2019 University Conference Honors Brigham Young University's Best
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At the Y

University Conference Award Winners

Each year at University Conference, BYU honors campus employees for their outstanding service, scholarship, and abilities. Learn a little about this year’s top three awardees:

Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Faculty Lecturer

Ramona Ovard Hopkins (AS ’75), professor of psychology and director of BYU’s neuroscience program

Ramona Ovard Hopkins.
Ramona Ovard Hopkins. Photo by BYU Photo.

Most rewarding: “Working with students. Whether that’s teaching or doing research in my lab, . . . it’s the best part of what I do.”

Why psychology? “I have a son who had an accident where he experienced a lack of oxygen to his brain. . . . I started trying to find ways to help him and realized there wasn’t a lot of research. It ultimately led me to go back to graduate school in psychology.”

Guilty pleasure: “Curling up with a good book about history and finding a place to hide out and read uninterrupted.”

Ben E. Lewis Management Award

Headshot of Chelita De La Roca Pate.
Chelita De La Roca Pate. Photo by BYU Photo.

Chelita de la Roca Pate (’92), coordinator of international study programs

Most rewarding: “The light in the students’ eyes when they connect to a culture or a language or a country.”

Favorite travel program: “How do you choose? Every culture has its uniqueness. And every time you go to a different country it just presents different learning opportunities.”

Dark secret: “If I tell you what country [has the best dark chocolate], there will be a lot of people disagreeing with me. . . . I really like European dark chocolate.”

Fred A. Schwendiman Performance Award

Headshot of Charles M. Anderson.
Charles M. Anderson. Photo by BYU Photo.

Charles M. Andersen, special-events supervisor for BYU athletics

Most rewarding: “Seeing a facility set up, clean, and ready for an event. There’s a certain pride in presenting BYU’s facilities in a positive light to visitors.”

Worst custodial cleanup: “We had a microburst in the Marriott Center parking lot and the drains couldn’t handle it, so [mud and debris] overflowed and came right down the hill into Miller Park. It was bad.”

Favorite spot on campus: “The press box at Miller Park, looking over the baseball field.”