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Meet the UPR staff.
  • Tom_Williams.JPG
    Yin Tang
    Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996. He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.) He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah.” He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.
  • At 14-years-old, Kerry began working as a reporter for KVEL “The Hot One” in Vernal, Utah. Her radio news interests led her to Logan where she became news director for KBLQ while attending Utah State University. She graduated USU with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and spent the next few years working for Utah Public Radio. Leaving UPR in 1993 she spent the next 14 years as the full time mother of four boys before returning in 2007. Kerry and her husband Boyd reside in Nibley.
  • Sheri's career in radio began at 7 years old in Los Angeles, California with a secret little radio tucked under her bed that she'd fall asleep with, while listening to The Dr. Demento Radio Show. She went on to produce the first science radio show in Utah in 1999 and has been reporting local, national and international stories ever since. After a stint as news director at KZYX on northern California's Lost Coast, she landed back at UPR in 2021.
  • Katie grew up in Orem, Utah but moved to Logan after high school to attend Utah State University. She graduated in 2015 with a BS in journalism and communications, and a BFA in drawing and painting. Katie got her start at UPR first as an intern while she was still attending USU. She worked as a producer for Access Utah and then as a weekend host after she graduated. In September of 2016 joined the full-time staff of UPR as a development officer over membership and couldn’t be happier to be a part of Utah Public Radio.
  • A native of Cache Valley, Debbie grew up on a dairy farm in Wellsville and graduated from local schools. Her professional background includes working in print and digital media for more than 30 years. Debbie is a certified group fitness instructor, personal trainer and teaches Yoga at the Logan Recreation Center. She loves public radio and is committed to listening to a variety of her favorite podcasts every day. She also enjoys involvement in local events benefiting the community and keeping up with her grandchildren.
  • When his dad said, “Don’t play with that old radio, you’re going to get shocked,” 10-year-old Friend Weller was certainly looking out for his own best interests. What was at the time an elementary-school-aged hobby soon turned into a life-long career decision. Friend has worked professionally for nearly three decades as a radio announcer and engineer in both commercial and public radio.
  • Shalayne Smith Needham has worked at Utah Public Radio since 2000 as producer of Access Utah. She graduated from Utah State University in 1997 with a BA in Sociology, emphasis on Criminology. A Logan native, she grew up with an appreciation for the great outdoors and spends her free time photographing the Western landscape and its wildlife.
  • Emily Colby started her journey at UPR four and a half years ago as an Access Utah producer. She fell in love with public radio, and soon began hosting weekend programming. Emily went on to produce the Utah Women & Leadership Podcast and manage UPR’s website. She enjoys cooking and TV, and loves to read sci-fi, fantasy, and poetry.
  • Nicholas Porath is a Logan native and music lover. He recently graduated from USU with a degree in broadcast journalism. It was while studying journalism that he found his niche and newfound love for radio. He first started out as an intern behind the scenes and found his way to the control room where he now hosts Here & Now on Monday through Friday from 11-1. Nick is also the producer for DEBUNKED.
  • Reporter Jacob Scholl covers northern Utah as part of a newly-created partnership between The Salt Lake Tribune and Utah Public Radio. Scholl writes for The Tribune and appears on-air for UPR.
  • Kirsten grew up listening to Utah Public Radio in Smithfield, Utah and now resides in Logan. She has three children and is currently the Saturday morning host on UPR. Kirsten graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor's degree History in 2000, and currently studies childhood development (see previous note about children). She enjoys doing voice work, reading, writing, drawing, teaching children, and doing machine embroidery.
  • Colleen Meidt is a Science Reporter at UPR as well as a PhD student at Utah State University. She studies native bees in the Mojave Desert and is particularly interested studying the conservation status of the Mohave Poppy Bee. In her free time, Colleen enjoys photography and rock climbing in the canyons.
  • Caroline Long is a science reporter at UPR. She is curious about the natural world and passionate about communicating her findings with others. As a PhD student in Biology at Utah State University, she spends most of her time in the lab or at the coyote facility, studying social behavior. In her free time, she enjoys making art, listening to music, and hiking.
