Category Archives: 2016

Yanko Dzhukev: End of a Marathon, Beginning of a New Journey

I just finished my long marathon and completed my internship at the United Nations Secretariat, within the Office of Legal Affairs at the UN headquarters in New York. It was such a great experience. I continued my internship experience started at the Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS). During my time at the UN Secretariat from May until the beginning of September 2016 I had an extraordinary opportunity to continue to advocate the sustainable mountain development (SMD) agenda at the UN level, and ECOSOC in particular. As a representative of Utah Valley University (UVU) and Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF), I both participated and coordinated the activities of UVU delegation during the session of the 2016 UN High-Level Political Forum under ECOSOC on 29 June 2016. Also, I met with Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth and Mrs. Elizabeth Niland, representative of the UN Programme on Youth, representative of the UNAI and Permanent Representatives to the UN of several mountain nations, including the Kyrgyz Republic and Bulgaria among them. I held discussions with them about building partnership ties with UVU and UIMF, and how students and youth could contribute to SDGs implementation as part of SMD promotion. Also, I was able to be involved with the MPS, to assist the Secretariat to manage the social media activities and to produce the monthly newsletter “Peak to Peak,” and contribute to the mountain cause in general globally.

This has been a great experience of service learning, as part of the experiential learning model developed at Utah Valley University (UVU), so effectively implemented during last years. As one of the examples of it, I contributed to the successful hosting by UIMF members the Fourth International Women of the Mountains Conference (WOMC) in October 2015. Now, at the United Nations, I was able to apply the knowledge and the practical experience that I have gained at UVU in SMD promotion. It was a great opportunity for me during my internship to demonstrate, how we students, are able to contribute to the SMD on a global level, and be a part of student learning environment, to continue contribution to the mountain agenda, and be dedicated professionals to the mountain cause.

Yanko Dzhukev, Vice President of Global Affairs and Outreach, Utah International Mountain Forum, a coalition of student clubs at UVU

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(R to L) Santiago Villalpando, Chief of the Office of Legal Affairs of the UN thanks, Yanko Dzhukev for contribution to the Office of Legal Affairs

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(L to R) Yanko Dzhukev discusses with Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth the possibilities to build partnership ties for UVU and UIMF

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(L to R) Yanko Dzhukev meets Dr. Rusty Butler, Main UN Representative of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences under the ECOSOC, Associate Vice President for International Affairs and Diplomacy at UVU during 1992-2016, in front of the UN headquarters

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Yanko Dzhukev in the United Nations General Assembly Hall

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PHOTOGRAPHS OF YANKO’s INTERNSHIP AT THE

UN SECRETARIAT

https://flic.kr/s/aHskxMYBcm

 

Promoting the Mountain Cause at ECOSOC

Dr Rusty Butler, the main Representative of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (RANS) to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and retired Associate Vice President for International Affairs and Diplomacy at UVU (1992-2016), along with Yanko Dzhukev, a Vice President of Global Affairs and Outreach of Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF), a coalition of student clubs at Utah Valley University (UVU), and currently the first UVU intern at the United Nations Secretariat, contributed to the United Nations High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development held on 18-20 July in New York.

This was for the first time ever when a Utah delegation under the leadership of Dr Butler explored the possibilities of promoting and advocating the sustainable mountain development agenda, coordinated by the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, at ECOSOC. ECOSOC is responsible for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September 2015, and for successfully implementing the 2030 Agenda. HLPF is the central UN platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for SDGs, and the HLPF in 2016 is the first since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. The overall theme for the 2016 session of the Economic and Social Council is “Implementing the post-2015 development agenda: moving from commitments to results.” The theme of the 2016 HLPF is “Ensuring that no one is left behind”; and the thematic discussion focus was “Infrastructure for sustainable development for all.”

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(© UN Photo/Manuel Elias)

The session included voluntary reviews of 22 countries and thematic reviews of progress on the SDGs, including cross-cutting issues, supported by reviews by the ECOSOC functional commissions and other inter-governmental bodies and forums.

NGOs and civil society groups can give a voice to specific issues and agendas they would like to influence by making oral statements at ECOSOC events or by submitting written statements for ECOSOC to consider. Currently, there are 4,189 NGOs and civil society groups under ECOSOC in active consultative status. However, only 14 of them are Mountain Partnership members. ECOSOC rules do not allow public universities, like UVU, which are state funded, to register as NGOs. Currently, UVU cooperates with several NGOs from Utah and overseas which are registered under ECOSOC, and with the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences in particular, a MP member.

Dr Rusty Butler, in the capacity as the main Representative of the RANS to ECOSOC will continue his previous efforts at UVU of building relations and networking opportunities with United Nations officials and Permanent Representatives of different nations accredited to the UN in order to promote the State of Utah as one of the effective models of sustainable economic development among interested nations globally.

