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The BYU-Pathway Team

It is no secret that BYU-Pathway employees love their job. With BYU-Pathway's availability increasing around the world, there is always something new and exciting for them to look forward to. They see the program with a special perspective, and because of that, they are able to shed light on the rich blessings and opportunities that come from the program.

See what these BYU-Pathway employees have to share from their experiences with the program:

On Service

Andy Cargal
Communication Manager
BYU-Pathway Worldwide has helped me see the world from other people’s perspectives. When doing administrative work, it can sometimes be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day details and forget about the larger purposes at hand. Pathway is the one place I have worked where I find myself constantly thinking about the students and missionaries and how my work affects them. It is refreshing, and it makes me excited to come to work every day.

Andy enjoys watching Once Upon a Time, traveling with his family, and eating anything made with pumpkin or chocolate.

Ismar Vallecillos
Area Manager, International
I always wanted to give back to the Lord. I didn’t just want to go through life taking. BYU-Pathway fulfills my desire to serve the Lord.

Ismar speaks English, Spanish, and Italian, and he is learning Portuguese. He is frequently seen around the office sipping yerba mate—a traditional South American drink.

Jason Eldredge
Systems Integration Manager
I enjoy being able to help people who are invested in themselves and are striving to better their lives and their family’s lives. It’s a choice experience to be part of an organization that puts the students first and has their best interest in mind in every decision.

Jon Phister
Area Manager, U.S./Canada
People. I love the people I work with—fellow BYU-Pathway employees, Church service missionaries, institute employees, priesthood leaders, and others. I love how Pathway provides a common element where all of these people can work together to positively influence members of the Church. It’s a great blessing.

Jon enjoys great food (cooking and eating), BYU football, and spending time with his family.

On Gospel Blessings

Corey Christensen
Area Manager, International
For me, there are two major blessings of working at BYU-Pathway. The first is seeing the impact that the gospel has in individuals’ lives. I get to hear and sometimes personally witness the experience of a brother or sister who has come back to the Church after many years of making many wrong choices. To see, hear, and feel their renewed commitment and love for the gospel is inspiring and has blessed my life is so many ways. The second blessing is having the opportunity to work with people of tremendous capacity, vision, and drive. To me there is a sense of consecration as people give of themselves selflessly and contribute their knowledge and expertise, all in an effort to bless lives and build the kingdom.

Corey loves experiencing other cultures and traditions and has hit a “hole in one” in golf. He likes to dress up as an elf at the work Christmas parties.

Trevor Shelton
Student Guide Coordinator
Working with so many inspired people makes me want to be better, and when I hear the gospel messages, it brings the Spirit into my life and then into my family’s life.

Before coming to Pathway, Trevor worked as a middle school physical education teacher. He is also a huge Boise State University fan.

Matt Richards
Area Manager, International
One of the promises in my patriarchal blessing is that I will play a role in building up the kingdom of God around the world, and I see working for BYU-Pathway as a direct fulfillment of that promise.

Matthew’s wife is from South Africa, and his son was born while they were living in Turkey, but his favorite country is Georgia.

Inside BYU-Pathway

Gene Hayes
Director, International
PathwayConnect helps students grow more resourceful, committed, and responsible, as well as to become life-long learners, be better attuned with the Spirit, and realize what the Lord would expect of them. All of these wonderful outcomes, plus the additional skills the students gain, affect their temporal well-being directly.

Gene is a competitive squash player (no, not the vegetable). He also loves soccer and learning from new cultures.

Cindy Perdue
Service Portfolio Specialist
The things that I enjoy most about working for BYU-Pathway are the never-ending changes, the people I work with, seeing this program grow so much every semester, and hearing the testimonies from students whose lives have changed because of Pathway.

Cindy’s dream job is being Keith Urban’s personal assistant.

Nathanael Adams
Area Manager, International
Observing how universally Heavenly Father aligns people's lives to receive His care and blessings is easily the choicest aspect of my job; I am only surprised — and truly humbled — by the fact that He has allowed me to be a part of this work.

