Get your flu shot at this year’s Employee Appreciation Day!

Human Resources

This year, more than ever, it is important to protect yourself and your family members from the seasonal flu. Thankfully, there are many ways to obtain a flu shot this year, including at the upcoming University of Utah Employee Appreciation Day (EAD), taking place on Thursday, October 14 from 10 am – 2 pm at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

This year’s EAD flu shot clinic will be located on north side of the West Concourse within Rice-Eccles Stadium. Volunteers from the Colleges of Nursing will be on site to deliver flu shots to any interested employee.

If you are interested in getting a flu shot at EAD, consider filling out your paperwork ahead of time to skip the line! Click here to access this paperwork. Be sure to bring this paperwork with you in addition to your employee Ucard (required for entry) and your EventBrite registration.

All EAD attendees, including those just interested in participating in the flu shot clinic, should be sure to register via EventBrite to help the event organizer better plan for the day. Plus, it’s the only way to claim your free pizza this year!

If you can’t make this year’s EAD flu shot clinic, there are several other ways to get your flu shot this year. Vaccines will be available at your local pharmacy or through your health provider’s office. RedMed flu shot clinics will also take place this year – more information to be announced! Departments may also coordinate their own flu shot clinic by contacting Wendy Poppleton at

Best colleges for student voting

Hinckley Institute of Politics

The University of Utah was listed as one of the “Best Colleges for Student Voting” amongst schools doing the most to turn students into citizens. The U’s impressive voter participation numbers are due in part to the efforts of our Andrew Goodman Foundation (AGF) Ambassadors and the student leaders of ASUU. The Hinckley Institute is proud to facilitate our local AGF chapter and help strengthen its efforts. In order for schools to be included in the voting honor roll, they need to have shown a repeated commitment to increasing student voting—and have been transparent about the results.

Read more here.


Change the future of commuting to campus

Claudia Trochez
Commuter Services

Your daily commute is more important than you think. It affects several aspects of your life, including your schedule, budget and health. However, everyone’s transportation options depend on their location, time constraints, resources and more. If you’d like to make a change and shape the future of commuting to campus, take this survey, share your thoughts and spread the word amongst your peers.

Every other year Commuter Services, in collaboration with the Sustainability Office, asks university students, faculty and staff to report their commute modes, habits, and satisfaction levels. So whether you drive, bike, walk or ride UTA to campus, here’s is your chance to share your experience and make suggestions based on your point of view.

Your participation is the driving force to change. The data collected from this survey will help us improve current commuter programs and plan for future initiatives. The survey will take approximately 10 minutes. To show our appreciation, all participants will be entered to win a $50 or $100 gift card to the Campus Store!

Marketing director joins S.J. Quinney College of Law

S.J. Quinney College of Law

Henry Randolph has joined the university as marketing director for the S. J. Quinney College of Law. He will be leading the college’s marketing and communications efforts, and he looks forward to collaborating with communicators across the university. Henry previously served as communications director at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s College of Health, and, prior to that, as communications director at Temple University’s College of Public Health.

Film crew on campus

University of Utah Communications

You can expect to see a film crew on campus Sept. 20-28. The University of Utah is being featured by The College Tour, an Amazon Prime TV series that tells the story of a college through the lens of its students. The U will be featured in the first episode of season 4, set to stream early next year. More details on how to watch will be shared in the coming months.

Plan ahead for field trips

Matthew Tuttle
Risk & Insurance Services

Are you planning field trips, activities or events with your class or group? If so, plan ahead for hazards, approvals, accommodations, liability waivers, equipment needs, transportation requirements and emergencies. A field trip guideline checklist and approved liability waiver form can be accessed at Risk & Insurance Services website.

Statement on stadium tunnel poster vandalism

Racist & Bias Incident Response Team

This statement appeared on the website of the Division of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

What happened

On Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, an individual reported that one of the posters related to the Ute Proud campaign had been vandalized. Someone had written the words “Your not White Black Chicano” on the poster with a black marker. It is unknown how long the vandalism had been on the poster prior to being reported.

What is being done

The incident was reported to the Racist and Bias Incident Response Team, which coordinated with University of Utah Facilities Management to remove the vandalism and inspect the area for other graffiti, and none was found.

What to do

Be vigilant and speak up. If you observe similar vandalism or experience a racist or bias incident, make a report to the Racist and Bias Incident Response Team, or if you experience discrimination you can report it to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.

