Author Archives: Alex Burch

April 19

Drill Team + Color Guard = Honor

  They march into memorial services, Scout meetings, and basketball games in perfect unison. Carrying flags and rifles with care, the BYU Air Force ROTC Drill Team and Color Guard perform their duties with precision and honor. These two teams make up the Air Force ROTC’s Honor Guard, a group of cadets known for serving […]

April 07

Sign Up for Ballard Scholar Program

You might be an accounting major who’s passionate about ending poverty. Or maybe you’re a sociology student striving to solve world hunger. Perhaps you’re studying engineering and just want to create something that will benefit people’s lives. Now no matter what your major is or goals are, you can be recognized for your drive to […]

March 22

James Gaskin: A Passion for Tinkering

  James Gaskin’s office décor goes way beyond the family photos and desk plants. A homemade jetpack built by his daughters hangs above his desk, and below his window sits a growing model village complete with green hills, an electric train, and a miniature Hogwarts castle. “I have no books in here except for a […]

March 10

The 2016 SISC Ends in Showdown

  The Social Innovation Solution Competition (SISC) started with more than twenty competitors and culminated in a showdown between two teams—but the finale didn’t exactly end as anticipated. “We expected the judges to name the winner,” says BYU strategy junior Daniel Durrant. “But they said they couldn’t decide between the final two teams, so we […]

February 12


    What do a US Olympian, a big-wave surfer, and a viral marketing sensation have in common? They all have bright ideas. Oh, and they are sharing these ideas at the next TEDxBYU event on 24 March. The conference will feature exclusive speakers, interactive exhibits, and, not to mention, dinner. Attendees will have the […]

January 29

MISM Students Tag the Beef Business

Three BYU students are beefing up the face of agriculture with a new venture that could go from MISM capstone course to cash cow. Erik Lamb, Austen Smack, and Andres De Hoyos are designing a data-connected ear tag to track the movement of cattle. This new device, called CattleGuard, will improve herd management for ranchers, […]

January 18

Chasing the Dream: Minority Entrepreneurs

  Today we commemorate the life of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. and remember the dream he shared with the world. As he fought to end racial discrimination in the United States, King drew on the American Dream rooted in the Declaration of Independence: that all men and women are created equal and […]

January 01

5 Ways to Get Involved in the New Year

A new year presents many exciting prospects and possibilities—a fresh, 365 days lie ahead, and with them come opportunities to get involved and do good in your community. If one of your resolutions is to make a difference, the Ballard Center of Economic Self-Reliance can help you reach your goals. Here are five ways students […]

December 01

Y-Prize Newborn Challenge Kickoff

The problem is staggering: 4 million newborn deaths every year. But the solution is promising: low-cost respirators created by BYU engineering students. The challenge is yours: identify a community most in need and find a way to distribute the respirators. In the Ballard Center’s newest Y-Prize Challenge, BYU students can potentially save millions of babies […]

November 24

Experience Industry: A Play-By-Play

They say business is all work and no play. But those studying experience industry management might beg to differ. After all, a career outlook in this field could involve anything from working in an amusement park to a sports arena. The experience industry provides people with recreation opportunities—think ski resorts, public parks, zoos, and hotel […]

November 16

The Newest Best Venture Winners

Hours of preparation, planning, and prototyping comes down to a single pitch for student entrepreneurs in the Ballard Center’s Social Venture Academy (SVA), which hosts competitions for socially minded business plans. After a fierce showdown on 2 October, SVA announced the two newest winners of its Best Venture Competition: SimpleCitizen and Haedrian Labs. SimpleCitizen aims […]

October 30

The True Terror: Bad Breath at Work

It’s a spooky time of year. Glowing jack-o-lanterns appear on every doorstep and your coworkers are dressing up like the undead. But the real terror could be something that’s right under your nose—bad breath. Although there’s no magic potion for a case of halitosis, 1994 business management alum and dentist Michael Bennett offers some helpful […]

October 12

New Video Highlights Effort to End Poverty

With the help of talented interns from the Marriott School’s Ballard Center, Self-Reliance Services/Perpetual Education Fund of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is empowering thousands of people throughout the world to become economically self-reliant. Self-reliance centers all over the globe provide support and resources for people to pursue an education, find employment, […]

October 09

Alicia Becker: A Changemaker’s Journey

The path toward a higher education comes with twists and turns. Alicia Becker, a first-generation college graduate, knows this all too well. After navigating her way to two degrees, Becker’s educational journey is continuing at the Marriott School’s Ballard Center for Self-Reliance, where she works as partner relations manager and adjunct professor. Her path began […]

September 22

In the Atrium with Courtney Dygert

For finance senior Courtney Dygert, business runs in the family. Hailing from Orlando, Florida, Dygert is following in her mother’s footsteps and pursuing a degree from the Marriott School of Management. After a summer internship in Taiwan, Dygert recently returned to the Tanner Building. Why did you decide to study finance? Growing up I always […]

September 14

The Effect of Impact Investing

Business students aren’t just motivated by dollars and cents. Accounting grad Jeremy Sookhoo was looking for a career that would be both exciting and meaningful when he found the perfect opportunity: an internship with the University Impact Fund, now called the Sorensen Global Impact Investing Center (SGIIC). Sookhoo, who earned a bachelor’s degree in 2013 after […]

August 28

Ballard Internship Propels Career

MPA student Jeff Roberts discovered many things during his internship: the best ways to help people become self-reliant, his love of social innovation, and the power of a late-night pizza party. According to Roberts, those pizza parties helped his team reach their project goals and were some of the best experiences of his internship with […]

August 27

Overheard in the Tanner Building

You never know what awaits you when you walk through the Tanner Building’s doors; a simple stroll through the atrium often offers entertaining insights into the lives of students and faculty. Here are the most comical conversations from the newest edition of “Overheard in the Tanner” from the Summer 2015 edition of Marriott Alumni Magazine.   1. “Sports while […]