Staff | BYU Studies



Steven C. Harper—Editor in Chief

Steven C. Harper is a professor of Church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University. He was named editor in chief of BYU Studies Quarterly in September 2018.

After serving in the Canada Winnipeg Mission and marrying Jennifer Sebring, Steve interned at BYU Studies in 1993. Because Steve had studied paleography, Editor in Chief John W. (Jack) Welch invited him to assist in comparing the journals of William McLellin with transcripts Jack was editing with Jan Shipps for joint publication by BYU Studies and the University of Illinois Press. That experience set the course of Steve’s career.

After graduating from BYU with a BA in history, he earned an MA in American history from Utah State University, where his thesis analyzed determinants of conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the 1830s. Chapters were published in the Journal of Mormon History and Religion and American Culture and awarded by the Mormon History Association with the T. Edgar Lyon Award for best article of the year and the Juanita Brooks Award for the best graduate student paper.

Steve earned a PhD in early American history from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He began teaching courses in religion and history at BYU Hawaii in 2000 and joined the religious education faculty at BYU in 2002. That year he also became a volume editor of The Joseph Smith Papers and the document editor for BYU Studies. He taught at the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies in 2011–2012.

His first book was Promised Land (Lehigh University Press, 2006), a study of Lenape or Delaware Indians’ responses to a fraudulent 1737 land deal in colonial Pennsylvania. He also authored Making Sense of the Doctrine and Covenants (Deseret Book, 2008), Joseph Smith’s First Vision (Deseret Book, 2012), and First Vision: Memory and Mormon Origins (Oxford University Press, forthcoming), along with dozens of articles.

In 2012 Steve was appointed as the managing historian and a general editor of Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days.


Roger Terry—Editorial Director

Roger joined the BYU Studies team in June 2006 after serving seven years as a senior editor at the Ensign and the Liahona. Prior to that, he was (as he and his wife like to joke) self-unemployed—running his own business, the funcompany, but not making much profit (funcompany motto: “We’d have more fun if we had more money”). In a former life, he taught for nine years at BYU's Marriott School of Management and edited the school's alumni magazine. Roger earned a BA in German and an MBA, both from BYU. He likes to write in his spare time, which has resulted in several books, numerous articles and essays, a few newspaper editorials, a blog, and even a few pieces of short fiction. He is married to Sheri Peterson, and they have four children, all of whom have graduated from BYU. They also have three grandchildren. Roger enjoys playing basketball (at an ever-slower pace), reading everything from cosmology to economics, watching way too many athletic events, working in the yard, avoiding Facebook, taking family vacations, and eating chocolate (for health reasons, of course).


Alison Palmer—Senior Editor

Alison is originally from Cookeville, Tennessee, and moved to Utah to attend Brigham Young University, where she graduated with a BA in English and a minor in editing. She later received an MA in rhetoric and composition from the University of Utah and completed training at the Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents. For the last seven years, she has worked as an editor for the Joseph Smith Papers and Church Historian's Press. Prior to that, she worked as a marketing writer and completed editorial internships with Covenant Communications and the Church's Publication Services Department.

Alison enjoys working on side editing projects in her spare time and currently serves as the copy and production editor for Mormon Historical Studies. When she's not editing, she enjoys everything from rock climbing and running to knitting and attending jazz concerts.


Jennifer Hurlbut—Senior Editor

Jennifer Hurlbut has been on the staff of BYU Studies since 1994 and is now a senior editor. She received a B.A. in international relations from BYU. She is grateful for the training she received from Doris Dant, Nancy Lund, and Angela Ashurst-McGee, all formerly part of BYU Studies staff. She is married to Jesse Hurlbut; they are the parents of four children. Before settling in Utah, they lived in California, Indiana, Kentucky, and France. As a senior editor, she copyedits articles, handles permissions of graphics, and helps with website content for the BYU New Testament Commentary project. She appreciates being able to work on the wide variety of articles and books that BYU Studies publishes and work with outstanding scholars in many fields.

Annette Samuelsen

Annette Samuelsen—Publications Coordinator

Annette Samuelsen is the publications coordinator and office manager for BYU Studies. She started part-time at BYU Studies in 1995 by managing subscriptions and finances. She still enjoys supervising subscription and customer service matters, but also handles the logistics of manuscript submission, oversees the annual contests, and deals with office financial affairs. Annette especially likes meeting long-time subscribers at the outlet store held annually during Education Week. She and her husband, Eric—a former professor of Theatre & Media Arts at BYU—reside in Provo.

Marny Parkin

Marny Parkin—Production Editor

Marny K. Parkin is the production editor for BYU Studies. She began at BYU Studies as an undergraduate intern and has been on the staff off and on (with breaks for babies) ever since. Marny has extended her experience with BYU Studies into a freelance book design business, a bibliography project for fun, and a side job teaching print publishing design. She received her bachelor's degree in math education and enjoys reading science fiction and fantasy and collecting Oriental dragons. She and her husband, Scott, live in Orem with their six children.


Derek Gurr—Website Manager and Editor

Derek Gurr began working at BYU Studies in 2018 as website manager. He is thrilled to be part of an organization where he can learn about the latest scholarly papers on LDS history and doctrine during staff meeting. He graduated from BYU in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in communications with a public relations emphasis. When he’s not at work, he’s generally with his beautiful wife, Jenni and his three adorable kids. Derek enjoys writing science fiction and fantasy as well as running. He eats way too much cheddar cheese and probably should cut back on the chocolate milk too. Derek and his family live in American Fork.

Editorial Board:

  • Trevor Alvord
  • Richard Bennett
  • Carter Charles
  • Gerrit Dirkmaat
  • Justin Dyer
  • Dirk Elzinga
  • Sherilyn Farnes
  • Kathleen Flake
  • Ignacio Garcia
  • Daryl Hague
  • David F. Holland
  • Kent P. Jackson
  • Megan Sanborn Jones
  • Ann L. Lewis
  • Armand L. Mauss
  • Kerry Muhlestein
  • Marjorie Newton
  • Susan Sessions Rugh
  • Lisa Olsen Tait
  • Herman du Toit
  • John G. Turner
  • Gerrit van Dyk
  • John W. Welch
  • Frederick G. Williams
  • Jed L. Woodworth