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.


Tom Williams here with Utah State University President Noelle Cockett with our weekly conversation here at Utah Public Radio. President Cockett, thanks so much for joining us.

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.

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.

Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company

On Access Utah, we’ve checked in with arts organizations a couple of times during the pandemic. Today we’ll do so again. We’ll see how these organizations have fared in difficult circumstances, what creative new ideas might become standard practice, and what the future looks like. And we’ll ask you how your habits have changed during the pandemic and what you’re most looking forward to attending as things ease a bit.

Intermountain Healthcare

We do this periodically. Today we’re doing another non-profit spotlight. There are many needs in our communities, especially during these extraordinary times. We’d love to shine a light on your favorite non-profit or individual doing good in your community.

Deseret News

The Deseret News reports “Guns once again were a contentious issue on Capitol Hill during the Legislature’s 45-day session that ended March 5, and after several tries through the years, lawmakers succeeded in ending the permit requirement for carrying a concealed weapon in Utah. HB60 lets any Utah resident who is 21 years or older and can legally possess a firearm to carry their weapon concealed without needing a permit.”

thisisherplace.org

There’s a recurring line in the musical Hamilton that George Washington says to Alexander Hamilton: “You have no control over who lives, who dies, who tells your story.” Today we’ll feature an episode of the podcast This Is Her Place, which tells the stories of Utah women, past and present. In this episode we talk about two women who were determined to take control and make sure the true story of their people was told: Mae Timbimboo Parry, historian and matriarch of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone; and Betty Sawyer, Community Engagement Coordinator in Access and Diversity at Weber State University and an activist on issues of racial justice in Utah for more than 40 years. We’ll also be talking to podcast co-host Naomi Watkins.

Tom Williams here with Utah State University President Noelle Cockett. President Cockett, thanks for taking some time again with us today.

PBS Utah

Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson recently issued a challenge for more women to get involved in their communities and in politics. Utah Governor Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Henderson have issued a 500 Day Roadmap, which includes a section on Equality and Opportunity. Today, we’ll talk about the Roadmap and issues such as the gender wage gap, women in public office, and opportunities for women in leadership in the private and public sectors.

Salon


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.

Department of Energy

Russ Beck, an author and a Senior Lecturer in the USU English Department, recently spent some time in southeastern Utah researching the history of uranium mining and milling and talking with local residents about the after-effects of the uranium boom in the Moab/Monticello/Blanding area.

Clinical therapist Em Capito spoke with us in October, ahead of her presentation at the Fall speaker series from the Utah Women’s Giving Circle.Titled “Triaging Resilience in the Midst of Crisis,” Em Capito shared “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.” We spoke with her about her personal history and why she defines resilience as a skill, rather than a trait. 

Stephen Trimble


It’s UPR’s Spring Member Drive. On Access Utah that means some very special programming, including some Best Of segments from favorite episodes and some great new conversations. Today our guest for the hour is writer and photographer Stephen Trimble. We’ll talk about some of his recent pieces in various publications titled variously: “Facebook, alas, is not your neighborhood bar, “Restore Utah’s national monuments and make the fix permanent,” “Utah in 125 Words,” and “Big Books at Big Times--Expanded New Edition!!!”

Twitter: @usubrazil

It’s UPR’s Spring Member Drive. On Access Utah that means some very special programming, including some Best Of segments from favorite episodes and some great new conversations. On Wednesday’s Access Utah we’re talking about bridging racial and political divides. How do we talk to each other, understand each other, connect with each other when the divides only seem to be deepening? Our guest for the hour is Jason Gilmore, Associate Professor of Global Communication at Utah State University.

The Herald Journal

It’s UPR’s Spring Member Drive. On Access Utah that means some very special programming, including some Best Of segments from favorite episodes and some great new conversations. On Tuesday we’ll be talking with emergency room doctor, writer and UPR member Marion Bishop. We talked with her last year as a part of an episode featuring pandemic frontline workers. We’ll check back in to see how she’s been dealing with the pandemic, professionally and personally, since we talked last. We’ll also talk about the roll out of the vaccines and what the future might look like. And we’ll talk about grieving and loss during the pandemic.

University of Utah Press


It’s UPR’s Spring Member Drive. On Access Utah that means some very special programming, including some Best Of segments from favorite episodes and some great new conversations. Today we’re talking about food and food culture and folklore with Lael Gilbert, one of the hosts of UPR’s Bread & Butter feature; and Lynne McNeill, folklorist and Associate Professor in the USU English Department. We’ll hear some Bread & Butter segments and a portion of our Access Utah conversation from October with the editors of the book This is the Plate: Utah Food Traditions. 

 

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.

Better Days 2020

January 2021 was the 125th anniversary of Utah statehood. Utah women have always made history, but they’re often missing in our textbooks, history classrooms, and public art. Better Days 2020 said to young people “We need your help to change that!” So they appealed to Utah students grades 4-12 to create an original essay or piece of art to tell us about a woman in Utah history who made a difference in their community, and to include what they are inspired to do today to follow in her footsteps.

Popular Culture Review

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.

Amazon

Donald Trump has forged a unique relationship with American exceptionalism, parting ways with how American politicians have long communicated this idea to the American public.

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.

Deseret News

The 2021 session of the Utah Legislature ended on Friday. Today we’ll recap the session with Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City; House Executive Appropriations Chair Rep. Brad Last, R-Hurricane; Senate Minority Whip Sen. Luz Escamilla, D-Salt Lake City, and Senate Majority Whip Sen. Ann Millner, R-Ogden. We’ll talk about Covid-19 restrictions, police reform, the budget, homelessness and more. Continue the conversation by emailing upraccess@gmail.com.

Goodreads

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. 

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

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