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

  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.

carrienewcomer.com

Carrie Newcomer's songwriting has impressed the likes of Billboard, USA Today, and Rolling Stone, which wrote that she "asks all the right questions". Newcomer speaks and teaches about creativity, vocation, activism, and spirituality at colleges, conventions and retreats. She has shared the stage with performers like alison Krauss and writers like Parker J. Palmer, Jill Bolte Taylor, Philip Gully, Scott Russell Sanders, Rabbi Sandy Sasso and Barbara Kingsolver.

  Lily Hoang’s latest book is “A Bestiary,” In this genre-transcending work, selected by Wayne Koestenbaum as the winner of the 2015 Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s Essay Collection, Hoang teases apart mythology, familial memory, and investigative essay into searing fragments, then weaves them into a dazzling swarm. Hoang models her postcolonial bestiary on the Chinese zodiac—“A pack of dogs. A swarm of insects.

This week, we are searching through the archives and bringing you the best of Access Utah. Today our theme is Pulitzer Prize winners, and we have Utah Humanities' Cynthia Buckingham with us to revisit our discussions with Annette Gordon-Reed, John Luther Adams, Ken Armstrong, and Pat Bagely. 

This week, we are searching through the archives and bringing you the best of Access Utah. Today our theme is fun and music, and we have Dr. Lynne McNeill with us to revisit our episodes on Sherlock Holmes, Mormon naming practices, and the band Evening in Brazil. 

This week, we are searching through the archives and bringing you the best of Access Utah. Today our theme is current events, and we have Teri Guy and Candi Carter Olson with us to revisit our episodes on the designation of Bears Ears National Monument, fake news and journalism, and Donald Trump's first executive order on refugees. 

Teri Guy and Candi Carter Olsen

This week, we are searching through the archives and bringing you the best of Access Utah. Today our theme is race relations, and we have Dr. Jason Gilmore with us to revisit our episode on the Colin Kaepernick controversy and our discussions with Angela Pulley Hudson and Paul Reeve.

 

NPS

Our National Parks, their employees and patrons find themselves in uncharted territory these days with the advent of the new Trump administration and amid the ongoing debates over the future of public lands. UPR, KCPW, and the Utah Headliners presented a panel discussion titled “National Parks: Present and Future - A Public Forum” on Saturday, March 25 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.at the Salt Lake City Public Library.

Penguin Random House

Historian and Harvard professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich was recently on the USU campus to give a talk presented by the USU History Department and sponsored by the Tanner Talks Series in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Public radio’s Dr. Zorba Paster is in Logan for several events presented by UPR and he’ll join us for the hour today to talk about healthy living, the latest medical science, and to answer your questions.

http://www.stonehillalumni.org/s/1641/start.aspx

We’ll celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, a day early, with folklorist Lisa Gabbert, who says “Over time, St. Patrick’s Day has become a very American holiday; today, it is largely a festive rite of spring—green being the appropriate spring color—characterized by the performance of “Irishness” through the use of (often stereotyped) symbols.  Many people, not merely those with ancestral connections to Ireland, enjoy “being Irish” for the day, as it is a way to celebrate Irish music and culture, along with better weather.” We’ll ask why is this unofficial holiday so popular in the U.S.

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/health-care

  Republicans in Congress are attempting to keep their long-standing promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. They say the ACA is a disaster and likely to implode. Democrats warn that millions of people will lose access to affordable health care if the repeal passes. We’re going to talk about it on Access Utah today. What should our health care system look like? Is healthcare a right? Is the ACA a massive deficit-busting entitlement program? If you prefer a more market-based system how would that work?

  Our guest for the hour is Kenneth Woodward, author of “Getting Religion: Faith, Culture, and Politics from the Age of Eisenhower to the Era of Obama” Kenneth Woodward edited Newsweek’s Religion section from 1964 until his retirement in 2002. He remained a contributing editor at Newsweek until 2009. Altogether he has written more than a thousand essays, articles and reviews for a variety of magazines, newspapers and scholarly publications.

http://www.pcta.org/wild/category/wildbook/

Our guest for the hour on Monday’s Access Utah is Cheryl Strayed, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir “Wild,” the New York Times bestsellers “Tiny Beautiful Things” and “Brave Enough,” and the novel “Torch.”

