Tom Williams

UPR Management | Program Director | Access Utah Host

tom.williams@usu.edu

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.

Utah State University Office of Research


It sometimes seems like life is nothing but conflict these days, with heated disagreements on Social Media and around the dinner table. And you may be dreading a high-stakes conversation in your near future. Next time on Access Utah we’ll talk with consultant and USU lecturer Clair Canfield. 

Utah State University


Jean Lowe is an American pop/conceptual multimedia artist whose work carefully and humorously unpacks the ironies and challenges of our 21st-century culture. Lowe employs wit and satire to create work that is both entertaining and seductive as well as intellectually provocative. Her work revolves around the intersection of popular culture, environmentalism, commerce, politics, and art history.

KSLTV


Next time on Access Utah, we’ll present another live episode of Debunked, the only Utah podcast combining evidence-based health practices with storytelling to challenge the stereotypes, and debunk the myths about harm reduction, substance use disorders and homelessness. This time we’re debunking the myth, “There are plenty of resources but people just don’t want the help.”

University of Oxford


Witty, inspiring, and charismatic, Oscar Wilde is one of the Greats of English literature. Today, his plays and stories are beloved around the world. But it was not always so. His afterlife has given him the legitimacy that life denied him.

University of California, Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center

We hear from many these days who say “the news is depressing” or “the news just makes me mad.” Today we’re going to talk about how news consumption can affect our mental health. We’ll explore how to vet the news and how to find trustworthy news sources. There’s a growing divide in what we collectively accept as facts. What do we do about that? How do we combat misinformation?

Business Expert Press

In the span of a single lifetime, light pollution stemming from Artificial Light At Night (ALAN) has severed the connection with the stars that we’ve had since the dawn of time. With the nocturnal biosphere significantly altered, light’s anthropogenic influence has compelled millions of people to seek out the last remaining dark skies.

Utah State University Jon M. Huntsman School of Business


Dr. Susan Madsen, Director of The Utah Women & Leadership Project (UWLP) at Utah State University will join us on Tuesday’s Access Utah to talk about new research from UWLP into how the pandemic has affected women and work, specifically focusing on caregiver experiences.

Penguin Random House

Christine Montross has spent her career treating the most severely ill psychiatric patients. Several years ago, she set out to investigate why so many of her patients became caught up in the legal system when discharged from her care—and what happened to them in that legal system.

Barnes and Noble


8:36 P.M. EST, December 12, 1972: Apollo 17 astronauts Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt braked to a stop alongside Nansen Crater, keenly aware that they were far, far from home. They had flown nearly a quarter-million miles to the man in the moon’s left eye, landed at its edge, and then driven five miles into this desolate, boulder-strewn landscape. As they gathered samples, they strode at the outermost edge of mankind’s travels. This place, this moment, marked the extreme of exploration for a species born to wander. 

Amazon

In his memoir, “The Weight of Shadows,” José Orduña chronicles the process of becoming a North American citizen in a post-9/11 United States. Intractable realities—rooted in the continuity of US imperialism to globalism—form the landscape of Orduña’s daily experience, where the geopolitical meets the quotidian.

YouTube


American Indian Services Pre-Freshman Engineering Program (AIS PREP) is a free STEM summer school program for middle schoolers from eight different Native American tribes. Alice Min Soo Chun, founder and CEO of Solight Designs, Inc., is this year’s AIS PREP graduation keynote speaker.

Utah State University

All of us—people, fish, and many other creatures—depend on the water in Utah’s rivers. The choices we make about how to develop water resources have big impacts on river habitats. In “Decisions Downstream,” an exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Utah, watershed scientist Sarah Null teams up with artists Chris Peterson and Carsten Meier to explore new ways of seeing river habitats. Critical water decisions are being made in Utah. “Decisions Downstream” highlights the water development tools, trade offs, and alternatives that can guide our choices.

Coffee or Die Magazine

For much of a year, writer Sebastian Junger and three friends—a conflict photographer and two Afghan War vets—walked the railroad lines of the East Coast. It was an experiment in personal autonomy, but also in interdependence. Dodging railroad cops, sleeping under bridges, cooking over fires, and drinking from creeks and rivers, the four men forged a unique reliance on one another.

Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre

American Festival Chorus and Orchestra (AFCO) is performing the Mozart Requiem this weekend. Craig Jessop, Director of AFCO and Gary Griffin, Managing Director of Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theater (UFOMT) will join us in-studio to talk about Mozart, the Requiem, and performing arts as we come out of the pandemic.

Amazon

When the pandemic struck, nature writer David Gessner turned to Henry David Thoreau, the original social distancer, for lessons on how to live. Those lessons—of learning our own backyard, rewilding, loving nature, self-reliance, and civil disobedience—hold a secret that could help save us as we face the greater crisis of climate. Gessner’s new book is Quiet Desperation, Savage Delight: Sheltering with Thoreau in the Age of Crisis, published by Torrey House Press.

Cait Salinas

As you know, NPR is celebrating 50 years. You’ve been hearing some memories from UPR staff members and now it’s your turn! Continue the conversation and share your memories by emailing upraccess@gmail.com.

Penguin Random House

When Kate Washington and her husband, Brad, learned that he had cancer, they were a young couple: professionals with ascending careers, parents to two small children. Brad’s diagnosis stripped those identities away: he became a patient and she his caregiver. Brad’s cancer quickly turned aggressive, necessitating a stem-cell transplant that triggered a massive infection, robbing him of his eyesight and nearly of his life. Kate acted as his full-time aide to keep him alive, coordinating his treatments, making doctors’ appointments, calling insurance companies, filling dozens of prescriptions, cleaning commodes, administering IV drugs.