Eighty-three NGOs in ECOSOC consultative status submitted oral and written statements for the 2016 ECOSOC High Level Segment for NGOs. The Secretary of the Council confirmed requests from 31 major group, stakeholder, and NGO speakers to address the general debate of the High-level Segment. Among the statement contributors were three MP members – the Mountain Institute, the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (RANS), and Ecoforum from Uzbekistan. However, only the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, represented at ECOSOC by Dr Rusty Butler submitted a request for an oral statement, which was approved by the ECOSOC President. The RANS representative was included in the list of speakers by the President of ECOSOC to present a statement during the general debate of the HLPF. Unfortunately, due to the deteriorating health of his wife, Dr Butler was unable to attend the ECOSOC HLS. The statement was inserted into the record of the proceedings and uploaded to the ECOSOC website. All statements from the three MP members emphasized the importance of mountain communities and that the mountains should be a global priority given the multitude of resources they provide.

In the absence of Dr Butler, Yanko Dzhukev, as a UVU student, was able to represent UVU as a Mountain Partnership member during the sessions of the UN HLPF. As part of the UVU model of engaged learning, he attended the HLPF discussions, under the ECOSOC auspices, to learn how to further advocate for the implementations of the mountain targets among SDGs at the UN level.

It was a very important initiative of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, as a facilitator of the SMD agenda, to encourage the MP members to address the ECOSOC forum in order to highlight the importance of the mountain cause and to advocate efforts to be made to reach all the Sustainable Development Goals in mountains, rather than just the three targets that specifically mention them in Goal 6 and Goal 15.

The delegation from UVU and UIMF made a lot of efforts during the last several months to prepare for the UN HLPF. At the beginning of May, Yanko Dzhukev attended a discussion on sustainable mountain development as part of the 2030 Agenda for SDGs, organized by the Mountain Partnership Secretariat at the UN Headquarters on behalf of Utah Valley University, a MP member since 2006. (For more information, see: http://utahimf.org/uvu-attends-discussion-on-sustainable-mountain-development-at-the-un-headquarters/).   Furthermore, at the end of May 2015, Dr Rusty Butler and Yanko Dzhukev met in New York with several Permanent Representatives to the UN among whom were the PR of Fiji to the United Nations (for more information, see: http://utahimf.org/assisting-dr-rusty-butler-in-preparation-for-ecosoc-forum/), and newly elected President of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly Ambassador Peter Thomson, the PR of the Kyrgyz Republic Ambassador Mirgul Moldoisaeva, the PR of Hungary, HE Ms Katalin Bogyay and Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, PR of the Russian Federation to discuss various aspects of the 2016 HLPF and the progress that has been achieved towards the implementation of the SDGs and successfully achieving the 2030 Agenda. (For more information, see: http://utahimf.org/ambassador-peter-thomson-guest-of-uvu-students-elected-as-president-of-the-seventy-first-session-of-the-united-nations-general-assembly/

For Utah Valley University and the Utah International Mountain Forum attending the 2016 UN High-Level Political Forum, as part of the UVU model of engaged learning, allowed our students to learn how to work with ECOSOC, to further develop the mountain cause, to gain skills, experiences, and networking opportunities, and we are sure that more peers of Yanko Dzhukev will attend sessions of SDGs in the future.

MP members statements:

The Mountain Institute
http://womenofthemountains.org/images/2016/The-Mountain-Institute.pdf

The Russian Academy of Natural Sciences
http://womenofthemountains.org/images/2016/The-Russian-Academy-Natural-Sciences.pdf

ECOFORUM
http://womenofthemountains.org/images/2016/Ecoforum-Uzbekistan.pdf

Munkhbat Batmunkh, UIMF member

UVU Students Talk About Sustainable Mountain Development With the Consul General of Chile to Los Angeles, Jorge Tagle Canelo

On June 27, 2016, Utah Valley University (UVU) was honored to welcome to campus the Consul General of Chile to Los Angeles, Jorge Tagle Canelo. The Consul General was hosted by student representatives of the Utah International Mountain Forum, a coalition of student clubs at UVU and the UVU Multicultural Center, including the UVU Latino initiative. The visit was organized as part of the initiative to host foreign dignitaries at the UVU campus through the students’ efforts which would allow them to learn skills in protocol, logistics, and how to build ties on global level.

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( L to R) : Jesler Molina, President of UIMF (2014-2015), Paige Robison, President, Foreign Affairs Club, Consul General of Chile to Los Angeles Jorge Tagle Canelo and Tony Medina, President UIMF during the meeting

Students had the opportunity to sit down with the Consul General and discuss a variety of topics, ranging from career advice, the United Nations Peacebuilding Coalition, and discussing the possibility of internships and university sponsored foreign language trips to Chile in the future. Most importantly, they were able to discuss the importance of sustainable mountain development and the specific challenges facing the Chilean nation in this endeavor.

The Consul General spoke about the challenges facing Chile as the mountainous nation strives to sustainably develop itself. He spoke of the balancing act between economic development and respect for indigenous peoples, which he explained is currently a major point of contention in Chile. He described the necessity of not imposing a system on people, but rather allowing the people to dictate and accept a system they feel is best for them. Furthermore, he described the need for clean and sustainable energy, especially in this age of climate change and in the midst of a large drought that is currently affecting his nation. Mr. Canelo also spoke very proudly of his country’s hosting of the second annual meeting of Our Ocean 2015.

