Note: This is an installment in the Q&A series, reporting in the LDSBC Newsroom on informal meetings held with President and Sister Kusch and members of the College community. During the Q&A sessions, students, faculty and staff are invited to submit questions and engage in conversations with the Kusches about all that’s going on at LDSBC. Check out other Q&A articles here.
Students and faculty from the Health Professions program were invited to lunch with President and Sister Kusch this month. They were given the opportunity to ask questions and have them answered by the Kusches.
Here’s a summary of what transpired in the Q&A luncheon this month:
Question: Would it be possible to get access to a cadaver lab so we don’t have to retake medical anatomy and physiology again at a University?
Answer: We love the idea if we could find a place for it. We aren’t familiar with the rules and regulations to having a cadaver lab, to keep it safe and protected, but we would not be opposed to it. Study it out and let us know what you learn. Before too much longer we’ll be working on our budget preparation for 2020. If we can find the right place for it where it would be secure, we’re not opposed to it. That’s an idea that’s not dead.
Q: As I am a Deep Learning Mentor at the school, I would love to know an experience in which you identified the educational needs of your students and successfully developed a way to teach/train them.
A: That you are a student mentor is an example of that. You probably don’t know the history behind this, but it all started about three years ago. I had this idea when I was a teacher at BYU-Idaho, that if I could immerse my students in real-life learning experiences, they would be much better prepared for the work that was awaiting them when they left college.
I wondered why college wasn’t more like work. College is generally nothing like work. Think about most college courses you’ve taken. There’s the syllabus review: we’re going to do this, we’re going to take a test and do this and do that. I had this idea that if I could create an immersive learning environment for my students, that they would be much better prepared. If we did it here (meaning LDS Business College), they would be much better prepared to go out there in the world and face things that happen there (meaning the world of employment).
About three years ago I gave the idea a name: subject matter immersion. It’s what we’re doing here. It’s what we’re trying to do everywhere on campus. One of the most important things that we can do here is help you be ready to face the world.
There was a study done a couple of years ago that found that 96 percent of college administrators think that they adequately prepare students for careers, but only 11 percent of employers thought so. There was another study where 87 percent of employers said that the most important skill and quality that a new college graduate could have is the ability to apply what they’ve learned in a real-world environment, but only 39 percent of the college graduates could do it. These gaps are huge and they indicate that higher education has been failing. That’s the only conclusion that you can come to.
That’s what we do here at LDS Business College. We prepare students for really good entry-level jobs. We decided that we had to change and we started this effort. At first, it was a hypothesis. It’s not a hypothesis anymore. We know it works. It changes students and it changes teachers. Of all the things that I’ve been involved with, this is probably the most important of them all. But, this wasn’t my idea. It was the Lord’s idea. It came as a result of things that I heard Elder Perry say many years ago. It came from things that Elder Clark has taught. It came from things that Elder Bednar has taught. It came from impressions from the Holy Ghost. I don’t take credit for it. And, seeing what’s been happening in the lives of students is amazing.
When we help students experience immersive learning, we are lovingly kicking them out of the educational Garden of Eden, so to speak. They have to do things. When a student learns to learn this way, it will change their life forever. Think about how you learn to play the piano. You don’t learn by listening to your piano teacher play. They had to teach you some things. If you would have been dependent on them, you never would have learned. You had to put your hands on the keys. You had to work. You had to struggle. You had to be frustrated. You had to do some things on your own to get better. When you do that, you learn more.
Q: Is it possible to participate in abroad internships through LDSBC?
A: The answer is yes – if you can find them. We absolutely encourage students to participate in as many internships as they can. Whether or not they meet the requirements to count for school credit is another story. We always encourage you to talk with your program chair and academic advisors to get the final say on that.
We recently took a few Mexican students down to Mexico to help them find jobs back in their home country. We’re not trying to force them to return home after their schooling here at LDSBC, but we’d like to be able to assist in any way that we can. This is just a pilot program. Because there are so many students here from Mexico, it just seemed like a good place to try this. Brazil is another country where we’re thinking of trying the same thing – just because of the number of students from Brazil that attend here.
We also recently had a group of students from the Health Professions travel to Honduras with a neighbor of ours, who happens to be an optometrist, to help out with humanitarian efforts (read more on that trip here). We’re trying to keep our eyes open for any and all opportunities that we can bring to the students here.
Q: For you...what is the key to success in life? What are your hobbies?
A: The key to all of my success in life is Sister Kusch. Plain and simple. She has always been there to encourage and motivate me to succeed.
I have many different hobbies. I like to run. I’m not fast. I’ve never been fast, but I like to run. I always try to run when I go away on business trips. I’ve run in Japan, Taiwan, England, China, Malaysia, Scotland, Mexico, Guatemala, etc. I enjoy that. I just enjoy a nice long run on a hot day in the humidity. It’s therapeutic. I’ve written a lot of talks in my mind while I am running.
I also love sports. I played softball and basketball when we were living in California. I would go boogie boarding at the beach until we moved. I was a surfer in high school. I also love to fly fish. That was one of the things I really loved about Idaho.
Q: What have you found that helps you and your family keep the Sabbath day holy? What have you done to successfully balance work, family and church?
A: The Sabbath day is an important day of the week for us. It helps us remember what’s most important and helps us focus on the covenants that we make.
If you’re unable to keep your covenants throughout the week, you need to take a look at how you balance things. You simply do the best that you can with everything. You treat life like a job. You still have to make time for Church and have an active social life – all while being an active, trusted disciple of Jesus Christ. You just do it to the best of your ability. Be wise about your choices. It’s easier said than done. You have to make choices, and there are some choices that are difficult. What we have to worry about here, is what we do here.
Q: How do you think we can help those who feel lost or confused?
A: This is an extremely important question. There are so many students who feel lost and confused and various times in their lives. There are so many changes happening in this period of your life that it’s hard sometimes to not feel lost or confused.
One of the most important things that we can do is to reach out and help others. We need to be proactive. The College has many wonderful workshops every month, such as the Warning Signs Workshop, that help address this very issue. We would encourage all students, faculty and staff to attend and learn from these workshops.
All students, faculty and staff are invited to submit questions for President and Sister Kusch here. Those who have provided questions may be asked to future Q&A sessions. If you have questions or feedback about Q&A sessions, please contact the College public affairs team.