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Devotional and forum schedule for spring/summer semester 2021

Every Tuesday at 11:05 a.m., students, faculty, staff and the greater BYU community tune in for the weekly devotional or forum address. During the month of May, each address will be held in the Marriott Center. Devotionals and forums occurring in June, July and August will be held in the de Jong Concert Hall of the Harris Fine Arts Center, apart from the Education Week devotional on August 17, which will be held in the Marriott Center.

Most devotionals and forums will be broadcast live on BYUtv,, KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM and BYU Radio. They will be archived on and BYUtv.

A limited number of students, faculty and staff will be able to attend the devotional in person each week. Tickets will be available on a first-come-first-served basis.



  • May 4: Niwako Yamawaki, Family, Home & Social Sciences (devotional)
    • Marriott Center
  • May 11: Rick Jellen, Life Sciences (devotional)
    • Marriott Center
  • May 18: Liz Darger, Athletics (devotional)
    • Marriott Center
  • May 25: Chris Crowe, Humanities, Distinguished Faculty Lecturer (forum)
    • Marriott Center


  • June 8: Steven Harper, Religious Education (devotional)
    • de Jong Concert Hall
  • June 22: Traci Neilsen, Physical & Mathematical Sciences (devotional)
    • de Jong Concert Hall
  • June 29: Steve Smith, Counseling and Psychological Services (devotional)
    • de Jong Concert Hall


  • July 13: Melissa F. Western, Marriott School of Business (devotional)
    • de Jong Concert Hall
  • July 20: Lisa Valentine Clark, BYU Broadcasting (devotional)
    • de Jong Concert Hall
  • July 27: Amy Jensen, Fine Arts & Communications (forum)
    • This forum will only be available via livestream


  • August 3: John Bingham, Marriott School of Business (devotional)
    • de Jong Concert Hall
  • August 17: Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (Education Week devotional)
    • Marriott Center


Niwako Yamawaki
May 4 Devotional

Niwako Yamawaki was born and raised in Japan and educated in the United States. She holds a doctoral degree in counseling psychology from the University of Utah. Yamawaki is an associate chair professor in the Department of Psychology, where she teaches in the areas of applied social psychology and psychology of gender. A licensed psychologist, Yamawaki received the Martin B. Hickman FHSS Achievement in Teaching Award and is a recipient of the Abe Fellowship, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellowship, the Invitation Fellowship and the Bridge Fellowship.

Rick Jellen
May 11 Devotional

Rick Jellen was born in New Orleans and raised in Los Angeles. He graduated from BYU in 1986 with a B.S. in agronomy with a crop science emphasis and received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in 1992 in plant breeding. After doing postdoctoral research in cereal genetics for the USDA and Kansas State University, he returned to BYU in 1996 as a faculty member and serves as the associate dean of facilities, diversity, and graduate education in the College of Life Sciences. He and his wife, Trish, are the parents of four sons, two daughters-in-law and three grandsons.

Liz Darger
May 18 Devotional

Liz Darger is the senior associate athletic director and senior woman administrator at BYU. She serves as the sport administrator for women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, women’s gymnastics, the spirit squads, and men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field. She also oversees human resources, student-athlete welfare, gender equity, and is a campus Title IX liaison. Darger serves on a variety of committees, including the BYU Homecoming Committee, the West Coast Conference Executive Council, the WCC Championships and Sport Administration Cabinet, and the NCAA Common Ground Leadership Team. She holds a B.S. in family sciences and a M.S. in school counseling psychology from BYU and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in educational leadership. She currently serves as a member of the Young Women General Advisory Council of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Chris Crowe
May 25 Forum

Chris Crowe grew up in Tempe, Arizona, in a Catholic family. After receiving a copy of “A Marvelous Work and a Wonder” from a high school friend, he decided to learn more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; soon after, he joined. He attended BYU on a football scholarship from 1972 to 1976 and earned graduate degrees from Arizona State University.

Crowe is a professor of English at BYU, specializing in young adult literature. In addition to his academic work, Crowe also writes fiction and nonfiction for young-adult readers, including the historical novel “Mississippi Trial, 1955.” Prior to joining the BYU faculty in 1993, Crowe had been a professor at Himeji Dokkyō University and Brigham Young University–Hawaii. In 2007, Crowe was awarded the Karl G. Maeser Excellence in Research and Creative Arts Award from BYU and in 2008 was awarded the Nan Osmond Grass Professorship in English. In November 2010, he received the Ted Hipple Service Award from the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the NCTE (ALAN). For the 2016–17 school year Crowe received BYU's Karl G. Maeser Excellence in Teaching Award.

