Tom Williams

UPR Management | Program Director | Access Utah Host

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.

The Spruce Eats

Thanksgiving is traditionally a time when extended family gathers together. This year many of us will be gathering in smaller groups, but many of our traditions will endure and hopefully the food will be just as delicious. Today we’ll ask you about your traditions and your plans in this unusual year and we’ll answer your cooking questions.

Carol Anderson is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies at Emory University and author of White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Nation's Divide, a New York Times Bestseller, Washington Post Notable Book of 2016, and a National Book Critics Circle Award winner.

Salt Lake Tribune

A coalition of organizations hosted a national virtual event in August on the 75th anniversaries of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to commemorate the survivors of nuclear weapons and production. Still Here: 75 Years of Shared Nuclear Legacy included highlights from local events, stories from survivors, and a look toward a future free from nuclear threats.

Deseret News

Responding to a recent Access Utah episode on COVID-19 in Utah, Lisa O’Brien wrote us to say that she had founded a Utah COVID-19 Long Haulers group, and that many are still struggling with long term effects of COVID. She says that some have hit 8 months or longer and that studies are now showing that at least 10% are ending up with long term effects & that Post COVID Care centers are going up across the country for Long Haulers to help those dealing with Post Viral symptoms. Today we’ll talk with Lisa O’Brien, Stacie Linderman, and Christine Maughan.

Getty Images Press Room

Today on Access Utah, writer Bill Shapiro joins us to talk about what draws him to other people's photos. He says other people's photographs are "like time-travel and a shortcut to empathy." We talk about how photography can pull us outside of ourselves, connecting us to something greater.

Utah State University Office of Research

Simon Wang is Professor of Climate Dynamics and Assistant Director of the Utah Climate Center at Utah State University. Dr. Wang studies climate variability, weather process, extreme events, and long-term prediction. He recently gave a presentation to news reporters for a virtual event organized by InsideClimate News, titled “Wildfire, Heatwaves, Snowpack and Floods: Climate Change in the Mountain West.”

Stephen Trimble for

In a recent article for titled “In Defense of Pinon Nut Nation,” writer and photographer Stephen Trimble says “Piñons and junipers are the size of humans. We don’t look down at them, casually, and we don’t gaze up in awe. We are equal in scale. ‘Tree’ usually means tall, vertical, but these trees often are round. They have the reserved warmth of a Native grandmother. When you live in piñon-juniper woodland, you live with the trees, not under them. You participate, you reside."



Julie Berry is the award-winning author of books for young adults and children. Her books include Lovely War, All the Truth That’s in Me, The Passion of Dolssa, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place, and Happy Right Now. She’s leading a virtual workshop on Writing Historical Fiction for the Provo City Library and The King’s English Bookshop this evening at 7:00.

Salt Lake Tribune

Governor Herbert has issued a State of Emergency due to an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations and what he says are unsustainable case rates. The Utah Department of Health says that hospitalizations and ICUs are nearing capacity, and that healthcare providers will be unable to care for Utahns in the coming days if this surge continues.

U of U Press

From Delicate Arch to the Zion Narrows, Utah’s five national parks and eight national monuments are home to some of America’s most amazing scenic treasures. In his new book “Wonders of Sand and Stone,” Frederick Swanson presents little-known accounts of people who saw in these sculptured landscapes something worth protecting. introducing us to the early explorers, scientists, artists, and travelers as well as the local residents and tourism promoters who worked with the National Park Service to build the system of parks and monuments we know today.

Simon & Schuster

“Leave it as it is,” Theodore Roosevelt announced while viewing the Grand Canyon for the first time. “The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it.” Roosevelt’s rallying cry signaled the beginning of an environmental fight that still wages today.

Today Show

It’s the day after Election Day. We don’t know for sure who has won the presidential election. Control of the U.S. Senate is still unclear. Many votes are still being counted. The picture in Utah is clearer. We’ll talk about where we are and where we go from here.


Today we check in with representatives from several arts organizations in Utah. With COVID cases not only continuing but increasing in many of our communities, how are arts organizations adapting? And how can audiences support the arts while staying safe?



Utah recently set a new single-day record for Covid-19 cases. Governor Herbert has announced new guidelines. And the Utah Public Health Association is calling for stricter measures to be taken to slow the spread of the coronavirus.


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

The Daily Herald

On a page on their website titled “Fix Our Broken System,” and in answer to the question: Why a third party? The Green Party says that third parties can force progress on political issues; they can provide an “emotional bridge” for voters weary of voting for one major party but not ready to vote for the other; and they can help turn one of the major parties out of power.

