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Women of FHSS Profiles
Anna Murphy
Anna Murphy, (BA in Political Science), is an Associate of Business & Program Development at the Milken Institute (MI). In this role, she focuses on securing and stewarding support for MI’s Centers. She assists in building out pathways for engagement for the Institute’s supporters as well as supporting the grants and foundation portfolio at the Institute. She is passionate about improving the lives of those in her community and committed to social good. Anna lives on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. with her husband and dog, Cooper.
Ashley Mendoza
Ashley currently works as a Pre-Health Advisor at the Preprofessional Advisement Center at BYU, and loves empowering and supporting students, specifically on how to achieve their goals and dreams. Ashley grew up in Independence, Missouri. Her parents are immigrants to the United States and they are from the Dominican Republic and El Salvador. Ashley is 1 of 4 children in her family. She is a proud Cougar through and through. She completed her undergraduate education in Human Development and then worked at the United Way of Utah County helping to run their education initiative. She then continued her education and received her Master’s Degree in Social Work at BYU.
Barbara Mecham
Barbara Mecham is a 49 year-old wife, mother, teacher in-training, habitual organizer, furniture refinisher, sewer, caterer, delightfully feisty, gospel-loving woman. She and her husband have been married for 21 years. They are the parents of 14 year-old triplet girls, whom they adore and a dog named Moose whom they tolerate.

Before becoming a non-traditional student at BYU, Barbara worked in various positions in the design, accounting, real estate and legal fields. After a 25 year hiatus, Barbara returned to school with a desire to strengthen families through teaching Family and Consumer Sciences Education (FCS) content, a passion that has blessed her life.
Christy Taylor
Christy, (BA in Fashion Design), is a Senior Technical Developer at Nike. So far, her resume has included assistant designer, theater costumes, patternmaker, grader, retail, freelance, bridal, tailoring, technical designer, and product development. She owned her own freelance studio, worked at small companies, and then 15 years ago, was hired at Nike. She has worked on men’s, women’s, kids, maternity, outwear, base layer, seamless, bridal, alteration, knitwear, and sport (athlete and retail, including BYU!). She feels extremely fortunate to be able to see her product on the athletes and on the fans. She has been married for almost 25 years to her husband, Matt, who she met at BYU. They have 4 kids, 1 son-in-law, and 2 cats.
Dr. Hayley Pierce
Dr. Hayley Pierce is an assistant professor in the sociology department here at BYU. She did her undergraduate and master’s degrees in sociology at BYU and got her PhD in demography at University of California Berkeley. Her research focuses on the wellbeing of women and children, grounded in the idea that child birth, marriage, and family are universal experiences but drastically differ based on location, community characteristics, social norms, policy, and the status of women. Thanks to her own life experiences as a mother of young children and her observations of mothers and children around the world, she feels dedicated to serving these populations in her research.
Emily White
Emily White started her bachelor’s degree in 2002 at BYU-Idaho, graduating with her Associate Degree in General Studies and serving a mission in Berlin, Germany. She was later married and transferred to BYU, withdrawing from college to give birth to their first child and moving to Austin, Texas so her husband could continue his education. Emily always planned on graduating, and intentionally chose to be at home with their children, returning 12 years later to complete her education. Emily is a non-traditional returning student, graduating in April 2021, and planning on doing her Masters of Applied Positive Psychology at University of Pennsylvania.
Marie Fuhriman
Marie Fuhriman is a homemaker and mother of 6 rambunctious and wonderful children. She graduated with an associate's degree in home economics from BYU-Idaho and a bachelor’s in history from BYU. She had a hard time narrowing down her interests to one focus of study because she enjoyed so many subjects. She loves learning, and she is always soaking in information and seeking ways to improve.
Meilanie "Lani" Higgins
Lani is currently a non-traditional student (students age 30+) senior working on her BA in Family History with a minor in Anthropology. Before college, Lani supported her husband while he attended school, and had many significant job roles. She worked in entry-level and influential positions in large and successful companies, including: 97th Floor Marketing as office manager, Air Medical Resource Group as human resource assistant, the University of Phoenix as Utah region financial analyst, and Ancestry.com as project manager/community manager. Her support system is her husband of 26 years, Michael, two sons, daughter-in-law, a beautiful grandson, and her parents.
Phoebe Kung
Phoebe Kung (Roberts) was born in Hong Kong and raised in Laie, Hawaii. She obtained an undergraduate in Psychology and a Master’s in Social Work from Brigham Young University. She now works as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for Development Counseling Services at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She provides counseling for low-income individuals and families in overcoming barriers to self-reliance. She is also a supervisor for graduate social work students. Phoebe is married to an amazing husband studying for law school. They are parents to four beautiful kitties.
Raeni Sroufe
Raeni, (BA in Political Science), and is currently the Manager of Global Business Solutions at Women for Women International (WfWI), an INGO serving women survivors of war in conflict regions around the globe. She has been with the organization for four years in various capacities including IT project management, strategic planning, and fundraising. Before her time at WfWI, Raeni spent 3 months helping to elect Hillary Clinton in 2016 as a field organizer in Pennsylvania. Raeni is originally from Northern California and now lives and quarantines in Arlington, VA with her husband and their (dying) houseplants.
Sara Gordon
Sara, (BS in Psychology), started working at Qualtrics in a sales position. After a year she transferred to an operational role that was better suited to her talents and interests. This year she joined a newly formed team of three as a solution architect for our research services department and she loves it! She partners with the sales teams to understand a client’s custom requirements for their research, whether it’s a technical need or a research need, and works with the engineering teams and research experts to provide solutions. She and her husband are looking forward to the birth of their first daughter in March and she’s grateful to work at a company that has been so supportive.
Tania Barr
Tania was born and raised in Mexico. She served a mission in Chicago, Illinois. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Family Studies in 2015 at BYU, and a Master of Clinical Social Work in 2020. Tania has worked for Development Counseling Services for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since September 2019.
Tanan Yesunmunkh
Tanan, (BA in Sociology), was born in Ulaanbaator, Mongolia and immigrated to the United States at the age of 6. In high school she branched out in her interests by doing extracurricular activities such as rowing, NHS, orchestra, and other activities. She did door-to-door sales all throughout college, launching her career into sales. She worked as a Sales Representative for General Mills for 3.5 years and is currently an Account Executive for Qualtrics.
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