In 2007 the Latter Day Saint Prophet President Gordon B. Hinckley Group_01said, “You have a mandate from the Lord to educate your minds and your hearts and your hands…. In this day and time, a girl needs an education…. The whole gamut of human endeavor is now open to women. There is not anything that you cannot do if you will set your mind to it.” (Words of A Prophet, 2007)

We believe this is true.

During 2014, the Brigham Young University Theatre and Media Arts Department and the Faculty Women’s Association explored why BYU Faculty Women pursued an education and how they went about it. The result is the web-series By Study, By Faith.

The By Study By Faith web-series includes ten short films about BYU Faculty Women and their pursuit of learning. Non-fiction film students from the Theatre and Media Arts Department created the films.

The web-series also features written stories gathered by the Faculty Women’s Association. The printed stories were developed by faculty women across campus who were asked to consider these questions:

  • How has getting an education blessed your life?
  • What opportunities have you had to serve because of your education?
  • How has the spirit play played a role in directing your life?
  • What role did other women and men play in helping you become educated?
  • What makes you an educated woman?
  • What have you sacrificed to follow God’s plan for you?
  • How were you able to overcome obstacles or setbacks?

About the Creators:

Cassie Hiatt

Director / Editor / Producer

Cassie is a recent graduate from the Theater and Media Arts Department at BYU. She spent most of her time focusing on producing and documentary. She worked on a variety of student projects, and projects within the department. Cassie plans on continuing to work in Provo until she moves to Richmond Virginia with her husband this summer.


Melissa Lee

Director / Editor / Producer

Melissa is currently attending BYU and is majoring in Media Arts Studies. She has focused on cinematography and producing while in the program and has worked on several student films. She is currently serving as the President of the Student Film Association at BYU.

Elisabeth Weagel


Elisabeth grew up trailing her mother across the University of New Mexico campus. As a little girl she fell in love with that world. She continues to be energized by academia and feels that she has been called to film scholarship as part of her mission on this earth.

Coco Mack


Coco has been enchanted by the magic of filmmaking since the early 90’s when she watched the 1941 production of the animated cartoon “Dumbo” several times a day. The discovery of great films has been an important part of her life ever since, and now, the creation of films is an avenue that has allowed Coco to continue developing her love for this art. Coco is a recent graduate of the BYU film program and hopes to share her passion for filmmaking as a high school teacher in the future.

Melody Chow


Meoldy is a junior at BYU studying Media Arts. “Working on Study By Faith has been awesome! I was blessed to help bring to life the most fascinating stories and work with an amazing group of mentors and peers.” Melody’s dream job is to travel the world making films about the music, food, and habits of different cultures.

Samantha Copé


After watching the documentary Promises in my introductory film class, I knew I wanted to create something similar–a film driven by people and affecting a larger body of humanity. I have continued to enjoy learning about people through the lens of film. I grew up in Maryland loving to visit museums close by in Washington, D.C. and I am currently finishing a teaching licensure program at BYU so that I can help high schoolers become critical thinkers about the media they consume.

Bobbie Lee


Bobbie is a BYU student majoring in Media Arts, with an emphasis in documentary filmmaking and editing. She is passionate about telling stories about misunderstood, marginalized, and minority groups of people. She is currently also pursuing a teaching licensure in film. She hopes to eventually work for a non-profit organization one day.

Samantha Hill

Post Sound

Samantha was born in Michigan as the youngest of six children. At the age of 14 her family moved to Idaho where she attended High School. She has been interested in sound and music since a very early age and began teaching herself to play piano by ear at the age of 4. She adores working the studio and doing sound work and it is her intended career path. Samantha is currently a Media Arts Major at BYU.

Nicolina Brown

Graphic design

Nicolina Brown is a student at BYU and will graduate in April 2015 with a BFA in graphic design. She has worked with the Department of Theatre and Media Arts on multiple occasions to design posters and promotional materials for their events. 

Amy Jensen

Executive Producer

Amy Petersen Jensen is an Associate Professor in the BYU Theatre and Media Arts (TMA) Department. She currently serves as department chair and also teaches theatre and media education courses. She studies and writes about young people and the performance of identity in media culture. She also serves as a faculty mentor on TMA documentary capstone projects.

Thomas J. Lefler

Executive Producer

Thomas J. Lefler is the Associate Chair with responsibilities for the Media Arts program in the Theatre and Media Arts department.  In addition to happily working with these young female filmmakers, the women’s stories were very telling about the importance of young women taking ownership of and responsibility for preparing themselves for life’s challenges.


Barbara Smith

Faculty Woman’s Association Liaison and FWA Project Coordinator

Barbara M. Smith is an Associate Professor in the Counseling Psychology and Special Education (CPSE). She teaches courses and practicum in curriculum, assessment, instruction, effective teaching strategies, and exceptional children. She enjoys working closely with students in their culminating internship or student teaching courses. By serving in directorship capacities for several non-profit organizations, she strives to make life better for people with disabilities and their families.  As a member of the Faculty Women’s Association she values the variety and quality of contributions made by remarkable women on campus. She is currently studying leadership in education.

Kyle Stapley

Web Design and Production

Kyle Stapley is the Media Arts Program Coordinator for the Theatre and Media Arts Department at Brigham Young University. Kyle graduated from Brigham Young University in 2008 where he received a Bachelors Degree in Sociology. He is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration at BYU. Before joining the TMA department at BYU, Kyle worked as the Human Resource Manager and member of the production team at Lumenas Animation Studio in Salt Lake City.

Micah Dahl Anderson


Micah Dahl Anderson has written music for innovative and award winning films such as Man From Reno (Best Narrative Film, LA Film Festival, Independent Spirit Nomination). His television work includes the Emmy® award winning series The Generations Project and he has written commercial music for a myriad of exceptional companies.  In 2013 he was honored with an Emmy® for his work on the documentary series Beehive Stories.

Special Thanks:

Nate Christofferson
Gary Groth
Jarom Cowan
Willem Kampenhout
Jordan Hunter

About the Faculty Women’s Association:

The BYU Faculty Women’s Association seeks to speak with a unified voice to address common concerns of BYU women faculty; provide women opportunities to expand professional networks; help women faculty find mentors and advance their careers; offer stimulating programs with speakers, discussions, and other activities of usefulness for women on campus; apprise women of their professional opportunities; nominate women for all levels of university awards; publicize and celebrate women’s accomplishments; and provide opportunities for socializing and forming friendship across campus.


About the Media Arts Studies Program:

The Media Arts Studies program produces students with a strong liberal arts foundation that can be used effectively in a variety of film-related careers or graduate studies. Graduates are generalists with skills and proficiencies that can be used in multiple venues including emerging media environments. Students master knowledge of film culture, history, and theory; develop general and specialized skills sets; and utilize processes that integrate professional practices, generate creative applications to new situations, and support collaboration in multiple settings.

The aim of the program is to study and create films from an academic, artistic, and spiritual standpoint.