The College Today - College of Charleston


By the time he turned nineteen, Derek Black was regarded as the "the leading light" of the white nationalist movement. While at college he started to question his worldview. Then he decided to confront the damage he had done. In the book, Rising Out of Hatred,” the author, Pulitzer-prize winning reporter Eli Saslow, asks what Derek Black's story can tell us about America's increasingly divided nature.

Amazon

Utah’s path to statehood was the most tortuous in U.S. history, due in no small part to the Mormon practice of polygamy. Frank J. Cannon, newspaperman, Congressional delegate, and senator, guided Utah toward becoming the forty-fifth state in the Union in 1896. But when he lost favor with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, his contributions fell into obscurity.

The Salt Lake Tribune


Many wildfires continue to burn across Utah, with the threat of more fire with the persisting hot and dry conditions. We’ll talk about wildfires in Utah today. Our guests will include Staci Olson, who has fought wildfires in the western U.S. for 10 years; Kait Webb with the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands; and Moab Mayor Emily Niehaus.

The Denver Post

The Monarch and Other Winged Wonders Festival will happen on Thursday in Nibley. We’ll preview the event next time on Access Utah. We’ll learn about Monarch butterflies, bats, bees, fireflies, night pollinators, dragonflies and birds. We’ll talk about the decline in some of these species and how we can help. And we’ll discuss how being in nature can improve our health and well-being.

Amazon

History isn’t always written by the victors. 19th century America saw a series of high-profile court cases that stripped civil rights from Black Americans following the Civil War. John Marshall Harlan was the only U.S. Supreme Court justice to stand in dissent, and his blistering, passionate rebuttals inspired future justices, such as Thurgood Marshall, who said that Harlan’s writings were his “Bible” and his blueprint as he helped to tear down Segregation a century later.

libbycopeland.com

In a recent op-ed in the New York Times, titled “America’s Brutal Racial History Is Written All Over Our Genes,” Libby Copeland writes: “The debate around race consuming America right now is coinciding with a technological phenomenon — at-home genetic testing kits — revealing many of us are not who we thought we were. Some customers of the major DNA testing companies, which collectively have sold 37 million of these kits, are getting results that surprise them.”

Lyric Repertory Company


The Mountaintop by Katori Hall is a gripping two-person drama about the last day of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  In the play, King is alone in his hotel room when he is joined by Camae, a maid who works for the Lorraine Motel. What follows is a reflective, often funny, often touching conversation in which Dr. King examines his achievements, his failures, and his unfinished dreams.

KUTV


A few months ago we talked with several Covid-19 long haulers. They said that some continued to suffer debilitating effects of the disease months after being infected with the virus. Many long haulers say they had active lifestyles prior to getting sick, but they are nowhere near getting back to normal. Today we’re going to check back in with Lisa O’Brien, founder of a Utah COVID-19 Long Haulers group. We’ll also be talking to Dr. Brayden Yellman of the Bateman Horne Center and Dr. Jeanette Brown, Director of the new post-COVID care clinic at the University of Utah. 

KUTV


A few months ago we talked with several Covid-19 long haulers. They said that some continued to suffer debilitating effects of the disease months after being infected with the virus. Many long haulers say they had active lifestyles prior to getting sick, but they are nowhere near getting back to normal. Today we’re going to check back in with Lisa O’Brien, founder of a Utah COVID-19 Long Haulers group. We’ll also be talking to Dr. Brayden Yellman of the Bateman Horne Center and Dr. Jeanette Brown, Director of the new post-COVID care clinic at the University of Utah. 

Deseret News


Utah residents are facing a housing shortage in virtually every community and a segment of our population struggles with housing insecurity on a regular basis, partially associated with stigma and shame. Some don't fully understand the obstacles many have overcome. On the next Access Utah we’ll present another live episode of the podcast Debunked.  We’ll be debunking the myth: Homeless people are lazy and don’t want to work.

Amos Guiora

On Sunday, Israel’s parliament (Knesset) voted in favor of a new government, ending Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year reign as prime minister.  The vote ushered in a “change government”—a coalition of eight different political parties that plan to use a rotation system to fill the prime minister’s seat. Naftali Bennett, leader of the New Right Party, will initially serve as prime minister for two years, followed by Yair Lapid, leader of the Yesh Atid for two years. For the first time in Israel’s history, an Israeli Arab party will be part of the government.

Martha Ham

Conservation groups have filed a lawsuit against the Interior Department to prevent a highway from being built through Red Cliffs National Conservation Area in Southwest Utah. The groups claim that paving over the protected land would be a violation of environmental laws which require agencies to analyze potential environmental harms before making decisions. Red Cliffs was established as a conservation area in 2009 to help recover a threatened species - the Mojave desert tortoise. 

Penguin Random House


In her new book, “Dusk, Night, Dawn: On Revival and Courage,” Anne Lamott explores the tough questions that many of us are grappling with. How can we recapture the confidence we once had as we stumble through the dark times that seem increasingly bleak? As bad news piles up—from climate crises to daily assaults on civility—how can we cope? Where, she asks, “do we start to get our world and joy and hope and our faith in life itself back . . . with our sore feet, hearing loss, stiff fingers, poor digestion, stunned minds, broken hearts?”

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