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Mitch Russon

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Place of Residence Simi Valley, California Graduation Year 2008 Major Communication with clusters in Business and Music Current Occupation Associate Director of Themed Entertainment at RGH Themes Entertainment Family Spouse: Salena; Child: Tessa
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How has your BYU-Idaho education helped you in your life?
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I never felt like I was tied to a desk during my time at BYU-Idaho. My instructors encouraged me to seek out opportunities to excel, rather than sit and wait for “perfect timing.” I was never stuck in the library doing what I considered to be “busy work” for various classes because I was bouncing from class to class actively trying to discover how my current class load would affect my future. The result had a profound impact on the way I do business today. I do not write reports and send benign e-mails but find actual solutions for serious problems within my industry; there is no busy work here.

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Since graduating from BYU-Idaho, what have been your greatest personal and professional accomplishments?
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My greatest personal accomplishment is having a successful career and being able to provide for my wife and daughter in a day when every market seems unpredictable and unwelcoming. My family is taken care of; there is no greater accomplishment in my mind. Professionally, my greatest accomplishment is personified in taking part in this profile for BYU-Idaho magazine. My life choices have been validated and recognized as good decisions. I worked very hard at BYU-Idaho to discover the man that I was, and determine the man I wanted to be. It is incredibly rewarding to me to learn that someone noticed.

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How does being a BYU-Idaho graduate help you be a leader in your workplace?
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The Learning Model at BYU-Idaho is unlike anything I have found anywhere else. While studying at that school I felt like I could actually make a difference in the way people learned, studied and lived; I felt like I had the ability to affect others’ lives for good. Again, a majority of my class time was not spent in class—I was on campus and in the community doing whatever I felt could make a meaningful impact on others’ daily lives.

That attitude has propelled me forward in my career in ways I never expected. I am working in a field far outside the communication market, and the youngest person to ever have a director-level position, largely due to my belief that I don’t have time for the mundane; I need to make a significant impact on those I come in contact with. I am sure that without BYU-Idaho, I would not have that belief.

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How does your BYU-Idaho education help you serve in the community?
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I attempt to carry the Spirit of Ricks with me into my new community. In Rexburg, that spirit overflows into the community and fosters an inviting, collective environment that I wish to carry everywhere I go. Regardless of where I live, I want my community to have that “family” feel to it.

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How did your time at BYU-Idaho prepare you for service in the Church?
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BYU-Idaho prepared me to be a leader in the Church. My ward leaders quickly recognized and developed my skills, then taught me how to apply those skills to Church service. Because of this, I want to serve. Without a calling I feel like I am missing something, and my new ward knows this. I will work with anyone, anywhere that I am needed.

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What service have you rendered in the Church since graduating?
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I have taught in nearly every capacity in the Church. I have taught Gospel Doctrine, in the elders quorum, teachers quorum, and deacons quorum, as well as serving the youth in directing roadshows. I have also served as the ward employment specialist and served on the ward public relations committee.

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How does being a BYU-Idaho graduate help you lead your family?
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I do my very best to apply the principles of collaborative communication and righteous priesthood leadership when leading my family; principles I often used and honed as a student of BYU-Idaho.

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Is there anything else you would like to share about your BYU-Idaho experience and how it blesses you today?
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I was very grateful for the amount of exposure I had to my instructors, as well as the ubiquitous time they seemed to have for me. I felt like the time I spent in the offices of my instructors, and the one-on-one counsel they provided, was infinitely more valuable to me than the time I spent in class.

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