Skip to main content
Character

Cougar Queries: "On Saturday mornings you'll find me… huffing and puffing on my mountain bike"

Name: Brett Scharffs, Director of BYU International Center for Law and Religion Studies

BYU employee since: 1997.

My job… is to teach students how to think like a lawyer and to realize that is very different than what they thought it meant.

I'm currently reading… The Black Widow, Daniel Silva's latest Gabriel Allon espionage thriller. I also read every Alexander McCall Smith No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency book (17 and counting) on the day they are released. In fact, I love them so much that I finagled a visit with the author at his home in Edinburgh, where he served me red bush tea with hospitality that would rival that of Mma Ramotswe herself.

I get most excited about my work when… I'm teaching or making a presentation at a conference and I feel for a moment completely carried away with that special magic that occasionally occurs between speaker and listener.

When I have thirty minutes of free time, you can find me… checking ESPN for the latest sports scores so I can carry on a conversation with my son, Elliot.

The best kept secret at BYU is… The Law School. Call Gayla Sorenson, our dean of admissions, and set up a visit.

I chose to come to BYU because… religious freedom is an article of faith of our sponsoring institution, and there is nowhere in the world where this work can be pursued in such a rich and meaningful way.

On Saturday mornings you'll find me… huffing and puffing on my mountain bike up the forest service road at the end of the left fork of Hobble Creek Canyon.

My go-to comfort food is… BYU Creamery's Coconut Joy ice cream. Honestly, has anything bad ever happened while you were eating it?

You'll never find me without… my iPhone—yeah, I'm special that way.

My favorite quote is… "A man may fulfill the object of his existence by asking a question he cannot answer and attempting a task he cannot achieve," said by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

If I could travel anywhere I would… return to the Australian island of Tasmania, where I spent one of the most magical weeks of my life on a road trip with my daughter, Ella.

My favorite hobby is… taking photos of the incredible variety of places and people in this extraordinary world.

The biggest challenge I've faced… is writing my forum address—at least that is how it feels today.

Related Articles

data-content-type="article"

Cougar Query: "I’m currently working on my houseplant collection, I have over 200 of them!"

September 09, 2022
Cougar Queries are a series profiling BYU employees by asking them questions about their work, interests and life. Today, we meet Whitney Hanks, a supervisor for BYU Building Care.
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection=false overrideCardHideByline=false overrideCardHideDescription=false overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=
data-content-type="article"

Going to an away BYU football game this year? Do more than just cheer for the Cougs

September 01, 2022
BYU Alumni has organized service projects at pregame tailgates for each away football game in 2022. Starting with the USF game this weekend, BYU Alumni, along with local alumni chapters at each game site, will be hosting “Cougs Care” pregame tailgates that incorporate a service project for local nonprofits.


overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection=false overrideCardHideByline=false overrideCardHideDescription=false overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=
data-content-type="article"

Cougar Query: "I love to play in the dirt and see the actual fruits of my labors whether that is vegetables or flowers."

August 24, 2022
Cougar Queries are a series profiling BYU employees by asking them questions about their work, interests and life. Today, we meet Coral Taylor, community service coordinator at the Center for Service and Learning.
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection=false overrideCardHideByline=false overrideCardHideDescription=false overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection=false overrideCardHideByline=false overrideCardHideDescription=false overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText=