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April 2020 Employee Spotlight: Paul Ricks

Man taking selfie with two boys against a mountain backdrop.
Courtesy of Paul Ricks. 

Q: Where are you from? 
A: Winslow, AZ (those of a certain generation will have heard it referenced by Don Henley and crew). 

Q: What and where have you studied?
A: I studied Portuguese and elementary education here at BYU as an undergrad. I also received a master’s from here in teacher education, with an emphasis in literacy. Then, most recently, I received in PhD in children’s literature from Penn State. 

Q: Where have you previously worked?
A: I was a fifth- and sixth-grade teacher in Salt Lake City for seven years. Additionally, during this same period, I was employed as a social worker, providing respite services for teenage boys and their families. Also, not that anyone needs to know/care, I was a laborer on various construction crews all through high school and college. If you need something fixed, then I’m probably not your man. But if you need something demolished and then cleaned up afterward, I’m the guy to call.

Q: Best Halloween costume you have had? 
A: Well, I thought I had a pretty spot-on Hot Rod costume one year. However, when I got to the party to show it to the masses, it quickly became apparent that the attendees weren’t as familiar with Andy Samberg’s masterpiece as I was, so it was more of a personal triumph than a crowd-pleaser. 

Q: What would you rate 10/10? 
A: Shaun Tan’s collection of illustrated short stories entitled Tales from Outer Suburbia. Those stories are some of the weirdest/coolest micropieces of literature I’ve ever read, and I’ve found that they’re litmus tests of sorts for unveiling who the weirdest/coolest people are as well. 

Q: Do you collect anything? 
A: I collect old coins.

Q: If your entire life was a movie, what would the title be?
A: Paul Hancock Ricks

Q: If you could be any type of vegetable, what would you be and why?
A: Cauliflower, as I think it would be the least likely to be eaten. But, if someone did choose to eat me, which seems wrong, they’d almost assuredly feel bad about it afterward, which seems appropriate. 

Man with two boys an infant posing for a picture in the grass with a building in the background.
Courtesy of Paul Ricks. 

Q: Where could we find you on most Saturday mornings? 
A: That’s a trick question. I try my best to hide from other humans on Saturdays. 

Q: What movie quotes do you use on a regular basis?
A: “You know, for kids.” —The Hudsucker Proxy
“With friends like you, who needs friends?”  —Rushmore
“Not here, or here so much, but right here.” —Tommy Boy
“I know for a fact you don’t party!” —Hot Rod