Swensen Mentorships

The Russel B. Swensen mentorship fund was established by a generous gift from Elder Robert C. Gay to honor a BYU professor who made a significant impact on his father’s life. The purpose of this mentorship fund is to provide BYU students with an opportunity to work with faculty members at the Institute in a mentored research environment.

Current Recipients

Hansen-KatherineKatherine Hansen (Fall 2016-Summer 2017)

Katherine received a Swensen Mentorship to work with the Women, Travel and Manuscripts research team led by Dr. Kristian Heal. The team is working to publish the travel narratives of Helen and J. Rendel Harris. The Harris’s travelled to the Middle East between June 1888 and May 1889 to visit biblical sites, visit Quaker missions and collect manuscripts. Katherine is working to edit and annotate this unpublished narrative, and prepare introductory materials that historicize the events narrated.

Katherine is a junior at BYU completing her undergraduate studies in geography and editing.

Hyde-Aryanna-cropAryanna Hyde (Fall 2016 – Summer 2017)

Aryanna received a Swensen Mentorship to work with the Women, Travel and Manuscripts research team led by Dr. Heal. The team is working to publish the travel narratives of Helen and J. Rendel Harris. The Harrises travelled to the Middle East between June 1888 and May 1889 to visit biblical sites, visit Quaker missions and collect manuscripts. Aryanna is working to edit and annotate this unpublished narrative, and prepare introductory materials that historicize the events narrated.

Aryanna is a sophomore at BYU majoring in International Relations.

Past Recipients

Young-AubreyAubrey Young (Spring 2012-Summer 2013)

Aubrey Young worked with Dr. Kristian S. Heal on the reception of Genesis in the Armenian tradition in connection with Dr. Heal’s larger project to study Genesis in Scripture and Ancient Tradition. Her work involved preparing an annotated bibliography of the abundant Armenian sources on Genesis, which will appear on the project’s website. Aubrey also researched the description of Adam, Eve and the Fall in Armenian sources with the goal of writing a publishable paper. This research project introduced Aubrey to Old Testament apocryphal sources in Armenian, and to methods of studying the reception and rewriting of the Old Testament. Aubrey also worked on the papers of the J. Rendel Harris, transcribing letters received from I.H. Hall.

Bateman-EmilyEmily Bateman (Summer-Fall 2012)

Emily Bateman worked with Dr. Kristian S. Heal on the history of Birmingham University’s Mingana Syriac collection, which is the last great Syriac manuscript collection physically assembled in Europe and North America. The collection was gathered by Alphone Mingana between 1924 and 1937, when he died. Emily helped to prepare an annotated transcription of the correspondence relating to this collection. This project explores the social and intellectual networks that facilitated the growth of Syriac studies in the United Kingdom and North America during the beginning of the 20th century. The outcomes include a full transcription of the correspondence and a glossary giving biographical, geographical and historical information relating to the correspondents and the contents of the letters. Through this project Emily learned to work with archival sources, learned the standards of documentary editing, researched aspects of early 20th century social and intellectual history, and helped to prepare a publishable glossary to the collection.

Fuller-BertRobert Fuller (Winter 2013-Summer 2013)

Bert Fuller began working as a research assistant for Dr. Kristian Heal in January 2013.  As an undergraduate, Bert majored in English with a focus on medieval languages and literature. As Dr. Heal’s assistant, he researches the reception history of Genesis in Anglo-Saxon England. It is his responsibility to collect in one place all Old English and Anglo-Latin materials that engage Genesis. In addition to this, he is creating bibliographic entries on key secondary sources.

Bert completed his undergraduate degree in August 2013, and then began a master’s in comparative studies at BYU. He is grateful for the opportunity to work at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute, which has been afforded him by Dr. Heal and funded graciously by the Russel B. Swenson Endowed Mentorship Fund.