Sky News

According to the BBC a new round of “...[p]rotests calling for an end to police brutality began on 7 October [in Nigeria]. The demonstrations, dominated by young people, started with calls for a police unit, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars), to be disbanded.” The Sars unit has been accused of extortion, torture and extrajudicial killings. Nigeria’s president has announced that the unit is being disbanded, but protests have continued, with protesters seeking broader reforms. The president has said that criminals have hijacked the protests and has ordered police to end the “violence, killings, looting and destruction of property.”


As the election approaches, we want to hear from you. Today, we're inviting you to join us on Access Utah to share your thoughts and feelings leading up to the election which is, now, one week away. Which candidates are you passionate about? What issues are top of mind? Which races are you following most closely?

The Fall speaker series from the Utah Women’s Giving Circle continues on Thursday with a presentation titled “Triaging Resilience in the Midst of Crisis.” The speaker, clinical therapist Em Capito, says she’ll share “a research-based tangible framework for triaging our personal resilience along with the strategic shifts that deepen our roots, for ourselves, our families and our teams, toward the collective resilience that will lead our communities into the reinvention and renewal ahead.” Em Capito will join us for Monday’s Access Utah.


The first book-length treatment of Utah’s distinctive food heritage, “This is the Plate” traces Utah’s food history from pre-contact Native American times through the arrival of multinational Mormon pioneers, miners, farmers, and other immigrants to today’s moment of “foodie” creativity, craft beers, and “fast-casual” restaurant-chain development.

Utah State University

McKay Coppins is a staff writer at The Atlantic and the author of The Wilderness, a book about the battle over the future of the Republican Party. He appeared last week at a virtual event presented by USU’s Institute of Government and Politics and the USU Department of Journalism & Communication. The title of the event was “The 2020 Disinformation War: How Propaganda, Conspiracy Theories, and Fake News are Shaping the Presidential Election -- And What To Do About It”  McKay Coppins will join us for the hour on the next Access Utah.

Twitter: @morganlyoncotti

Next time on Access Utah, we’ll preview the upcoming election with Morgan Lyon Cotti, Associate Director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah. We’ll talk about the art and science of polling, vote by mail, projected voter participation rates, and what’s on your 2020 ballot, including several proposed constitutional amendments. 


Simon & Schuster

“There are few subjects that interest us more generally than the adventures of robbers and bandits.” That’s Scottish writer Charles MacFarlane, quoted in Charles Leerhsen’s new book. One such outlaw was Robert LeRoy Parker, born in Beaver, Utah and raised in Circleville, who became, of course, Butch Cassidy. Charles Leerhsen brings the notorious Butch Cassidy to vivid life, revealing the fascinating and complicated man behind the legend in the new book BUTCH CASSIDY: The True Story of an American Outlaw. Charles Leerhsen joins us for the program today.

Cait Salinas

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Jump the Moon Art Studio, which offers art-making opportunities to people with disabilities, along with the Cache Employment and Training Center (CETC), is working to bring attention to the strength and diversity that persons with disabilities contribute to our communities.

Whether the issue is a pandemic, vaccinations, or any number of other public health issues, a major challenge for advocates is communicating crucial information in a way that builds trust and changes behavior. Today we’ll hear an episode of the new podcast This Is Her Place which tells the stories of three women who rose to that challenge.

Utah Women's Giving Circle

The Utah Women’s Giving Circle is presenting a series of events this month and next titled “Resilience 2020: From Susan B. Anthony to RBG: The History, Resilience, and Call to Community.” The first event is this week. Katherine Kitterman and Tiffany Greene from Better Days 2020 will discuss “The History of Women Reinventing the World.”

Visit Park City

When the state of Colorado ordered its residents to shelter in place in response to the spread of coronavirus, writers Pam Houston and Amy Irvine—who had never met—began a correspondence based on their shared devotion to the rugged, windswept mountains that surround their homes, one on either side of the Continental Divide.

Wexner Center for the Arts

Christopher Gonzalez and Frederick Luis Aldama join us for the hour to talk about their book “Reel Latinxs” on Thursday’s Access Utah.

Latinx representation in the popular imagination has infuriated and befuddled the Latinx community for decades. These misrepresentations and stereotypes soon became as American as apple pie. But these cardboard cutouts and examples of lazy storytelling could never embody the rich traditions and histories of Latinx peoples.


Utah State University Office of Research

“Sky Songs: Meditations on Loving a Broken World” is a collection of essays that takes inspiration from the ancient seabed in which Jennifer Sinor lives, an elemental landscape that reminds her that our lives are shaped by all that has passed through. Beginning with the conception of her first son, which coincided with the tragic death of her uncle on an Alaskan river, and ending a decade later in the Himalayan home of the Dalai Lama, Sinor offers a lyric exploration of language, love, and the promise inherent in the stories we tell: to remember.

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.