The concept of this Our Ocean conference follows an initiative set in motion by U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry. In June of 2014, Secretary Kerry organized the first high level conference in Washington D.C. that brought together politicians, scientists, world leaders, businesspeople, environmentalists, and philanthropists from more than 90 countries that promised to strengthen the protection and conservation of the sea. (Nuestrooceano2015.gob.cl)

The Consul General, who has worked in different positions at the diplomatic missions of Chile to Italy, Lebanon, Turkey, the United Nations and European Union in Brussels throughout his 30-years as a career diplomat, was able to share some of his experiences and words of wisdom about what he has learned. The opportunity to travel to so many countries has allowed him to experience many different cultures and enabled him to see the world through many different perspectives. “Experiences, like mine, change you as a person. When you return to your home country, you realize that you have grown in one way or another. You begin to see events in the world from other perspectives and can empathize with other parts of the world for the situations they find themselves in,” said Mr. Canelo.   He also encouraged students to pursue a wealth of experiences rather than a wealth of money, stating that this is the true way to find satisfaction in a career.

The students were also able to present information about the 4th International Women of the Mountains Conference which is hosted every other year by students at UVU. Tony Medina, the President of the Utah International Mountain Forum, spoke with the Consul General about the objectives of the conference, and the role women play in improving mountain communities across the world in the areas of economic development, women in leadership, and family structures. He also mentioned the support provided to UVU and its students in 2011 when they hosted the second Women of the Mountains Conference by Her Excellency Michelle Bachelet, the current President of Chile and previously, the first Executive Director of the UNWomen.

The Consul General was delighted to see our promotion of the importance of women’s involvement, not only in the issue of domestic sustainable mountain development, but in the international political arena as well. He stated that he has been “astonished by the work and clarity of women and their involvement in the international community.” He called for an increase in the recognition of women’s issues, not only by the women of the world, but also by men, stating that “women’s issues are the world’s issues.” Mr. Canelo also spoke of women entrepreneurs and their importance in developing countries, and was thrilled that a delegation of the UIMF was able to attend the sixtieth Commission on the Status of Women (CSW60) in New York City in March of this year. Their purpose was to promote the Women of the Mountains Conference as a major gathering to advocate for the gender and sustainable mountain development agendas of the United Nations in North America. He also asked whether UVU and the UIMF are planning to sponsor a side event at next year’s CSW, which was something we were all excited about.

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UIMF members with Consul General of Chile to Los Angeles Jorge Tagle Canelo (Third from Right)

Consul General Canelo’s visit to UVU was a very productive and exciting opportunity for the students of UVU, and the UIMF in particular. While there are many things to follow-up with and new ideas to explore, the meeting itself was a testament to the professionalism and the dedication of the members of the UIMF. I know I speak for all of us when I say that we are all excited to see where things go in the future.

Paige Robison, President, Foreign Affairs Club, Utah Valley University

Ambassador Peter Thomson, Guest of UVU Students, elected as President of the Seventy-First Session of the United Nations General Assembly

A week ago I was able to watch how members of the United Nations elected the President of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). By a secret vote the UNGA elected H. E. Ambassador Peter Thomson, Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations to that important at the United Nations position on June 13, 2016. His competitor was H.E. Ambassador Andreas Mavroyiannis, PR of Cyprus to the UN. The main function of the President is to chair the sessions of the General Assembly. He has also an informal facilitative role by consulting bilaterally with delegations to assess differences in position, to propose solutions and build consensus for proposals.

I was thrilled to hear how after the election, the new President noted that “the Assembly’s 71st session would bring momentum to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and serve to achieve progress on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” For us, UVU, students this is now important priority to strengthen university approach of providing our professional growth and advancement through the SDGs implementation in part related to the mountain indicators under the sustainable mountain development (SMD) agenda of the UN.

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  1. E. Ambassador Peter Thomson, Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations (third from the right) with members of UIMF during his visit to UVU on December 7, 2015

Another reason for my excitement was related to the fact, that my peers, members of the Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF), a coalition of student clubs at Utah Valley University (UVU) hosted Ambassador Thomson at UVU on 7 December 2015 as a part of the commemoration of the UN International Mountain Day. While Ambassador Thomson represents a nation which is not a mountainous one, during the visit to UVU, the UN dignitary was very interested to learn about UVU students engagement with SMD advocacy in the State of Utah and North America.

UIMF members then asked many questions from Ambassador Thomson about how Small Island Nations’ so successfully work at the UN level and what needs to be done by the mountain nations in order to effectively promote the SMD agenda there. (For more information, see: http://utahimf.org/celebrating-international-mountain-day-2015-with-ambassador-peter-thomson-permanent-representative-of-fiji-to-the-united-nations/)

It was one more great engaged learning experience on global level for UVU students which happened thanks to the support from university faculty and Dr Rusty Butler, former Associate Vice President for International Affairs and Diplomacy at UVU among them. Dr Butler made UVU very unique by hosting more than eighteen Permanent Representatives of different nations accredited to the UN during 2012-2015, and PR of Austria to the UN, and President of ECOSOC, Ambassador Martin Sajdik among them. As a result of that particular initiative to host UN dignitaries, many of students were able to learn how building personal ties with many of visiting dignitaries could help them to advance very important for people in Utah and global mountain communities SMD goals.

