Tom Williams

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” and “Opera Saturday.”  He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.

Ways to Connect

T. J. Stiles won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for History for his book "Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America." In his biography, Stiles demolishes George Armstrong Custer’s historical caricature and says that the key to understanding Custer is that he lived on a frontier in time. In the Civil War, the West, and many areas, Custer helped to create modern America, but he could never adapt to it. He freed countless slaves, yet rejected new civil rights laws. He tried to make a...

Superhero stories have been called the myths of our day, helping us understand who we are and what unites us. Since Superman first leapt tall buildings with a single bound, the vast majority of the characters have been white, straight, men. Movies and television have consistently held to this standard, giving us Han Solo and Luke Skywalker to root for as they rescue Leia. However, in recent years we have seen new faces in popular franchises and behind the masks of our heroes, creating a more...

tedx.usu.edu/

Initially inspired by his own struggles with conflict, consultant and USU lecturer Clair Canfield is committed to changing the way people think and feel about conflict. He says, “Conflict holds up a mirror to our deepest needs and most cherished hopes and it is the doorway of opportunity for creating the change we want in our lives,” and “It is common to feel trapped and stuck when we experience conflict, but there is a way out!” His recent TEDxUSU talk is titled “The Beauty of Conflict.”...

The publishers of Emma Marris’ book “Rambunctious Garden” say that “a paradigm shift is roiling the environmental world. For decades people have unquestioningly accepted the idea that our goal is to preserve nature in its pristine, pre-human state. But many scientists have come to see this as an outdated dream that thwarts bold new plans to save the environment and prevents us from having a fuller relationship with nature. Humans have changed the landscapes they inhabit since prehistory, and...

readinggroup.org

UPR listeners are avid readers, so our periodic question to you isn’t if you’re reading, but what are you reading? We’re also asking if you have anything special you read for the holidays, and do you have suggestions for books to give as gifts? In addition to you, we’ll be talking with Anne Holman from The King’s English Bookshop in Salt Lake City, Andy Nettell from Back of Beyond Books in Moab and Catherine Weller of Weller Book Works in Salt Lake City. Tom’s list: The Proud Tower: A...

From an early age, Margaret Fuller dazzled New England's intelligent elite. Her famous Conversations changed women's sense of how they could think and live; her editorship of the Dial shaped American Romanticism. Megan Marshall tells the story of how Fuller, tired of Boston, accepted Horace Greeley's offer to be the New York Tribune's front-page columnist. The move unleashed a crusading concern for the urban poor and the plight of prostitutes, and a hunger for passionate...

The banjo is emblematic of American country music. It is at the core of other important musical movements, including jazz and ragtime, and played an important part in the development of many genres, such as folk, bluegrass, and rock. The instrument has been adopted by many cultures and has been ingrained into many musical traditions, from Mento music in the Caribbean to dance music in Ireland. Virtuosos such as Bela Fleck have played Bach, African music, and Christmas tunes on the five-string...

In his book, “Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS” (now out in paperback), Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Joby Warrick traces how the strain of militant Islam behind ISIS first arose in a remote Jordanian prison and spread with the unwitting aid of two American presidents. Drawing on high-level access to CIA and Jordanian sources, Warrick weaves moment-by-moment operational details with the perspectives of diplomats and spies, generals and heads of state, many of whom foresaw a menace worse than...

propublica.org

Tuesday on Access Utah we’ll spend the hour with multiple Pulitzer winning reporter Ken Armstrong, who, with T. Christian Miller (of ProPublica), won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for “a startling examination and expose of law enforcement's enduring failures to investigate reports of rape properly and to comprehend the traumatic effects on its victims.” Tuesday’s episode is part of the Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Initiative. Ken Armstrong previously worked at The...

Viking Books

Julie Berry was inspired to write her new historical novel, “The Passion of Dolssa,” while listening to a college lecture she found online about medieval France. Fascinated, Berry began a two-year dive into research on the era, learning about the lives of several medieval female mystics like Clare of Assisi, Marguerite Porete, and Catherine of Siena, women who rejected marriage, almost unheard of at the time, and bucked the authority of the church with their own religious visions. “The Passion of Dolssa” is set during the 13th Century in southern France (the area now known as Provence), in the aftermath of the Albigensian Crusade.

"Oceans are a sonic symphony. Sound is essential to the survival and prosperity of marine life. But man-made ocean noise is threatening this fragile world.” So say the producers of a documentary film, “Sonic Sea,” which takes us beneath the ocean’s surface to uncover the consequences of increased ocean noise pollution, including the mass stranding of whales around the planet, and looks at what can be done to stop it. On Thursday’s AU we’ll talk with Daniel Hinerfeld, co-director of “Sonic Sea...

The University of North Carolina Press

In the mid-1840s, Warner McCary, an ex-slave from Mississippi, claimed a new identity for himself, traveling around the nation as Choctaw performer "Okah Tubbee". He soon married Lucy Stanton, a divorced white Mormon woman from New York, who likewise claimed to be an Indian and used the name "Laah Ceil". Together, they embarked on an astounding, sometimes scandalous journey across the United States and Canada, performing as American Indians for sectarian worshippers, theater audiences, and...

npr.org

Jessica Lahey’s The Gift of Failure focuses on the critical school years when parents must learn to allow their children to experience the disappointment and frustration that occur from life’s inevitable problems so that they can grow up to be successful, resilient, and self-reliant adults. Modern parenting is defined by an unprecedented level of over-protectiveness: parents who rush to school at the whim of a phone call to deliver forgotten assignments, who challenge teachers on report card...

