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Student Experiences

MPA Student Receives Garth N. Jones Writing Award for Piece on Refugee Resettlement

At an end-of-year banquet held on April 7, 2022, for students graduating from the MPA program at the BYU Marriott School of Business, MPA graduate Tamsyn Randall received the Garth N. Jones Writing award. The award, including a $1,000 cash prize, was given to Randall by the Romney Institute of Public Service and Ethics at BYU Marriott in recognition of her writing excellence.

MPA graduate Tamsyn Randall, the 2022 recipient of the Garth N. Jones Writing Award, and Garth's son, Drew Jones.
Photo courtesy of Jes Myrick.

Randall’s writing was reviewed and chosen as the winner of all contest entries by a panel of communications professors in the MPA program. Randall’s writing entry was titled “Refugee Resettlement: How It Works and How Utahns Can Help.” In her piece, Randall outlined the global context of refugee resettlement, resettlement in the United States and Utah, and how Utahns can help with resettlement.

The suggestions she proposed for supporting local refugees included donating to resettlement agencies, volunteering with refugee-focused organizations, becoming an advocate for refugees, learning about immigration, and sharing information about refugees with family and friends.

Randall is honored to receive the award. “Garth Jones led an incredible life and career and had a huge impact on his family members and many others,” she says. “I’m grateful to be counted among those who have benefited from his legacy. I’m thankful for the opportunity to share my thoughts on a topic I am passionate about and to be recognized for those thoughts.”

Randall became personally connected to this topic in 2015 while serving a mission in Indiana for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where she developed close relationships with refugees. After graduating from BYU in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in European studies, Randall worked at the International Rescue Committee, one of Utah’s resettlement agencies. She was impressed by the variety of programs the agency offered to support community integration and self-reliance for newly arrived refugees.

Additionally, in summer 2021, Randall worked with the Women of the World organization, which offers employment, mentorship, and English lessons to help forcibly displaced women become more self-reliant. Randall served as a social media intern for the organization and completed a market analysis, created content, and developed a social media strategy. “My internship enabled me to create content with the intent to educate more people about refugees and share refugees’ stories,” she says.

The MPA program helped Randall prepare to enter her career after her graduation from BYU Marriott in April 2022. “Through the MPA program, I developed many practical skills that will enable me to contribute to the organizations I work for in the future,” she says. “Being a student in the MPA program has provided opportunities to expand my network, explore my interests, and contribute to meaningful projects for local organizations. I feel confident that I can bring value to any organization because of the skills I’ve gained and experiences I’ve had in the program.”

The Garth N. Jones Writing Award honors the life and contributions of Dr. Garth N. Jones, who spent nearly five decades building a career in the area of public policy and international development. He also wrote over 200 articles and books that addressed topics such as public policy and comparative administration. He was the founding dean of the College of Business and Public Policy at the University of Alaska at Anchorage and held visiting faculty positions at several institutions, including BYU.


Writer: Sarah Calvert