  • Manuel Giron produces news content at UPR. As a bilingual reporter, he writes stories in English and Spanish, and is involved in all steps of the reporting process from thinking of story ideas to writing the stories and preparing them for air. He is a Senior at Utah State University majoring in Political Science and minoring in Portuguese. He loves to write, read, listen to music, and swim. He is incredibly excited about working for UPR and learning about journalism in the process.
  • Aimee Van Tatenhove is a science reporter at UPR. She spends most of her time interviewing people doing interesting research in Utah and writing stories about wildlife, new technologies and local happenings. She is also a PhD student at Utah State University, studying white pelicans in the Great Salt Lake, so she thinks about birds a lot! She also loves fishing, skiing, baking, and gardening when she has a little free time.
  • A selfie of Duck Thurgood. They are wearing a tank top and their hair is dyed red.
    Duck Thurgood
    Duck is a general reporter at UPR, and is studying broadcast journalism and disability studies at USU. They grew up in northern Colorado before moving to Logan in 2018, so the Rocky Mountain life is all they know. Free time is generally spent with their dog, Monty, listening to podcasts, reading or wishing they could be outside more.
  • Anna Johnson smiles at the camera. She has straight brown hair and is wearing a white shirt.
    Anna Johnson
    Anna grew up begging her mom to play music instead of public radio over the car stereo on the way to school. Now, she loves radio and the power of storytelling through sound. While she is happy to report on anything from dance concerts to laughter practice, her main focus at UPR is political reporting. She is studying Journalism and Political Science at Utah State University and wants to work in political communication after she graduates. In her free time, she spends time with her rescue dog Quigley and enjoys rock climbing.
  • Caitlin Keith smiles at the camera. She has long, wavy red hair and is wearing a button-up shirt that is partially tucked in.
    Caitlin Keith
    Caitlin Keith is a general news reporter at UPR. She is from Lindon, Utah and is currently an undergrad student studying print journalism at USU. Caitlin loves to write and tell people’s stories. She is also a writer at the Utah Statesman. She loves to read, ski, play the cello and watch various TV shows.
  • Erin Lewis has long brown hair and is wearing a beige sweater and coat. Sunglasses hang from the neck of her sweater.
    Erin Lewis
    Erin Lewis is a science reporter at Utah Public Radio and a PhD Candidate in the biology department at Utah State University. She is passionate about fostering curiosity and communicating science to the public. At USU she studies how anthropogenic disturbances are impacting wildlife, particularly the effects of tourism-induced dietary shifts in endangered Bahamian Rock Iguana populations. In her free time she enjoys reading, painting and getting outside with her dog, Hazel.
  • Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.
  • Kellie is a senior at USU majoring in Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations. She runs the Instagram for UPR. Kellie loves being creative and sharing messages on social media that impact the community. She also loves photography, spending time with her baby girl and her husband, and running.
  • Max is a neuroscientist and science reporter. He researches a protein receptor and its effect on opioid drugs in the brain. He reports on opioids, space and Great Salt Lake. Like Uncle Iroh, he believes that the cure for all ailments is more hot tea. He is also an avid jigsaw puzzler.  
  • A long time lover of NPR and radio reporting, Clayre Scott joined UPR in August of 2021 as the producer of the weekly podcast UnDisciplined. She began reporting in 2022 and now enjoys telling stories through sound and getting weekly texts from her family after hearing her on the radio. Along with her work at UPR, Clayre is attending Utah State University to get her degree in Broadcast Journalism, with time on the side to study Political Science and Art History.
  • Steffen Rigby is an undergraduate at USU, studying Economics and Philosophy, and joined UPR as an intern in early 2022. As a producer for Access Utah, Steffen researches various potential topics and current events to be discussed on the daily morning affairs show, and coordinates with guests to come on the show. He is an avid chess player, enjoys reading, and watching indie films.