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Cougar Queries is a series profiling BYU employees by asking them a few simple questions about their work, interests and life.

Name:  Jim Kasen

BYU employee since:  January 2000

My job at BYU is... Director of University Relations. Our office considers it a privilege to host guests who come to BYU such as General Authorities, ambassadors, consul generals, religious leaders and other guests from various walks of life. We do our best to provide them with an exceptional experience; one they will fondly remember. In addition, our team works closely to organize and execute major, presidential events on campus. We are considered the protocol office for the University and often consult with colleges and departments to support their important events.

Currently I'm working on... planning for Annual University Conference and August Graduation. Personally: writing and publishing a 6th volume of hymn arrangements for the organ.

The biggest disaster I have averted was when... I was heading home from Myton, UT, after giving a fireside a number of years ago. I was driving a small Mazda when I rounded a bend on a two-lane highway and I had the impression to slide down in my seat a bit. As I rounded the bend, there was a cow in my lane and oncoming traffic heading in the opposite direction. I started honking my horn. I failed to remember cows are not known to move with lightning speed. I swerved just enough to avoid t-boning the cow and ended up hitting its hind quarters. Thankfully, I walked away with only a scratch on my left hand. The car was all but totaled. The didn't survive. 

I get a little star struck when... I meet up with the workers who restock the Hostess Ho Hos displays at grocery stores.

Mother Teresa sparked my interest in my field and changed the way I view serving people.

When I tell people I work for BYU, they often say... "You need to do something about the parking situation on campus."

The best-kept BYU secret is... the extensive art collection in the MOA.

My go-to BYU Creamery ice cream flavor is... Whoosh Cecil.

I've hiked to the Y... 2 times.

My most cherished memory at BYU was when... I worked as Mack Wilberg's assistant with the Men's Chorus while earning my masters in choral conducting.

I'm secretly good at... making chocolate chip banana nut bread.

I dream about one day... writing a biography for a dear friend.

I wanted to be when I grew up... Three things: A dentist, a garbage man, or a cashier. I think they are all related somehow... Actually I'm doing them all now: pulling teeth, cleaning things up and overseeing budgets.

My favorite saying is..."Well, there you have it."

If they made a movie about my life, I'd be played by... Homer Simpson.



Know of another Cougar we should feature? Email Emily Hellewell.