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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.

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