The Crocker Innovation Fellowship Program at Brigham Young University is a year-long, interdisciplinary innovation experience.  Students learn the tools of innovation and practice them under the mentorship of experience faculty.  Crocker Fellows receive a fellowship stipend and innovation teams receive funding to support the development and testing of their innovations. The program is made possible by the generous financial support of Gary and Ann Crocker.

CROCKER FELLOWS 2015

Preston Alder Business Strategy

Preston Alder is from Boise, ID and is majoring in business strategy. He enjoys solving problems in the world through a business perspective. His experience has included working for startups in the Utah Valley Area and currently working for University Venture Fund, the largest student-run fund in the nation. Preston also enjoys learning new skills, playing a variety of sports, reading books, and playing challenging board games.

Garret Bassett Economics

Garret Bassett is from Huntsville, Utah and is majoring in economics with minors in strategy, philosophy, and Chinese. After graduating, he plans to pursue a profession in management and also hopes to contribute to the process of making education more effective and accessible. Garret speaks Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and Portuguese. He enjoys traveling, making music, and meeting new people.

Taylor Bell Computer Science

Taylor Bell is from Farmington, Utah, majoring in computer science. He spent last summer working as a technology analyst at Goldman Sachs and looks forward to technology consulting with Pariveda Solutions. Taylor has cultivated a desire to innovate after witnessing his brother co-found the Ragnar Relay Series and he plans to create a successful company of his own upon graduation. He enjoys spending time with his wife and newly born daughter.

Jacob Brewer Computer Science

Jacob Brewer is from Provo, Utah and is double-majoring in computer science and Arabic. Ever since Jacob was a child, he has been passionate about problem solving—from inventing a hand-made anti-stink shift mask, to developing a new social media data-mining algorithm and co-founding an NGO helping Iraqi refugees. Jake enjoys writing on his blog, listening to business and tech podcasts, and playing chess and soccer.

Alison Brand Industrial Design

Alison Brand is from Bountiful, Utah, majoring in industrial design with a minor in business management. Alison is passionate about using design not only to create visually appealing products, but to solve problems in the world. Alison enjoys creating things with her hands, running, playing the guitar, making delicious food, and woodworking.

Kyle Brown Mechanical Engineering

Kyle Brown grew up in Liberty Lake, Washington. He is studying mechanical engineering with a minor in computer science, and plans to pursue advance graduate studies. Kyle competes for the BYU Track and Field team as a pole vaulter, and dreams of competing in the Olympics someday. He wants a career that will allow him to spend time with his future family, continually learn and innovate, and make a positive difference in the world.

Travis Chambers Computer Engineering

Travis Chambers is from Grayson, Georgia, majoring in computer engineering. He loves building and designing things, especially if they haven’t been built before. He worked for a tech company from 2013 to 2015 and built several useful applications there. He enjoys real estate investing and renovation. Travis plans on using his technology expertise to solve the modern world’s big challenges in creative ways.

Tyler Christiansen Industrial Design

Tyler Christiansen is from Spring City, Utah and is majoring in industrial design. He has experience working as an aircraft mechanic, building AH-64E Apache Helicopters for the Boeing Company with specialization in sheet metal and composite fabrication. He is passionate about improving the designs within the transportation industry. Tyler enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 children.

Ben Crabtree Technology & Engineering Studies

Ben Crabtree is from Paradise, California, majoring in technology and engineering studies with a business management minor. Ben is fascinated by creativity and technology. He enjoys building aesthetically pleasing, functional products that empower others to do the same. Ben’s ultimate goal is to bring new products and experiences to the world that add value to people’s lives. Ben likes going on outdoor adventures with his wife, snowmobiling, and motorcycling.

Alex Gunnarson Computer Science

Alex Gunnarson is from northern Virginia, majoring in computer science and likely minoring in logic. His interests range from philosophy and metalogic, to user interface design, classical architecture, world religions, and linguistics. He enjoys improvising on the piano and has composed several orchestral works. Alex is an avid programmer and a Clojure enthusiast. Alex plans to pursue an MBA and ultimately launch a software startup within five years.

