June 7-8, 2013
Rejoice, the Heavens are Open
The 17th Annual Southern Virginia University Education Conference will feature two
days of instructive and inspiring presentations
on the theme, “Rejoice, the Heavens are Open.” The annual conference has a rich tradition of hosting highly qualified, influential speakers from across the country to present on a variety of topics and themes.
The conference, which is organized and hosted by a committee chaired by Kathleen Knight, also will feature a musical performed by Southern Virginia's theatre program and a concert. We invite you to join with other conference attendees and gather to the historic Shenandoah Valley this summer for spiritual, cultural and educational enrichment.
This Year's Presenters
Elder Marlin K. Jensen
Elder Marlin K. Jensen is an emeritus member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He previously served as executive director of the Church History Department and as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy. Professionally, he practiced law, specializing in business and estate planning. He received a bachelor’s degree in German from BYU and a juris doctorate from the University of Utah. He and his wife, Kathleen, have eight children and twenty-five grandchildren.
Julie B. Beck
Julie B. Beck served as general president of the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 2007 to 2012. During her administration, the book “Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society” was published and the Relief Society logo was simplified to benefit a worldwide Church.
She also has served the Church in a number of callings including service as first counselor in the General Young Women Presidency and as a member of the Young Women general board.
Beck attended Dixie College and received a bachelor’s degree in family science from Brigham Young University. She and her husband, Ramon, have been married since 1973 and have three children.
Lee Donaldson is manager of proselyting services in the Missionary Department and bishop of a YSA ward in Provo, Utah. He previously has served as president of the California San Diego Mission and as Global Director of Leadership Development for the Church.
Professionally, Donaldson spent 26 years as a teacher and administrator in the Church Educational System. He also has consulted and trained many leaders of Fortune 500 companies and authored a book on communication and learning titled, “Pushing up the Sky.” He also has written articles in the Ensign and Church News and is a contributing editor of the “Book of Mormon for Latter-day Saint Families.” He and his wife have five children and thirteen grandchildren.
Dr. Ronald E. Bartholomew
Dr. Ronald E. Bartholomew currently serves as an instructor at the Orem University Institute of Religion, where he teaches Christian history, LDS Church history, and courses on the Standard Works of the LDS Church. He received a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from Brigham Young University and a doctorate in sociology of education from the University of Buckingham in London, England.
He has published scholarly articles in academic journals in the United States and Europe and has written several chapters in various published volumes. His research interests include nineteenth century missionary work in Victorian England as well as assorted topics in ancient scripture and church history. He and his wife, Kristen, have seven children and four grandchildren.
Dr. Matthew Rasmussen
Dr. Matthew Rasmussen is a full-time instructor at the Buena Vista Institute of Religion. He received a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Utah, and both a master's degree and doctorate in history from the University of Lancaster in Lancashire, England.
He has been an employee of the Church Educational System for ten years, serving in the capacities of full-time seminary instructor and seminary principal before his current position at the Buena Vista Institute of Religion, which he began in 2011. He and his wife, Jessica, have four children and reside in Buena Vista, Va.
Leslie Whyte Graff is an artist whose work is characterized by organic themes, repeating patterns and expressive color. She received a master's degree from Brigham Young University and her graduate research focused on children's art as an expressive tool. She completed child life clinical training at Johns Hopkins.
She has taught at the college level and served as a child life specialist. She also has traveled to numerous countries doing humanitarian work as a child life specialist. She is the psychological and developmental specialist for the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation and also works through a cultural arts grant as an artist-in-residence with a local school.
Graff currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three sons.
W. Todd Brotherson is an assistant professor of business and the J. Thomas and Anne Moreland Smith chair at Southern Virginia University.
Professor Brotherson came to Southern Virginia University in 1998 from the doctoral program in corporate finance at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia.
In addition to his work at the university, he has taught at the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce, The Chase Manhattan Bank's training programs for analysts and associates, and LEAD, a national business survey program for top-level minority high school seniors interested in business careers. He lives in Buena Vista, Va. with his wife, Carrie, and their three daughters.
Professor Taylor is an assistant professor of music at Southern Virginia University.
He joined the faculty in 2000 after serving on the faculties of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Viterbo College. He also spent three years teaching secondary-level orchestra classes in public schools at Texas and Idaho. At Southern Virginia, Taylor teaches core music courses and directs the Southern Virginia University String Orchestra. He and his wife, Samee, are the parents of eight children.
James Oneil Miner
James Oneil Miner is one of today's most popular pianists, composers, and entertainers. Audiences world-wide have enjoyed attending his concerts and have been impressed by his large repertoire of songs. His ability to play spontaneous requests from audience members has thrilled and amazed his listeners. Like his live performances, his piano recordings help to illustrate his love and enthusiasm for music from all genres and generations. Miner was recently honored with the prestigious "Instrumentalist of the Year" award from the World Wide Bookseller's Organization.
Dr. Kaye T. Hanson
Dr. Kaye T. Hanson is a retired management communications professor at Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management. She has worked with dozens of Fortune 100 companies, training them in writing documents and making oral presentations.
Hanson previously served as associate director of the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies, where she was responsible for guiding the curriculum, faculty and students. She served a full-time mission to Germany for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a young woman, and recently completed another mission to Europe—where she trained local leaders and young people in 32 countries on opening Centers for Young Adults for the Church. She previously served on the Young Women General Board of the Church.
She received a doctorate in theater directing and German from BYU in 1984. She has two children and nine grandchildren. Her permanent residence is in Provo, Utah.
Glade M. Knight
Glade M. Knight is the founder, chairman and CEO of the Apple REIT companies, a group of real estate investment trusts that collectively own 275 Marriott and Hilton brand hotels. He also is chair of the Southern Virginia University board of trustees.
Knight served on the board of trustees of the Council for America's First Freedom for nine years. This nondenominational, nonpolitical, non-profit organization is dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of religious freedom in the United States and internationally. He also is a member of the advisory boards and councils of several universities. He and his wife, Kathleen, have four children and fourteen grandchildren.
Paul K. Sybrowsky
Paul K. Sybrowsky is president of Southern Virginia University. He previously served in the Second Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 2005 to 2011. His service as a general authority included presiding over the Australia Area of the Church and serving as assistant executive director in the Church History and Audiovisual Departments.
Professionally, he co-founded and served as president of Dynix, Inc., which went on to become one of the world’s leading library services corporations. He was named Utah’s Small Businessman of the Year, and Utah’s Entrepreneur of the Year in the field of technology. He and his wife, Lynne, have been married since 1968 and have nine children and 23 grandchildren.
Contact the Southern Virginia University Office of Events at 540-261-8453 or firstname.lastname@example.org