Provo—BYU Law, a leading national law school focused on innovation in Corpus Linguistics, Entrepreneurship, Social Justice and Religious Freedom, announces the appointment of James A. Heilpern and Sara White as Corpus Linguistics Research Fellows. These two new fulltime fellowship positions, made possible by a grant, were created as part of the school’s commitment to pioneering the emerging field of the Law and Corpus Linguistics, a methodology for understanding the meaning of words by analyzing naturally occurring language in large collections of texts called “corpora.” The Research Fellows will support fulltime BYU Law faculty chosen to oversee development of the corpus linguistics program, including Dean Gordon Smith and professors John Fee, D. Carolina Núñez and Michalyn Steele. This investment is part of a range of new appointments, platforms and programs being developed around this emerging area of the law. BYU Law has created the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA), a billion-world online corpus-based study of language and culture; and the Corpus of Historical American English (COHA), which identifies semantic changes and illustrates a word’s increasing or decreasing popularity. BYU Law is also building the Corpus of Supreme Court of the United States (COSCOTUS) and the Corpus of Founding era American English (COFEA), which examines the meaning of words at the time the Constitution was drafted. For the past four years, BYU Law has offered the only course on law and corpus linguistics in the United States. BYU Law is also facilitating discussions about and application of corpus linguistics within the law with symposiums, workshops and soon-to-be-released online tools and platforms for corpus research and practical corpus use. In his role as Law and Corpus Linguistics Fellow, Heilpern will work with BYU Law faculty to generate academic writing, scholarship and amicus curiae briefs pertaining to the legal corpus linguistics field. He will also support BYU Law in developing and teaching seminars, workshops, boot camps and other programs to familiarize the legal community with the use of corpus linguistics. Prior to joining BYU Law as a Fellow, Heilpern clerked for two federal judges – the Honorable Edith Brown Clement on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans and the Honorable Robert H. Cleland on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit. His legal work experience includes working for the Utah Supreme Court and the Criminal Appeals Division of the Utah Attorney General’s Office. He has presented on topics related to law and corpus linguistics at academic conferences in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Heilpern earned his Juris Doctor degree from BYU Law in 2015, where he served as Lead Articles Editor for the BYU Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He received his Bachelor of Science in Archaeology with a minor in Ancient Greek from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he graduated with highest honors and with distinction. Originally from Charlotte, NC, he recently relocated to the Provo area from New Orleans with his wife and son. White will aid in the design and development of the legal corpora and the corpora methodology, help organize law and linguistics conferences at BYU Law, develop a corporate linguistics training program for faculty and students, and work with law professionals to write and publish content about the combination of law and linguistics. She will work closely with professors and faculty to highlight how corpus linguistics can be used in legal matters. Prior to her appointment as a fulltime Corpus Linguistics Research Fellow, White was a Teaching Assistant in the Brigham Young University (BYU) Linguistics Department. Outside academia, she has corporate and agency public relations experience. She also has served as an English-to-Indonesian interpreter and translator for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other clients. In 2011 she received a Fulbright-Hayes Group Project grant to attend Satya Wacana Christen University in Indonesia. White has had more than 25 articles published in BYU’s The Daily Universe. She earned a Master’s in Linguistics from BYU earlier this year; her thesis topic was corpus language planning theory of Indonesian pronouns. White also earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from BYU in 2012. She resides in Provo.
Salt Lake City—McKinnon-Mulherin, a Salt Lake City-based communication firm, is pleased to announce the promotion of Justin Parnell to Team Leader effective Oct. 9, 2017. Justin joined the company in December 2015 and has worked on proposals, grants, training projects and articles as a writer, editor and project leader. He has proven to be an invaluable team member and an organized, effective leader. Parnell joins the management team as Team Leader for the Technical Writing and Sales & Business Communication divisions at McKinnon-Mulherin. In this role, he will oversee all proposal, marketing and technical writing projects, supporting and mentoring the team members who help clients win business and improve documentation. Madeline Brown, Team Leader, will now oversee the Learning Solutions and Editorial Services divisions, including McKinnon-Mulherin’s quick-turnaround proofreading and editing service, Double-Check.
Salt Lake City—The Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR) Board announced that Thom Carter has been selected as the new Executive Director of the non-profit organization dedicated to clean air in Utah. Carter brings a diverse background, including work in the political and policy arena alongside international experience in professional sports. In the policy world, he served from 2009 to 2011 on the elected Montgomery Township Committee in Somerset County, New Jersey during the economic downturn. His leadership there ensured essential services were provided to citizens during difficult budget years. He has also worked on policy initiatives in New Jersey and Utah tied to health care and transportation respectively. Carter’s professional sports background includes growing Major League Baseball’s operations in Australia and helping to build a new indoor football league here in the United States. Carter replaces former UCAIR Executive Director Ted Wilson, who retired earlier this year.
Washington, D.C.—Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) has hired a new Chief of Staff, Chris Harmer. Harmer is a former infantryman in the United States Marine Corps and a retired Commander, United States Navy, where he served as a Naval Aviator and a strategic planner. He is a graduate of Woods Cross High School in Woods Cross, Utah, the United States Naval Academy, and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Prior to joining Representative Stewart’s staff, he was Senior Naval Analyst at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy research organization in Washington D.C. He has published numerous articles through ISW and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), and is a regularly scheduled guest on multiple television networks.
Salt Lake City—Utah Senate President Wayne Niederhauser has appointed Mark Thomas to serve as Utah Senate chief of staff. As chief of staff, Thomas will oversee Senate operations and staff management, and will serve as the Senate’s primary spokesperson. Thomas will advise the Senate President and membership on issues related to policy, communications and constituent relations. Thomas currently serves as the chief deputy and director of elections for Lt. Gov. Spencer J. Cox. Prior to this position, Thomas served as office administrator to then Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert. He was appointed director of elections in 2009 by former Lt. Gov. Greg Bell, and has since focused on modernizing Utah’s elections and campaign finance, developing online voter and absentee registration, and updating antiquated election laws. Thomas was the recipient of the 2012 Governor’s Award for Excellence for Innovation and Efficiency, the 2013 Making Democracy Work Award and the 2014 G. Homer Durham Distinguished Service Award. He is a graduate of the University of Utah. Thomas will transition to this new position in mid-November.