Educated Woman of the Week- Ally Isom 

Ally Isom
Public Affairs
B.A., Brigham Young University

Briefly tell us about your academic/professional life: 

I am passionate about making a difference. As the director of the Division of Family and Community Relations in the Public Affairs Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, my responsibilities include local business, interfaith and community relationships, as well women’s, LGBT and race issues. I have also been a Church spokesperson. I previously served as Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Communications Director and spokesperson, following several years in state agency leadership and extensive experience as a political and campaign consultant. Highlights from my community involvement include service as a Kaysville City Councilmember, the Utah Clean Air Partnership Board, and the Utah Heritage Council.

Briefly tell us about your life outside of School/Work:
I received my Bachelor of Arts from Brigham Young University-Provo, where true to resisted cliché, I—the freshman—met my husband, Eric—the returned LDS missionary from Idaho—in Political Science 110. We have four children and one grandchild. I enjoy reading (everything but sci-fi), cooking (everything but cleanup), hiking (even in the desert) and cultural arts events (especially outdoors).

What do you think matters more in college: grades or networking?

Both, but grades are meaningless if they aren’t back up by skills or knowledge. One’s motivation for good grades matters more than the actual grade. I’m a big believer in making the most of an opportunity, and if you only consider higher ed a hoop to jump through, you are missing the point. The point of school is learning to think, to analyze, to solve problems, to prioritize, to work with others, to write, to become resourceful. Moreover the best learning opportunities also open doors to networks. Whether it’s volunteering, an internship, a workshop or a group project, there are numerous ways to meet all kinds of people and build your network, learn where your passions are and pursue the next step in your educational development. Grades and networks act as complements in becoming the best you.

How do you handle conflict resolution?

Conflict is opportunity and conflict is preparation. Avoiding conflict is avoiding a chance to learn and grow, to see through another’s eyes, to reach a higher plane of problem solving. Overcoming conflict prepares you for the next professional and personal frontier.

How did you know your path or decide your current path?

To determine my path I spent meaningful time in sacred space, contemplating what motivates me and what I desire most from life. It requires self-awareness and honesty. If provides centeredness and confidence. I know who I am. I know what I can contribute. I have learned to listen to that voice within and learned to recognize guiding principles that lead me to act. Furthermore, my life is woven with the lives of those I love and this is never a solo act. I am immensely blessed by the people in my life, particularly a husband who views this journey as a full partnership.

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