Alumni Spotlight October, 2011: Brian Kinghorn
Brian Kinghorn (Psychology, 2001) transferred to Brigham Young University-Hawaii from Ricks College when he was recruited to sing in the concert choir and tour Singapore and Taiwan with them. While at BYU-H, Brian worked as a tutor in the Reading/Writing Center, served on the Honors Council as editor of the Hokuloa, and served in the presidencies of the English Circle and Kiwi Club. One of his most memorable campus experiences was being able to perform with the Kiwi club at culture night. While his classroom education was invaluable, much of Brian’s BYU-H education came from outside the classroom as he developed lasting friendships with individuals from across the globe and learned about their backgrounds and cultures. He was quoted in the September, 2003 BYU-Hawaii Alumni Association e-newsletter saying “I may not remember most of the formulas I learned in organic chemistry or physics, but I will never forget the people who so dramatically and positively touched my life.”
After graduation, Brian moved to San Francisco, CA, where he began teaching science programs for Science Adventures. He quickly moved up in the company to become a multi-regional curriculum trainer and site-coordinator at day camp sites in San Francisco and New York. The corporate office then asked him to conduct science camps and staff training at nearly 30 U.S. Air Force bases and other locations. One of the locations was Hong Kong, where the initial programs were so well received that he was hired in December, 2004, as the founding General Manager of the Science Adventures franchise there (www.activekidshk.com). He played an integral role in building that program from the ground up, and it is still running strong today.
Brian is currently finishing his Ph. D. in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology at Michigan State University. In 2008 he presented research which focused on how elementary teachers learn science content from their own teaching practice at the annual conference of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching. His dissertation is a continuation of that line of research with early-career middle school teachers. In addition to teaching undergraduate courses at MSU, Brian helped develop on-line tools, curricula and professional development for science education and worked on a multi-year National Science Foundation funded project focusing on the needs of early-career secondary science and mathematics teachers.
In 2009, with the help of a university fellowship, Brian founded his own science education company: Junior Science World. He currently presents interactive, inquiry-based science assemblies at elementary and middle schools and is developing educational programs for traditional and home school environments. Brian has a deep love of learning and childlike passion for exploring the world around him. He can teach sometimes difficult scientific concepts in fun, exciting, engaging and accessible ways for children and educators alike. In fact, his students in Hong Kong loved his classes so much that some of their parents literally threatened to keep them home from science club if they did not behave, and his science assemblies always have rave reviews.
For Brian, the greatest blessing of graduate school was meeting his beautiful wife Leah. They were married in 2007 in the Laie, HI, temple and have 4 wonderful children, Alexis (13), Ellie (3), Michael (2) and Daniel (4 months). Family is extremely important to Brian and he spends most of his free time playing at home with his kids or taking family road-trips to explore the Great Lakes, Chicago, or church history sites. Brian’s passion for photography fits quite well with his love of travel and he always has a camera in hand. He was thrilled when some of his prints sold at a local art center this year.
Brian and his family love the Lord and have served faithfully in the church. Since college, Brian has served as Ward Mission Leader, Ward Executive Secretary, an ordinance worker at the Oakland, CA temple, and Young Men President and is currently serving as the Elders Quorum President in the Battle Creek Michigan Ward (where he also served as a full-time missionary in 1996). In these capacities he has organized volunteers to help with the annual Battle Creek Cereal Festival and has coordinated efforts by the church to help clean up after two major storms that hit Battle Creek. He also supported his wife in her calling as early morning seminary teacher. Brian is very missionary-minded and often shares his testimony or links to General Conference talks or Mormon Messages on Facebook. After hearing of Elder Ballard’s BYU-H commencement address (Dec. ‘07), the Kinghorns started a blog (http://kinghornclan.blogspot.com) to share their adventures with their family and friends and to share the gospel. Last October, Brian was blessed to baptize one of his fishing buddies, who was able to baptize and confirm his own 8 year old son this summer.
Brian is currently searching for university faculty positions including applying to teach in the Education Department at BYU-Hawaii. He hopes to join the many other members of his immediate family who have become part of the BYU-H community since he graduated. While his ultimate desire is to be where the Lord needs him most, Brian would love to return to Laie, because, in every sense of the word, BYU-Hawaii is truly Ohana.