If you are interested in learning more about the variety of resources the U offers to support diversity and inclusion, please visit the Office of the Dean of Students in the Union Building, Room 270,, 801-581-7066 or Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Park Building, Room 208, or

The U is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion

The University of Utah strongly condemns this action and the message. The University of Utah continues to condemn bias, discrimination, racism, bigotry and hate in the strongest possible terms. We support fostering an inclusive campus and are committed to diversity. U administrators want to assure students, faculty and staff that they are dedicated to creating a safe, welcoming and equitable campus where we work together to engage, support and advance a living, learning and working environment that fosters values of respect, diversity, inclusivity and academic excellence.

The University of Utah also welcomes and values the indigenous members of our community, and our Ute Tribe members specifically, and believes the community is strengthened by their contributions. The university has also entered into agreements with the Ute Tribe to help educate our campus community and strengthen the ties between the University of Utah and the Ute Tribe. Additional information about other types of critical conversations, including a discussion about intent vs. impactsurviving and thrivingclaiming space and more, is available online.

Questions & Concerns

For any questions or concerns in regard to this bias incident, please contact Brian Jay Nicholls, Special Assistant to the Chief Safety Officer, at

For additional reporting information, please feel free to visit here.


Support Resources

If you are currently in a situation where immediate medical, police or other emergency services are needed, call 911 or University Emergency Communications at 801-585-2677 (801-585-COPS). To file a complaint regarding discrimination or sexual harassment, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (OEO/AA) at 801-581-8365.


Report a Bias Incident

Any act of intolerance, motivated wholly or in part by bias or prejudice against an individual’s race, color, ethnicity, age, religion, size, disability, national origin, language, gender, veteran status, identity expression, sexual orientation or age—regardless of severity—can be reported using this form.




David Eccles School of Business

Come up with a solution to the issue of housing affordability and win $3,000 in 24 hours. Hack-A-House is a 24-hour live, online, hackathon-style competition, hosted by Ivory Innovations and the David Eccles School of Business.

Students must select one of three categories in which to compete: Finance, Policy & Regulatory Reform or Construction & Design. Teams will tailor their solutions to fit whichever category they have selected, although students are encouraged to have elements of multiple categories as part of their solution. The competition will be judged by members of the Ivory Prize Advisory Board, faculty from all participating universities and industry experts.

Hack-A-House will be held on Sept. 24-25. Students from across the country will be competing, sign-ups are now open.

A fall-time look for Zoom

Corinne Smart
Print & Mail Services

Fall is finally here! To celebrate the new season, we at University Print & Mail Services have designed these fall-themed backgrounds to spice up your Zoom meetings.

How to download

  1. Click on any of the thumbnails below.
  2. On the enlarged version that opens up, right-click to save it to your computer.

If you would like some help installing your Zoom background, click here for instructions.

For more Zoom backgrounds, click here.

STEM Community Alliance Program is recruiting

STEM Community Alliance Program

The STEM Community Alliance Program (STEMCAP) is recruiting scientists willing to share their time, research and experiences with youth in custody, illuminating career pathways in STEM.

STEMCAP fosters connections between youth in custody and STEM communities through science communication. Read more about the STEMCAP program and its impact on students here.

Learn about the program and apply to be a presenter here.

View the STEMCAP flyer here.


What you need to know about the U’s rental car contracts

Matthew Tuttle
Risk & Insurance Services

Did you know the University of Utah has access to car rental companies using state-negotiated contracts? Contracts are available with Hertz as well as National and Enterprise.

Drivers who use these agencies while traveling on University of Utah business do not need to purchase extra insurance or pay an internal fee. However, insurance must be purchased for the following circumstances:

  • Vehicles larger than a minivan (Enterprise has state contract pricing for commercial trucks)
  • When renting outside the state contracts
  • Renting in a foreign country

Instructions for renting vehicles can be found at the Risk & Insurance Services website under the “Vehicle” section or by calling 801-581-5590.

TRAX Mario Capecchi curves construction: Oct. 4-13

Claudia Trochez
Commuter Services

UTA will replace the 20-year-old railroad curves on the TRAX Red Line at Mario Capecchi Drive and South Campus Drive. TRAX Red Line delays and road closures will occur between Oct. 4-13.

TRAX Red Line passenger impacts—Oct. 9-13:

UTA will operate a bus bridge from 900 East to the University Medical Station. The bus bridge will not stop at the Fort Douglas Station due to road restrictions. Regular TRAX Red Line services will resume on Oct. 14.

Drivers—Oct. 4-13:

Motorists traveling near the construction zone on South Campus Drive and Mario Capecchi Drive should prepare for the following road impacts and closures.

