Sustainable Mountain Development


SMD Mission: Raise awareness among the UVU students, faculty, and the local community in the state of Utah , about the necessity for them to join efforts of global mountain communities and activities of international organizations, like the United Nations, with the aim to promote improvements of the lives of the mountain people, their families and gender issues both in Rocky Mountains and worldwide.

President: Josman Cereceres

Josman was born and raised in the sunny valley of the Phoenix Metro area where he was involved in a local internet broadcasting group called The Studio. He moved to Utah at the age of 20 to pursue his education there and soon found himself involved in politics as well as international relations. Josman has been involved in receiving and hosting diplomatic dignitaries from all around the world and enjoys connecting with these individuals in order to bring the relationship between the diplomatic world and Utah Valley University closer. Besides International relations, Josman just finished working with our states congressman, Jason Chaffetz where he was involved in community relations and national agency issues. Currently, He works at the Center for Constitutional Studies at UVU doing research as well as community outreach. Josman has also been involved in UVU as a representative for political science and history students and working closely with UIMF in order to collaborate and allow students to participate in high level events. In his spare time, Josman enjoys traveling and exploring the outdoors, which is one of the reasons he came to Utah.

President Emeritus: Deann Torsak


Deann Torsak was born and raised in the small island community of Wrangell, Alaska. In 1995 she married her husband, Kenneth and together they have four children. A small business owner, she is actively involved in community service. She has managed the Utah Grizzlies Special Needs-South hockey team for 8 years and has been heavily involved with the Boy Scouts of America for the past 8 years. Deann is currently a senior at Utah Valley University studying Political Science with an emphasis in American Government, with two minors: Constitutional Studies and Native American Studies. She will be working with the Utah state Legislature in the 2017 session, and is set to graduate in the spring of 2017. She is the first recipient of the Rebecca D. Lockhart Endowed Scholarship for students within the Constitutional Studies minor at UVU. She has been involved with the Utah International Mountain Forum since 2014, and is currently the President of the Sustainable Mountain Development Club and is the Executive Secretary of this conference.

Vice President and Outreach Coordinator:

Kiersten Dumas


Kiersten lives in Payson, Utah on a family farm. She thoroughly enjoys both the rewards and difficulties of farm life and continues to learn more and more every day. Being a lover of all animals, she takes pleasure in working with the variety of animals that her family raises and cares for: cows, pigs, horses, goats, chickens and a few farm dogs. Kiersten graduated from Salem Hills High School in May of 2012 and has been attending Utah Valley University ever since. In her studies at UVU she has focused on U.S. History and Political Science, but is considering going another direction. She is excited to be a part of the Utah International Mountain Forum and Sustainable Mountain Development clubs and looks forward to future opportunities.

Vice President: Regan Warner 
Regan is from Nephi, Utah. She graduated from Juab High School in 2015 and has been attending Utah Valley University after transferring from Harding University in January 2016. Her studies at UVU have been revolved around Political Science and Environmental Management. Regan aspires to obtain a degree in Environmental Law. She is excited to be a part of the Utah International Mountain Forum and Sustainable Mountain Development clubs and contribute to the important work being done.

Vice President: Tenika Ray
Tenika Ray was born in and raised in Utah. In 2002 her family moved to Singapore where they lived for a year. This move sparked her desire to interact and work with people from all around the world. She is currently a Political Science major at UVU with an emphasis in World Politics. Tenika is focused on how women can influence the sustainability of mountain communities. She enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

Member: Jaidy Warner
Jaidy was raised in Nephi, Utah along with her sister Regan, where she attended and graduated from Juab High School in 2012. She is a junior at UVU where she is studying Human Behavior Science and Social Work. In-between school work and progressing towards her bachelors, she served a full time Latter Day Saints mission in the islands of Micronesia and Guam, participated in the Disney College Program in Orlando, Florida, and traveling to various parts of the world. Jaidy has a passion for people and is excited to do what she can to help her local and global communities.