Steven Harper
June 8 Devotional

Steven C. Harper is a professor of Church history and doctrine at BYU. In 2013 Steve was appointed as the managing historian and general editor of “Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days.” He was named editor in chief of BYU Studies Quarterly in September 2019. He earned a bachelor's degree from BYU, an master’s in American history from Utah State University and a doctorate in early American history from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Harper began teaching courses in religion and history at BYU–Hawaii in 2000 and joined the Religious Education faculty at BYU in 2002. That year he also became a volume editor of “The Joseph Smith Papers” and the document editor for BYU Studies. Harper is the author of several books, including “Making Sense of the Doctrine and Covenants” and “First Vision: Memory and Mormon Origins.”

Traci Neilsen
June 22 Devotional

Traci Neilsen received a doctoral degree in physics from the University of Texas at Austin and completed a postdoctoral appointment at the associated Applied Research Laboratories, where her research focused on optimization methods for source localization and environmental characterization from multi-source sound fields in the ocean. Her experience includes management and analysis of large acoustical data sets, numerical modeling of acoustic propagation and development and employment of multi-dimensional inversion techniques. After working part time as an adjunct professor at BYU for 14 years, Neilsen became a full-time professor in May 2018. With this new position, she has returned to underwater acoustics research. Her main projects include the application of machine learning to detecting sounds sources in a variable ocean environment and underwater acoustical measurements.

Steve Smith
June 29 Devotional

Steve Smith is the executive director of Student Development Services at BYU, where he has worked for the past 28 years. Smith received his bachelor’s degree in special education and his master’s degree in counseling and guidance from BYU. He received his doctorate in counseling and student personnel psychology from the University of Minnesota. Prior to coming to BYU, Smith worked in counseling centers at the University of Minnesota and University of Utah.

At BYU Smith has been fortunate to serve students in many ways. In addition to counseling and therapy, he has served as an instructor for student development classes and as an adjunct faculty member in the counseling psychology doctoral program.

Melissa F. Western
July 13 Devotional

Melissa F. Western is an associate professor of accounting in the Marriott School of Business. She holds a master’s and doctoral degree in accounting from Indiana University. She was awarded the Robert Smith Faculty Fellowship in 2016 and received the Rachel Martin Faculty Fellowship in 2019. Her research and teaching interests include financial reporting quality, earnings management and managerial ability. She is a member of the editorial board of Contemporary Accounting Research. Western joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seven years ago.

Lisa Valentine Clark
July 20 Devotional

Lisa Valentine Clark is a writer, an actress, and the host of “The Lisa Show” on BYU Radio. She is a founding member of the theater-as-improv comedy troupe The Thrillionaries; writer, producer and actress on the film “Once I was a Beehive”; host of the TV show “Random Acts” and starring member in the BYUtv production “Show Offs.” She is the author of Real Moms: Making It Up as We Go.” She graduated from BYU with a degree in English.

Amy Jensen
July 27 Forum

Amy Jensen is the College of Fine Arts and Communications (CFAC) associate dean over faculty development and research. She is the executive producer of the CFAC BRAVO! series, a professional performing arts series produced by the college. She also directs the Faith + Works series, an ongoing faculty lecture series in which CFAC faculty share how their scholarship and creative work intersect with their faith.

She is a faculty member in the Theatre and Media Arts Department and teaches arts education courses in both theatre and media arts, where she works with pre-service teachers. She served on the leadership team for the revision and writing of K–12 National Core Arts Standards.

Recent book publications include the Cc-edited volume “(Re)imagining Literacies for Content-area Classrooms” and “Arts Literacies and Education” with Roni Jo Draper. Amy is also the executive producer of the web documentary series “By Study, By Faith,” which features stories about BYU faculty women, faith, and education. She has received the Lin Wright Special Recognition Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education. The award honors individuals who have made a distinctive educational contribution or provided meritorious service furthering theatre and drama for young people. She has also received the Meritorious Service Award from the National Association for Media Literacy Education.

John Bingham
August 3 Devotional

John Bingham is Donald L. Staheli Professor and associate dean in the Marriott School of Business at BYU. John served as director of the MBA and Executive MBA programs at BYU from 2013–16. He served as chair of the Department of Management from 2017–19.

Bingham teaches courses on organizational behavior, strategic human resource management and leading and thriving to Executive MBA, MBA and undergraduate students. John conducts research on the interdependent and evolving exchanges among employees, their organizations and related external constituencies. His work has been published in leading management journals and featured internationally in news outlets. In 2012, he received the Ascendant Scholar Award from the Western Academy of Management.

Elder Uchtdorf
August 17 Devotional

Elder Uchtdorf was called as Second Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on February 3, 2008. He served in that position until January 2018. He has served as a General Authority since April 1994.

In 1965 Dieter F. Uchtdorf began working for Lufthansa German Airlines as a pilot. From 1970 until 1996 he flew as captain of the B737, Airbus, DC10, and B747. While also working as training and check captain, he received several management responsibilities. These positions included Section Chief Pilot B737, head of Lufthansa pilot school in Arizona, head of all cockpit crews, and finally Senior Vice President Flight Operations and Lufthansa Chief Pilot. He was also chairman of the Flight Operations Committee of the International Air Transport Association.

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