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Home & Family Alumni

Learn about how BYU-Idaho graduates have utilized their degrees in Home & Family after college.

Where are they now?

A portrait of Madisen

Madisen Busenbark

What inspired you to choose the degree you did?

For as long as I can remember, I have had a strong love for the family. I have seen first-hand the benefits that strong family ties bring to a person's life. I have been blessed with a positive family experience growing up and my relationships have shaped who I am. I have seen the heartache that comes when family relationships begin to deteriorate. It is my understanding that strong family relationships will trickle out into other areas of living and influence society.

It is clear to me that this understanding comes with a responsibility to promote the family in a positive light. I chose the Marriage and Family Studies degree because I understood that I would be able to uplift and strengthen families more effectively as I gained more knowledge concerning relationships.

What was one of your favorite aspects of studying here at BYU-Idaho in this field?

One of my favorite aspects of studying at BYU-Idaho, in this field, are the constant opportunities to get involved in strengthening the family; whether it was through teaching a workshop, writing papers converting the research I was learning into terms others would be able to understand, or volunteering with the Child and Family Advocacy Society.

What was one of the biggest challenges you faced? How did you overcome it?

Time management was probably one of the biggest challenges I faced. There was so much to do and I wanted to do it all. I would come across things to study and opportunities to get involved in that would excite me. Really how I overcame this obstacle was by putting God’s things first. I knew that if I put Him first in the things He expected me to do and never say no to Him, my time would be multiplied and somehow I would be able to get it all done.

How did you know what to do after you graduated?

Actually, I still do not know exactly what I will do now that I am graduated. I know that my objective is to strengthen the family, and I recognize that there are many routes that could be taken to achieve this. That being said, however, I do love teaching and I've learned that from experience. So, I know that I want to teach! Luckily, there are many ways for me to do that too. Right now my focus is on continuing my education and continuing to teach.

One piece of advice that you would give to a student in the Home and Family Department?

If I had to narrow it down to one thing, I would advise students in the Home and Family Department to be proactive! If you seek to get involved, you will be, and when you’re engulfed in good things, you’ll find great joy in the work.

In all sincerity, I love BYU-Idaho and the Home and Family Department!


Thank you Madisen for you story, advice, and example!

With faith in the future, Madisen is moving forward searching for ways to bless families.... how will you find ways to bless families?

A portrait of Peter Beckman

Peter Beckman

How have you been able to help the family since you graduated?

I get to work with individuals, couples, and families currently in the Family Therapy Clinic and being there for them and working with them to have healthy relationships, so helping families is almost a daily thing. It's what drew me into this field of study and career, and I wouldn't want it any other way.

How have you been able to use your degree since you graduated?

Right after I graduated in April 2016, I was able to use my degree with work with children that have developmental disabilities at both Journeys DDA as well as for the Madison School District. While special education wasn't specifically related to Marriage & Family Studies, it still helped build one-on-one skills needed to be a therapist and gain experience in a "helping profession".

Currently, I am working on my Master's in Couples, Marriage & Family Therapy at Texas Tech University ("Wreck 'Em Tech!"). It's been challenging, but it's also been great! I've learned a lot about differing therapeutic models, ethics of the profession, and a lot of hands-on supervision and practice that would be hard to be replicated elsewhere.

What was something essential that you felt like BYU-I taught you?

One of the more essential things BYU-Idaho taught me was to be comfortable and patient collaborating within group work/projects... While they weren't the funnest things, doing that has helped prepare me for graduate school in my cohort now as well as in the future with whatever family, Church, or career opportunities I pursue.

What advice would you give to students still at BYU-I?

My advice would be to just enjoy the blessings and opportunities that you get at BYU-Idaho. It can be hard at times, but my experience at BYU-Idaho was great for me personally and spiritually. It's only a short period of time in your life, but if you apply yourselves and not sweat the small stuff, what you take away from there can be lifelong memories and learning moments that you carry with you wherever you go.

What do you see as the biggest challenge that students will face in your field?

The biggest challenge, and the professors here at Tech talk about it all the time, is to set aside time for "self care". Working with clients that have heavy challenges in their lives can be draining, and you carry a large load emotionally. If you don't focus on your own well-being, you can get lost very easily. Reading a book, watching Netflix, going on a hike, playing video games, etc. can all be useful to help rejuvenate yourself.

a portrait of Belinda

Belinda M. Tanner

Belinda M. Tanner is an Alumni from BYU-I, graduating with a degree in Child Development. She later when to get a degree in law and become an attorney in Idaho Falls. We decided to interview her to learn more about her experience and how she has been able to help families since graduating.

This is her story...

"I grew up in Australia and moved to Canada in 2002 after my husband and I got married. Six years and two kids later we moved to Rexburg to attend BYU-Idaho. I found that I was really interested in the different things that can affect children as they grow and develop. Towards the end of my time at BYU-I, I took Child and Family Advocacy. Brother Rarick, in one of his classes [talked] about how we will go out and advocate for children and families, and one of the things he said was 'some of you will go to law school.' It planted the idea in my mind, and although I shrugged it off at first, I couldn't shake the idea. A year after graduation doors opened up for my to be able to attend Law School at Michigan State University College of Law. While I was there, I got a certificate in Child and Family Advocacy, which included spending a semester in the MSU Law Chance at Childhood Clinic working on custody, guardianship, and adoption cases."

