Tag Archives: 2014

UVU Peru Study Abroad Follows Up Women of the Mountains Conference Goals

UVU Study Abroad program in Peru was held this May 2014. Dr. Sara Ulloa, Associate Professor of UVU Languages Department, and Advisor to the Sustainable Mountain Development Club at UVU   led a group of 19 students from Spanish, health, business, engineering and other fields to immerse themselves in the language and culture while providing service to Andean communities.

Group visited several places in Cusco and La Libertad to build bridges of understanding with Andean communities and its peoples. Collaborating internationally, students were able to start research on different aspects in order to promote solutions to problems and enrich the quality of life of its people. Research was based on the influence of the high altitude and remoteness on the living conditions of families, children and women in particular.

These issues were the focus of the Third International Conference Women of the Mountains, which UVU co-hosted in 2012 in Puno, Peru. The Conference in 2012 helped established closer relationships between the Rocky Mountain States, and Utah in particular, and the mountain communities and their families living on the high altitude of the Peruvian Andes. As one of the outcomes of the gathering in 2012 was the decision from UVU to create a study abroad program to bring faculty and students in order to continue work on the issues of gender and sustainable mountain development in Peru.

ulloa1 Group Picture: UVU Faculty and Students Together With Ccasacunca Community, Cuzco, Peru

During their stay in Peru, students met local people from the villages neighboring Cusco and Trujillo and experienced first-hand how it is to live in Andean communities. Students were able to make connections; find similarities and differences among their own culture and the Andean culture in order to intertwine this knowledge to an integrated view of the world.  Students who participated in this program returned home with a greater appreciation for others around the world and a better foundation for living and working in order to provide further assistance.

As a part of the program, UVU students also helped locals with schoolwork and brought school supplies and toys for children. In addition, plans for future cooperation between Utah and Peru, specially UVU and Cusco were discussed.

Faculty and students also visited local universities and discussed with local hosts plans for educational exchanges and mutual cooperation. Local scholars and faculty also expressed a strong interest to attend the Fourth international Women of the Mountains, which UVU will co-host in October 2015.

UVU Students Meeting Local Leaders and Children

UVU Students and Andean Children Rendering Honors to Andean Leaders


UVU Student, Matt French, presented UVU Souvenirs to Trujillo Teachers

UVU Students Teaching Children in BiblioBus, La Libertad

UVU Peru Study Abroad Group 2014, Machu Picchu, Peru

Furthermore, members of delegation were thrilled to visit famous and popular Machu Picchu and other touristic sites. Andean tour taught them about great heritage and skills in architecture of ancient Inca Empire, who were able to reach high peaks of civilization in such harsh environment of the mountainous Andes.

Fritz Culp and Matthew French, UVU students

Celebrating International Women’s Day at UVU


UVU Hosts Body Image Experts For International Women’s Day Events


February 28, 2014

For Immediate Release

University Marketing & Communications: Melinda Colton

Written by: Heather Wrigley

On March 7, Utah Valley University will host “Beauty Redefined,” a celebration of International Women’s Day, with two sessions featuring keynote addresses by inspiring speakers, entertainment by international dancers and food.

“International Women’s Day is a special day in which we celebrate women,” said Marie Poudiougou, an assistant at the UVU International Affairs & Diplomacy Office. “It is all about empowering women, recognize their efforts in making this world a better place, recognizing their beauty both inside and outside.”

The first session will take place from noon to 2 p.m. at UVU Centre Stage, centrally located on the main floor of the Sorensen Student Center. It will include a short lecture on body image, which will be followed by a presentation from the UVU Women of Science Club and an award ceremony. Free lunch will be provided.

The second session will be from 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. It will consist of a presentation by the main speakers Lindsay and Lexie Kite, two sisters who earned their doctoral degrees in the study of media and body image from the University of Utah. “Beauty Redefined” represents their not-for-profit work through the Beauty Redefined Foundation to take back beauty for girls and women everywhere through continuing the discussion about body image, women’s potential and media influence. Their one-hour visual presentation on recognizing and rejecting harmful media ideals about beauty and health has been presented to thousands of people across the state of Utah and beyond since March 2009. They will offer their keynote in the UVU Grande Ballroom, in the Sorensen Student Center.

Their address will be followed by a short presentation from international students and performances by Polynesian, African, Japanese and Mongolian dancers. The event will end with international appetizers.

