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Here's what the new earthquake maps show for Utah and the U.S.
Scientists have been forecasting a big earthquake in Utah for decades and newly released earthquake maps provide an update on our risk. Seismologist Jim Pechmann, a research associate professor emeritus in the Department of Geology and Geophysics, shares insights about the new maps and what it could mean for Utah in this episode of U Rising hosted by Julie Kiefer.
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Planting seeds: U’s Seed Library promotes health and builds community
Did you know you can “borrow” vegetable and flower seeds on our campus? Jennifer Macali, an associate professor in the College of Nursing, and Brandon Patterson, associate librarian at the Eccles Health Sciences Library, are co-founders of the University of Utah's Seed Library. In this episode of U Rising, learn all about the seed library and how you can give gardening a try this spring.
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Meet the U's artistic director: Dave Meikle, graphic designer, illustrator and landscape artist
Chances are you've seen his art on a billboard advertising Utah's beauty or in an ad for the U’s GO LEARN! program, in Wes Anderson's most recent film, “Asteroid City” and yes, he created U Rising’s cover art. Get to know award-winning artist Dave Meikle, the U’s artistic director, in this episode of U Rising, hosted by Chris Nelson.
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Science writers Brian Maffly and Lisa Potter translate research for you
It's one thing for scientists to explain their work to an academic audience, but it's quite another to make sure their advances are easily understood by the general public and by the media. In this episode of U Rising, Julie Kiefer hosts science writers Brian Maffly and Lisa Potter, who explain how they and other writers on campus work with researchers and translate their findings for a broad audience.
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Small press, big impact: Celebrating 75 years with the University of Utah Press
For the past 75 years, the University of Utah Press has brought to life books on a wide range of topics, including the language of JRR Tolkien, Utah’s food and linguistic peculiarities and the state’s environmental challenges. In this episode of U Rising, host Chris Nelson talks with Director Glenda Cotter about the history of the Press and its impressive catalog.
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Natalie Gochnour explains the six transitions happening in Utah and what it means for the state’s future
Natalie Gochnour says the state of Utah is at an inflection point. She calls it the “New Utah.” In this episode of U Rising, Gochnour, the director of the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, explains how Utah is changing and what it means for state leaders, policymakers and all of us.
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Sundance film tells how Eastern Shoshone upbringing shaped U medical student’s journey to become a healer
The Sundance Film Festival is underway in Park City, showcasing some of the year’s best independent films. One is “Winding Path,” a short documentary featuring Jenna Murray, an MD-PhD student at the U, and her journey to become a healer and how that path has been shaped by her Eastern Shoshone upbringing and the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. Jenna joins host Julie Kiefer along with Oscar Award-winning filmmaker Ross Kauffman, who co-directed “Winding Path,” and Joe Borgenicht, co-interim director of strategic communications at University of Utah Health Marketing and Communications and the film’s executive producer.
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Ryan Christiansen explains how the Stena Center is boosting opportunities in FinTech at the U and in Utah
If you use your smartphone or computer to access bank accounts or pay bills, you already have some understanding of how technology and artificial intelligence have changed the financial industry. Host Chris Nelson talks with Ryan Christiansen, executive director of the U’s Stena Center for Financial Technology, about why Utah is a hub for this rising industry and the opportunities it brings for students and faculty.
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On Ageism: What it is and how to avoid engaging in it
Age may just be a number, but ageism is real. In this episode of U Rising, host Julie Kiefer talks with Linda Edelman, co-director of the Utah Geriatric Education Consortium and the Hartford Center, about our perceptions of aging, ageism, what it means to be an age-friendly campus and the mindset that helps you age well.
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Focus on student mental health, Ep. 1: A primer
Focus on Student Mental Health is a five-part series. In episode 1, we start with the basics: What is good mental health and why is it crucial to your success as a college student? Christina Kelly LeCluyse, a clinical social worker with the University Counseling Center, talks about the challenges of anxiety, depression and relationships faced by many students. This overview sets the stage for more detailed discussions about mental wellness. The series is hosted and produced by Scot Singpiel of TheScopeRadio.com at University of Utah Health and was created in collaboration with Student Affairs and the University Counseling Center at the University of Utah.
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Focus on student mental health, Ep. 2: Anxiety
Ever wonder if what you’re experiencing is more than just college stress? In episode 2 of this five-part series, Amber Whiteley explores how anxiety differs from common stressors faced by students. Learn how to identify and manage anxiety, turning a common college challenge into an opportunity for growth and resilience. The series, Focus on Student Mental Health, is hosted and produced by Scot Singpiel of TheScopeRadio.com at University of Utah Health and was created in collaboration with Student Affairs and the University Counseling Center at the University of Utah.