  • South Campus Drive:
    • Westbound traffic will be closed from Mario Capecchi Drive to 1850 East.
    • Eastbound traffic will not be affected.
  • Mario Capecchi Drive:
    • Two southbound lanes of traffic will remain open from South Wasatch Drive to Gibbons Street.
    • Motorists may not turn westbound onto South Campus Drive.

Visit to learn more about the TRAX Mario Capecchi construction project.

Go to Lagoon, help the Utah Food Bank

University of Utah Health

Join us for U of U Health’s Lagoon Days to benefit and support the Utah Food Bank. Tickets are available on Oct. 16 or 17, 2021.  Your purchase includes an all-you-can-eat buffet and a donation to the Utah Food Bank. Each ticket sold provides 40 meals to feed those in need. The first 1,000 tickets sold for Saturday (500) and Sunday (500) are at a reduced price of $65.98 including tax. (A savings of nearly $10 per ticket.)

Non-discounted tickets are $75.67 (including tax) per person. With each ticket you get:

  • One (1) Lagoon All-Day Pass for extreme fun
  • One (1) Lunch Buffet Ticket for an all-you-can-eat feast
  • Frightmares Access for Halloween-themed entertainment

Have fun and feed a family! Purchase your tickets here.

Retirement plan help

Human Resources

Are you confused about the retirement plan changes or do you need help reviewing your investment selections?  All of the university’s retirement plan administrators offer free, confidential one-on-one sessions for university employees.

To schedule a meeting with a Fidelity representative go to and click on the “Meet” link or call 1-800-343-0860.

To schedule a meeting with a TIAA representative, go to and click on “Schedule Today” or call 1-800-732-8353.

If you are enrolled in a Utah Retirement Systems retirement plan, you can schedule a meeting with an authorized URS representative by logging into your account with URS at

Also, hold the week of Oct. 11. In addition to Employee Appreciation Day on Oct. 14, UHRM will be hosting a week of retirement-related sessions. The schedule will be mailed to employees’ homes in a few weeks.

New inaugural associate dean named at the College of Education

Tracy Rees
Marketing/Communications Specialist, College of Education

Frankie Santos Laanan

The College of Education is pleased to announce the appointment of Frankie Santos Laanan as the inaugural associate dean for faculty and student affairs in the College of Education (CoE).

Laanan, a professor in the Department of Education, Culture, & Society and Educational Leadership & Policy, is an educational scholar whose research focuses on the impact of college on individuals and society. Specifically, his research investigates the role of community colleges as educational pathways for women and historically underrepresented students in STEM disciplines, career and technical education, transfer and accountability.

In his new role, Laanan will provide leadership and direction for the college’s retention, promotion and tenure processes for both tenure- and career-line faculty; develop a strategy for the college’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and collaborate with faculty and staff in the college to create a culture that supports student success.

The leadership in the college is committed to academic excellence and ensuring that everyone thrives and is successful in their education and professional endeavors. Central to Laanan’s work as associate dean is EDI, which serves as a foundation that will ground his work with faculty and students.

The position was created to provide EDI leadership within the college. Laanan will lead initiatives to integrate EDI into all aspects of the CoE culture, including curricula, research and scholarship, hiring and training of faculty and staff, recruitment and retention, hiring and promotion, policies and best practices and increasing collaboration with community partners. “Dr. Laanan’s appointment is affirmation of the value of diversity, equity and inclusion as foundational pillars for all of our work in the college,” says Dean Nancy Songer. “The experience and expertise he brings will help us strengthen our ongoing EDI efforts while also implementing new strategies that help the college and the university come closer to our ideals.”

“We are extremely excited to share the announcement of Dr. Laanan’s appointment as associate dean. This is the first step in increasing our support for faculty and students both within and beyond the university,” says Songer. “The college takes EDI seriously, as reflected in our curricula, programs, research and scholarships. With Dr. Laanan, we can strengthen our efforts while also forging new growth and opportunities.”

Laanan has conducted research and published work with a focus on postsecondary educational opportunities for first-generation, low-income and historically underrepresented students. He has received and managed a grant portfolio of over $3.5 million and has been associated with nearly $6 million in grants from the National Science Foundation.

Prior to his appointment at the U, Laanan was the department head of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Technology Studies at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and a professor of higher education administration. He has held faculty positions at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Iowa State University and Florida Atlantic University. Laanan earned his doctorate in Higher Education and Organizational Change from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Laanan was born and raised on the island of Guam. A Pacific Islander scholar and first-generation college student, he is passionate about engaging in educational research to investigate critical questions about college access and success of diverse students and committed to translating research into practice and policy to effect transformational change in colleges and universities. “I am honored to take on this leadership role and look forward to working with the leadership, faculty, staff and students to achieve our goals,” he says.

2021 Beacons of Excellence Award Recipients

Shawn Wood

Congratulations to this years winners that were identified as “Beacons of Change.” Outstanding nominations were submitted from across campus–each worthy of the award. A selection committee of faculty, staff and administration led by Sr. Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Thomas Chase Hagood and Vice President for Student Affairs Lori McDonald recommended six recipients in 2021 for service inspiring and advancing change by raising awareness around marginalized students, creating institutional change and/or advancing racial justice across campus.

As a 2021 recipient for the University of Utah Beacons of Excellence Award, honorees will be recognized at an annual luncheon ceremony on Thursday, October 28 from noon–1:30 p.m.

2021 Beacons of Excellence Award Recipients 

  • International Health Scholars
    Loveleen Ghuman, Co-founder
    Debora Andrade, Co-founder
  • Justice Lab
    Anna E. Carpenter, Director of Clinical Programs & Director of Justice Lab
  • Psychology Department Diversity Committee
    Anu Asnaani, Co-Chair and
    Sheila Crowell, Co-Chair
  • Jennifer Follstad Shah
    Associate Professor, Environmental & Sustainability Studies/Research Assistant Professor, Geography
  • Meligha Garfield
    Director of the Black Cultural Center
  • Tramaine Jones
    Student Success Advocate, Office of Student Success & Empowerment

Watch for more information about each of these recipients to be released after the luncheon ceremony in October 2021.

Learn about intuitive eating

Sarah Schlaefke
Wellness and Integrative Health

Come make peace with your food, body, and movement by learning and practicing the 10 principles of Intuitive Eating! Intuitive Eating is all about creating a healthy relationship around food, body, mind, and movement through self-care and body appreciation, regardless of weight or size. The main concepts in Intuitive Eating include seeing satisfaction and pleasure in eating, moving your body for the sake of feeling good, rejecting the diet mentality, respecting your body (regardless of how you feel about its shape), and applying gentle nutrition without judgment.

This class is virtual via Zoom! There are 3 options for Fall 2021:

  • Mondays (12-1:15 p.m.): Sept. 12, 20, 27, Oct. 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 8, 15, 22
  • Tuesdays (6-7:15 p.m.): Sept. 7, 14, 21, 28, Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2, & 9
  • Wednesdays (5:30-6:45 p.m.): Sept. 8, 15, 22, 29, Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27, Nov. 13, & 10

Founded in now decades of research, becoming an Intuitive Eater pays off. Several of the research-supported health benefits include:

  • More positive body image
  • Increased body appreciation
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Increased pleasure and satisfaction around food
  • Increased self-compassion
  • Increased body acceptance
  • Decreased markers of anxiety and depression towards food
  • Decreased guilt around food
  • Decreased binge-eating

Join us over the next 10 weeks as we dive into each principle and begin practicing them. Each class will be 45-60 minutes long and will involve education, practical application, and reflection. Here is a breakdown of each week:

  • Week 1: Introduction to Intuitive Eating
  • Week 2: Reject the Diet Mentality
  • Week 3: Honor Your Hunger
  • Week 4: Make Peace with Food
  • Week 5: Challenge the Food Police
  • Week 6: Discover the Satisfaction Factor + Feel Your Fullness
  • Week 7: Cope with Your Emotions with Kindness
  • Week 8: Respect Your Body
  • Week 9: Feel the Difference with Movement
  • Week 10: Honor Your Health with Gentle Nutrition

We look forward to helping you on your journey to becoming an Intuitive Eater!

Register here!

Extended hours for student support

Shawn Wood

The student support offices in Student Affairs have expanded office hours and continue to offer remote services to meet students’ needs. Student Affairs supports student well-being and success and seeks for students to discover their passion, people, and purpose by fostering a sense of belonging, cultivating student leadership development and promoting holistic health and wellness.

As the Fall 2021 semester begins, students can access many of these resources in-person or virtually. Virtual options include mental health counseling, career counseling, fitness classes and more.


University Teaching Committee deadlines 2021-2022

University Teaching Committee

The University Teaching Committee would like to ask your help in sharing information about department nomination and application deadlines for the 2021-22 academic year.

Distinguished Teaching Awards

Deadline: September 20, 2021

University Teaching Grants

Deadlines: September 28, 2021 / January 21, 2022 / March 4, 2022

Calvin S. and JeNeal N. Hatch Prize in Teaching

Deadline: October 15, 2021

John R. Park Teaching Fellowships

Deadline: November 1, 2021

Community Engaged Teaching and Scholarship Award

Deadline: November 1, 2021

Early Career Teaching Awards

Deadline: December 10, 2021

Teaching and researching with the collections: A virtual lunchtime learning series

Jessica Breiman
art and archives metadata librarian, J. Willard Marriott Library

University of Utah researchers working with art and archives from the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) and the J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections will offer a series of virtual lightning talks sharing insight into their projects. These projects are funded through an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant to the UMFA and Marriott Library.

The talks will be streamed on Marriott Library Facebook Live at noon on September 1, October 6, and November 3. Details and participants are as follows:

Wednesday, September 1, 12pm

  • Andy Hoffmann
  • Al Denyer
  • Emily Larsen
  • Emily Tipps
  • Samyak Shertok

Wednesday, October 6, 12pm

  • Ana Carolina Antunes
  • Adrian Bell & Jake Fitisemanu
  • Elisabet Curbelo González
  • Julia Huddleston
  • Cody FitzGerald, Rebecca Hardenbrook, Kiki Karahalios, China Mauck
  • Lisa Swanstrom

Wednesday, November 3, 12pm

  • Michael Abrahamson
  • Steven Chodoriwsky
  • Joshua Graham
  • Sarah Hollenberg
  • Crystal Rudds & Elisabet Curbelo González
  • Jaclyn Wright

For more information on the UMFA and Marriott Library collections engagement grants, please visit and

Yue Zhao receives Physics Innovation Award

Lisa Potter

Written by Michele Swaner, advancement coordinator, Departments of Mathematics and Physics & Astronomy.

Yue Zhao, assistant professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, has received a Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Fundamental Physics Innovation Award, in association with the American Physical Society. This award supports extended visits between researchers to learn, develop, and share techniques or scientific approaches.

The goal of the award is to stimulate ideas on innovative ways in which emerging technologies can be used to address pressing problems in the physics of fundamental particles and interactions. The rapid developments in quantum-sensing technologies keep pushing the limits of the precision frontier, and some of them provide ideal platforms to search for dark matter candidates.

A head shop of a Chinese male wearing glasses and a black T-shirt.

PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Crawley/College of Science

Yue Zao, assistant professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy

“The award will allow me to collaborate with experimentalists,” said Zhao, “and investigate the possibilities of applying these fascinating technologies to search for dark matter candidates, especially in the ultralight mass regime, such as axions and dark photons. This award provides travel support for me to visit these experimental labs in order to exchange ideas and gain a more comprehensive understanding about the experimental setup.” He plans to visit a lab at Nanjing University in China.

Particle physics is a discipline within the field that studies the nature of the smallest detectable particles that make up matter and radiation. The Standard Model is the theory that explains what these particles are and how they interact with each other. It was developed by scientists during the 1970s. While the Standard Model explains a lot about the laws of physics, it isn’t able to explain all phenomena, including dark matter.

Zhao studied advanced physics at Peking University and moved to Rutgers University to pursue a Ph.D. He joined the University of Utah in July 2018.

In memoriam: Emeritus Professor William D. Ohlsen

Lisa Potter

Emeritus Professor William David Ohlsen died peacefully at his home in Salt Lake City on August 9, 2021, following a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. He joined the University of Utah faculty in 1961, where he spent 36 years teaching physics and mentoring graduate students. We will miss him.

His research at the U involved the study of defects and dopants in crystalline and amorphous semiconducting solids. Amorphous silicon, crystalline III-V semiconductors, and chalcogenides were the subjects of other investigations.

Bill was born June 8, 1932 in Evanston, Illinois, to Wilma and Edward Ohlsen and grew up in Ames, Iowa.

His research at the U involved the study of defects and dopants in crystalline and amorphous semiconducting solids. Amorphous silicon, crystalline III-V semiconductors, and chalcogenides were the subjects of other investigations.

Bill, a man with white hair glasses and a blue shirt, hugs his wife Ruth, a woman with white hair, glasses, and black shirt and a blue necklace.

Bill and his wife, Ruth.

Bill was born June 8, 1932 in Evanston, Illinois, to Wilma and Edward Ohlsen and grew up in Ames, Iowa.

Bill graduated from Iowa State University in 1954 with a B.S. in Physics and received a Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell University in 1961.

Bill was introduced to the love of his life, Ruth Bradford, in 1955 by Ruth’s sister Nancy. Following months of exchanging letters and phone calls, they met for the first time in person on January 1, 1956. They spent a total of four days in each other’s presence before marrying on June 16, 1956 in a double wedding ceremony with Nancy and John Clark, Bill’s boyhood neighbor and lifelong friend.

Bill was an enthusiastic traveler, visiting twenty-two countries over the course of his life, including two sabbatical trips to Germany. An avid lover of the outdoors, Bill enjoyed skiing, hiking, biking, fishing, hunting, camping, backpacking, and running. At home, he enjoyed classical music, a good book, a good basketball game, and a good beer. He also loved puzzles and games, including chess, sudoku, and the Wall Street Journal Saturday crossword.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth Bradford Ohlsen; three daughters, Diane Ohlsen Guest, Patricia Ohlsen Horton, and Lynn Ohlsen Craig; nine grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and his sister, Anita Wald Tuttle.

Bill cared deeply about the environment and lived his principles. For example, he walked or rode his bike to work every day of his life, composted, recycled, participated in highway trash collections, and chose to avoid air travel to the extent possible. Bill will be remembered by all who knew him for his humility, generosity, wisdom, and kindness.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Save Our Canyons. Visit for more information.

Adapted from The Salt Lake Tribune  by Michele Swaner, advancement coordinator, Depts. of Mathematics and Physics & Astronomy.

Mindfulness Center Fall 2021 programming

Shawn Wood

The Mindfulness Center provided programming for campus and encourages paying attention to what is happening during each moment of your life.  With mindfulness, we develop the ability to let go of worries and fears about the future, let go of concerns about the past, and experience the present moment with a sense of calm and curiosity. In a basic way, mindfulness gives us the ability to wake up to our life and stop the automatic way of living, which disconnects us from our body, mind, and relationships.

The following programs are open to all students, faculty and staff of the University of Utah community are free, available by Zoom (excluding holidays and breaks) and require registration to attend. Informational flyers are provided via embedded links in each of the programs’ titles. We also offer a paid undergraduate internship, the Change Coalition, focused on building a more compassionate, resilient and just campus community. Please share with your colleagues and students and join us.

  • Mental Jargon in the Margins is a podcast that deconstructs barriers to mental health in our marginalized communities and starts looking towards creative solutions for these pervasive problems. The new season starts this fall.
  • Drop-In Mindfulness are 30-minute facilitated meditations beginning Aug. 23. Registration is not required. Meditations are held on the following days and times:
    • Mondays | 12:30 p.m.
    • Tuesdays | 5 p.m.
    • Wednesdays | 12:30 p.m.
    • Thursdays | 5 p.m.
  • Feel Better Now is a four-week, skill-building workshop series that helps participants to build practical skills to cope with anxiety, depression and stress.  The new series starts on Aug. 26. Workshops are offered on the following days and times:
    • Mondays | 1-2 p.m.
    • Tuesdays | 4-5 p.m.
    • Wednesdays | 1-2 p.m.
    • Thursdays | 1-2 p.m. and 4-5 p.m.
  • Mental Coaching is a four-week, skill-building workshop series, which is for neurodiverse students wanting to improve planning, follow through and time management. The series runs on Tuesdays from 5:30-7 p.m. and a new series starts on Oct. 10.
  • Mindful Work/Life Balance is a four-week workshop series, which is for U faculty, staff and graduate students. The workshop introduces participants to mindful strategies for managing work/life stress. It runs on Fridays from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. and starts on Sept. 10.
  • Radical Self-Compassion for BIPOC Students is a two-week workshop, which is for Black, Indigenous, people of color U graduate and undergraduate students. Workshops will focus on using mindful self-compassion as a source of healing and resistance. Workshop details are TBA.

Additionally, Luana Nan (she/her) has been announced as the interim coordinator of the Mindfulness Center, Luana Nan. Nan is a psychologist at the University Counseling Center and a U alumna. Originally from Romania, Nan immigrated to the U.S. with her family 25 years ago. Shortly after immigrating she earned a B.S. in Psychology from the U, and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. During her training, Nan found her calling in serving college students, a path that could express her passion for supporting education, individual authenticity and growth, social justice, diversity, and inclusion. She is excited to be more extensively involved with the Mindfulness Center, and to support its mission, which so much aligns with her passions.

Alexis Arczynski, the Mindfulness Center coordinator the last four years, will be greatly missed! Their tremendous dedication, work and creativity have grown the Mindfulness Center into a campus resource that contributes in several different ways to building compassionate, resilient and socially just communities. Their great presence has deeply touched and inspired so many! Thank you, Alexis, for everything!

The Mindfulness Center also offers programs including providing mindfulness workshops for offices upon request so request a presentation that may be relevant to your colleagues, staff, and/or team members today.