I have been following very closely the election of the new president of the General Assembly using a tip from Dr Butler, who informed us last December that there was a high probability that Ambassador Thomson could be the next President of UNGA.

At the end of May, UVU delegation and I were able to get acquainted again with Ambassador Thomson. I assisted Dr Rusty Butler in his new capacity as the Main Representative from the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (RANS) to the Economic and Social Council of the UN (ECOSOC) to be prepared for the Fourth High-Level Political Forum at ECOSOC on Sustainable Development (HLPF) held on 11-15 July 2016 at the UN headquarters. This would be his first experience as the Main representative of the major international NGO accredited under ECOSOC with consultative status to report about SMD advocacy in the State of Utah through students engaged learning before such a high level event at the United Nations.

As part of the visit, I was acquainted with Ambassador Thomson and his spouse Marijke, along with H.E. Mr. Vitaly Churkin, PR of the Russian Federation to the UN with his spouse, Irina at a dinner hosted by the PR of Hungary to the UN, Her Excellency Ms Katalin Bogyay in honour of the visit of the UVU delegation to the UN. One of the topics at the dinner was the upcoming election of President of the UN General Assembly for the 2016-2017 and what are the chances for Ambassador Thomson to be elected as President of the 71st General Assembly. In addition the three PRs expressed sincere thanks to the people of Utah and to UVU faculty and students for hospitality and dedication to the United Nations cause.

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(L to R) H.E. Peter Thomson, PR of Fiji to UN; Irina Churkina, wife of H.E. Mr Vitaly Churkin, PR of the Russian Federation to UN; Ms. Marijcke Thomson, wife of H.E. Peter Thomson; H.E. Ms Katalin Annamária Bogyay, PR of Hungary to UN and her husband. (Seated), former AVP of UVU Dr Rusty Butler and H.E. Mr Vitaly Churkin, PR of the Russian Federation to the UN (©Rusty Butler)

UVU students have now many new opportunities in building further cooperation with the UN during the Presidency at the UNGA of PR of Fiji to the UN, Ambassador Peter Thomson.

Ambassador Thomson, served as Vice President of the 66th UN General Assembly during 2011-2012 and currently is President of the Council of the International Seabed Authority. Ambassador Thomson, who will replace the current General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft from Denmark, is the first representative of a Pacific small island developing State that will take over the presidency.

Yanko Dzhukev, member of the UIMF, and first Utah Valley University intern at the United Nations Secretariat

Saying “Thank You” to the Mountain Partnership Secretariat

Yanko Dzhukev just finished his internship at the Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS), as the first UVU intern at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO-UN) in Rome, Italy. He was able to contribute to the efforts of the MPS in promoting and mobilizing support for sustainable mountain development (SMD) globally and promote the UVU model of student engagement in advocating the sustainable mountain development (SMD) agenda globally. We at UIMF are grateful for his contribution to the mountain cause and his unconditional mountain passion.

Munhbat Batmunkh, member, Utah International Mountain Forum, a coalition of student clubs at UVU


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(L to R) Yanko Dzhukev and Dr. Thomas Hofer, Coordinator of Mountain Partnership Secretariat

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(L to R) Yanko Dzhukev and Mia Rowan, Advocacy and Communications Specialist at the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, FAO

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Yanko attends a presentation of study prepared by the Mountain Partnership and FAO – “Mapping the vulnerability of mountain peoples to food insecurity”

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Yanko contributed to the completing the 2015 Mountain Partnership Annual Report. It recognizes UVU and UIMF as major contributors to the SMD agenda globally.

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PHOTOGRAPHS OF YANKO’s INTERNSHIP AT THE MOUNTAIN PARTNERSHIP

https://flic.kr/s/aHskxet141

 

 

 

 

UVU recognized in United Nations report

4 April 2016 No Comment

For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Melinda Colton | 801-863-6807 |Melindac@uvu.edu Written by: Barbara Christiansen | 801-863-8208 | BarbaraC@uvu.edu

Utah Valley University is consistently expanding its scope – not only in outreach, but in recognition it received from around the state, nation and the globe.

One of the most recent agencies to honor the University is the United Nations. In its Annual Report 2015 of the Mountain Partnership under the Food and Agriculture Organization, there was note of UVU and its role in promoting gender and sustainable mountain development (SMD).

UVU hosted the Fourth International Women of the Mountain Conference in October 2015, and that conference was one of the items mentioned in the report lauding the University.

“It is awesome that we were able to have such recognition, when UVU celebrates its 75th anniversary,” said Deann Torsak, executive secretary of WOMC.

UVU has a student intern at Mountain Partnership Secretariat – Yanka Dzhukev, who said, “The fact that UVU and the WOMC have been included in this leading UN annual report speaks to the high professional level of UVU on gender issues and SMD. UVU was highlighted among just two universities from North America to do so.”

