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

W. W. Norton & Company

  Nicholas Carr started his blog “Rough Type” in 2005, when MySpace was a fast-growing social networking site and Facebook was a Palo Alto startup. Now in his book “Utopia Is Creepy and Other Provocations,” he has collected the best of those posts and added influential essays such as “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” and “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Privacy,” which were published in such magazines and sites as The Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal, and Politico.

 

When Michael Copperman left Stanford University for the Mississippi Delta in 2002 - recruited by Teach for America - he imagined he would lift underprivileged children from the narrow horizons of rural poverty. Well-meaning but naïve, the Asian-American from the West Coast says he soon lost his bearings in a world divided between black and white. Trying to help students, he often found he couldn’t afford to give what they required―sometimes with heartbreaking consequences.

tedx.usu.edu/

In her TEDxUSU talk, folklorist Lynne McNeill says “When most people think of ‘folklore’ they think of the old, the rural, the rustic. They typically don’t think of the Internet, a technology that, if anything, is commonly judged to be dismantling our culture: destroying our interpersonal skills, squashing our cultural vitality, killing our individual creativity. Surprisingly, however, communications technologies like mobile phones, tablets, and computers have become the locus of a huge expanse of contemporary folk culture.

utahdinebikeyah.org

  President Obama has used presidential power under the Antiquities Act to create a Bears Ears National Monument. Some are lauding this as a courageous decision which will protect vital lands. Others are calling it an arrogant act that ignores the wishes of a majority of Utahns. Today on the program we talked about this on a special two hour Access Utah. We were joined by John Kovash, Utah Public Radio's southern Utah correspondent, Chris Saeger, director of the Western Values Project, Scott Groene, Director of SUWA, John Ruple, University of Utah’s S.J.

enjoyutah.org

  We hope you'll join us for our Access Utah holiday special. Playwriter of Christmas Chronicles author Tim Slover will read poems of the season. The Lightwood Duo (Mike Christiansen and Eric Nelson) will also be in the UPR studio to play holiday music. 

  Today on Access Utah, we're joined by Utah State University Professor Candi Carter Olson, Hailey Hendricks,  Madi Smith and  Mary Kay Anderson for a panel discussion on Objectified: More than a Body, a UPR original series. In partnership with the Utah Women's Giving Circle, Utah Public Radio has presented the original radio series "Objectified: More Than A Body." This 11-episode radio program has played weekly on Utah Public Radio and has showcased the people and programs empowering Utah women and girls. 

 

Arguably the most important American lawyer of the twentieth century, Thurgood Marshall was on the verge of bringing the landmark suit Brown v. Board of Education before the U.S. Supreme Court when he became embroiled in a case that threatened to change the course of the civil rights movement and cost him his life.

   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.

  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 diverse universe.

  

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.”

 

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:

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 experience. 

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.

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 al Qaeda and tried desperately to stop it.

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.

 

 

 

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.

 

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

 

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.

 

 

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.

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 demands and human convenience?

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.

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