Leaders of the Utah 3Rs Project
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Executive Director, Utah 3Rs Project
Eleesha Tucker, M.A.
Eleesha Tucker is the executive director of the Utah 3Rs Project. She is an American history and civics educator specializing in the ideals of liberty articulated by the American Revolution and the freedoms protected by the religion clauses of the First Amendment. She formerly headed the education programs of Washington, D.C. based educational nonprofits, the American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati and the Constitutional Sources Project. She serves Utah Valley University students as an adjunct professor in American Heritage. She also currently supports educational programming for Hardwired Global, an international NGO that facilitates trainings on the freedom of conscience within the framework of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She has supported training for teachers in Erbil, Iraq, for government and business leaders in Juba, South Sudan, and for ministers of education in Essaouira, Morocco. Ms. Tucker holds a Master of Arts degree in American Studies from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History Teaching from Brigham Young University. She lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah with her husband.
President, Utah 3Rs Project
Brian D. Birch, Ph.D.
Dr. Brian D. Birch serves as president on the governing board of the Utah 3Rs Project. Dr. Birch is Director of the Center for the Study of Ethics and Religious Studies Program at Utah Valley University. His areas of specialization include religious diversity, ethics education, and the dynamics of religion in civil society. He has served on the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee for the Parliament of the World’s Religions and is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy. He is the founding editor of the journal Teaching Ethics and his published work includes contributions to the Encyclopedia of Religion and War, Philosophical Investigations, and Dialogue. His book projects include titles ranging from What is Postmodernism to Perspectives on Mormon Theology. His current project is entitled Radical Pluralism_ Essays in Ethical and Religious Diversity.
Treasurer of the Board, Utah 3Rs Project
Managing Director, The Foundation for Religious Literacy
Dr. Nathan C. Walker
Dr. Nathan C. Walker serves as treasurer on the governing board of the Utah 3Rs Project. He is a First Amendment and human rights educator and the executive director of 1791 Delegates, a legal education firm named after the year the Bill of Rights was ratified. In this role he manages The Foundation for Religious Literacy. He previously served as the executive director for the Religious Freedom Center and currently teaches First Amendment and human rights law at Rutgers Honors College. He has published five books including, The First Amendment and State Bans on Teachers’ Religious Garb and The Oxford Handbook of Religion and American Education. Dr. Walker also served on the writing team of the Religious Studies Companion Document for the C3 Framework for the National Council for the Social Studies. Dr. Walker served as a resident fellow in law and religion at Harvard University and received his doctorate in First Amendment law from Columbia University, where he received his Masters of Arts and Masters of Education degrees. He received his Masters of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary and is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, currently serving as the community minister for religion and public life at the Church of the Larger Fellowship.
Trustee of the Board, Utah 3Rs Project
Social Studies Specialist, Canyons School District
Jodi Ide , M.A.
Jodi Ide has been an educator for over 18 years. She is passionate about the 3Rs program and not only benefited from the program as a student, but used the program as an adult with her own students. She is dedicated to helping teachers and students develop the skills and tools to have meaningful and often difficult conversations that build stronger connections, families, and communities. She was a facilitator for the international program Generation Global for over five years and found much joy and hope in watching students engage with and learn from each other from all walks of life, from all around the world. As a teacher she developed two elective courses designed to help students be more socially aware of the role that women played in American history and the role that world religions play in global issues and American life. Several years ago, she changed roles from teaching in the classroom to supporting teaching in the classroom and currently is an instructional support coach for Canyons School District. Ms. Ide has a Masters of Arts degree in Teaching from Grand Canyon University and Bachelors of Arts degree in History Teaching from Brigham Young University.
Trustee of the Board, Utah 3Rs Project
Founder and President, Foundation for Religious Diplomacy
Dr. Charles Randall Paul
Charles Randall Paul (Ph.D., University of Chicago, Committee on Social Thought, 2000; M.B.A., Harvard University, 1972) is board chair, founder, and president of the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy. He has lectured widely and written numerous articles on healthy methods for engaging differences in religions and ideologies. He is on the board of editors for the International Journal of Decision Ethics. Dr. Paul served on the governing board of the Utah 3Rs Project in its first iteration and now serves on the board in its revival. He has been married to his wife Jann for more than forty years, and they have five children.