UVU’s role was considered one of the highlights of the effort, according to the report.

“In 2015, civil society members realized a range of initiatives in support of sustainable mountain development in the region,” it says. “Here are some highlights: The Utah International Mountain Forum hosted the Fourth International Women of the Mountains Conference on 7-9 October; international officials, scholars and experts focused on gender and sustainable mountain development issues. Students mobilized support for the MP petition calling for climate action in mountains. [They also] Held an International Mountain Day celebration.”

The meeting helped coordinate the efforts of some of the major groups based in the United States, the report says. The annual report may be viewed at http://www.fao.org/3/a-i5490e.pdf 

Happy International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day

Throughout March 1-8, 2016, the students and faculty at Utah Valley University celebrated International Women’s Day.

It was phenomenal that this year UVU was able to dedicate an entire week to the International Women’s Day celebrations.

As a member of the organizing committee, I was proud to help contribute to another highlight of women’s role in life, modern society, and in the state of Utah in particular.

As student at UVU, I know from my own experience how challenging it can be for many women to grow professionally, and at the same time be able to work and take care of our families and children. I have four children of my own, including a boy with autism, and I help my husband operate our small construction business while studying fulltime at school.

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(L to R): Darian Hackney, UVU student, Deann Torsak, Leslie DeeAnn Mower and

Danielle Butler celebrate International Women’s Day at Utah Valley University

There are too many problems that exist in the contemporary world that women have to face. Yet, when I see women like Barrington Jones, who was honored at UVU on March 1st or Leslie DeAnn Mower, co-founder of Neways company who are able to be mothers and successful business women, in addition to be generous philanthropists, I find myself wondering: “What can I do in order to make a difference both in the life of my family and other families in the state of Utah and beyond?”

Additionally, I find myself inspired by other women such as Becky Lockhart, the late Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives and Dr. Danielle Butler, Chairperson of the International Women of the Mountains Conference, which has become a major international event regularly hosted at UVU in order to promote gender and family issues in the State of Utah and globally.

This last year I was able to contribute to the Fourth International Women of the Mountains Conference under the umbrella of the Mountain Partnership, a part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The conferences for the first time ever was hosted by students. It was extremely successful and a great example how undergraduate students can handle a high-level United Nations event in the same way that professors and experts in gender studies do.

Another crowning achievement for me was becoming the first recipient of the scholarship which bears Rebecca Lockhart’s name for students who minor in Constitutional studies. It gave me more energy and a greater desire to dedicate myself to helping advocate for family issues in our state and globally.

Recently, I also participated at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. along with the members of the U.S. Congress and President Obama. There were many inspiring women there as well. Having never been to our nation’s capital before; attending the National Prayer Breakfast was an amazing opportunity for me to see many of our national treasures while getting to meet many fascinating people. It was a joy to be able to represent Utah Valley University at the breakfast and the subsequent activities that occupied my time there.

I am extremely grateful to the UVU faculty who allowed me to be actively engaged in so many educational opportunities. I would also like to use this opportunity to express my special appreciation to Dr. Rusty Butler, Associate Vice President for International Affairs and Diplomacy at UVU, who retires next week. Dr. Butler and his wife Danielle Butler’s leadership and support in student’s engagement in global affairs and in founding and sustaining Women of the Mountains Conferences since 2007 has made a significant difference in future careers and professional lives of so many students at UVU and in the state of Utah.

Happy International Women’s Day to everybody

Deann Torsak, executive Secretary of the WOMC (2015)

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(R to L) : Deann Torsak Presents Certificate of Appreciation from the Food and Agriculture of the United Nations affiliated Mountain Partnership to Dr. Rusty Butler, Associate VP at UVU with Kiersten Dumas, member of the organizing committee of the WOMC

 

 

Contributing to the International Women’s Day Celebration at UVU

Utah Valley University (UVU) students and faculty participated in several events on March 7 and 8, 2016 highlighting International Women’s Day as well as recognizing Leslie DeeAnn Mower, co-founder of the company Neways for all of her great contributions to Utah Valley University and elsewhere. Events were held on campus at Utah Valley University.

On Monday March 7th a celebration was held for International Women’s Day. I was able to participate in a student round table, where myself and three my other colleagues, amazing students Mary Cisneros, Kiersten DumasMegan Raines and myself shared their experiences and thoughts about the International Women’s Day as well as the Fourth International Women of the Mountains Conference that was held at UVU in October 7-9, 2016. All of us were members of the organizing committee of the conference and were proud to contribute to its successful hosting at UVU.

After the student round table we heard a presentation from Peggy Pasin, a representative of the Women’s Success Center at UVU and watched a documentary “To Climb a Gold Mountain” that was created by filmmaker Alex Azmi. Alex Azmi came to UVU from Los Angeles by invitation of the Utah International Mountain Forum, a coalition of student clubs at UVU. Our members were impressed by his documentary during the fundraising event in Salt Lake City, when we raised funds for the conference. Alex Azmi answered questions about the film, a story of four Chinese women who lived in Los Angeles between the middle of the 19th century until recent times. The event was a success and certificates of appreciation from the United Nations Mountain Partnership were given to those who participated in conducting the International Women of the Mountains Conference.

