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.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Vaccines are being rolled out and warmer weather is approaching. Those are hopeful developments. What else should we know about Covid-19 in Utah right now?

On Monday’s Access Utah we’ll broadcast a full episode from This Is Her Place, a podcast that tells the remarkable stories of Utah women past and present, in all their diversity. Podcast co-host Naomi Watkins will also join us.  

Today we’ll talk with Sharon Shattuck, director and producer of the documentary film Picture a Scientist, which offers a sobering portrait of struggles women face in pursuing studies and careers in science. UPR is among several organizations sponsoring a virtual film screening of Picture a Scientist (March 5-7) and a panel discussion (March 8). We’ll also be talking with Sara Freeman, USU Assistant Professor of Biology, who is coordinating the USU events; and Sojung Lim, USU Assistant Professor of Sociology, who is participating in the panel discussion. We’ll also hear sound clips from the film.

The pandemic is coming up on the year mark. More than 500,000 have died in the U.S. and millions have been or are sick. The need for caregiving has increased.  Many of us are tired, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Stress and isolation and worry are taking a toll. Today we’re going to talk about mental health during the pandemic.

 

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Last summer, amid the protests demanding police reform following the death of George Floyd, we spoke with Darlene McDonald, of the Utah Black Roundtable and a member of the then newly-created Salt Lake City Commission on Racial Equity in Policing. She said at the time: “Once the protests end and the streets become quiet, it is imperative that we not lose focus. We must redefine a new normal in policing.”

Markus Trienke

Today our guest is Cache Valley resident Maren Johnson. She’ll tell us some fascinating stories from the world of dog sledding. For the past five years she worked for dog sledding businesses in Alaska. She lived on a glacier with 280 sled dogs. She also worked for four-time Iditarod winner Jeff King in his tourist business and assisted him in the 1,000-mile Iditarod race. 

 

Today our focus is on rural Utah and the legislature. What issues are especially important to residents outside of the Wasatch Front? What legislation is being proposed? Our guests will include Sen. Chris Wilson, R-Logan; Sen. Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City; Rep. Christine Watkins, R-Price; Rep. Kera Birkeland, R-Morgan; and Sen. Ronald Winterton R-Roosevelt. We would love to hear from you. What is the most important issue where you live? Email us to upraccess@gmail.com

REUTERS

In a commentary published recently at Mongabay.com, Paul Rogers, a forest ecologist and Director of the Western Aspen Alliance at Utah State University, argues that forest managers’ “goal should not be to stop wildfire but to reduce conflicts with it.” The headline for the piece is: 

InclusionPro

The Utah Women’s Giving Circle presented their “Resilient 2020 Speaker Series | From Susan B. Anthony to RBG: The history, resilience and call to community.” The concluding event in the series was held in November 2020, and was titled “New Possibilities Amidst the Unraveling.” Sara Jones, CEO of InclusionPro talked about how to identify opportunities in the midst of turmoil. She reminded us that unraveling our expectations gives us space, freedom, and clear eyes to see things differently. 

How do we properly define cultural appropriation, and is it always wrong? If we can write in the voice of another, should we? And if so, what questions do we need to consider first?

Sara Freeman is an Assistant Professor of Neurobiology at Utah State University. She studies the neurobiology of strong social bonds. Last year, during the height of the pandemic, her mother died. Sara Freeman wrote recently about science and grief and love in Utah State Magazine, in an article titled “Love and Loss During a Pandemic.” She’ll join us for the hour next time on Access Utah.

WildEarth Guardians

 

Jim Robbins has written recently about pandemic-related overcrowding on Montana’s rivers; the connection between the growth of deadly viruses and the destruction of nature; the effects of public lands policy during the Trump Administration; geothermal energy; and an internet of animals. We’ll talk with him about public lands and related topics as the Biden Administration gets underway.

By Matt Affolter at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10814931

The film Downwinders and the Radioactive West has been airing on PBS Utah. Today we’re going to review a different part of America’s nuclear history. Susan Dawson and Gary Madsen are retired Utah State University professors whose research and Congressional testimony contributed to passage of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.

This special is part of UPR’s ongoing series Project Resilience. Project Resilience is made possible with support from the Utah State University Center for Persons With Disabilities.

On Wednesday’s Access Utah we’ll broadcast a full episode from This Is Her Place, a podcast that tells the remarkable stories of Utah women past and present, in all their diversity. Podcast co-host Naomi Watkins will also join us.  

 

Today we’ll talk with David Quammen about viruses in general and the SARS-CoV-2 virus specifically.

