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Hi I'm Shaunna

I am a mom, university professor, consultant, triathlete, runner, vegetarian (most of the time) and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I have a PhD in Transportation Analysis and I am currently balancing the demands of mothering a high maintenance toddler and a baby while working as a college professor, and running a successful consulting business from home (between 9pm and 2am...sleep is overrated anyway). I have traveled the world, but still find the most joy at home with my family. My life sometimes feels crazy, but I wouldn't trade it for anything on earth. I am a firm believer that no worldly success can compensate for failure in the home. I absolutely love anything active and my perfect day would include a triathlon or other running/biking race. I love to bake and used to fantasize about giving up my many day jobs to open a bakery. I am a dreamer yet also a realist, and I am a vegetarian...99% of the time. I love to sing and dance but not in public. I want to change the world for the better, but there don't seem to be enough hours in the day to do it all, and do it all well.

Why I am a Mormon

While I was raised a Mormon, there have been many opportunities in my life to ''fall off the wagon", so to speak. What keeps me going in an unwavering testimony of the truthlfulness of the gospel, combined with the knowledge that my Heavenly Father knows me personally and loves me. He cares what I do and he wants me to be obedient to his teachings so that I can live with him again someday. This gospel is His gospel and it is complete and perfect. The commandments and guidelines it teaches provide a clear roadmap to eternal life. Although I didn't read the Book of Mormon cover-to-cover for the first time until I was in graduate school, I always had a testimony that the scriptures (including the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price) could provide guidance in times of confusion or need. The scriptures speak to me as if a direct revelation or message from my Father in Heaven and have told me so many times exactly what I need to hear. Even as a child I remember having questions and turning to the scriptures for answers. The Book of Mormon especially has provided great comfort for me over the years. After completing it in its entirety for the first time, I took Moroni's challenge to pray to learn for myself if the teachings contained therein were true. I have never felt a more powerful yet subdued confirmation of anything. The spirit spoke to my heart in a still small voice testifying that the words were true and that I would find peace and joy in reading those words and applying the teachings in my life.

How I live my faith

I have had many opportunities throughout my life to serve in my church and in my community. I have served in congregations as a Sunday School teacher, and in the young women's and women's organizations of the church. I have played the piano, arranged church activities and events, and have prepared bulletin boards and displays. I have coordinated compassionate service for families in need, and provided welfare assistance and financial counseling for members of the church. My faith in Jesus Christ motivates me to make every effort to serve those around me. As a college professor I have always been very careful about vocalizing my beliefs around students due to my position of authority and the possibility of accusations of inappropriately proselytizing. However, in nearly all of my course reviews students would comment about how there was just "something different" about me and how I seemed to be more compassionate, caring, and understanding than the other professors. I would like to hope that just maybe they were witnessing some small portion of the Light of Christ reflected through my actions. Because I love my Savior, I do my best to serve others. I often contemplate how Christ spent his time on the earth. It serves as a worthwhile guide for what I should be focusing on and where my priorities should be.

Why don’t Mormons drink coffee, tea, or alcohol? What is the Mormon Church’s law of health and proper diet?

As a researcher with a specific interest in public health, it has always been very interesting to me that the teachings of the church very closely align with the modern science of good health. At this point in history it seems almost a no brainer that illegal drugs and tobacco are bad things and should be avoided, but many still find the instruction to avoid alcohol, coffee and tea to lie somewhere in a gray area. Modern medicine is now discovering the detrimental effects of caffeine and alcohol on the system. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in prenatal care. I had a very interesting experience with this topic when I was pregnant with my first child and attended my first doctor's appointment. The doctor asked me if I smoked, drank alcohol, drank caffeine, or took any prescription medications. When I answered no to all of the above he was pleased and told me that I should avoid them throughout my pregnancy as they could harm the baby. He also suggested that I participate in some form of physical activity as it would be beneficial for the baby and eventually help me have an easier labor and delivery. I found it so comforting to know that following the church's teachings made it so that I didn't have to change any of my behaviors or address any bad habits while I was pregnant. It also drove home the point that if something isn't good for you while your pregnant, it probably isn't good for you when you are not. Show more Show less