During my presentation as round table participant, I was able to speak about my experiences in assisting with the International Women of the Mountains Conference, how I helped people register for the conference, find where they needed to be as well as participate in the video interviews that were taken featuring many guests from around the world. I was also able to share my achievements of collaborating with many amazing students at UVU to gather signatures for a petition that advocated for a more detailed look at mountainous communities while the climate change discussions were happening at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris in December of 2015. Together with many of our colleagues in Kyrgyzstan, Colombia, and Russia we were able to gather many signatures through our efforts. It was a very great night to be able to share my experiences as well as receive a certificate of appreciation for the work that I did.

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(L to R): Dr. Pierre Padiukov, Leslie DeeAnn Mower, Meerim Abdrisaeva and

Dr. Cholpon Almatalieva After Presenting an Honorary Doctorate Degree

On Tuesday March 8th Leslie DeeAnn Mower was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Human Letters degree from The International University of Kyrgyzstan. Guests were honored to hear from Ambassador Baktybek Abdrisaev, Dr. Danielle Butler, Dr. Pierre Padiukov, and Mrs. Leslie DeeAnn Mower. I was privileged to translate Dr. Pierre Padiukov’s speech about Leslie DeeAnn Mower’s achievements. Dr. Pierre Padiukov is the Vice Rector of the International University of Kyrgyzstan, he and Dr. Cholpon Akmatalieva presented Mrs. Mower her award and regalia.

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Dr. Pierre Padiukov and Darian Hackney during official ceremony Honoring Mrs. Leslie DeeAnn Mower

I was able to speak with Mrs. Mower and assist to Dr. Pierre Padiukov, which was an extraordinary experience for me, as a second semester student in a Russian Language class. However, I was so honored to be a part of the ceremony. The experience had encouraged me to continue learning Russian. Another great experience from this week for me that I was being able to get to know Alex Azmi, who created the documentary that we watched on March 7th. I was able to converse with him and a member of the board of trustees for the university at my table. It was an incredible experience that I wasn’t expecting. I gained several new relationships and gained confidence speaking in front of people.

The two events were very successful and effectively celebrated International Women’s Day and honored accomplishments of male and female students as well as recognize Mrs. Mower for her accomplishments as a successful businesswoman, and sponsor of many programs at UVU and the State of Utah assisting women, families and promoting cooperation between different mountain communities, including Kyrgyzstan and Utah.

It was so nice, that each woman received a rose after the ceremony for Mrs. Mower. It was my first experience celebrating International Women’s Day and it is not one that I will soon forget. I have made incredible relationships and I was able to be a part of something worthwhile to many.

Darian Hackney, UVU student

International Women’s Day at UVU

March 8th the International Women’s Day is a significant day where we celebrate appreciation, respect and love toward women, including mothers who sacrifice their lives for their children to achieve their goals, dreams and happiness. On this significant day we also shouldn’t forget about the mothers who are not among as. On Monday March 7, 2016 we celebrated this amazing day at Utah Valley University.  We were introduced to women who are working in amazing different areas, such as rocket scientists, humanitarian aid workers, pilots, fighters, professors, fashion designers.  All these women are great leaders who are using their knowledge or building technology to change lives. We should keep shining a light on their diversity and roles across the world. The louder we can hear their voices the better we can change the world.

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Student Round Table Participants during International Women’s Day Celebration (L to R):

Darian Hackney, Kiersten Dumas, Megan Raines and Mary Cisneros

During the event Utah Valley University hosted several students and professors who spoke to us regarding women in society, domestic violence among other issues.  I would have loved to have heard more about women in education. I think women in education is one of the important subjects to talk about it. For example, in some countries such as Pakistan or Afghanistan it is very hard for women to obtain education and achieve their goal. They are not only facing economic difficulties but potential terror threats and oppressive religious and political regimes. According to Sharia law and religion of Islam women are limited in education and freedom of speech. Women and girls have been victims of merciless power struggles for centuries in these societies. In majority of Islamic societies women are discriminated in different areas such as, education, unequal salaries.  Man is superior not only at home but also in workplaces.

I think we should focus more about “women and education in Islamic societies.”  I think we have brave women and girls in Islamic societies such as Pakistan and Afghanistan, but not all of them are fortunate like Malala to overcome and survived the brutality of fanatic Muslims such as, Taliban or ISIL. Stabbings or pounding on women and girls, especially domestic violence, cutting nose or part of their bodies, acid attacks,  honor killings, forced marriage that have become a growing problem in Islamic countries. It is a vicious, barbaric and inhumane act toward women. In such as society where the Sharia law is the rule of the law, women and girls can’t live with confidence and feel safe. Unfortunately, majority of women and girls fear physical harm from their own family members. It is sad but true.