Return to campus, but come hungry: Café reopens in SAEC

Tracy Rees
Marketing and Communications Specialist, College of Education

As the University of Utah community shifts into an on-campus routine, we are happy to share the news that La Muse d’Or hosted by the Red Chair Café is reopening on Aug. 23. Located on the first floor on the north side of the beautiful Beverly Taylor Sorenson Arts and Education Complex (SAEC), La Muse/Red Chair offers a full coffee and espresso bar and a range of homemade pastries. Items like the ham, egg and gruyère breakfast sandwich and avocado toast are served until 11:30 a.m. when the lunch menu starts. This convenient café is a Native American, queer women-owned small business that uses organic, locally grown products whenever possible, so satiate those hunger pangs while also spending your lunch money responsibly.

The café is open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.


Promo items available for Employee Appreciation Day

Corinne Smart
Print & Mail Services

Employee Appreciation Day is on Oct. 14, 2021. If your department is hosting a booth at EAD, University Print & Mail Services can supply you with branded promo items.

How to pick promo items

Instead of giving your esteemed colleagues and hardworking employees the same old swag every other booth is giving out, why not give them something they actually want?

Here are three tips for picking the right promotional item that will actually get used.

1.   Is it practical?

Think to yourself, “What can employees use on a daily basis at work and at home?” Have you thought about choosing swag that employees’ families can use?

2.   Don’t personalize or genderize it

It would be nice to hand-select the perfect gift for every U employee—but let’s be honest, that’s not realistic or affordable. A good rule is to avoid gender-specific gifts and instead choose lifestyle gifts that all genders can use.

3.   Promote your department outside of work

People are proud to work at the U. It’s no surprise that Forbes ranked the University of Utah as the No. 1 best employer in the state of Utah. Employees want to show their pride! A good tip for choosing swag is to pick something employees will be proud to wear or use even outside of work.

Five swag ideas

Need some help brainstorming? Here are five promotional item ideas.

Exercise items

Promote a healthy lifestyle and give employees something they can enjoy outside.

Kids toys

Spending time with family is important for your employees. Try giving them something to do with their kids.

Dog Toys

A way to your employees’ hearts is through their pets. Try giving swag their pets can use, like a collapsible dog bowl.

Eco-friendly items

Help your employees be sustainable and reduce waste. Have you thought of reusable straws?

Desk Toys

Everyone needs a break at work. Why not help them destress with a desk toy?

For more promotional item ideas, click here.

How to order

To order, contact Roger King at or call 801-581-6171 and ask for Roger.

* NOTE: There are quantity minimums and delivery can take up to five weeks, so order now.

Honoring Latinx heritage

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) at the U wants to know what you are planning to honor Latinx heritage between Sept. 15-Oct. 15.

If your school, college or department has an event in the works, fill out this form. EDI will compile these events into one calendar and assist with cohesive outreach efforts across the entire U system.

Please keep in mind that Latinx programming should not be limited to these dates—people should be encouraged to honor, celebrate, engage our Latinx community throughout the year.

For any questions, contact Xris Macias, director of the Dream Center, at

Hayes named interim dean at the School of Business

University Communications

David Eccles School of Business Associate Dean Rachel Hayes has been named interim dean of the school. Hayes will step into the void left when longtime dean Taylor Randall was named president of the University of Utah on August 5.

“The School of Business is in good hands,” said Dan Reed, senior vice president for academic affairs. “I have great confidence in Professor Hayes’ taking the helm at this time of transition for both the school and the university.”

Hayes, a professor of accounting, joined the school of business in 2005. Prior to her appointment as associate dean of faculty and research in 2019, she served for seven years as chair of the School of Accounting. She earned her undergraduate degree from Oberlin College and an MBA from the University of Colorado. After receiving her doctorate from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, she taught at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago.

Hayes will serve while Reed charges a committee to conduct a national search for a replacement.

UI2 and Tanner Humanities Center team up for discussion of artificial intelligence

Katie Piula and Rebecca Walsh
University of Utah Communications

Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is woven throughout modern life: From Netflix algorithms recommending shows similar to those you’ve watched in the past, to your car’s navigation system braking before you do, to your smartphone offering suggested responses—“Sounds good!”—to that text you’re writing.

So if AI is already here, can we change and shape this technology’s role in our future?

The University of Utah Informatics Initiative (UI2) and Tanner Humanities Center are hosting a virtual symposium to explore AI’s role in society.