Nathanael loves laughing, and he does impressions of Barney the Dinosaur and Gollum from The Lord of the Rings.

Mike Cordon
Area Manager, U.S.
The rapid expansion of BYU-Pathway is certainly exciting. I feel privileged to be involved with blessing the lives of so many students who would never be able to come to Rexburg, Idaho, to pursue their educational goals, but who now are on a path toward spiritual growth and a college education. I appreciate the many service missionaries and local leaders who are a key part of its growth.

Mike likes working out at the gym and enjoyed having a beard prior to coming to BYU-Idaho. He is also a big Denver Broncos fan.

John Wilson
Area Manager, U.S.
What we’re doing every day affects lives in an eternal way and the future of BYU-Pathway. Knowing that what you do daily is meaningful and builds others is refreshing. It’s worth any sacrifice to be able to wake up every day and feel happy to go to work.

John loves In-n-Out Burger and going on adventures with his wife, Jessica.

On the Blessings of Education

Steve Thomas
Success Network Director
I’ve seen students come from places where they have nothing in their lives; I’ve seen them struggle. Once they taste the big picture of education, nothing will stop them from being successful.

After serving a mission in the Nevada Las Vegas West Mission, Steve returned to Las Vegas and worked as a member of the security team for Celine Dion, Elton John, and Jerry Seinfeld.

Bryan Pope
Director of PathwayConnect and Curriculum & Systems
Gaining an education is foundational to being self-reliant. This doesn’t mean that everyone needs a bachelor’s degree, but it does mean that usually one of the things holding people back temporally is access to education. As a person gains an education, they become more capable and thereby more qualified for employment. They are also better able to manage their resources.

Bryan enjoys eating squishy green peas from a can. He met his wife in a first-grade play when he was the cat, and she was the hen.

Lynne Landon
Project Coordinator
As students progress through their educational journey, their minds are broadened in powerful ways. They begin making connections and applying new understanding to previously unrelated matters. PathwayConnect students are blessed as they take the skills developed in their courses and apply them to their personal and professional circumstances. The students will then magnify their stewardship and reap real temporal blessings — whether that is through new job opportunities or simply wise management of their personal time and finances.

Lynne would love to have her own bakery someday and is known around the office for her delicious cupcakes and treats.

Johanna Powell
Enrollment Specialist
Education can benefit a BYU-Pathway student in all aspects of their life. Education opens doors to new opportunities. Those opportunities help students reach their financial and family goals.

Johanna loves early mornings and thinks eating ice cream is appropriate at any time of the day.

Doug Willden
Area Manager, U.S.
I have seen the pursuit of formal education open the doors to employment for countess people. The opportunities are not limited to just financials gains. One of the greatest blessings of education is the opportunity for individuals to utilize their gifts and talents to serve in ways previously unavailable. It allows members of the Church to expand their reach and improve conditions in their community.

Doug worked as an institute director in California before joining the Pathway team.

On BYU-Pathway's Success

Bryan Justesen
Director, U.S./Canada
I think the real key to BYU-Pathway’s success is the alignment with priesthood objectives. I have heard one Area Seventy after another testify that PathwayConnect is an important component of the work of salvation and the hastening of that work led by President Monson. At its core, it’s about the rescue. When Church leaders who hold priesthood keys use PathwayConnect as a rescue tool, they open the heavens in behalf of their members. Not because PathwayConnect is cool, but because they exercise divine power through the priesthood – PathwayConnect is just a vehicle through which the Lord can deliver the blessings He wants His children to receive.

Bryan loves family road trips, baseball, gardening, and BBQ. He is also an expert in making cheesecake, ribs, and cannoli.

Steve Adams
Director of United States and Canada Online Programs
I am blessed to work with people who seek the guidance of the Spirit in the work we pursue. It is rare to work on teams where everyone practices this way of finding a way forward and seeking the needed help from heaven to be successful.