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Focus on student mental health, Ep. 3: Depression
Keri Frantell, a licensed psychologist at University of Utah Counseling Center, provides a comprehensive look at depression in college life in episode 3 of this five-part series. Learn how to recognize the signs and understand the underlying causes of depression among students. Tackle one of the most pressing mental health issues on campus through hope and actionable steps for those struggling with depression. The series, Focus on Student Mental Health, is hosted and produced by Scot Singpiel of The ScopeRadio.com at University of Utah Health and was created in collaboration with Student Affairs and the University Counseling Center at the University of Utah.
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Focus on student mental health, Ep. 4: Relationships
In episode 4 of the series, Roberto Martinez talks about navigating the complexities of college relationships. From identifying signs of unhealthy dynamics to building healthy connections, explore how relationships impact student well-being. Martinez, associate director for Clinical Services and a therapist at the University Counseling Center, walks us through how to set boundaries, engage in effective communication and nurture positive interactions. This five-part series, Focus on Student Mental Health, is hosted and produced by Scot Singpiel of TheScopeRadio.com at University of Utah Health and was created in collaboration with Student Affairs and the University Counseling Center at the University of Utah.
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Focus on student mental health, Ep. 5: U of U mental health resources
Claudia Navarro, director of clinical services at the University Counseling Center, highlights the many resources available to students struggling with mental health in the final episode of this series. Go beyond traditional one-on-one counseling to workshops, support groups and other resources. Demystify the process of seeking help and be proactive with your mental health care. The series is hosted and produced by Scot Singpiel of TheScopeRadio.com at University of Utah Health and was created in collaboration with Student Affairs and the University Counseling Center at the University of Utah.
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The public perception of higher education--in Utah and across the country
What is the perception of higher education, both in Utah and nationally? Ken Goldstein, senior vice president for survey research and institutional policy with the Association of American Universities, joins host Chris Nelson to talk about the association’s latest research findings and the takeaways for higher education leaders.
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Special episode from Talking Climate
There are many great podcasts on the University of Utah campus and today U Rising is pleased to share an episode from Talking Climate, a podcast produced by the Wilkes Center for Climate Science & Policy.If you like what you hear, check out the rest of the Talking Climate podcast, where you'll find conversations about transformative research happening in the fields of climate science and policy at the University of Utah. Talking Climate is hosted and produced by Ross Chambless, community engagement manager for the Wilkes Center, and Margaret Call, an undergraduate researcher.In this episode of Talking Climate, Ross speaks with Ben Santer, a Fowler Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and a visiting researcher at UCLA’s Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science & Engineering. Santer shares four lessons he has learned in the course of his career as a climate scientist.
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This new center is working to reduce deaths of Native mothers and babies during pregnancy
The National Institutes of Health recently awarded University of Utah Health a $14 million grant to establish a maternal health research center – one of 10 across the country investigating how to reduce pregnancy-related deaths. Dr. Torri Metz, an associate professor, vice chair of research and clinician who specializes in maternal fetal medicine, is leading the new Elevate Maternal Health Research Center. In this episode of U Rising, Dr. Metz talks about the center and its focus on improving pregnancy outcomes specifically for Utah’s Indigenous populations.
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A new initiative at the U will ensure teachers know how to help students excel in STEM fields
The University of Utah has launched a new research hub to prepare future and current educators to teach science and mathematics in K-12 grades. Nancy Butler Songer is leading this initiative and, in this episode of U Rising with host Chris Nelson, explains how the initiative is aimed at shaping the STEM workforce of the future.
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The Utah Prison Education Project is a national leader in bringing higher ed to incarcerated individuals. Here’s how it works–and how it is changing lives.
The University of Utah’s Prison Education Project is a national leader in creating ethical, prison-university partnerships. In this episode, Andy Eisen, program director, and Sadie Ortiz, an intern with the program and ethnic studies major, explain how the program works and why it matters. You’ll also hear from a current U student who discovered she was capable of college success while formerly incarcerated at the Utah State Correctional Facility.
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Space: The final junk heap?
You’ve probably heard about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. But have you heard about the space debris circling planet Earth? Join host Julie Kiefer for this episode of U Rising as Jake Abbott, a professor of mechanical engineering, explains the problem of space junk and his innovative idea to clean it up.Image credit: NASA
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The goal is $1 billion in research funding. