Hosting Alexey Semyonov during the Women of the Mountains Conference

Women of the Mountains held its fourth conference at Utah Valley University on October 7-9, 2015. It was the first time the conference was held by students in its history, and as students we did a tremendous job to make sure the conference ran perfectly. Every student that participated in the conference had his or hers own role and performed remarkably well, it is to my belief that everyone went above and beyond for the conference and dedicated much of their time to this remarkable gathering.

During the Women of the Mountains conference my main job was to accompany Alexey Semyonov.

WOM1Alexey Semyonov and Dr. Baktybek Abdrisaev during presentation

at the conference on October 7, 2015


Mr. Semyonov is the President of Andrei Sakharov Foundation, which fights for the defense of human rights in Russia. The Foundation actually has defended the rights of scientists persecuted for their political opinions before. My time with Mr. Semyonov was very enjoyable, we had many discussions on not only what he does for the foundation but as well as human rights and our individual duty towards human rights. Mr. Semyonov is one of the most intelligent person I had the pleasure to meet, he is also a well-educated and well-rounded person who has published many articles with Dr. Baktybek D. Abdrisaev, our teacher at UVU. My time with Mr. Semyonov was very enjoyable and I was able to learn so much from him.

Some of my other duties for the Women of the Mountains conference included: driving people to and from the airport, as well as driving Ambassador of Turkmenistan Dr. Meret Orazov to and from the hotel; help escort the presenters around the school, showing the presenters all the great benefits Utah Valley University has to offer its students; help Deann Torsak, executive secretary of the conference with coordinating the panels for the conference to make sure everything was running in a timely manner; help set up tables that would be presented, and take pictures of the conference.

WOM2I am the number one on the top left at the Habitat for Humanity site on October 9, 2015

Another great opportunity we had as students and presenters was helping the Habitat for Humanity build a home for someone in need. Habitat for Humanity is an organization that builds houses for families in need that can’t afford to buy their own home. They bring in volunteers and the family that will be living in the home to build the house and to bring down the cost as well as have people donate the material to the organization to also bring down the cost. Many of us that went to the home helped with some of the landscaping, on things like: dig a ditch to prevent landslides to the home and to help prevent it from flooding, spread mulch on part of the backyard and around the trees, and moved dirt and rocks with wheelbarrows. We were also able to learn a great deal of what Habitat for Humanity itself does for not only for the community but for the homes. They try their hardest to use the latest technology to make sure that their homes are well sufficient. They will also put in a solar panels on top of the roofs to not only help the environment but help the future homeowner with their electric bills.

Also as a student, I am very grateful for this experience. It has truly furthered my education and made me a better student. I can’t wait for the Women of the Mountain conference to come back to Utah Valley University and see the great work that future students and scholars will do for this great cause.

Vinicius Pacheco, UVU student