Steve enjoys camping in his free time and served in the United States Marine Corps.

J.D. Griffith
Managing Director
After getting the initial charge from President Kim B. Clark to explore the option of creating an online program that utilized Church facilities, we conducted a series of focus groups across the country. Young adults who were not enrolled in school were asked the question, ‘What is keeping you from attending a college or university?’ Based on their responses, we built the foundation of BYU-Pathway. Most academic institutions build their programs first, telling the students what they need to do. We counseled with potential students first, then followed the impressions and promptings to design, what is now, PathwayConnect.

J.D. is the managing director of BYU-Pathway, which is, in his words, “a long title and really just means he goes to a lot of meetings.” He loves camping in the great outdoors inside his heated, 30-foot camp trailer.

On BYU-Pathway's Influence

Joenee Briones
Area Manager, International
Confidence is one of the immediate blessings that comes to students. Yes, in their professional skills, but more importantly in the Lord and His promises. There is a change that takes place in the lives of students — it is a great blessing. As they take PathwayConnect seriously, they will not only learn to excel in their chosen professional fields, but they will learn to be led by the Spirit in every aspect of their lives. That will spread to their communities. Those who associate with these students will be influenced by their spirituality and come to know the Savior through their examples.

April Spaulding
Volunteer Network Manager
BYU-Pathway Worldwide provides a chance for everyone to be involved in something profoundly life changing. The change that takes place varies from person to person as though it adjusts to fit the needs of the individual. What’s remarkable is this change isn’t just seen in the lives of students as they become more willing to improve, develop into better stewards of resources, and have an increased capacity and desire to serve others—it is seen in those they touch, whether a spouse, extended family member, a local leader, or even a service missionary. All are changed forever by what BYU-Pathway offers.

April is known for her laser beam focus and her sassiness. In college, she competed on stage as a body builder.

Brigham Taylor
Area Manager, U.S./Canada
Being a part of BYU-Pathway Worldwide is humbling to me. I see even greater how God loves each of His children. He is bringing education to the Saints in ways that weren’t previously available. BYU-Pathway is blessing lives, families, and generations because people are lifted educationally and spiritually. Seeing that has humbled me as I realize that BYU-Pathway is in the Lord’s hands, and it is for the Saints.

Brigham was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and makes sure everyone knows he is a “Clevelander.” He is a fan of the Cleveland Indians, Browns, and Cavaliers and hopes to see a championship once before he dies. He also follows the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Angie Steggell
Graphic Design Specialist
What I love about working for BYU-Pathway is seeing the difference that it makes in the lives of the students. It’s amazing to work for a program that strives to bring the gospel and education to so many people around the world. I admire those people changing their lives for the better through the gospel and hard work.

Angie loves traveling and singing in her car. She is a firm believer that pearls can make anything look classy.

Advice to Students

Josiah Carlson
BYU-Pathway Support Operations Coordinator
I have found President Gordon B. Hinckley’s optimism to be very motivating to me during stressful academic times: ‘Now, be faithful, be true, go forward, be ambitious. Don't short-circuit yourself. Don't stop now. Keep growing. Keep going. Educate your minds and your spirits and never lose sight of the fact that you are a child of God with a divine destiny and capability of doing great and good and wonderful things. Don't sell yourselves short.... The work of the world isn't done by geniuses. It is done by ordinary people who have learned to work in an extraordinary way — people of your kind who can do these things. I repeat. Don't sell yourselves short.’

Josiah is an understated genius with a quirky, dry sense of humor. He has set the record for the world’s fastest computer.

Caleb Trujillo
Communication Specialist
Heavenly Father wants us to learn and grow. He takes joy in seeing us progress in this life. Because of that, He is willing to help us in any way possible. Seek His guidance and divine assistance. Put forth your best efforts and allow the Lord to help you daily.

Caleb loves soccer and owns a different sweater for every day of the month.