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.

Macmillan Publishers

Bryan, Ohio's hospital, is losing money, making it vulnerable to big health systems seeking domination and Phil Ennen, CEO, has been fighting to preserve its independence. Meanwhile, Bryan, a town of 8,500 people in Ohio’s northwest corner, is still trying to recover from the Great Recession.

Utah State University

UPR broadcasts a weekly interview with Utah State University President Noelle Cockett, checking in on whatever is happening at the university that week. Earlier you heard the condensed version of this conversation. Today on Access Utah we’ll hear the full interview. We’ll talk about new rules at USU regarding face masks, vaccination rates, transitioning to a more-normal life, and we’ll look ahead to the fall.

Penguin Random House


Elinor Cleghorn became an unwell woman ten years ago. She was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease after a long period of being told her symptoms were anything from psychosomatic to a possible pregnancy. As she learned to live with her unpredictable disease she turned to history for answers, and found an enraging legacy of suffering, mystification, and misdiagnosis.

USU Mountain West Center for Regional Studies

Almost one year ago in the midst of a global pandemic, we watched the death of George Floyd. Americans responded, protesting the realities of racial injustice in cities across the country. For many individuals, this may have been the first time they recognized the depth and breadth of discrimination in the United States, in their communities, and in their classrooms.

garynabhan.com

Gary Paul Nabhan is an Agricultural Ecologist, Ethnobotanist, Ecumenical Franciscan Brother, and author whose work has focused primarily on the interaction of biodiversity and cultural diversity of the arid binational Southwest. He is considered a pioneer in the local food movement and the heirloom seed saving movement.

Left Bank Books

On the eve of the Civil War, three American businessmen launched an audacious plan to create a financial empire by transforming communications across the hostile territory between the nation’s two coasts. In the process, they created one of the most enduring icons of the American West: the Pony Express.

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.

IMDb

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. We’ll also be talking with Sara Freeman, USU Assistant Professor of Biology, and Sojung Lim, USU Assistant Professor of Sociology. We’ll also hear sound clips from the film.

terrain.org

In a recent article for Terrain.org 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."

khs.usu.edu

Today we bring you another live episode of DEBUNKED, a podcast combining evidence-based health practices with storytelling to challenge the stereotypes, and debunk the myths about harm reduction, substance use disorders and homelessness. We will be coming to you live from the 2021 Intermountain Tribal and Rural Opioid Wellness Summit: Bridging Harm Reduction and Recovery Communities.

sciencemag.org

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.”

USU 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.

kurtbestor.com


Kurt Bestor is a Utah-based composer and performer, known for his Christmas concerts, his film and television scores, and his haunting musical prayer for peace “Prayer of the Children.” He will be leading performances of “The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber” in Logan on May 21 and 22.

Amazon

Part memoir, part meditation on poetry, part conversation with her husband, friends, and the many animals that live with and around her, Katharine Coles’s The Stranger I Become probes the permeable boundary between inner life and outer, thought and action, science and experience. Coles begins this collection of lyric essays with a meditation on walking, and “the urge to move beyond, to understand myself as a stranger, estranged.”

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. 

paisleyrekdal.com


In 2019, Utah Poet Laureate Paisley Rekdal was commissioned to write a poem commemorating the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad’s completion. The result is “West: A Translation:” a linked collection of poems that responds to a Chinese elegy carved into the walls of the Angel Island Immigration Station where Chinese migrants to the United States were detained. “West” translates this elegy character by character through the lens of Chinese and other transcontinental railroad workers’ histories, and through the railroad’s cultural impact on America.

Herald Journal


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. 

Penguin Random House

Nashville, August 1920. Thirty-five states have ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, twelve have rejected or refused to vote, and one last state is needed. It all comes down to Tennessee, the moment of truth for the suffragists, after a seven-decade crusade.

Utah State University Office of Research

Quoting Kristen Munson in Utah State Magazine: “In mid-January, the internet was awash in sea shanty videos on TikTok. A week later, memes of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, bundled in a Burton coat and sweater mittens, made the rounds on Twitter. Within minutes, Sanders, originally photographed at the January 20 inauguration ceremony, was Photoshopped sitting on a subway, perched on the iconic Friends couch, and on the White House lawn near a boy pushing a lawnmower. Where do memes come from and why do we love them so?”

University of Utah College of Humanities

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?

Amazon

Millions of readers of Little House on the Prairie believe they know Laura Ingalls―the pioneer girl who survived blizzards and near-starvation on the Great Plains, and the woman who wrote the famous autobiographical books. But the true saga of her life has never been fully told.

Travel Channel


St. Anne’s Retreat, located in Logan Canyon, is well-known to Cache Valley residents due to the folklore of the place: tales of demonic nuns, evil witches, murdered babies, and more. Often referred to as “The Nunnery,” the site is a hub for thrill-seekers who trespass onto the property to see for themselves if the stories are true.

Penguin Random House

Today we’ll talk with Senator Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, the first Asian American woman and the only immigrant currently serving in the U.S. Senate. Her new memoir "Heart of Fire: An Immigrant Daughter’s Story" is an inspiring account of one woman coming into her personal and political power, a heartwarming homage to the women who raised her, and a behind-the-scenes look at some of the most fraught moments of the Trump administration.

 

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.

The World Economic Forum


Every year for Earth Day, we check in with writer and photographer Stephen Trimble, author of “Bargaining for Eden: The Fight for the Last Open Spaces in America,” and many other books. Next time on Access Utah, Stephen Trimble joins us along with Terri Martin, Intermountain West Organizer with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance; and Jesse Prentice-Dunn, Policy Director with the Center for Western Priorities.

ABA Journal


In the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, charged in the death of George Floyd the verdict is in: guilty on all charges. Our guests today include Darlene McDonald, of the Utah Black Roundtable and a member of the Salt Lake City Commission on Racial Equity in Policing; Rep. Sandra Hollins, D-Salt Lake City; and Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City.


Something exciting today: a live episode of the podcast DEBUNKED which seeks to dispel harmful myths and stereotypes about people who use drugs, persons in recovery, and evidenced-based harm reduction efforts. Today we’ll debunk the myth; Native Americans only live on reservations. Our guests are: Sandy Sulzer, Director of the Office of Health Equity and Community Engagement at USU; Kristina Groves, LCSW, Ute/Hopi Tribe, Therapist at Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake; and podcast host Don Lyons.

The Open Notebook

Montana-based writer David Quammen says that Covid-19 is a reminder of viruses’ destructive power, but that life as we know it would be impossible without them. In his latest article for National Geographic titled “How Viruses Shape Our World,” he reviews the evolutionary origins of viruses and how they have helped shape the history of life.

Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art

On Thursday’s Access Utah our theme is farming. In the first half of the program we’ll talk about the AgrAbility program, which helps farmers, ranchers and their family members remain in agriculture when facing limitations due to aging, disease, injury, illness, or other disability. In the second half we’ll talk about an exhibit now showing at the USU Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art called “American Farmer,” which features photographic portraits in addition to interviews with farmers from across the United States, telling the inspiring stories of the stewards of this land.

Heyday Books

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in the face of global climate breakdown. So how might we develop the inner resolve to confront it? Full Ecology, a collaboration between social-cultural psychologist Mary Clare and longtime science writer Gary Ferguson, suggests a path forward. Breaking the modern impulse to see humans as separate from nature, Clare and Ferguson encourage us to learn from the “supremely methodical and highly improvisational” natural systems that touch our lives. True change, they argue, begins with us stopping and questioning assumptions about our place in the world. 

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