“Each of our lives is increasingly impacted by Artificial Intelligence—how we accomplish tasks, our habits, even the way we think about the world—and nearly every aspect of intellectual pursuit is changing through this technology,” said Mike Kirby, UI2 director. “To be proactive, we need to ask not only, ‘What do we do?’ but ‘How do we do it?’”

The symposium, which runs from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Sept. 21 and 22, is offered to University of Utah community members and industry partners from across the academic spectrum as an opportunity to discuss the ethical, social and technical implications of artificial intelligence and its impact on society. The Zoom gathering will feature keynote speaker Moshe Vardi, who leads Rice University’s Initiative on Technology, Culture and Society. Other discussions about the intersections of technology and society are planned throughout the fall.

“The Tanner Humanities Center is committed to examining the social and cultural impacts of technological innovation on humanity,” said Erika George, Tanner Humanities Center director. “We’re excited to explore new approaches to more inclusive technological innovation informed by the human experience.”

Symposium organizers are calling for presentation proposals through Aug. 12. Register for Day 1 and Day 2. To learn more about the symposium, review the call for presentation proposals.

In its third year, the Informatics Initiative was established by Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dan Reed to build on the university’s existing education, research and workforce development strengths in data science. The initiative is funded using annual performance-based funding from the Utah Legislature.

For more information about UI2, visit, or contact Mike Kirby, executive director ( For more information about the Tanner Humanities Center, visit, or contact Director Erika George (

Call for Founders Day nominations

Rachel Robertson
Annual Giving

The University of Utah Office of Alumni Relations annually presents its Founders Day Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Awards to alumni for their outstanding professional achievements, public service and/or commitment to the U. Additionally, the Honorary Alumnus/a Award is presented to an individual who either did not attend the U or who went to the U for a brief time (a year or less) and who has contributed significantly to the advancement of the U through personal involvement, including donations, volunteer work, and/or other forms of support.

Nominations are open and may be submitted online here. Nominations must be submitted by end of day Friday, October 1.

Check out a list of all previous award recipients here. Additionally, you can still watch and learn more about 2021 Founders Day Awards and recipients.

Founders Day nomination timeline:

  • June 30, 2021 – nomination application opens.
  • October 1, 2021 – deadline for nominations.
  • Early October – the U Alumni Recognition and Giving Committee, chaired by Jonette Mangum, reviews all nominations and select recipients and alternates.
  • February 2022 – Award Ceremony (more details TBD).

Questions regarding nominations and Founders Day can be submitted to Rachel Robertson, director of annual giving, at

As we mark the founding of the University of Utah in 1850, we want to recognize the work that is still ahead of us to critically review and question the histories related to the founding of our university. We recognize the enduring relationship between many indigenous people and their traditional homelands. We acknowledge that this land is the traditional and ancestral homeland of the Shoshone, Paiute, Goshute, and Ute Peoples. The university remains committed to continued partnerships with tribes through research, education and community engagement activities.

Presidential interns for 2021-22 announced

Brooke Adams

The Office of the President has selected 10 students to participate in the Presidential Internship in Higher Education program for 2021-2022 academic year.

The students, hometowns and their majors are:

  • Sabah Sial (co-leader), Sandy, Utah, Honors finance
  • Preston Hadley (co-leader), Ogden, Utah, quantitative analysis of markets and organizations
  • Brianna Skaggs, Colorado Springs, Colo., double majors in modern dance and Family, Community and Human Development, with a certificate in social justice advocacy
  • Nichols Taylor, Orem, Utah, double majors in computer engineering and applied math
  • Jaina Lee, Salt Lake City, Utah, double majors in anthropology and health, society and policy
  • Joe Nelson, Reno, Nev., finance with a minor in political science
  • Sanila Math, South Jordan, Utah, anthropology with minors in integrative human biology and ethnic studies
  • Jens Nilson, Providence, Utah, Honors in health, society and policy with minors in Korean studies and chemistry
  • Nahum Tadesse, Syracuse, Utah, double majors in political science and international studies
  • Luis Ramirez, West Valley City, Utah, Honors in Accounting and Information Systems with a Lassonde + X certificate

The program provides undergraduate students from diverse fields and backgrounds with the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with the president and other senior administrators, giving them an insider’s look into the nuances and complexities of higher education. Presidential interns participate in regular seminars, work on strategic projects and act as student representatives at various university functions and events. Senior leaders at the U benefit from student insight, perspective and collaboration in helping shape the university’s exceptional educational experience.

Since its inception in 1992, more than 150 students have participated in the program. For many, the experience was a catalyst to a career in higher education. Others have gone on to leadership and career opportunities in public administration, nonprofit organizations, business, civic and public service.