UIMF Helps UVU Students to Grow Professionally

I was recently accepted to the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, for a Master’s Program in Political Violence and Terrorism and I will start my classes at that prestigious academic school in September 2018.

Trevor Williams as protocol for Ms. Mia Rowan, representative of the United Nations Mountain Partnership during the fourth international Women of the Mountains Conference in October 8, 2015

My involvement with the Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF), a coalition of student clubs at Utah Valley University (UVU) with focus on the promotion of the United Nations sustainable mountain development (SMD) agenda has been extremely helpful for me to achieve that goal. UIMF provided me an opportunity to make connections and meet people with similar career ambitions from all around the world.  I acquired great experiences in particular during the international conference Women of the Mountains which I was able together with my other student colleagues from UIMF to host at UVU in October 2015 as a service learning and student driven initiative. At that time, I have met so many people both from Utah and abroad, who have helped greatly with useful and applicable advice and counsel. One of them, Ms. Mia Rowan, representative of the United Nations Mountain Partnership, later wrote me a recommendation letter to my graduate school. (see: http://utahimf.org/archives/1769). In some ways, I wish that I would be able to give back more to UIMF in the ways that it has given to me.

There are a lot of issues that are pertinent to our world today in regard to the types of policies that we create and support and in particular in creating a just and fair future for our children. Global warming today is a reality to many people throughout the world without ever seeing graphs or charts and it makes communities in many parts of the world especially in mountainous areas suffer enormously and worsen their living conditions.  These types of issues can lead to geopolitical instability and the programs at UVU advocating for sustainable mountain development provide opportunities for students, through engaged learning initiatives, to become involved with the issues firsthand. I was able to learn about that in particular during the campaign when in 2015 my peers at UIMF and I collected signatures for petition to discuss how climate change impacts mountain communities during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, France. (See: http://utahimf.org/archives/1873).   Many of my teachers, including Dr. Rusty Butler and Dr. Baktybek Abdrisaev have worked tremendously hard to provide students opportunities to build connections with people around the world and help mountain communities in particular; it has definitely paid off.

Trevor Williams with Ms. Celeste Mergens, President of Days for Girls during the International Womens Day at UVU

I have a special interest in such aspects of the SMD agenda, as strategies of poverty alleviation in mountain areas or cultural aspects of the mountain life and in the State of Utah as well. Recently with my peers I participated in the service project at UVU to assemble a hygiene kits for girls and women through the famous worldwide non-governmental organization Days for Girls (see: http://utahimf.org/archives/3366). I had also the opportunity to write a paper on the religious significance of mountains specifically within the realm of Mormonism which will be published in the UVU undergraduate student research journal “Youth and the Mountains” this year. In many other ways, my major, Integrated Studies, has allowed me also to delve into the many similar topics covered by the different student club associations at UVU since they are politically and socially relevant.

Anyone looking to advance career opportunities or simply help out with imminent current events that affect people across the globe and especially in the mountain areas can find that opportunity at UVU through the programs administered by the members of UIMF with focus on the mountains. (see for more information at: www.utahimf.org)  I would strongly recommend anyone to get involved in those activities to expand their career horizons.

Trevor Williams, Utah Valley University student