Kelsey Nixon, a former cougarette and current host of The Cooking Channel’s hit TV show “Kelsey’s Kitchen,” was born in North Ogden, Utah. While at BYU, she studied communications with an emphasis in broadcast journalism.
Growing up in a family where food and cooking was a staple, Nixon decided that she would marry her two loves of broadcasting and cooking and pursue a cooking show.
“My mom worked while we were younger both inside and outside the home, and she always looked forward to making dinner. She was such a joy in the kitchen, and I think that is where she felt [she had] a creative outlet,” Nixon said. “My mom always had a positive attitude towards cooking, and that had a huge impact on me.”
Nixon chose BYU because of its top-tier dance offering as well.
“I grew up dancing and was attracted to BYU because of the Cougarette program. The Cougarettes are national champions year after year, and I felt like BYU was a very positive place to use those dance skills I had developed growing up,” she said.
After speaking and working with a number of BYU communications professors, Nixon launched her first ever shoe-in to the world of cooking television: local access television. After a couple years of working in this environment, Nixon graduated, completed cooking school in both New York and Los Angeles, and became a contestant on “The Next Food Network Star,” where she was voted fan favorite. She also held jobs behind the scenes of other cooking shows such as “Martha Stewart Living,” PBS’ “Everyday Food,” NBC’s “The Martha Stewart Show” and Food Network’s “Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee.”
Today when Nixon is not filming her cooking show on The Cooking Channel, she is spending time with her new son Oliver and her husband Robby. The family currently resides in New York City.
Vai Sikahema graduated from BYU’s department of communications with a degree in broadcast journalism in 2002.
Instead of diving into his broadcasting career straight out of college, Sikahema had a successful first career as an NFL football player. During the course of his football years, he played for the BYU Cougars, the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles where he played running back and kickoff returner from 1986 to 1993.
Today Sikahema is a news anchor and reporter for NBC10 Philadelphia. He is also a recent inductee into the Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame.
Dr. Raymond E. Beckham is a retired faculty member and administrator from the Communications Departmentat BYU. Highly qualified and involved in education, Beckham, as a Professor Emeritus of Communications, spent 21 years teaching advertising and public relations at Brigham Young University. He served as the Director of Development for five years and as the Director of Public Services for five years. Beckham founded the Aspen Grove Family Camp and worked for the travel studies department, evening school and the New York City Internship Program.
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