Today we speak with Jessica Luther, author of "Unsportsmanlike Conduct." Jessica Luther is and independent writer and investigative journalist living in Austin, Texas. Her work on sports and culture has appeared in the Texas Observer and the Austin Chronicle, and at Sport Illustrated, Texas Monthly, Vice Sports, Guardian Sport, and Bleacher Report . Luther's work gained national attention in August 2015 when writing for Texas Monthly ; she and Dan...

LiberalAmerica.org

Today we discuss the results of the 2016 Presidential Election. Our listeners call in and share their post election feelings. We are also joined in studio by Dr. Damon Cann and Dr. Michael Lyons, Associate Professors from the Utah State University Political Science Department. To join in this conversation, you can still email us at upraccess@gmail.com.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

In 2015 the number of visitors to Yellowstone exceeded four million for the first time. David Quammen, writing in the May 2016 edition of National Geographic magazine , asks "Can we hope to preserve, in the midst of modern America, any such remnant of our continent's primordial landscape, any such sample of true wildness-a gloriously inhospitable place, full of predators and prey, in which nature is still allowed to be red in tooth and claw? Can that sort of place be reconciled with human...

Today on Access Utah we discuss the companion volume to the international bestseller Letters of Note . It’s an assortment of correspondence that spans centuries and place--and an array of human emotions--written by the famous, the not-so-famous, and the downright infamous. Among this selection are an Egyptian customer complaint (written on a clay tablet); a hungover Jane Austen’s report on a ball; an American intelligence officer’s letter to his young son on Hitler’s letterhead; an invitation...

Cache County voters are deciding the following question: Should a Cache Water District be created? We’ll talk about it next time on Access Utah. Logan Herald Journal reporter Clayton Gefre will give us some historical context. Then Dave Rayfield , Board Member with Bear River Land Conservancy, will tell us why he thinks voters should vote “yes” and Zach Frankel , Executive Director of Utah Rivers Council, will tell us why he thinks voters should vote “no.” Whether you’re a Cache County voter...

http://www.moncleronlineshop.net/#from=https://www.google.com/

What’s in a name? Today we’ll explore that question. We’re asking you: What do you think of your name? What was your thought process in naming your children? Are there names that are passed down in your family? Have you ever wanted to change your name? Did you? What’s the most unusual or distinctive name you’ve encountered? How does your name affect you? How do you think your name is perceived? Our guest for the hour is Jennifer Mansfield, who teaches in USU’s Folklore Program. Her master’s...

scbwi.org

BYU English Professor, Chris Crowe , is an award-winning author of books for young adults about the Civil Rights era. He recently gave a couple of talks on the USU campus in Logan as a part of the USU Department of English Speaker series. Crowe is the author of several books, most notably MISSISSIPPI TRIAL, 1955, which won several awards, including the 2003 International Reading Association's Young Adult Novel Award. His nonfiction book, GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER: THE TRUE STORY OF THE EMMETT...

What do you do when God dies? It's a question facing millions today, as science reveals a Universe that's self-creating, as American culture departs from Christian social norms, and the idea of God begins to seem implausible at best and barbaric at worst. Mike McHargue understands the pain of unraveling faith. In Finding God in the Waves , Mike tells the story of how his Evangelical faith dissolved into atheism as he studied the Bible, a crisis that threatened his life, his friendships, and...

University of Utah Press

We’re approaching the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entrance into WWI. Today on Access Utah, we’ll discuss the Great War and how affected Utahns. We’ll speak with Allan Kent Powell, Editor of “Utah and the Great War: The Beehive State and the World War I Experience.” We’ll also speak with E.B. Wheeler and Jeffery Bateman who recently wrote a fiction book called "No Peace with the Dawn: A Novel of the Great War." E.B. Wheeler attended Brigham Young University, majoring in history with an...

maryellenhannibal.com

“What does it take to really save nature?” writer and environmentalist Mary Ellen Hannibal asks in Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction. In this wide-ranging adventure—part memoir, part investigation— Mary Ellen Hannibal makes a deeply personal case for the necessity of citizen scientists, sharing stories from boaters recording whale sightings and tracking migration paths to the volunteers whose redwood restoration projects may provide our best hope in...

macmillan.com

Language is always changing -- and we tend not to like it. We understand that new words must be created for new things, but the way English is spoken today rubs many of us the wrong way. Whether it’s the use of literally to mean “figuratively” rather than “by the letter,” or the way young people use LOL and like, or business jargon like What’s the ask? -- it often seems as if the language is deteriorating before our eyes. But the truth is different and a lot less scary, says John McWhorter,...

WBUR

Evan McMullin, Independent c andidate for president, is possibly on the cusp of doing something no “third-party” candidate has done in decades: win a state. We’re talking about Utah, where McMullin is neck-in-neck with Donald Trump in the latest polls, even leading in one or two.

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