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Alumni Achievement Awards

Awardees

Brigham Young University graduates with significant professional accomplishments from each college are honored with Alumni Achievement Awards. See past awardees.
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2021 ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

Rick Nielsen

Rick Nielsen

David O. McKay School of Education

Lecture: You Learn Lots from Zots!

Time: Thursday, Oct. 7, 11:00 a.m.

Location: 115 MCKB

Rick Nielsen (BS ’90, MED ’95) has been involved in public education for over 30 years. After graduating from BYU with a BS in Education and a master’s in Educational Leadership, Nielsen served as a sixth-grade teacher, elementary school principal, and district-level administrator. He is currently the Superintendent of Nebo School District, which has an enrollment of nearly 35,000 students. In 2020, Nielsen was recognized as the Utah Superintendent of the Year. Although he serves on many boards (Chair of the BYU/Public School Partnership, Utah Valley University Board of Trustees, co-chair of the UVU/MTech K-12 Alliance, Nebo Education Foundation Board, and Envision Utah), he finds time to pursue his hobbies: reading widely, attending cultural events, and supporting student activities in his district. He and his wife, Karen, have five children and reside in Spanish Fork, Utah.

Craig Chandler Paullin

Craig Paullin

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering

Lecture: At the Intersection of Engineering and Entrepreneurship: Views from the Edge

Time: Thursday, Oct. 7, 11:00 a.m.

Location: JSB Auditorium

Following his graduation from BYU in Mechanical Engineering, Craig Paullin (BS ’83) received an MBA from Yale University and then began working for Pacific Sintered Metals. In 1998, he purchased the company and became president. The company has grown to become a leader in design and engineering solutions for the automotive, medical, power tool, and sporting goods industries primarily using the powdered metal and metal injection molding processes. Paullin has acted as a board member and elected president of the Powdered Metal Parts Association, an international trade group. He has also volunteered time as a member and president of the Board of Directors of the Yale School of Management (SOM) Alumni Association and as a member of the Yale SOM West Coast Advisory Board. Returning to BYU, Paullin has been an active member of the BYU ACET Council (2015–2019) and BYU Engineering Executive Council (2020–present). When not working, he loves surfing, skiing, and backpacking. He and his wife, Susan Wynn, have four children.

Leslie Hinchcliff Edwards

Leslie Hinchcliff Edwards

College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Lecture: What's my Mission Now, Mom?: Reflections on a Mission Statement

Time: Thursday, Oct. 7, 11:00 a.m.

Location: 250 KMBL

California native Leslie Edwards (BS ’71) began her life as a singer, performing and touring with many shows throughout her high school and college years. However, her history degree and liberal arts education at BYU helped her pivot into a role as a television journalist in Saudi Arabia, where she lived with her husband and children. Faced with imminent war, her family chose to stay. Edwards worked for NBC Network News, covering the Gulf War, Khobar Towers bombing, and other events in the Middle East. She also made their home a haven for U.S. soldiers. After 22 years, the family returned to the United States and Leslie continued as NBC’s Net Desk Producer, organizing the news bureaus for the 2002 Winter Olympics and remaining through the kidnapping and recovery of Elizabeth Smart before retiring to teach third grade. She is an award-winning educator who current teaches in a gifted/talented program in the Salt Lake School District.

Nathan Pacheco

Nathan Pacheco

College of Fine Arts and Communications

Lecture: God Wants Us to Dream

Time: Thursday, Oct. 7, 11:00 a.m.

Location: Madsen Recital Hall HFAC

While attending a BYU devotional, Nathan Pacheco (BM ’05) was inspired by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s words and decided to take a leap of faith to pursue a career in music. He has since become internationally renowned as a classically trained tenor. Though a Washington, D.C. native, Pacheco is of Brazilian descent and uses the country’s culture and spirit to inspire his voice and compositions. His love of culture and traveling has taken him across the globe, and he has learned to speak and compose in English, Portuguese, Italian, and Spanish. He has performed for live audiences throughout the world—including a 100-concert tour with his musical mentor, Yanni, in the United States, Mexico, and Canada; a tour to England, Scotland, and Wales with Katherine Jenkins and the National Symphony Orchestra; a tour to Puerto Rico with Olga Tañon; and a performance at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. Pacheco and his wife, Katie McKinney, have three beautiful children.

Bonnie L. Oscarson

Bonnie L. Oscarson

College of Humanities

Lecture: The Journey that Began Under an Apricot Tree: A Life of Learning through Literature

Time: Thursday, Oct. 7, 11:00 a.m.

Location: B092 JFSB

Salt Lake City native, Bonnie Oscarson (BA ’09), studied American and British literature at BYU but graduated 41 years later when she returned as a non-traditional student. Bonnie and her husband, Paul, married in the Salt Lake Temple and have seven children and 29 grandchildren. When just 29 and 25, they served as mission presidents in the Sweden Göteborg Mission. They loved their time in Sweden and in 2009 returned to serve as President and Matron of the Stockholm Sweden Temple. Just four years later, Bonnie served as the Young Women General President of the Church, and during her tenure, served on the Missionary Executive Council, the Church Education System Board, and the BYU Broadcasting Committee. She was released in 2018 and currently serves on the BYU Management Society’s advisory council. Bonnie and Paul are now Primary instructors in their ward and serve as workers in the Provo Temple.