I was born in Afghanistan and used to live there for over 16 years, then moved to the Czech Republic. Even though, Afghanistan is a country where women are discriminated and do not have possibilities for higher education. We still have brave women who sacrifice everything for their children to achieve their goals and dreams.  For example, my mother provided me higher education in Prague the Czech Republic where I studied Languages and used to work over 14 years as an interpreter and translator for the Ministry of Home affairs in Prague including, immigration Police, Criminal and investigation department. As an interpreter I was able to help women in need who were seeking help from the United Nations, as well as the Czech Republic police.  Women have an important role to play in all professions.  International Women’s Day helps us come together to share ideas and inspiration.

Stella Przybyla, UVU student

UTAH VALLEY UNIVERSITY CELEBRATED INTERNATIONAL WOMENS WEEK

During March 1 – 8, 2016 Utah Valley University hosted a series of events to celebrate International Women’s Day at Utah Valley University.

MARCH 1, 2016.

UVUs Women’s Success Center started celebrations by presenting the Rainmaker Award to Barbara Barrington Jones on March 1, 2016 for her work to empower women globally. Barrington Jones is an author, speaker and image consultant, who aims to make a difference in the lives of women. She is CEO and founder of the Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation.

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LOCAL MEDIA ABOUT EVENT ON MARCH 1, 2016

http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/barbara-barrington-jones-hero-to-many-in-utah-and-abroad/article_eb82762b-e761-5feb-84ca-f1b7608ed46f.html

MARCH 7, 2016

International Women's Day at Utah Valley University

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On March 7, 2016, the gathering hosted by Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF), a coalition of student clubs at UVU was started from a student round-table. Participants, Darian Hackney, Mary Cisneros, Kiersten Dumas, and Megan Raines reported about their research of different aspects of gender issues and successful contribution to the International Women of the Mountains Conference (WOMC) under the umbrella of the Mountain Partnership (MP), subunit of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, held at UVU October 7-9, 2015.

Following the student round-table, Peggy Pasin, the Coordinator for the UVU Women’s Success, Center spoke on how the Women’s Success Center enables women to reach their full potential in both the workplace and academia.

As part of the gathering, Dean Torsak and Kiersten Dumas, student organizers of the WOMC then presented certificates with appreciation of the MP to all contributors of the conference.

As a highlight of the event, Alex Azmi DBA, Director and Executive Producer presented his award winning documentary To Climb a Gold Mountain about life of Chinese women – immigrants in Los Angeles during 19th – 20th centuries . This was second time screening of the documentary in Utah after its successful presentation in August 2015 during fundraising for the WOMC in Salt Lake City.

MARCH 8, 2016

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On March 8, 2016, UVU hosted special ceremony honoring Leslie DeeAnn Mower, member of the UVU National Presidential Advisory Board, co-founder of Neways, entrepreneur and author. Dr. Pierre Padiukov, Vice-Rector of International University of Kyrgyzstan (IUK) presented Mrs. Leslie DeeAnn Mower with Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from IUK for her outstanding contribution to the promotion of women cause globally and support to the partnership between mountainous Utah and Kyrgyzstan, as well as between UVU and IUK.

UVU PRESS-RELEASE ABOUT INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY CELEBRATIONS

http://blogs.uvu.edu/newsroom/2016/03/09/utah-international-mountain-forum-hosts-international-womens-day-celebration/

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INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY AT UVU

March 8th the International Women’s Day is a significant day where we celebrate appreciation, respect and love toward women, including mothers who sacrifice their lives for their children to achieve their goals, dreams and happiness. On this significant day we also shouldn’t forget about the mothers who are not among as. On Monday March 7, 2016 we celebrated this amazing day at Utah Valley University.  We were introduced to women who are working in amazing different areas, such as rocket scientists, humanitarian aid workers, pilots, fighters, professors, fashion designers.  All these women are great leaders who are using their knowledge or building technology to change lives. We should keep shining a light on their diversity and roles across the world. The louder we can hear their voices the better we can change the world.

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Student Round Table Participants during International Women’s Day Celebration (L to R):Darian Hackney, Kiersten Dumas, Megan Raines and Mary Cisneros

During the event Utah Valley University hosted several students and professors who spoke to us regarding women in society, domestic violence among other issues.  I would have loved to have heard more about women in education. I think women in education is one of the important subjects to talk about it. For example, in some countries such as Pakistan or Afghanistan it is very hard for women to obtain education and achieve their goal. They are not only facing economic difficulties but potential terror threats and oppressive religious and political regimes. According to Sharia law and religion of Islam women are limited in education and freedom of speech. Women and girls have been victims of merciless power struggles for centuries in these societies. In majority of Islamic societies women are discriminated in different areas such as, education, unequal salaries.  Man is superior not only at home but also in workplaces.

I think we should focus more about “women and education in Islamic societies.”  I think we have brave women and girls in Islamic societies such as Pakistan and Afghanistan, but not all of them are fortunate like Malala to overcome and survived the brutality of fanatic Muslims such as, Taliban or ISIL. Stabbings or pounding on women and girls, especially domestic violence, cutting nose or part of their bodies, acid attacks,  honor killings, forced marriage that have become a growing problem in Islamic countries. It is a vicious, barbaric and inhumane act toward women. In such as society where the Sharia law is the rule of the law, women and girls can’t live with confidence and feel safe. Unfortunately, majority of women and girls fear physical harm from their own family members. It is sad but true.