The Oscar-nominated movie adaptation of “Wild” stars Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl and Laura Dern as Cheryl's mother, Bobbi. The film was directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, with a screenplay by Nick Hornby. 

Trinity University Press

Our guest for the hour today is Brooke Williams, author most recently of Open Midnight:

  

A Republican party official in Wasatch County recently criticized a bill that addresses a pay gap in the workforce. According to the Washington Post, James Green “said that men have traditionally earned more than women and, citing ‘simple economics,’ argued that things should stay that way.” Green’s letter to the editor, published in two Utah newspapers, produced a backlash and prompted him to write an apology and resign as vice chair of the Wasatch County Republican Party.

https://www.ghostranch.org/instructors/jennifer-sinor/

Jennifer Sinor is the author of Letters Like the Day: On Reading Georgia O'Keeffe, a collection of essays inspired by the letters of the American modernist Georgia O'Keeffe and Ordinary Trauma, a memoir of her military childhood told through linked flash nonfiction. She teaches creative writing at Utah State University where she is a professor of English. She is also the author of The Extraordinary Work of Ordinary Writing: Annie Ray's Diary, a book about the diary of her great, great, great aunt, a woman who homesteaded the Dakotas in the late nineteenth century.

  Natalie Andrews, a Wall Street Journal social media editor and reporter, will give a talk today at USU as a part of the Morris Media & Society Lecture Series, which is facilitated by Utah State’s Department of Journalism and Communication. Here’s how the department describes the talk: “It's now clear that we live in an era of fake news, troll tweets and email dumps. So what does that mean for media, our democracy and our future?

  Representatives from the group New American Economy participated Tuesday in a National Day of Action and marked the launch of their Map the Impact project, highlighting the economic impact of immigrants, and calling for immigration reform.

This comes as the Trump Administration is unveiling “rules aimed at tougher enforcement of immigration laws. It's a policy shift that puts millions of people in the U.S. illegally at risk of deportation.” (NPR News)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Kristof

On this episode of Access Utah our guest is Pulitzer Prize-Winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. The website for the Half the Sky Movement, founded by Mr. Kristof and his wife Cheryl WuDunn, says: “The central moral challenge of our time is reaching a tipping point.

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The Outdoor Industry Association has announced that after next year, Salt Lake City will no longer host the Outdoor Retailer show, which has called Utah home for 20 years. Some companies, like Patagonia, had said they would not participate in the shows because of the Utah Legislature’s opposition to the new Bear’s Ears National Monument and desire to shrink the size of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.

  For Meridian Wallace—and many other smart, driven women of the 1940s—being ambitious meant being an outlier. Ever since she was a young girl, Meridian had been obsessed with birds, and she was determined to get her PhD, become an ornithologist, and make her mother’s sacrifices to send her to college pay off. But she didn’t expect to fall in love with her brilliant physics professor, Alden Whetstone. When he’s recruited to Los Alamos, New Mexico, to take part in a mysterious wartime project, she reluctantly defers her own plans and joins him.

 

utahchildren.org

  The confirmation battle over Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was riveting political theater, but it also highlights deep divisions regarding our K-12 education system. Quoting from the Washington Post: “Trump’s pick has intensified what already was a polarized debate about school choice.

saintmaryschoolei.org

 On Valentine’s Day 2017, we’re going to talk about the history, the idea, the cultural phenomenon of Valentine’s Day. It’s a wonderful day for some and painful for others. What do you think? Is Valentine’s Day an artificially-constructed minefield of expectations or a welcome opportunity to celebrate your romance? Has your view changed over time? What are your Valentine’s plans? We hope you’ll share your thoughts, your experience with us right now by email to upraccess@gmail.com

 

The tumult at Rep. Jason Chaffetz’ recent town hall meeting made national news, but it’s not unusual of late. Marches and protests continue in the early days of the Trump presidency. In addition to the women’s marches, and protests at airports, there is the Indivisible movement and unusual events on Capitol Hill, such as the recent controversy surrounding Senators Warren and McConnell. Some are comparing the current situation to the Tea Party movement or Occupy Wall Street.

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