Name: Reid Neilson
BYU employee since: 2022 (but I also was a professor here from 2006 to 2009.)
My job at BYU is… assistant academic vice president of religious scholarly publications, which means that I get to work with the talented folks at BYU Studies, the Neal A. Maxwell Institute and the Religious Studies Center.
I’m currently working on… a biography of John D. Fitzgerald, author of "Papa Married a Mormon" and "The Great Brain" series.
I’m currently reading… Daniel Silva’s "The Collector" and Michael Finkel’s "The Art Thief: A True Story of Love, Crime, and a Dangerous Obsession."
I get most excited about my work when… I receive inspiration for a new book project and then begin drafting a preliminary table of contents. It’s almost like I can envision the finished product before I even begin the research and writing.
I became a BYU fan when… my parents drove me and my young siblings up to Provo each year to attend their National Advisory Council meetings at the Marriott School of Business.
My favorite Cougar athlete is… Ty Detmer because he beat the Miami Hurricanes in football my freshman year and went on to win the Heisman. He also was gracious when I showed up uninvited at his apartment to get a football signed for my brother’s Christmas present.
My most cherished memory at BYU is… attending the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies in the fall of 2004 — the best semester of my life as a BYU student.
My go-to comfort food is… tortilla chips, salsa and guacamole.
My favorite TV show growing up was… “Seinfeld.”
One item on my bucket list is… to travel to Antarctica — I’ve always wanted to visit all seven continents.