Change people's lives at home and around the world

Donate Online

Finding Meaning and Defining Experience

January 2021

College of Humanities

Young man standing in front of trees on campus at BYU.Ryder Seamons

In high school, Ryder Seamons was a voracious reader. When it came time to apply for college, he wasn’t quite sure what to study, so his mother suggested English. “I came to BYU and declared as an English major on the first day,” he says. Following a two-year mission to Taiwan and three years as a research assistant at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute, Seamons is still an English major, but now he is also studying Chinese.

Seamons has had several inspiring learning opportunities along the way: he published a paper in an undergraduate research journal, his team placed second in a business-plan competition conducted in Chinese, and his research was recognized at a conference. Seamons also directed public relations for last year’s BYU China Conference, and today he is preparing applications for law school.

“I see myself working in civil rights, environmental law, or perhaps international law. I crave something meaningful,” he says. “I have found so much meaning in English studies and research.” Seamons says his work at the Maxwell Institute has defined his BYU experience, “Being part of a community of thoughtful scholars of differing faiths has enriched my life.”