Keith Halterman Computer Science

Keith Halterman is from Chatham, New Jersey, majoring in computer science. He has a provisional patent in Multi-User CAD collaboration tools and is the current president of BYU ACM. His passions lie in entrepreneurship and collaborative computing. Keith plans to earn a master’s degree in computer science, after which he hopes to work with startup companies.

Adam Hansen Bioinformatics

Adam Hansen is a bioinformatics major from New Hampshire who plans to shape his career around innovation management. He has minors in Chinese, business management, and computer science. Adam’s publications to-date include genome annotations, music albums, and religious articles. After graduation he aims to be a key player in bringing tools to market that enable physicians to diagnose and treat patients on an individualized basis.

Hunter Hofstrand Industrial Design

Hunter Hofstrand is a current student of industrial design. He is originally from Winters, California, but now lives with his wife, Brenna, in Provo. Hunter has developed his skills in rapid prototyping, product design, and design thinking through many research projects in BYU’s Computer Science Department. He looks forward to designing consumer goods for the outdoor industry. He enjoys rock climbing, hiking, cycling, and other outdoor activities.

Casey Hubbell Mechanical Engineering

Casey Hubbell is from Redlands, California and is majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics. Casey has spent his studies maximizing the efficiency of processes through optimization techniques. He is pursuing an MBA and would like to work in consulting startup businesses.

Matthew Killian Mechanical Engineering

Matthew Killian is a mechanical engineering major from Kaysville, Utah who loves history, furniture design, and architecture. He currently works both as a research assistant for the BYU PACE Lab where he helps develop multi-user CAD software, and as a product design consultant for a local start-up providing task management software. After graduation, Matthew plans on leveraging his innovation and design skills in the development of products which delight users.

Parker Lusk Computer Science

Parker Lusk, from Oklahoma City, is majoring in electrical engineering with a minor in computer science. His passions include embedded devices, signal processing, and the Internet of Things. He has worked at a local tech startup, Verisage LLC, as a software developer, and enjoys the startup culture and keeping up with the newest technologies. Parker is excited about innovation, bringing new ideas to life, and solving interesting problems.

Zaid Malhees Genetics & Biotechnology

Zaid Malhees is from Ramallah, Palestine, and is majoring in genetics and biotechnology, with a minor in management. Zaid plans to pursue a PhD and an MBA before starting a career in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industry. He hopes to one day start his own biotech firm. Zaid enjoys tennis, hiking, and is an avid modern art enthusiast. He is fluent in Arabic and English, and is currently learning Hebrew and Frenc

Brooke Maxwell Computer Science

Brooke Maxwell hails from New Mexico, where she learned to appreciate desert mountains, physics, and green chiles. She is fascinated by learning and discovery, which has given her a multitude of interests and led her to study computer science on realizing its creative potential. She currently works at BYU, researching ways to use new technology to enhance education.

Cory McArthur Industrial Design

Cory McArthur is a passionate industrial designer who loves to create. He is a maker, a form giver, and an entrepreneur. His young family keeps him on his toes, and inspires many of his designs. Cory believes that through research, observation, and asking the right questions, he can create truly innovative user centered solutions. He enjoys hands on learning through prototyping and building his own products. His work can be seen at www.corymc.com.

Wei Meng Molecular Biology

Wei Meng is from Mainland China and is majoring in molecular biology. Wei intends to pursue a PhD in cancer biology after his graduation from BYU and eventually a career in the drug-development industry. With his Chinese background, he is excited to combine the knowledge of Chinese traditional medicine with modern medicine and technologies, and to explore better methods for cancer treatment and cancer prevention.

James Parker Electrical Engineering

James Parker is from Merrimack, New Hampshire, majoring in electrical engineering. James ascribes his love of engineering to his passion for creating and innovating, and believes the principles of engineering have valuable application in the business world. James plans on completing either an MBA or a master’s degree in computer science, eventually pursuing a career in technology-based venture capitalism and entrepreneurship. James enjoys political discussions, snowboarding, camping, and playing the bagpipes.

