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BYU Religious Education announces new department leadership

Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Sept. 22 2011 5:00 a.m. MDT

PROVO — Camille Fronk Olson is the new department chair for BYU's department of ancient scripture, it was announced Wednesday by Terry B. Ball, dean of Religious Education.

Olson replaces Dennis R. Largey. Kerry Muhlestein will serve as the associate department chair.

Olson holds a doctorate in the sociology of the Middle East and a master's degree in ancient Near Eastern studies. She is the author of the book "Women of the Old Testament." Olson previously taught institute and seminary in the Salt Lake area for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was dean of students at LDS Business College.

It was also announced that Robert Freeman will serve as a new associate department chair in the department of church history and doctrine, replacing Steven C. Harper. Brent Top will continue as chair of the department.

Muhlestein has expertise in ancient Egypt and the Hebrew Bible. He has served as the chairman of a national committee for the American Research Center in Egypt. He received a master's degree in ancient Near Eastern studies from BYU and a doctorate from UCLA in Egyptology.

Freeman has been a member of the full-time faculty since 1996 and focuses his teaching and research on 20th-century church history. He is co-director of the Saints at War Project, which researches the experiences of Latter-day Saints in wartime.

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