Member: Cole Bertelsen

Cole was born and raised in Springville, Utah where he graduated from Springville High School in 2013. After graduating he served a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in El Salvador and Belize. He currently is a sophomore at Utah Valley University studying History Education with the goal of becoming a college professor. He enjoys reading, sports and playing golf. In January 2017 he married his wife Jenny, they currently reside in Provo, Utah.

Member: Sadie Simper


Sadie Lauran Simper is a Political Science major at Utah Valley University. She is currently living in Provo with her husband, Brett who she married in 2015. Sadie is a Springville High School Graduate and lived there most of her life, volunteering in the community on the Springville Museum of Art’s Art Royalty, and on the Springville City Youth Council. Sadie hopes to someday open her own political consulting business.

Member: Aaron Holloway

Aaron's Head Shot

Aaron Holloway is a senior student at Utah Valley University who is about to graduate with his Bachelor of Science of Political Science. He is a second generation U.V.U. student with research interests in Sustainable Mountain Region Development, Federalism, Constitutional Structures, and Local Government Operations. He is a student fellow of the Center for Constitutional Studies at U.V.U, has worked with the Office of New Urban Mechanics at U.V.U on a number of local and state government projects, and is now involved with several clubs and organizations at U.V.U surrounding the issue of Sustainable Mountain Development. He is currently researching a number of issues in regards to Sustainable Mountain Development; his passed research projects included an in-depth constitutional comparative analysis of the Nation of Georgia and the state of Utah, a comparative analysis of regional government structures on local mountain minority groups, and an overview of the effects of Federalism in the United States on minority groups such as native Americans and religious minority’s such as Mormons.

Member: Ellen Dekker 
ellen dekker
Ellen was born and raised just outside San Francisco, California. She attended Santa Barbara Community College 2014-2015 then transferred to Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, CA for the 2015-2016 year where she earned an AA in Legal Studies emphasizing in Social Sciences. Finally finding her place at Utah Valley University in Fall 2016 where she is able to study Political Science as well as Peace and Justice Studies. Ellen plans to earn a degree in Labor Law. She first learned of the Utah International Mountain Forum and Sustainable Mountain Development Club at UVU her first semester here and is continued to be interested by its work.

Member: Matt James
Matt James is a student at UVU currently pursuing his undergraduate in World Politics with minors in Digital Media and National Security. Matt has a love of silversmithing, politics, endurance racing, and traveling, having visiting 28 counties internationally. Since he was 17, he has done development work in Peru, Ethiopia, India, and Uganda. After working as a Country Director for HELP International in Uganda in 2015 he, along with local Ugandans, have built a primary school that currently provides housing, food and education for 200 orphans. He also oversees a small business development and savings group project that teaches hundred of rural Ugandans how to safe and become entrepreneurs.

Member: Taylor Mansfield
Taylor was born and raised in Santa Clarita, California. After graduating high school in 2015, she moved to Provo, Utah to attend school at UVU. She is currently studying Political Science with a focus in public law.  During her time at UVU, Taylor has had the opportunity to join and start various political clubs on campus. In her spare time, she enjoys all that Utah has to offer, including snowboarding and golfing. After graduating from UVU, she hopes to attend law school on the East Coast.

Member: Becca Bindraban

Becca is a sophomore at UVU. She moved to Utah a few years ago from New York. A year ago she transferred from the University of Utah to UVU and she is loving it. She is a political science major with an emphasis on world politics and am also pursuing minor in biology and peace and justice studies. Growing up she was fortunate enough to have traveled to many foreign countries and from the very beginning have been interested in international affairs and am very passionate about the environment as well. Moving to Utah has been great and there is no outdoor playground like Utah. In her free time Becca enjoys outdoor activities and taking trips to Moab. She also loves to volunteer and take part in political activities. Particularly she is interested in environmental sustainability, women and children’s rights and foreign policy and exposure to these subjects.

Member: Dee Andersen

Dee Andersen is senior student at Utah Valley University, and has achieved his Associates degree.  Dee has done research for Woman’s of The Mountain on Water Conservation and has worked at American for Prosperity for his internship in Virginia.  Dee currently lives in Lindon Utah and expecting to graduate in Political Science and Minor in Constitutional Studies in the Fall of 2017.

A Coalition of UVU Clubs