BYU Colleges Highlights: MBA Team Wins Competition, Student Uses Research Skills to Fight COVID-19

Marriott Business School

BYU Marriott students Stéphanie Maynes Aldous, Kailey Battaglia, Michelle Dangerfield and Angela Smith won the Utah Venture Capital Case competition. (Marriott School of Business)

A team of BYU Marriott School of Business MBA students won the Utah Venture Capital Case Competition. Stephanie Maynes Aldous, Kailey Battaglia, Michelle Dangerfield and Angela Smith developed and defended an investment thesis for Tequity for their participation in the competition. Founded by Sydney Davis, Tequity makes mobile app design more accessible to entrepreneurs. The BYU team drew on past experiences with BYU Cougar Capital at the Marriott Center, a student organization that gives students practice building source deals and private equity firms. Aldous said the women involved now feel better prepared to excel in their careers.

“Every time I research and diligently on a case, I learn something new,” Aldous said. “Sometimes it has to do with how an investor can evaluate a trade. Other times, I learn about the inner workings of the business from a management perspective. The more offers I evaluate, the more successful models I see.


College of Life Sciences

Andrew Sheffield, a student at BYU College of Life Sciences, is using his research experience to help run COVID-19 tests. (Throws well)

A BYU student uses his research experience to help run COVID-19 tests. Andrew Sheffield (’22), a student at the College of Life Sciences, is working on genetics and wildlife conservation as part of the research group supervised by Assistant Professor Paul Frandsen. This group is focused on monitoring how wildlife repopulated the mountains after the Pole Creek megafires in 2018. Sheffield amplifies DNA samples using a polymerase chain reaction machine to ” that the samples are large enough to be examined. Sheffield recently started working at a hospital and learned that his work of collecting insects and extracting DNA qualifies him for the similar principle task of assisting with COVID-19 testing.

Sheffield said the supervised research and hands-on experiences improved his education, and he expressed gratitude for the new learning opportunities and his ability to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Learning is the process of understanding, and when we can better understand the world around us, it allows us to be a more proactive member of the community,” Sheffield said.


College of Family, Home and Social Sciences

BYU’s Autism Connect research group published new research studies and won awards for their results in improving autism diagnoses and other related studies. (Nate Edwards / BYU Photo)

The BYU Autism Connect research group has published research studies and won awards for its results in improving autism diagnoses and related autism-based studies. BYU Professor Terisa Gabrielsen and other colleagues received a Top Ten rating for 2020 for their article in the Pediatrics journal describing ways to speed up the diagnostic process for children with autism who would otherwise miss important intervention opportunities. BYU doctoral student Emily Anderberg and Professor Mikle South published a study in the Journal of Autism Developmental Disorders on how parents are affected by their child’s autism diagnosis. BYU professors Jonathan Beck and Rebecca Lundwall had research published in the journal Autism on the consequences on the mental health of women who try to hide their autistic traits in order to integrate better.

“We want to focus on autism as a way to be different, not as a way to be broken,” South said. “Providers should discuss strategies to promote child success, but let’s also talk about the positive characteristics associated with autism, such as reliability, persistence, focus, attention to detail and original thinking. “

Future research objectives at Autism Connect include ensuring that every child is properly screened for autism during wellness check-ups.


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Paul N. Strickland

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