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New faculty come with strong academic and practical experience

The McKay School is pleased to welcome several new faculty members this year. The Communication Disorders Department has gained Katy Cabbage as an assistant professor and Doug Peterson as an associate professor. Visiting faculty member Alisa Belliston and assistant professor Sarah Clark have joined the Department of Teacher Education, and Michael Owens is an associate professor in the Educational Leadership and Foundations Department.

Katy Cabbage

Katy Cabbage studied communication disorders in her home state at Eastern Washington University. After earning her bachelor’s, she continued with her graduate studies at the same school, getting a master’s in speech-language pathology. For the next few years Cabbage worked as a speech-language pathologist in public schools, and she then went on to earn her doctorate at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Before coming to BYU, she spent some time on the East Coast, completing a post doctorate and working as a research associate at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions in Boston.


Doug Petersen

Originally from Alaska, Doug Petersen got all three of his degrees at Utah State University. He has a bachelor’s degree in communicative disorders and deaf education, a master’s degree in speech-language pathology, and a doctoral degree in disability disciplines with an emphasis in speech-language pathology. Petersen has spent the last eight years as an associate professor at the University of Wyoming, teaching courses such as research methods, stuttering, and multi-cultural issues in speech-language pathology.


Mike Owens

California native Michael Owens earned both his bachelor’s degree in international relations and his master’s degree in international development education at BYU. He then attended University of Utah for his PhD in educational leadership and policy. After completing his education, Owens worked as an assistant professor of educational leadership at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, before returning to California in 2014 as an associate professor of educational leadership at California Lutheran University.



Alisa Belliston grew up in Northville, Michigan, and attended BYU for her bachelor’s degree in elementary education. After working in the Plano Independent School District in Texas, she earned a master’s degree from the University of North Texas in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in mathematics. She then returned to Utah and worked as a BYU facilitator at Riverton Elementary School until she decided to pursue her PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in mathematics education.


Sarah Clark

Sarah Clark has spent most of her life in Arizona, growing up there with her 12 siblings and going on to complete both her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Arizona. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in language, reading, and culture. She continued her education at Utah State University, earning a PhD in curriculum and instruction. Throughout these experiences, Clark has taught both fifth grade and kindergarten, written and edited curriculum materials, and worked as a professor of literacy education courses.


The McKay School is thrilled to have new faculty with such a variety of professional and educational experience.