What is something that you were grateful for at BYU-I?

"Something I am grateful to BYU-I for was the honor code. The standards that we live up to... [are] a big step towards professionalism... I had several professors tell me that as potential employers and judges visited the school, it is important to look and act in a professional manner."

How have you been able to use your degree since you graduated?

"Having a Child Development degree has given me the ability to tackle issues involving children from a different angle than other attorneys. Knowing the specific situation of a child and the potential effects it could have on a him or her allows me to make decisions about how to advocate for my client's position in a way that will have a positive outcome on the child in the case. Courts make their decisions involving children based on the Best Interest of the Child standard."

What are you doing with your degree now?

"Right now I am working as an attorney in Idaho Falls. I handle a lot of family law cases including Divorces, Guardianship, Adoptions, Child's Protections Services (CPS) cases. I volunteer some of my time to represent Court Appointed Special Advocates in CPS cases."

Any advice to current BYU-I students?

"There are many ways that you can influence the world, whether it is teaching your own children, or helping those in your community, or influencing society. Figure out how you can make a difference in the world and then go out and do it."

How have I been able to help families since I've graduated?

"I've done a couple of step-parent adoptions where a child, who has had no involvement from their father, was adopted by a step-parent so they could finally have a loving father in his or her life. I've helped kids who have parents who are unable to care for them end up with relatives who love and care for them. I have also helped parents who have had their children taken from them to work towards getting their children back in their care.

My favorite cases are the ones where I get to work to keep families in together."


Here at the Home and Family Department we admire and thank Beldina for her exceptional work in helping and strengthening families! For more information about Belinda, or to contact her.

A portrait of Rebecca Odd

Rebecca Odd

Hey there! I'm Rebecca Odd, and I'm thrilled to be an alum of BYU-Idaho's Apparel Entrepreneurship program. With a love for all things fashion and a knack for getting the perfect fit, my journey has taken me from the halls of BYU-Idaho to a career as a technical designer for Downeast Clothing.

During my time at BYU-Idaho, I got to experience a supportive and collaborative learning community that let me unleash my creativity and sharpen my skills. This program wasn't just textbooks and lectures; it was all about hands-on learning and getting a taste of the real fashion and business world.

I'm excited to share my experiences and insights, showing how my BYU-Idaho education has shaped my career and equipped me with skills that I continue to use every day. As I look back on my journey, I’m eager to pass on what I’ve learned to the next wave of Apparel Entrepreneurship students at BYU-Idaho.

How did the Apparel Entrepreneurship program influence your career path?

The Apparel Entrepreneurship program turned out to be a perfect program for my interests and eventual career! The program provided me with a comprehensive understanding of the fashion industry, from design concepts to production processes, which has been instrumental in my current role. It encouraged me to think outside the box, take risks, and innovate in the ever-evolving fashion world. Furter, the entrepreneurial mindset instilled in me during my time at BYU-Idaho has helped me navigate the challenges and opportunities in the office and the broader realm of the fashion industry.

What was one of your favorite aspects of studying at BYU-Idaho?

One of my favorite aspects of studying at BYU-Idaho was the close-knit and supportive community. The faculty and my peers were incredibly encouraging and committed to helping me succeed. This environment fostered creativity and collaboration, allowing me to explore my passion for fashion design in a nurturing and inspiring atmosphere. It's this sense of community that has continued to influence my professional journey and my approach to work within my career.

Could you share some of the key skills and knowledge you gained from the program that have been valuable to your career?

The Apparel Entrepreneurship program equipped me with a range of valuable skills and knowledge that have been indispensable in my career. These include:

  • Pattern Making and Prototyping: The program provided a strong foundation in pattern making and prototype development, skills that are fundamental to creating high-quality apparel.
  • Fit Analysis: I gained expertise in garment construction and fit analysis for various appareltypes, including knit, woven, and swim styles, which has translated directly into my current roles after graduation.
  • Creativity: The program nurtured my creative thinking and problem-solving abilities, enabling me to come up with innovative solutions in the design and technical aspects of fashion.
  • Business Acumen: The entrepreneurial focus of the program equipped me with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the business side of the fashion industry, including marketing, cost management, and market analysis.

One piece of advice you'd give to students at BYU-Idaho that may be considering studying Apparel Entrepreneurship?

My advice to students considering the Apparel Entrepreneurship program is to embrace every opportunity for learning and networking. Take on internships, connect with industry professionals, and be open to exploring different facets of the fashion world. The fashion industry is ever-evolving, and a curious and adaptable mindset will be your greatest asset. Above all, stay true to your passion and vision—your unique perspective can be a game-changer in the fashion business. Good luck!