Highlights from BYU colleges: EMT sings patients to health, PhD student researches new cancer treatment


David O. McKay School of Education

Psychology student Christopher Mosqueda won a prestigious scholarship for his studies of juvenile violence. (Christopher Mosqueda)

A second-year BYU psychology student earned the 2020 Minority Student Scholarship of the Utah Association of School Psychologists (UASP) for his study of risk factors for juvenile violence. Christopher Mosqueda hopes to start important conversations about racial prejudice and social justice. His studies include dispelling the idea of “superpredators,” or the idea of a ferocious generation of young criminals, and the way media outlets portray acts of violence such as the Columbine shooting. Mosqueda is completing a school psychology internship at the Jordan School District in Utah this fall. 

“I think it’s important to know that risk factors do not predict violent behavior,” Mosqueda said. “I’m really excited to counsel students. I feel like that’s a strong suit for myself, just speaking with them, talking through their problems with them, and just being there.”

College of Life Sciences

PhD student Edwin Velazquez is researching using immunotherapy to fight cancer. (BYU Simmons Center for Cancer Research)

A microbiology and molecular biology Ph.D. student at BYU received funding to research a groundbreaking cancer treatment. Edwin Velazquez is a Simmons Center for Cancer Research Fellow. Using immunotherapy, or the idea that bodies can use their own immune system to overcome cancer, he is working on modifying T cells, Macrophages and other immune cells to fight tumors. 

“There are people waiting for this,” Velazquez said of the Simmons Center’s research. “We cannot let them wait for too long.”

College of Fine Arts and Communications

Music dance theatre grad Daniel Wallentine is bringing his EMT training and musical talents together to serve during the pandemic. (Daniel Wallentine)

A music dance theatre graduate is bringing together his performance skills and EMT training to make an impact during the coronavirus pandemic. Daniel Wallentine (BFA ‘19) left for New York City this spring to respond to the increased need for medical personnel due to COVID-19. Wallentine wasn’t expecting to use his gift for music, but he soon found an opportunity to bring his talents together to help bridge a language barrier with a withdrawn patient. Wallentine sang a song he knew in the man’s native tongue, which helped them connect and made it possible for the patient to progress.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever felt more unified as humankind,” Wallentine said.

College of Humanities

Dr. Valerie Hegstrom, pictured, and Dr. Brandie R. Siegfried received awards for their work in literary translation. (Dani Jardene)

BYU professors Brandie R. Siegfried and Valerie Hegstrom were recognized by the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women and Gender (SSEMWG) for their translations of 16th-century works into English. English professor Dr. Siegfried was awarded the Josephine Roberts Award for her study of Margaret Cavendish’s underdeveloped poetry.

Dr. Hegstrom, who teaches Spanish and Portuguese as well as coordinating the Global Women’s Studies Department, won an award for translating the Spanish playwright Angela de Azevedo’s play El Muerto de Similado. Hegstrom’s extensive work on this project began in the 1990s.

“It was really wonderful being able to view the play through both Spanish and Portuguese lenses…that really helped with the translation,” Hegstrom said.

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