numbers speak clearly: football is America’s greatest stage, its players our favorite gladiators.

But among the larger-than-life quarterbacks, linebackers, and coaches, watch for a familiar face. Bart Longson, a 1999 Marriott School grad, is one of the league’s newest refs. And while his on-field accomplishments are impressive, Longson also has business chops to match. After a hard fight through the Great Recession, he turned a downward spiral into an entrepreneurial touchdown with two multimillion-dollar ventures headquartered in Salt Lake City.

Longson’s isn’t the only story in this issue that focuses on summiting professional peaks. Scott Cutler, the president of StubHub and the former head of global listings for the New York Stock Exchange, spoke to Marriott School students earlier this year, detailing six lessons he’s learned climbing the mountains of life. “In mountain climbing I learned how to trust my partner,” Cutler said. “In crossing the Alps on skis I learned how to perceive, calculate, and mitigate risks. . . . In cycling the Pyrenees I learned that if you prepare thoroughly, you can accomplish nearly anything.”

But opportunities to excel aren’t necessarily available to all Americans equally. “Broken Dream” chronicles the research of Marriott School professor Glenn Christensen and his coauthors on the discrimination faced by minority loan seekers. While some argue racism no longer exists in the American ethos, the researchers’ data paints a bleaker picture. Fortunately, there are ways to improve fairness in the marketplace, and Christensen’s team is working tirelessly to ensure every person—regardless of race or ethnicity—has an equal chance to pursue his or her ambitions.

Rounding out the issue, “Lights Out” chronicles a troubling health epidemic facing more people than ever before (and no, it’s not obesity). Millions of us aren’t getting enough sleep, ratcheting up rates of preventable diseases and decreasing our workplace productivity. It’s time to put down the caffeine and hit the sack.

Finally, you can follow the 2015 Global Business Study Abroad program’s jaunt around the world—seven countries and three continents in four weeks—through the students’ own words. The mishaps and lucky breaks, like the time the group ran into Pope Francis in Rome,  make for a travelogue well worth reading—even if it means tearing yourself away from Monday Night Football.

The Fall 2015 issue of Marriott Alumni Magazine is now available online at marriottmag.byu.edu or for iPad or iPad mini at iTunes.