Leaders of the Utah 3Rs Project
Executive Director, Utah 3Rs Project
Secretary of the Board
Eleesha Tucker, M.A.
Eleesha Tucker is the executive director of the Utah 3Rs Project and the secretary of its governing board. She is an American history and civics educator specializing in the ideals of liberty articulated by the American Revolution and the inherent freedoms protected by the religion clauses of the First Amendment. She formerly headed the education programs of Washington, D.C. based educational nonprofits the Constitutional Sources Project and the American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati. 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 South Jordan, Utah with her family.
President of the Board, Utah 3Rs Project
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethics at Utah Valley University
Dr. Brian D. Birch
Dr. Brian D. Birch served on the Utah 3Rs Project advisory board in its first iteration and now serves as the president of the governing board in its revival. He is professor of philosophy and director of the Center for the Study of Ethics at Utah Valley University. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Philosophy from the University of Utah (1990, 1992) and completed a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion and Theology from Claremont Graduate University in 1998. His areas of focus include the intersection of ethics, religion, and public life. He is the founding editor of Teaching Ethics: The Journal of the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum and among his current book projects is a volume entitled Radical Pluralism.
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 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
Instructional Support Coach,
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 developed 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 and Legal Counsel to the Board, Utah 3Rs Project
Founding Partner, Adebiyi Law
Seun Adebiyi, Esq
Trustee of the Board, Utah 3Rs Project
Founder and President for the 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.
We Honor the Legacy of the First Generation Utah 3Rs Project
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.