Janae Pettit Industrial Design

Janae Pettit is from Clarksville, Tennessee, majoring in industrial design. She loves designing and creating things with her hands such as furniture, clothing, and outdoors equipment. She enjoys spending time with her husband and son cycling, rock climbing, snowboarding, stand-up paddle boarding, and surfing. Janae intends to have a career as a designer for a small company that focuses on children’s products or furniture that will encourage a beautiful and uncomplicated way of life.

Shane Pittson Information Systems

Shane Pittson was born in the San Francisco Bay Area and is currently studying information systems and computer science. He has done technical marketing for Silicon Valley start-ups, is the co-founder of Schmutz Watches, and has helped to found companies in the food, fashion, and smart hardware product industries. He enjoys maintaining a garden of house plants and is revered by friends for his performance of Frankie Valli’s “December 1964” on karaoke nights.

Joshua Powell Computer Engineering

Joshua Powell is from Morrison, Colorado, majoring in computer engineering. Josh enjoys skiing, competitive weightlifting, and puzzles. He is an inventor at heart and hopes to combine engineering and entrepreneurship to solve basic problems. Before serving a mission in Manaus, Brazil, Josh traveled to Haiti with a team of medical volunteers to provide emergency relief to earthquake victims. He hopes to apply engineering to address some of the safety and socioeconomic concerns that exist worldwide.

Kevin Reece Computer Science

Kevin Reece is from Eagar, Arizona and is studying computer science with a minor in business management. After graduating from BYU, he will pursue a combined master of software engineering/master in business administration and eventually work as a software process consultant. He is very interested in understanding and improving the human interactions that create great software. He loves hanging out with his wife, reading, and learning jiujitsu.

Paul Rogers Genetics & Biotechnology

Paul Rogers is from Scottsdale, Arizona. He is currently studying genetics and biotechnology with an emphasis in business management. Rogers is passionate about the biotech industry and its massive potential for life-altering innovation. His goal is to one day be a part of the legal and/or administrative side of the industry.
 

Parker Schnepf Mechanical Engineering

Parker Schnepf is studying mechanical engineering and hails from Mesa, Arizona. He loves figuring out how things work and applying what he knows to improve the world. He has a deep love for Latin America, and is currently working with a team to design and build cheap and sustainable water filters for villages in Peru. He hopes to pursue graduate level studies and aspires to use his abilities to help others.

Benjamin Smith Finance

Benjamin Smith is from Huntington, New York, majoring in finance with a minor in computer science. In his recent internship at Ford Motor Company, he discovered the utility of programming in automating many of his co-workers’ daily tasks. Ben is pursuing various programming languages to further his abilities in advanced process automation in hopes of developing useful software, both for big business and the individual. He enjoys piano improvisation, cycling, and learning languages.

Eric Townsend Mechanical Engineering

Eric Townsend is from Tulsa, Oklahoma studying mechanical engineering. He currently does research in robotics and has a passion for working on humanitarian engineering projects that can make a difference. He enjoys running, being outdoors, and reading good books. He eventually wants to have his own company designing innovative products.

James Usevitch Mechanical Engineering

James Usevitch is from El Paso,Texas and is majoring in mechanical engineering. James has been innovating and creating with his brothers since childhood, making anything from a wooden go-kart to potato cannons. He is currently interested in computer-aided engineering and design. His dream is to improve the lives of people throughout the world by creating new technology and products. He loves composing music, and plays the piano, guitar, ukulele, and kazoo.

Blake Williams Business Strategy

Blake Williams is from Keller, Texas and is majoring in business strategy. Blake previously worked at Peak Venture Capital and is currently working for one of their portfolio companies, RepDrive. He plans to apply his knowledge of innovation by founding a startup of his own. His hope is to use innovation as a way to improve the lives of others. Blake enjoys aquascaping, traveling, and spending time with his wife.

Sam Williams Accounting

Sam Williams is an accounting major from Houston, Texas. Contrary to popular accounting stereotypes, he is very outgoing and enjoys soccer, curling, and competitive ping pong. Ever since his 8th grade debut into the business world with a thriving candy selling business, he has loved everything related to business and entrepreneurship. He plans on beginning his career in management consulting following his graduation.

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