Brent D. Beal
Heather K. Olson Beal
Jessica Duckett Finnigan
Researcher Contact Information and Bios
Dr. Brent D. Beal received his Ph.D. in Management from the Lowry Mays College and Graduate School of Business at Texas A&M University. He has served on the faculty of the E. J. Ourso College of Business Administration at Louisiana State University and the College of Business at McNeese State University. Dr. Beal is currently an Associate Professor of Management in the College of Business and Technology at The University of Texas at Tyler where he teaches strategic management. His vita and a description of ongoing projects can be found at www.brentdbeal.com.
Heather K. Olson Beal is an associate professor of secondary education at Stephen F. Austin State University, where she teaches courses in student diversity, educational foundations, classroom management, and literacy. Her scholarship examines the issues of school choice, second language education, and the educational experiences of immigrant students.
Jennifer Beu graduated from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder with an MS and BS in Accounting. After two and a half years in public accounting performing financial statements audits for public and private companies, she is currently in internal audit for a cable, internet, and telephone company. She enjoys big data and data analysis and is interested in how it can improve our decision making and risk assessment.
Eric Canen is a Senior Research Scientist and manager of the Center of Health and Education Studies at the University of Wyoming, Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center. He has served as principal investigator on many survey and evaluation projects dealing with substance abuse and mental health issues. He has overseen the data collection, analysis and reporting of a large scale biennial survey of students in Wyoming since 2006. He has also studied the effectiveness and sustainability of large scale multi-site substance abuse prevention initiatives in Wyoming and North Dakota. Mr. Canen earned his B.S. in Psychology from Brigham Young University and two M.S. degrees in Psychology and Statistics from the University of Wyoming. His research interests include the application of sampling and survey methodologies to study social impacts of policy change. He is also interested in the practical application of survey methods to guide decision making and inform social change.
Caitlin Carroll is a graduate student in Comparative Politics in the Political Science department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her broad research interests include women’s movements, feminist political theory, and women in elected office. Her current project is looking at the dynamics of authoritarianism and gender politics, with the primary case being Tunisia during the Bourguiba regime (1957-1987). She has also dabbled in Mormon feminist research, looking specifically at why Mormon feminists stay or leave through the framework of Albert Hirschman’s exit-voice-loyalty model.
Ryan Cragun is a husband, father, and sociologist of religion (in order of importance). Originally from Utah, he now lives in Florida and works at The University of Tampa. His research and writing focuses on religion, with an emphasis on Mormonism and the nonreligious. His research has been published in a variety of academic journals, including: Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Sociology of Religion, Nova Religio, Journal of Religion and Health, and Journal of Contemporary Religion. He’s the author of two books, Could I Vote for a Mormon for President? and What You Don’t Know About Religion (but Should). For more about his work and copies of his peer-reviewed articles you can visit his website: www.ryantcragun.com. When he’s not working, he’s spending time with his wife and son, cooking, watching science fiction, hiking, playing soccer, or tinkering with computers.
John Dehlin is a Ph.D. candidate in Clinical and Counseling Psychology at Utah State University. John’s research and clinical interests focus on the nexus of mental health and religion; he has published several articles dealing with anxiety disorders and LGBT concerns within a Mormon context. John is also the founder of Mormon Stories Podcast.
Jessica Finnigan is currently a Masters student at King’s College London, in the Study of Religion in Contemporary Society. She recently completed an Advanced Diploma in the Study of Religion at the University of Cambridge. Her research centers on the intersection of technology and religion focused on the impact of innovation and the internet on religious communities. She graduated from BYU in 2003 with a BS in Marriage, Family, and Human Development. She and her husband have 4 daughters age 11-6 years old. Jessica co-authored “I’m a Mormon Feminist”: How Social Media Revitalized and Enlarged a Movement. Which was published last year in the Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion.
Brad Jones is finishing up a PhD in political science. He has worked extensively with survey data and analysis. He also has a general interest in “uncorrelated” Mormonism.
Stephen Merino is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. His academic interests include religion, race and ethnicity, social psychology, and social networks. Stephen’s research focuses on the role of religion in shaping social and political attitudes. His most recent work uses national survey data to examine the influence of religion in Americans’ social networks. His work has appeared in major journals such as Social Science Research, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Review of Religious Research.
Kristy Money received her PhD in Counseling Psychology from Brigham Young University in 2010. She counseled students at BYU’s counseling center and wrote her dissertation on Utah suicide prevention. Her areas of emphasis include qualitative research methods, psychological test construction, and Mormon women’s mental health.
Lindsay Nielson is finishing her Ph.D. She has experience working with survey data over her academic career. She has designed some of her own surveys and has experience in doing surveys in Utah in particular. She is also personally interested in researching more about how LDS members view feminists and their goals.
Michael Nielsen is professor and chair of psychology at Georgia Southern University. His research focuses on the psychology of religion, with many of his publications examining social psychological aspects of Mormonism. He is coeditor of The Archive for the Psychology of Religion, and he serves on the editorial or advisory boards of five other journals, including Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. He teaches courses in social psychology and psychology of religion, and has delivered invited lectures on the subject in Ukraine and Turkey. He was raised LDS and most recently taught his ward’s marriage and family Sunday School class.
Nancy Ross wants to help popularize the notion that gender issues in the Mormon church are complex and represent a serious issue for a significant percentage of the church community. She has been involved in research on feminism and race in the Mormon church and plans to continue investigating these kinds of issues.
Matt Stearmer is a Ph.D. Candidate of Sociology at The Ohio State University. His academic interests include social movements, gender, networks and public health. His current research explores structural level constraints on change through three distinct lines of thought: network effects on idea diffusion and cultural identity, documenting social change and stability through the Women and Peace Thesis, and identifying the structural constraints on access to healthcare for semi-vulnerable populations like rural-veterans, women and Native Americans. His work has appeared in the Journal of Peace Research, and in a book titled Sex and World Peace.
Amber is a doctoral Candidate within the Counseling Psychology program in the Educational Psychology department at the University of Utah. She is currently an instructor and researcher for the university. Her past research and publications have involved microaggressions that LGBT populations experience in a religious setting, and the roles that Mormon women play. Her current research focus involves women’s and social justice issues. She continues to research religious issues, particularly LDS issues. She practices as a feminist multicultural counselor and believes in empowering clients through a strengths-based approach.