Roy Montclair

Roy Montclair

J. Reuben Clark Law School

Upon graduation with a BS in Psychology and a JD from the J. Reuben Clark Law School, Roy Montclair (BS ’90, JD ’94) began his legal career as a law clerk for Justice Guy Burningham at the Fourth Judicial District Court of Utah. Montclair is currently Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary at 1-800 Contacts. Serving over 20 million customers, 1-800 Contacts is the largest retailer of contact lenses in the U.S. While in this position, Montclair has been involved in the passing and implementation of the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act and the Contact Lens Rule. This federal statute and regulation were landmark laws for the contact lens industry, revolutionizing the interactions between consumers, eye care providers, and retailers. Montclair manages the legal needs of 1-800 Contacts and its affiliates, covering a broad range of businesses including contact lens fulfillment, eyeglasses, vision insurance, contact lens manufacturing, and telemedicine offerings. Montclair and his wife, Charla Roberts, reside in Riverton, Utah.

Dr. Candace D. McNaughton, MPH MD PhD

Dr. Candace D. McNaughton, MPH MD PhD

College of Life Sciences

Lecture: A Call to Action: Faith and Service Through Science

Time: Thursday, Oct. 7, 11:00 a.m.

Watch lecture here


Amid a global pandemic, Dr. Candace D. McNaughton (BS ’01) has focused her research on long COVID, as well as acute heart failure and hypertension in the emergency department. Following a BS in Microbiology at BYU, McNaughton attended medical school at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, followed by a residency in emergency medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. There she also completed a 2-year fellowship in patient safety and quality improvement, a Master of Public Health, and a PhD in Epidemiology. She has received research support from the National Institutes of Health, the Veterans Administration, and the Department of Defense. In 2021, she and her husband Justin, whom she met in a microbiology course at BYU, and her two children moved to Toronto. Since coming out of quarantine and lockdown, the family has enjoyed exploring the city and making new friends.

Brandon M. Robinson

Brandon M. Robinson

Marriott School of Business

Lecture: Where Do We Go From Here: A Perspective on RACE (Religion, Academia, Community and Economics)

Time: Friday, Oct. 8, 10:00 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.

Location: 710 TNRB

With more than 16 years of financial services experience, Brandon Robinson (BA ‘05, MBA ‘09) currently acts as Deputy Chief Administrative Officer of J.P. Morgan Asset Management and CFO of Global Alternatives. He is involved in the Investment Committee for Project Spark, a J.P. Morgan proprietary capital fund investing in women and diverse venture capital funds. Robinson is also a member of the Black Leadership Forum for J.P. Morgan and is a special advisor to the asset management CEO on black employee advancements. Additionally, Robinson is the chair of the board of directors for ExpandED Schools, a non-profit organization dedicated to building education systems in underrepresented communities in New York City. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four daughters and have returned to BYU as members of the BYU Marriott School National Advisory Council, where Robinson serves as chair of the Advisory Board on Race.

Dr. Mary Williams

Dr. Mary Williams

College of Nursing

Lecture: The Healer’s Art: A Light Unto the World

Time: Thursday, Oct. 7, 11:00 a.m.

Location: Alice Louise Reynolds Auditorium (1060 HBLL)

Mary Williams (BS ’71) believes hers is a profession that enables one to walk in the steps of the Master Healer. After receiving her BS, MS, and PhD, Williams began her nursing career at LDS Hospital where she received the Outstanding Nurse Award. In 1978, she returned to BYU and taught medical-surgical nursing, intensive care nursing, leadership, and nursing research. For 27 years, she served as the Associate Dean in the College of Nursing as well as serving on the University Graduate Academic Council and the Faculty Development and Research Council. With a nursing career of 48 years, Williams has served as chair of the State Board of Nursing and State Board Education Committee, a member of the Intermountain Health Care Research Council, and the Utah Medical Education Council. She currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees for Mountain View Hospital. Williams enjoys traveling, gardening, and the wonderful blessing of her nieces and nephews.

Scott Strobel

Scott Strobel

College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences

Lecture: Having Faith While Having Questions

Time: Thursday, Oct. 7, 11:00 a.m.

Location: W112 BNSN

Professor, scientist, and woodworker Scott Strobel (BS ’87) has a wide variety of interests. Upon completion of a BS, PhD, and postdoctoral research, Strobel joined the Yale faculty in 1995 and has served as Department Chair, Vice President for West Campus Planning and Program Development, Deputy Provost for Teaching and Learning, and Provost of Yale University. His responsibilities have included the implementation of scientific, artistic, and educational efforts in the new Yale West campus, strategic planning efforts in the sciences, and serving as the university’s chief academic and budgetary officer. Strobel has co-authored over 150 scientific papers, and his personal research focuses on RNA catalysis. At home, he has an extensive woodshop where he builds furniture and makes bowls from wood reclaimed from BYU campus trees. Some of his craftsmanship is in the Yale University Art Gallery. He and his wife, Lynnette, have three children and four grandchildren.

Dr. Nikki Eberhardt

Dr. Nikki Eberhardt

David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies

Lecture: Leveraging Disruptive Innovation to Tackle Intractable Global Challenges

Time: Thursday, Oct. 7, 11:00 a.m.

Location: 238 HRCB

Nikki Eberhardt (MA ’01) credits her parents for her drive to enact social change and to act upon the blessings and opportunities she has been given. Eberhardt works to give under-resourced communities the capacity to empower themselves. She focuses primarily on edtech, executive leadership, and scalable social impact. Eberhardt is a professor of business at Minerva University, an innovative institution focused on utilizing technology to drive change. She teaches startup finance, marketing, and social entrepreneurship. Eberhardt is on Delta Air Lines’ corporate Global Talent Team to craft leadership development and mentor-culture strategies. Eberhardt is an executive team member of various organizations, including EVP Impact eThree, EVP Partnerships for UCO, and talent for Global Citizen. She was the co-founder and president of the United Nations Women Chapter in Utah. She received an MBA from Oxford University and a PhD from the University of Utah. She and her husband, Andrew, have three children.