An Academic Journey

Patrick Fossat has attended several universities and gained valuable insight from his experiences.

The move from southern Utah to Utah Valley was meant to be temporary, but 12 years later, Patrick Fossat still hasn’t left. Fossat’s academic journey has taken him from the College of Eastern Utah (CEU), Southern Utah University (SUU), Utah State University (USU), and finally Brigham Young University (BYU).

Currently, Fossat is a member of the Educational Leadership and Foundations (EdLF) master’s program at BYU. Fossat quickly realized that taking classes at BYU was a much different experience than the classes he’d taken at other universities.

“I have loved the fact that we can explicitly make spiritual and eternal connections to the things that we are learning. Everything has a spiritual foundation. Things were created spiritually before they were created temporally,” Fossat said. “It’s a deeper education that I’m receiving at BYU because I can make spiritual connections to the principles that I’m learning.”

At BYU, Fossat has thoroughly enjoyed his time in his classes. In fact, it has been one of the biggest highlights for Fossat.

“There have just been so many great classes and really good experiences. I’ve actually really enjoyed David Boren’s classes. The way he conducts the classes really jives with the way I learn,” Fossat explained. “There’s something about the way he operates his classes that really impact[s] me.”

Fossat has learned many valuable life lessons during his time at BYU. One of those is not to “minimax” his experiences.

“‘Minimax’ means to put in minimal effort and [expect] the maximum rewards. The classes I’ve had so far [at BYU] have been worth investing a lot of time into,” Fossat shared.

Fossat started his academic career at CEU on a scholarship he’d been awarded when he was in ninth grade. Upon receiving his bachelor’s at SUU, Fossat began an internship at Oak Canyon Jr. High in the Alpine School District.

“I loved southern Utah, but I thought I’d move up [to the Utah Valley area] and get started in teaching, but as soon as I could, [I’d] go back to southern Utah. It turned out I loved teaching here and I love teaching in the Alpine School District, so I’ve been here ever since,” Fossat said.

After teaching at Oak Canyon for roughly four years, Fossat earned his master’s degree in secondary education with an emphasis in math at USU in 2011.

However, Fossat’s career reached a turning point when he joined the Aspiring Principals’ Academy program at BYU. He had been considering going back to USU for another master’s degree or a license in school leadership, but being in the program changed his mind to attend BYU.

“I switched it up and decided I wanted to get my second master’s degree at BYU because I liked the cohort system at BYU,” Fossat shared. “I really liked the idea of being part of a cohort, and that has been one of my favorite things about it. I have made some lifelong friends from the cohort I’m in.”

Fossat will join the BYU faculty in fall 2017 as a clinical faculty associate with the Department of Math Education. Fossat plans to finish his master’s in educational leadership from BYU in 2018. He currently resides in Eagle Mountain, Utah, with his family.

Writer: Janine Swart
Contact: Cindy Glad (801) 422-1922