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

Tuesday on Access Utah we revisit a conversation from March of last year with singer-songwriter Janis Ian.  Her song “Society’s Child” about an interracial romance placed her right at the flash point of the racial tensions of the sixties.  She writes in her autobiography about at least one experience performing the song: “I was having a hit record.

On Monday, we'll play a special episode of the public radio program / podcast BackStory from 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

Monumental Disagreements:

It started as Decoration Day, a day to honor fallen Civil War soldiers and has evolved into Memorial Day, a time to honor all of our dead.  We’ll talk with Warren Hegg, with the “Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive” organization about the Borgstrom family of Thatcher who lost four sons in WWII.  Utah State University folklorist Randy Williams will join us to talk about the Veterans History Project and we’ll talk with several war veterans.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed legislation recently that would have taken public lands back from the U.S. government, explaining that the bill appeared to be "not reconcilable" with the Constitution. On Access Utah Wednesday, we invite Representative Ken Ivory to come talk about why he's disappointed in Gov. Brewer's decision and why he thinks the Utah bill would not be considered unconstitutional. We'll also talk to Stephen Trimble, a vocal opponent of the legislation.

Whether you ended up in the designated "sweet spot" with a solar telescope or just happened to see an eclipsed shadow on your front porch, we want to hear about your Utah eclipse experience. Post your photos or just your thoughts on UPR's Facebook page. Amateur solar gazers, writers, photographers are all welcome. It was a special night in Utah and we want to keep the feeling alive.

Rural sociologist John Allen says that community creates the success or failure of a civil society.  He has helped several communities trying to resolve serious conflicts.  His list of key mindsets required to achieve a civil society includes: “Meet the Weirdos” (anyone who may be different from you,) “Cultivate a Civil Tone,” and “Personalize” (get to know those on the other side as fellow human beings.)  John Allen, Dean of the USU College of Humanities and Social Sciences, was selected by USU Honors students to give the annual “Last Lecture,” which he delivered recently at USU.

Eric Greitens is our guest Wednesday on Access Utah, and will be discussing his book, The Heart & the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL,  and his experiences as both a humanitarian and soldier.

 

 

Water, fire, food, education; those are the basic themes of Tuesday’s Access Utah when we’ll broadcast from the Federal Building in Salt Lake City at the Utah celebration of the 150th anniversary of the U. S. Department of Agriculture.

 As the New Magini String Quartet prepares for a performance of Schubert's masterpiece, "Death and the Maiden," which it hopes will resuscitate its faltering career, someone starts picking off members of the quartet one by one.  It’s up to blind violin teacher and amateur sleuth, Daniel Jacobus, to solve the mystery.

Women make up approximately half of Utah's population, and yet there are no women in Congress who represent Utah. A bi-partisan group called Real Women Run is encouraging women to run for elective offices, and on Access Utah today, Tom Williams discusses the organization and training workshop, as well as having women in public office. 

Our guest for the hour today is Ann Packer, author of 2 national best-selling novels, Songs Without Words (2007) and The Dive from Clausen’s Pier (2002). She has a new collection of short stories out, Swim Back to Me, just in time for her appearance at the Sundance Author Series on May 19.

BURN is the groundbreaking new series from The Public Radio Energy Project and hosted by veteran journalist and master storyteller  Alex Chadwick, who is on a mission to begin a conversation we hope will start our nation on the road to a better energy future.

BURN is a 4-part documentary series. Parts 1 and 2 air in spring 2012. Parts 3 and 4 air in fall 2012.

Part 1: Particles: Nuclear Power After Fukushima

UPR is featuring periodic programs on voting and the political process as we move toward Election Day 2012.

Thursday on Access Utah we’ll check in on the candidates and the issues, looking back on the political conventions and looking ahead to the primary election.

Our guests will include state Democratic party chairman Jim Dabakis and state Republican party chairman Thomas Wright, Deseret News columnists Frank Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb, and University of Utah Hinckley Institute of Politics Director Kirk Jowers.

Tom Williams talks to Lee G. Cantwell about his book Mother George, the Midwife Who Shocked Grays Lake.

