Neil Carpenter started teaching seminary in 2011 near Tooele, UT, and has excitedly been at the Southern Virginia Institute since 2021. Even though he is a country boy by nature, a mission in Chicago helped him also love diverse city sights, sounds, and culture. An even greater love is being with his wife and five children. With an undergraduate degree in geology, he uses any excuse to spend time with his beautiful family outdoors. Insatiable curiosity drove his pursuit of advanced degrees in education, but he believes the greatest lessons of life come from trusting in the Lord and moving forward with faith. He further believes a great soul is not measured by the answers it knows but by the questions it knows to ask!
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Brother Palmer has been employed with Seminaries and Institutes since 1990. He joined the faculty at the Southern Virginia Institute of Religion in 2020 and currently serves as the Director of the Institute in addition to his teaching responsibilities. Brother Palmer served his mission in Japan and shortly after returning married Shauna King who also served a mission in Japan. Their happy family consists of 4 bright and beautiful children, 3 best-in-the-world in-laws, 7 grandchildren and one Great Pyrenees named Baron. Their three missionary age children served in Korea, Russia and Japan. Brother Palmer loves to teach and associate with the youth of the church. He and his family stay busy recreating, traveling, and playing together. His interests include: Disneyland, reading, scuba diving, frequent travel and the Japanese language and culture.
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Brother Williams has been teaching seminary and institute since 1998 and arrived at the Southern Virginia Institute in 2019. In addition to teaching (his dream job since high school), he loves the outdoors, especially hiking, backpacking, trail running, and cycling. He is always on the hunt for another great book to read, loves planning trips (even when he doesn't actually go) and particularly enjoys spending time with his wife Robin, his eight children, and his growing number of children-in-law and grandchildren.
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Sister Palmer's most significant asset to the teaching profession is her passion for life-long learning. Sister Palmer's undergraduate degree is in Japanese and Social Studies, and her graduate degree is in Curriculum Instruction and Leadership. She believes all students should have a safe place to learn and grow in wisdom and knowledge. She strives to help students fulfill the promise of Doctrine and Covenants 130:18 "Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection." She also believes that while learning takes work, it can be fun. Sister Palmer is married to Darin Palmer and has four children, three in-laws, and six grandchildren. The Family Proclamation speaks of families participating in wholesome recreational activities, and her family's recreational activities range from simple game nights to worldwide explorations. Sister Palmer's goals include continuing her mother's family history work to unite families for eternity.
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Sister Jones has been the program’s administrative assistant since 2015. Her favorite aspect of the job is interacting with the students on a daily basis. She and her husband live in Buena Vista where they’ve raised their two sons.