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Character

Cougar Query: "One item on my bucket list is to go back to where I served my mission in Barcelona"

Name: Steve Smith

BYU employee since… 1992

My job at BYU is… the director of Student Development Services, until July 1. We work with students, helping them to make good academic choices and overcome academic and mental health struggles that interfere with their success at BYU. I’m looking forward to working full-time as a therapist in Counseling and Psychological Services next year.

A professional portrait of Steve Smith, executive director of BYU Student Development Services.
Steve's dream car is the one he currently owns — a 2015 royal blue Xterra!


I’m currently working on… Healthy Y, a program we are creating to help students develop healthy behaviors that will help them feel happier and more confident.

I’m currently reading… "Night Letters," a fascinating book about the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan and the various persons involved. I love books that help my understanding of people and places. Also, "Ben-Hur: A Tale of Christ." I’ve seen the movie a lot and it was $1 on my Nook reader.

I get most excited about my work when… I see a student feel real relief from depression, anxiety or any other personal struggle. One of my biggest blessings has been helping LGBTQ+ students who are attending BYU.

My father-in-law sparked my interest in my field. He was one of the kindest men I’ve ever known and loved helping people change. He was director of the counseling center at BYU before his premature death to cancer. He thought I’d be happy in this field. He was right!

My favorite part about teaching is… helping students learn and watching them laugh.

I became a BYU fan when… I started going to BYU football games when I was eight. Before the stadium was remodeled, the athletic department had bleachers in the north end zone for the “Knothole Gang.” All my friends would go, and we had a fantastic time! We even watched some of the games.

My go-to BYU Creamery ice cream flavor is… Graham Canyon.

My favorite Cougar athlete is… Jamal Willis. His performance in the 52-52 tie game with San Diego State in 1991 is maybe the best performance ever by a BYU running back. He outplayed Marshall Faulk, who was an All-American running back.

I chose to come to BYU because... this place is in my DNA. I grew up on 9th East directly across from campus and spent a lot of hours tearing around campus, attending games and going to 50-cent movies at the Varsity Theatre. I chose to come because it is home.

On Saturday mornings you’ll find me… making waffles, working in the garden or cleaning bathrooms — only after the waffles.

A professional portrait of Steve Smith, executive director of BYU Student Development Services.
Three things that you'll always find in Steve's refrigerator are sweet and spicy mustard, pepper jack cheese and good bread.

My favorite quote is… ”Love is the expression of one who loves, not of one who is loved. Those who think they can love only the people they prefer do not love at all. Love discovers truths about individuals that others cannot see.” (Soren Kierkegaard)

One item on my bucket list is… to go back to where I served my mission in Barcelona.

My go-to comfort food is… freshly popped popcorn in good olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt. Close second is dark chocolate.

My most embarrassing moment was when… there are too many to tell — my family loves to recount them!

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