Both sessions are free of charge. Tickets are available at UVU’s Campus Connection, or by contacting Marie Poudiougou at 801-472-8769 or mariep@uvu.edu.

International Women Day: Beauty Redefined


Friday March 7th

Grand Ballroom

Host: Marie/Liz

5: 00 pm                    Set up: Making sure everything is good to go. Projector, PowerPoint, Microphone, Water for the Speakers…..

5: 45                            Music -Japanese instrument/ People arrival and International appetizers

6: 00                           Opening Remarks by Marie Poudiougou, President of the Foreign Affairs Club, Chair Assistant of the International Student Council.

6:05                            Performance: Best Afrodancer, A group of African Dancer from the Republic of Congo

6: 20                           Address of the International Students, Jawahir Ahmed and Tamara Harutyunova, International aspect/Views of beauty

6:40                            Introduction of Lindsay Kite and Lexie Kite by Elizabeth Jarema, Executive Vice President, UVU Student Association.

6: 45                           Address of Lindsay Kite and Lexie Kite, PhDs in the study of media and body image.

7: 30                           Performance: the Polynesian dancer, Multicultural Dancer

7: 45                           Address of the International Students Eri Hyward-Japan,  Paola Rondon- Venezuela,  International aspect/Views of beauty

8: 10                           Performance: Mongolian Dancer, traditional dance by a UVU student

8: 15                           Closing remarks by Anne Wairepo, Director of the Women Success Center

8: 20                           Prices, by UVUSA election winner

8:30                            End of event


4th Annual Essay Contest For Utah High Schools on Family Farming

Back in 2011, Utah Valley University hosted the first ever Utah high school ‘Youth and the Mountains’ essay contest. This contest focused on academic research and introduced the importance of Sustainable Development. From its conception, the essay contest has been a great asset to the academic community and has helped to introduce young adults to their surroundings.

With topics ranging from women of the mountains to energy, essay contestants have dealt with and postulated solutions for important socio-economic factors being discussed and improved upon globally. The relevance of which should not be lost or ignored.

Utah Valley University’s essay contest provides a firm foundation for the next generation of leaders; to create new ideas and promote innovative thinking. This says nothing of the $300 cash prize for first place; a much appreciated bonus for one of these students.

This year’s contest, being held March 28th, will be drawing from an ever expanding pool of high schools and the competition will be fiercer than ever. The topic of this year’s contest is, ‘The Family Farm in Mountain Communities’. The topic draws from the important work that is being done globally to end world hunger and promote more sustainable farming practices. It is also the topic of discussion for this year’s 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Students draw from Utah’s rich cultural and religious history to provide a unique perspective on sustainable development. Previous submissions have proposed alternative means of development and have done much to inform others of dangerous materials, working conditions, and poorly constructed policy making at the government level.


Of true significance is not the cash prizes or the publication of those papers written but the positive influence and introduction of policy making which this essay contest promotes. Students are able to research effective and ineffective decisions made by government officials and provide insights from a different perspective. Additionally, students learn more about their history and culture, promoting activism to the future leaders and makers of change.

A great source for inspiration and a resource which should not be overlooked is Utah’s culture and history. Coming to this, at the time, desert state Utah’s settlers had to introduce new farming methods and agricultural techniques. This same level of intuitiveness and creativity has been applied to the previous essay contests. It will be no surprise to witness such ingenuity in the coming contest.

The schools being represented will not only be showcasing the quality of their students and the efficacy of their instructors, but the idea that there is still much that can be done to promote change and that it is never too early, or late, to start. Likewise, the students will not be simply writing words down on a piece of paper. These research papers are the end product of a desire to make the world, whether that be personal or global, a better place.

Joseph McCain, President of UIMF 

2014 Essay Contest

Call for Papers 

The Fourth Annual Utah High School Essay Contest
The Family Farm in Mountain Communities
March 28, 2014

2014 is the International Year of Family Farming. In conjunction with this celebration, the Utah International Mountain Forum will again host its annual High School essay contest. The goal of this essay contest is to educate and engage the public on the issues of family farming, mountain life, and the ways we can serve and lift up our fellow man. Given Utah’s history of endurance, innovation, and success in cultivating a high mountain desert, and the recent troubles with drought and water shortages, this topic is particularly relevant today.

For more information on how to participate, click here