Utah 3Rs Project Advisor
Senior Research Fellow, Pembroke College, Oxford University
Founder and Director, Quill Project
Dr. Nicholas Cole
Dr. Nicholas Cole (MA MPhil DPhil Oxf) studies the political thought of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, and is working on a digital project that looks at the way constitutions and treaties have been negotiated over the last two hundred years.
His particular interests are the influence of classical political thought on America’s first politicians, and the search for a new ‘science of politics’ in post-Independence America. He studied as an undergraduate and graduate at University College, Oxford, and was a Visiting Fellow at the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello. He has held research and teaching positions at St. Peter’s College, and within the History Faculty. His doctoral work focused on the use made of classical antiquity by Jefferson’s generation, and he retains a strong interest in the reception of classical antiquity in the modern world, about which he has written extensively. He supervises undergraduate and graduate theses on early American politics and ideology and the history of ideas.
Utah 3Rs Project Advisor
Professor of Social Studies, Utah Valley University School of Education
Professor Axel Donizetti Ramirez
Professor Axel Donizetti Ramirez participated in his first 3Rs workshop in 1992 and has interwoven the 3Rs into all of his classes at the secondary level and higher education. He is a social studies professor in the Utah Valley University School of Education, for both the Elementary Education and Secondary Education departments. Born in Guatemala, Professor Ramirez grew up in East Los Angeles and Utah County. He has a passion for social studies because it teaches us about the complexities of us as individuals and our world, both are worth understanding. He loves working at Utah Valley University because he loves the focus on teaching instead of research and because the students at UVU truly want to change the lives of their students.
Utah 3Rs Project Advisor
Associate Teaching Professor in Journalism, Brigham Young University, School of Communications
Professor Joel Campbell
Joel Campbell is an associate professor of journalism in Brigham Young University’s School of Communications since 2002. He holds a master’s degree from Ohio State University. He teaches reporting and writing, journalism principles, and research courses. He has a particular interest in religious freedom and completed a Religious Freedom certificate at the Religious Freedom Center at the Freedom Forum (Newseum). He has taught a media and religious course and been involved in interfaith activities.
Utah 3Rs Project Advisory Legal Counsel
Founding Partner, Adebiyi Law
Seun Adebiyi, Esq.
Seun Adebiyi advises as legal counsel for the Utah 3Rs Project through his law firm, Adebiyi Law. Mr. Adebiyi is a licensed attorney, entrepreneur and graduate of Yale Law School who has worked for several well-known Fortune 500 companies in both business and legal roles. His professional background spans a wide spectrum of industries from financial services and management consulting to non-profit and entrepreneurship. His passion lies in helping small businesses and start-ups to realize their vision and grow their enterprise.
Martha Hales Ball was one of the first teachers in Utah to attend Dr. Charles Haynes’ training on religion in public schools. She taught Social Studies for 26 years in the public schools of Utah and California ages 12 to adult. Ms. Ball recognized the need for greater understanding about religious diversity and respect for religious faith and none in Utah. Ms. Ball led the Utah 3Rs Project as the director from 1999–2009. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science in History and a Master’s degree in Educational Studies. She is listed in Who’s Who Among American Teachers. In 2000 she was chosen the outstanding teacher of United States History in the nation by the Daughters of the American Revolution. She received a Hays Fulbright Award to study in India and two awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, one to study in Greece and the other at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina.
Oliver “Buzz” Thomas (M.Div., J.D.) is the Knox County Schools interim superintendent and president of the Great Schools Partnership. He is a minister, attorney, author, and teacher who has practiced at every level of state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He is the architect of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, spearheading a coalition of religious leaders in his role as the head of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty and coordinating with members of Congress to pass the legislation. He has trained teachers and administrators in more than 500 school districts, including many school districts in Utah. His work, captured in the landmark book written with co-author Dr. Charles Haynes, Finding Common Ground: A First Amendment Guide to Religion in Public Schools, sparked a movement to create “3Rs” projects in various states, including Utah.