I was born in Afghanistan and used to live there for over 16 years, then moved to the Czech Republic. Even though, Afghanistan is a country where women are discriminated and do not have possibilities for higher education. We still have brave women who sacrifice everything for their children to achieve their goals and dreams.  For example, my mother provided me higher education in Prague the Czech Republic where I studied Languages and used to work over 14 years as an interpreter and translator for the Ministry of Home affairs in Prague including, immigration Police, Criminal and investigation department. As an interpreter I was able to help women in need who were seeking help from the United Nations, as well as the Czech Republic police.  Women have an important role to play in all professions.  International Women’s Day helps us come together to share ideas and inspiration.

Stella Przybyla, UVU student

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CONTRIBUTING TO THE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY CELEBRATION AT UVU

Utah Valley University (UVU) students and faculty participated in several events on March 7 and 8, 2016 highlighting International Women’s Day as well as recognizing Leslie DeeAnn Mower, co-founder of the company Neways for all of her great contributions to Utah Valley University and elsewhere. Events were held on campus at Utah Valley University.

On Monday March 7th a celebration was held for International Women’s Day. I was able to participate in a student round table, where myself and three my other colleagues, amazing students Mary Cisneros, Kiersten Dumas and Mega Raines shared their experiences and thoughts about the International Women’s Day as well as the Fourth International Women of the Mountains Conference that was held at UVU in October 7-9, 2016. All of us were members of the organizing committee of the conference and were proud to contribute to its successful hosting at UVU.

After the student round table we heard a presentation from Peggy Pasin, a representative of the Women’s Success Center at UVU and watched a documentary “To Climb a Gold Mountain” that was created by filmmaker Alex Azmi. Alex Azmi came to UVU from Los Angeles by invitation of the Utah International Mountain Forum, a coalition of student clubs at UVU. Our members were impressed by his documentary during the fundraising event in Salt Lake City, when we raised funds for the conference. Alex Azmi answered questions about the film, a story of four Chinese women who lived in Los Angeles between the middle of the 19th century until recent times. The event was a success and certificates of appreciation from the United Nations Mountain Partnership were given to those who participated in conducting the International Women of the Mountains Conference.

During my presentation as round table participant, I was able to speak about my experiences in assisting with the International Women of the Mountains Conference, how I helped people register for the conference, find where they needed to be as well as participate in the video interviews that were taken featuring many guests from around the world. I was also able to share my achievements of collaborating with many amazing students at UVU to gather signatures for a petition that advocated for a more detailed look at mountainous communities while the climate change discussions were happening at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris in December of 2015. Together with many of our colleagues in Kyrgyzstan, Colombia, and Russia we were able to gather many signatures through our efforts. It was a very great night to be able to share my experiences as well as receive a certificate of appreciation for the work that I did.

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(L to R): Dr. Pierre Padiukov, Leslie DeeAnn Mower, Meerim Abdrisaeva and Dr. Cholpon Almatalieva After Presenting an Honorary Doctorate Degree

On Tuesday March 8th Leslie DeeAnn Mower was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Human Letters degree from The International University of Kyrgyzstan. Guests were honored to hear from Ambassador Baktybek Abdrisaev, Dr. Danielle Butler, Dr. Pierre Padiukov, and Mrs. Leslie DeeAnn Mower. I was privileged to translate Dr. Pierre Padiukov’s speech about Leslie DeeAnn Mower’s achievements. Dr. Pierre Padiukov is the Vice Rector of the International University of Kyrgyzstan, he and Dr. Cholpon Akmatalieva presented Mrs. Mower her award and regalia.

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Dr. Pierre Padiukov and Darian Hackney during official ceremony Honoring Mrs. Leslie DeeAnn Mower

I was able to speak with Mrs. Mower and assist to Dr. Pierre Padiukov, which was an extraordinary experience for me, as a second semester student in a Russian Language class. However, I was so honored to be a part of the ceremony. The experience had encouraged me to continue learning Russian. Another great experience from this week for me that I was being able to get to know Alex Azmi, who created the documentary that we watched on March 7th. I was able to converse with him and a member of the board of trustees for the university at my table. It was an incredible experience that I wasn’t expecting. I gained several new relationships and gained confidence speaking in front of people.

The two events were very successful and effectively celebrated International Women’s Day and honored accomplishments of male and female students as well as recognize Mrs. Mower for her accomplishments as a successful businesswoman, and sponsor of many programs at UVU and the State of Utah assisting women, families and promoting cooperation between different mountain communities, including Kyrgyzstan and Utah.

It was so nice, that each woman received a rose after the ceremony for Mrs. Mower. It was my first experience celebrating International Women’s Day and it is not one that I will soon forget. I have made incredible relationships and I was able to be a part of something worthwhile to many.

Darian Hackney, UVU student