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Faculty Spotlight with Jay Snell

Jay and Nicole Snell

We welcome Jay Snell, our newest Associate Professor.

He brings with him a wealth of experience in Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity. Most recently, he worked for the Department of Defense (DoD) as a Cyber Threat Analyst in Maryland and relocated here with his family for this position.

Snell started his career here at BYU as an undergraduate, where he majored in IT. He fondly remembers taking Digital Communications from Dr. Barry Lunt as a student, and it is in large part thanks to Dr. Lunt that he is now a professor here.

When reflecting on his BYU experience, Professor Snell describes it as “very informative. It cemented my testimony and enabled me to really strengthen my relationship with my Savior while pursuing a rigorous academic program.”

Born in Wyoming, he moved to Utah when he was just seven years old. When the time came, he served his 2-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Santa Maria, Brazil before enrolling at BYU.

After finishing his coursework at BYU, he was awarded a scholarship and traveled to Rochester, New York, where he attended the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) to pursue a master’s degree in Networking and Systems Administration.

However, according to Professor Snell, the best thing to come out of his time in Rochester was meeting his wife, Nicole, while planning a regional Young Single Adult conference in Palmyra, New York! He and Nicole have been married for almost 14 years and they have three boys and two girls. When he’s not at work, Snell loves to cook, fix things, and read with his kids.

Immediately after graduating from RIT, he went to work for the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR). While there, he executed projects from the Navy’s international land-based network and worked with a team to design the new network infrastructure for USSTRATCOM’s headquarters building in Omaha, Nebraska.

He is also currently serving in the Navy Reserves and had the opportunity to support DoD missions in Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Spain, South Carolina, and Washington State. As a Reservist, he was recalled to Active Duty to teach at the Naval Academy for three years in their Cybersecurity program.

“I was helping our nation, our national defense. That was inspiring to me. I’m inspired working for a cause greater than myself.”

We’re grateful to have him teach at BYU and for him to be able to inspire the students here in the same way he felt inspired.

“I really thrived on that. When I left BYU, I had the inkling that I wanted to help create that environment in the future."