Category: Education

A History of BYU’s Economics Department


BYU Economics Department pic

BYU Economics Department

Kenneth Brailsford serves as a general partner with KEB Enterprises, a venture capital and private equity firm that he founded. Kenneth Brailsford comes to his work leading companies like Nature’s Sunshine and Zija International after having completed a degree in economics from Brigham Young University (BYU) in Utah.

The Brigham Young Academy was founded by Karl G. Maeser, overseen by Brigham Young, in 1875. The first economics course was implemented in 1895, and the school’s first official department of economics came together in 1921.

In the 1950s and 1960s, school enrollment boomed with the end of World War II, and the department grew. However, certain problems arose that destabilized the school environment. Because of the sudden need for more classes and faculty hours to respond to demand, economics professors were spending much more time teaching than researching, which prevented them from advancing in their careers. Another issue was presented in the form of Ernest L. Wilkinson, a staunch conservative who feared that teaching standard economics topics would lead the students away from church principles. Several bright economics professors left in this uncomfortable environment where their research was not being supported.

In the 1970s, however, J. Fish Smith made a major donation to the department that allowed professors to teach less and research more. It also brought in renowned scholars like Nobel laureates Robert Fogel and James Buchanan. Since that time the department has continued to grow, with over 700 students majoring in economics at BYU today.


Eating Habits of School Children

Known as the Father of Herbal Encapsulation, Kenneth Brailsford cofounded Nature’s Sunshine in 1972. Kenneth Brailsford holds a bachelor of science from Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah.

The Department of Economics at BYU was founded in 1921 and today has roughly 28 faculty members, who teach and research on a number of topics related to economics from game theory to industry dynamics. Recently, the work of one of BYU’s economics professors, Dr. Joe Price, was featured in the national media.

For some time, Dr. Price has been studying the eating habits of school children. Specifically, he examines whether children eat the fruits and vegetables served to them for lunch. A federal rule mandates that school children be given fruit and vegetables with their lunches; however, many children simply throw them away. When this happens, children miss out on the health benefits of eating their fruits and vegetables, and tax dollars are wasted.

Dr. Price has done studies on the situation in Utah public schools and has come up with two simple methods that lead to more children eating their fruits and vegetables at lunch. The first is to offer children a small reward such as a nickel or a raffle ticket for a larger prize. The second is to move recess before lunchtime so that children aren’t rushing through their lunch to get out the door to the playground.

BNY Stands out with Strong Social Media Engagement

Brigham Young University  pic

Brigham Young University

The founder of Nature’s Sunshine and Zija International, Kenneth Brailsford has more than 40 years of experience in the herbal encapsulation field. Kenneth Brailsford holds a bachelor of science in economics from Brigham Young University (BYU), which recently ranked eighth in the country among the universities with the most social media engagement.

Every year, the Higher Ed Social Media Engagement Report ranks universities based on their social media engagement, as measured by follower growth and communication with followers. One of the main drivers of BYU’s high ranking is its highly-engaged body of students and alumni, who drove the university’s Twitter handle to the number five spot in the nation, a drastic jump from last year’s ranking of 21. The handle now has nearly 52,000 followers.

Another factor that helped BYU soar was its Instagram page, which jumped from 17th to 12th in the rankings. The university relies on strategies based on user-generated content, including posts by students studying abroad. Thanks to these strategies, BYU’s Instagram page has grown to include more than 91,000 followers.

BYU to Welcome Kristin Chenoweth to Its 2017 Homecoming


Kristin Chenoweth pic

Kristin Chenoweth

Kenneth Brailsford has more than four decades of experience in the nutritional-supplement industry, having founded such companies as Nature’s Sunshine and Zija International. Also a former missionary with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Kenneth Brailsford earned a bachelor of science in economics from Brigham Young University (BYU), which has announced that Kristin Chenoweth will perform at the school’s next Homecoming event.

BYU is planning a special 2017 Homecoming, featuring award-winning actress Kristin Chenoweth, who has performed in Glee and Wicked. Sponsored by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Deseret First Credit Union, the show will take place on October 7, 2017, at BYU’s Marriott Center, and will include two 90-minute performances, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

In addition to Kristin Chenoweth, the events will feature GENTRI: The Gentlemen Trio and several BYU groups, including the Men’s Chorus, Young Ambassadors, Vocal Point, and Contemporary Dance Theatre. For tickets, visit