Cantwell's book is historical fiction based on the amazing factual story of a black midwife who practiced her art in southeastern Idaho for 40 years and died around 1919. When Mother George died, the women who were dressing her for burial discovered she was a man.

We participate in an ongoing national discussion on bullying today. A young man in Iowa, Kenneth Weishuhn, recently committed suicide after he was bullied when he came out as gay. The Sioux City Journal responded by devoting its front page to an editorial headlined “We must stop bullying. It starts here. And it starts now.”  The editorial board said: “We are all to blame. We have not done enough. Not nearly enough.”

Access Utah is broadcasting live Thursday from the Milford Renewable Energy Fair, sponsored by the Southwest Utah Renewable Energy Center (SUTREC).

As the home of First Wind's Milford Wind Project, the Blundell Geothermal Plant, the Cyrq Energy Geothermal plant and Utah's first hydroelectric power plant, Beaver County and the City of Milford is at the center of Utah's renewable energy industry.

Erin Gruwell has earned an award-winning reputation for her steadfast commitment to the future of education. She's the founder of the Freedom Writers Foundation, where she currently teaches teachers around the country how to implement her innovative lesson plans into their own classrooms, and the author of The Freedom Writers Diary and The Freedom Writers Diary: Teacher's Guide. She's Tom Williams' guest on Access Utah Wednesday.

What do the billion Muslims across the world really think? Our guest on Access Utah Tuesday has distilled the most in-depth study of its kind -- Gallup's Survey of the Muslim World -- into an answer.

Ahmed Younis is a Senior Analyst with the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies. He joins us for a conversation in anticipation of a lecture he will give Tuesday evening, April 24, at 6:00 p.m. at Utah State University: "Who Really Speaks for the Muslim World?"

Governor Herbert has called for a security audit of the state’s data systems following the loss (by hacking) of Medicaid data. In the second half of Thursday’s Access Utah our computer expert Jonathan Choate (from New Dawn Technologies) and Wayne Varga of Ecenturion  and former Head of Network Security for the SLC Olympics will tell us how secure our information is out there in cyberspace and how we can protect ourselves.

In the first half of the program, Keith Woodwell from the Utah Division of Securities will help us avoid getting taken in a scam. 

The Massacre at Mountain Meadow is an event in American history that continues to fascinate Mormons and non-Mormons alike in Utah and throughout the country. Utah State University will feature several works of art about and inspired by the massacre this week in Logan, including a play, a documentary film, and a panel discussion.

On today's Access Utah, Tom Williams’ guest in the first half-hour is Utah State University President Stan Allbrecht.  They’ll talk about how higher education fared at the recent 2012 legislature and the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, which established the nation’s land-grant colleges, among other topics.

Then, with the deadline to file taxes approaching, we’ll help you avoid tax scams and give you advice in selecting a tax preparer.  Our guests in the second half are IRS Spokesman Bill Brunson and IRS Criminal Division Special Agent Ron Marker.    

Wednesday we'll be re-broadcasting an interview done in 2010 with Celebrity Speaker Luma Mufleh, a soccer coach of an international team, called the Fugees, short for refugees. In the summer of 2004 she organized a team of refugee teens who play for the sheer enjoyment of the game. Individuals in the group suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress, language barriers, and cultural differences.

For more information on Luma Mufleh's effect on the community in Clarkston, Georgia, visit Fugees Family.

Tuesday on Access Utah I met with Susan Harris, the Words Without Borders magazine editor. Words without Borders publishes international literature, and Harris is visiting USU. 

 

  • 3 of the Fastest Growing Towns in America are in Utah
  • Suicide Prevention Bill Signed Into Law
  • Which Candidate is the Most Attractive to Utah Voters?

These stories and the rest of the day's headlines on our 5:30 Utah News broadcast.

Thursday on Access Utah, we rebroadcast Tom Williams' interview from last year with Liz Murray, who was born to drug-addicted parents, lived as a homeless teen, then won a New York Times scholarship and went to Harvard. Her memoir is called Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, and my Journey from Homelessness to Harvard.

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