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Spencer L. James, PhD

Spencer James.jpg
Spencer L. James is an associate professor of Family Life, an Africana Studies affiliate, and a Wheatley Fellow at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, U.S.A. Prior to coming to BYU, he earned a dual PhD in Sociology and Demography and a doctoral certificate in Quantitative Methodology at The Pennsylvania State University.

At present, he is directing the Global Families Research Initiative, which aims to inform the curious public, policymakers, journalists, academics, and other stakeholders of current trends shaping contemporary family life across the globe.

His research on global family trends, which has been published in leading international journals in family science, sociology, demography, psychology, and social work, focuses on two lines: the first on the consequences of family relationship for child, adolescent, and adult well-being and the second on how and why people form, maintain, and dissolve romantic relationships.

Spencer served in the Ivory Coast-Abidjan mission and is married to Alyssa Rose Murphey. They have three children, Cooper (13), Sadie (12), and Parker (10). He is VERY happy to be with you today.

Prof. Dr. Wouter E.A. van Beek

Wouter van Beek
Wouter van Beek is emeritus professor of Anthropology of Religion at Tilburg University and now leads a European project on the digitalization of African Cultural Heritage at Leiden University. As a cultural anthropologist he has become part of two African families, who keep reminding him of the blessings as well as responsibilities of familial networks. He has published extensively on his African research, as well as on Latter-day Saint culture in Europe. In the Church he has held many positions, among which stake president of the Rotterdam Stake, and at present he teaches Sunday School, and is ward PA representative. He is the proud grandfather of 11 grandchildren – his four children now take care of themselves.

Synopsis of proposed presentation:

  • an anthropological view of marriage: why no society in history has ever survived without the institution of marriage;
  • Europe and marriage – an ancient union;
  • the present LDS marital situation in Europe
    • small communities with wide networks
    • e-links and the multicultural challenge
  • the changing definition of marriage and the European LDS community

Dominika and Radu Stoica

Dominika and Radu are converts to the church. They met at a YSA convention in Poland in 2010 and got married in 2016. The Church and the gospel have had a big impact on their lives. They served in numerous callings including full-time missionaries. They are the parents of Amelia and Eliza and currently reside in Brasov, Romania.

Radu was born in Sinnicolau Mare, in the West of Romania but lived most of his life in Iasi in the East of Romania. He is an entrepreneur with a background in sales and marketing. His interests include environmental and clean technologies as well as education, particularly helping youth understand their worth and potential.

Dominika was born and raised in Lodz, Poland and grew up loving music and dancing. She worked various jobs starting at the age 16 and is currently working as an internship placement director for Poland. In the more recent years she became passionate about photography and loves capturing special moments of her family. Although having been raised in a dysfunctional family she knew she wanted to create a happy family of her own.