The Praemon Team

mikeMike Godfrey (President, Analyst)

Michael is a senior, studying Middle Eastern Studies & Arabic with a minor in history at Brigham Young University. He recently returned from a study abroad program in Amman, Jordan. Michael hopes to one day work with the federal government where his interest in national security issues can be developed and utilized. (click here to read Mike’s articles)

Alex Profile

Alex Simmons (Editor-in-Chief)

Alex Simmons is a senior at Brigham Young University studying comparative literature and editing. In addition to his work at Praemon, Alex is a research assistant for the National Middle East Language Resource Center and a text analyst for Dr. Royal Skousen. Alex has studied Arabic and is currently taking German courses. His interests include literature, language, and politics. Through his experience with Praemon, Alex plans to pursue his career in editing.


Michael Fields (Vice President, Analyst)

Michael Fields is currently a junior at Brigham Young University studying Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic. His interest in international affairs and national security began when he lived in Germany during his Middle School and High School years. Michael was a full-time volunteer for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for two years in Edmonton, Alberta. He is currently a security analyst for Brigham Young University and serves in the Army National Guard. Michael looks forward to a career serving his country. (click here to read Michael’s articles)

Abe CollierAbe Collier (Analyst)

Abe Collier is a junior at Brigham Young University and majoring in Philosophy, which has allowed him to study and analyze a variety of disparate topics such as politics, business, ethics, culture, international relations, music, and even sports. He also minors in Latin American Studies and Business Strategy and learned Spanish while serving an LDS mission in Washington State. His internship in Puebla, Mexico  teaching job-hunting seminars and studying Mexican culture and literature has spurred an intense interest in Latin American politics and foreign affairs, subjects he now covers for Praemon. Future plans include management consulting, grad school, and university administration, though he intends to welcome any unexpected opportunities that come up along the way. (click here to read Abe’s articles)

Christian Curriden (Analyst)

Christian Curriden is a junior at Brigham Young University studying History, Korean, and Chinese.  This fall, he plans to take a semester off of his work as a research assistant for professors Hyer and Larsen and travel to China for language studies.  In the future, he looks forward to participating in the Chinese Flagship Program, and later going on to postgraduate studies in East Asian history. (click here to read Christian’s articles)

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Gayleen Webb (Editor)


Gayleen is a junior at Brigham Young University studying English Language with minors in both Spanish and Editing. Gayleen’s passion lies in the linguistic side of her major. She speaks Spanish and has taken a bit of German. Gayleen would love to pursue a career in editing in television or radio broadcasting after graduation.



Logan Dopp (Analyst)

Logan is a junior, studying International Relations at Brigham Young University. He recently returned from a study abroad program in Beijing, China where he studied comparative politics between the US and the People’s Republic of China. He also served a mission for the LDS Church in New Jersey where he learned to speak Spanish and learned about a variety of Latin American cultures. Last year, Logan founded a non-profit organization called H2O International. They help to bring clean drinking water to those in need. Following graduation, he plans to continue studying other cultures and systems of government and hopes to work in the Foreign Service. (click here to read Logan’s articles)


Shayla Johnson (Editor)

Shayla Johnson is a senior from Washington state studying English language and linguistics with a minor in editing at Brigham Young University. She works as a research assistant for the linguistics department in second language acquisition and study abroad program design. Shayla became interested in travel and international relations after studying in Ireland and the United Kingdom, and plans to attend graduate school after she finishes her bachelor’s degree. Shayla’s interests include travel, scuba diving, photography, publishing design, and language.


Skye Herrick (Analyst)

Skye Herrick is a senior, studying International Relations with an emphasis in Middle Eastern Studies.  He is also minoring in International Development and African Studies.  Skye has interned in Amman, Jordan and Kampala, Uganda and enjoys researching intergroup conflict and the causes of anti-social behavior.  Skye’s favorite activity is to travel but also enjoys scuba diving, eating odd foods, and making jokes that only he laughs at.  After graduation Skye plans to attend graduate school and work in the conflict resolution arena. (click here to read Skye’s articles)


Sydney Outzen (Analyst)

Sydney Outzen is a junior at Brigham Young University studying International Relations with an emphasis in International Politics and Arabic. She grew up in northern Virginia and the DC area where her family fostered her interest in politics. She also has an interest in education policies and worked as an intern for Teach for America. Currently, Sydney is looking forward to returning to DC for a summer internship and spending fall semester with BYU’s study abroad program in Amman, Jordan. Following graduation, she hopes to work as a human rights analyst and complete a graduate degree in International Conflict. (click here to read Sydney’s articles)

Taylor Shippen

Taylor Shippen (Analyst)

Taylor Shippen is an International Relations student at Brigham Young University. After receiving an Associates Degree from Utah Valley University, Taylor began studying Political Science at Brigham Young University in 2009. After serving as a missionary in the ethnically diverse region of Chicago for two years for the LDS Church, Taylor become interested in International Relations and has since become involved with many facets BYU’s Kennedy Center for International Studies. Since 2012, Taylor has traveled on BYU’s Global Diplomacy study abroad, served as an officer within the BYU Foreign Service Student Organization, and has been a member of ISSA, BYU International Study’s honor society. (click here to read Taylor’s articles)

photo (3)Ted Ellsworth (Analyst)

Ted is a freshman at Brigham Young University double majoring in International Relations and Arabic. He grew up in Idaho Falls, Idaho. His love for international affairs developed early in high school as a result of competitive debate and through participation in Amnesty International. He looks forward to studying abroad in the Middle East and hopes to work with a non-governmental organization promoting human rights. (click here to read Ted’s articles)