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Fulton Professorships

Established scholars with a track record of excellence in teaching and research receive a Mary Lou Fulton Professorship. The professorship is a five-year award which includes a small salary stipend. This investment helps retain these outstanding and marketable scholars. These faculty members provide superior learning opportunities and are an important resource for undergraduates in securing jobs and entrance to the best graduate programs in the nation.

Arden Pope

C. Arden Pope, III, professor of economics, became a recipient of the Mary Lou Fulton Professorship in 2005. The Mary Lou Fulton Professorship substantially supports his students and research in two general and important ways.

1. Student-mentoring 

A headshot of Dr. Arden Pope

Dr. Pope mentors and collaborates with many students in various academic and scholarly research projects. Overall, primary research funding comes from multiple sources, including grants from the National Institutes of Health and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Mary Lou Fulton Professorship provides flexible leverage and bridge funding that allows Dr. Pope to support students between grants and to conduct novel specialty research projects. This student mentoring and collaboration has been highly successful. For example, students often are collaborators and co-authors on published scholarly manuscripts. Also, these students have had success finding high quality jobs or extending their education in excellent graduate programs.

2. Collaborative research 

The Mary Lou Fulton Professorship has helped support several collaborative research efforts regarding the health effects of air pollution with scholars from various other universities and institutions. These research efforts commonly involve mentored students. Examples include:

•Center for Air, Climate, and Energy Solutions (including collaborators from Carnegie Mellon University, Imperial College London, The University of British Columbia, University of Washington, University of Minnesota). Survival analyses using U.S. National Health Interview Survey data linked to National Death Index data.

•Harvard School of Public Health. Studies of life expectancy and rates of exceptional ageing and centenarians.

•Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, Intermountain Health Care, Primary Children’s Hospital, and University of Utah. Studies of acute lower respiratory infection and acute coronary events.

•Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Estimating risk factors and “Global Burden of Disease.”

•University of Louisville. Studies of systemic inflammation and vascular damage.

•The American Cancer Society. Survival studies with focus on cardiopulmonary and lung cancer mortality.

Sarah Coyne

I feel so blessed to be working as a professor in the School of Family Life at BYU, with an opportunity to conduct meaningful research with students. Below is a report of how I have used the professorship to support my research.

Major projects

Project M.E.D.I.A.

Project M.E.D.I.A. (Media Effects on Development from Infancy to Adulthood) seeks to examine developmental outcomes of this new generation of “digital natives” and how media use, parenting, and family factors influence these developmental outcomes into adulthood. This is a longitudinal study that takes place on site in Denver with approximately 500 families.

We were given approval to take 17 students to Denver to collect data for Wave 5 of the project. Another 15 students work in Provo, coding the data. Part of the professorship goes toward working on papers that come out of the project, employing research assistants, and purchasing supplies.

Body Image and Latter-day Saint Culture

This mixed-methods study examined body image among Latter-day Saints. The professorship was used to pay research assistants and participants.

Heavenly Mother Art Project

We are currently planning to do a content analysis of Heavenly Mother-related art. The professorship paid for research assistant help during spring semester.

Media and Mental Health

This is a joint project with the Wheatley center and IFS. The aim of the project is to examine both protective and risky media that might predict mental health during adolescence. The professorship will help pay research assistants during winter and spring 2021. We are currently collecting data for the project and aim to publish a large public scholarship report in fall 2021.


I have published a number of articles over the past year involving undergraduate and graduate students. Many of these students worked on the above or related projects.