Bestalex

On Wednesday’s Access Utah we’ll talk about the situation in Russia with former NPR Moscow Bureau Chief Corey Flintoff.

May 1943. The Battle of Attu—called “The Forgotten Battle” by World War II veterans—was raging on the Aleutian island with an Arctic cold, impenetrable fog, and rocketing winds that combined to create some of the worst weather on Earth. Both American and Japanese forces were tirelessly fighting in a yearlong campaign, and both sides would suffer thousands of casualties.

Credit goodreads.com

Gary Ferguson’s books include “Land on Fire: The New Reality of Wildfire in the West.” We’ll talk with Gary Ferguson about the wildfires burning now in the west. We’ll also talk about his latest book “The Eight Master Lessons of Nature: What Nature Teaches Us About Living Well in the World.”

Clayton Center for the Arts

Welcome to a special edition of Access Utah on Utah Public Radio. In this hour we’ll be highlighting L.A. Theatre Works, which can be heard on UPR on Friday evenings at 9:00. Susan Albert Loewenberg, founder, host and Producing Director of L.A. Theatre Works will join me to talk about producing theatre for radio and the role the arts play during these pandemic times and other topics. We’ll also hear sound clips from several productions. 

utah.com


The 2021 session of the Utah Legislature begins on Tuesday and we’re going to get a preview of possible priorities, key legislation and the key players today on Access Utah. The Utah Capitol building will be closed to the public on opening day due to security concerns. Issues likely to be addressed by the legislature include tax cuts, education, and the economic effects of the pandemic.


USU History Department

Our guest today on Access Utah is Selina Gallo-Cruz, Associate Professor of Sociology at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester Massachusetts. We’ll talk about the women’s suffrage movement, women's resistance in civil war, civics education and the ongoing movement for voting rights.

Twitter: @kathryniveyy

Today we look at the top Digital Trends of 2020, from the fun to the profound. Each year folklore students at Utah State University track digital trends. They then meet at the end of the year to prepare a ballot that goes out to a national panel of experts in digital folklore, which selects the winning trend. Top results for 2020 include #BreonnaTaylor and #GeorgeFloyd, as well as the meme: “How It Started/How It’s Going/How It Ended,” and gender-reveal, presidential election, and Zoom meetings memes.


Amazon


Of the roughly 120,000 people forced from their homes by Executive Order 9066, around 5,000 were able to escape incarceration beforehand by fleeing inland. In her new book, “Forced Out: A Nikkei Woman’s Search for a Home in America” Judy Kawamoto offers insight into “voluntary evacuation,” a little-known Japanese American experience during World War II, In the book, she addresses her personal and often unconscious reactions to her parents’ trauma, as well as her own subsequent travels around much of the world, exploring, learning, enjoying, but also unconsciously acting out a continual search for a home.

Join UPR for a special Access Utah program Thursday, January 14th at 7pm. Susan Albert Loewenberg, the founder and Producing Director of L.A. Theatre Works, will join UPR's Tom Williams to discuss the process of producing the L.A. Theatre Works national broadcast series. 

Amazon


Kevin Holdsworth’s new book is about the Uinta Mountains, Utah's loftiest range. “Red Stone Heart” celebrates the peak bagging experience and shares a little lore. The highest named peaks, The Notorious Nine, form a goal, but as with an Uinta stream, there is much meandering in the book through forest and meadow. Peaks and routes are pulled from a life's rucksack, and we are carried along as we watch a young fool somehow survive to a riper age. 

thisisherplace.org

Utah’s first female sheriff, Rosie Rivera, got some good advice when she became an officer: “Don’t try to be a man.” More than a century earlier, Utah’s first female deputy sheriff, Claire Ferguson, said to those who doubted her ability to handle danger, “Why should I fear more than the men?” Today we’ll broadcast a full episode from This Is Her Place, a podcast that tells the remarkable stories of Utah women past and present, in all their diversity. Podcast co-host Naomi Watkins will also join us.  

Amazon

Today Margaret Pettis will join us to talk about her new book of poetry titled “In the Temple of the Stars.” Her previous collection “Chokecherry Rain,” won the Utah State Poetry Society book award. 

timeanddate.com


We hope you’ll join us on Thursday for the Access Utah Holiday Special. Lightwood Duo, Mike Christiansen on guitar and Eric Nelson on clarinet, will play music for the holidays and playwright Tim Slover, author of The Christmas Chronicles, will present readings for the season. 

Amazon

Today we talk with Heather Lende about her new book Of Bears and Ballots: An Alaskan Adventure in Small-Town Politics.


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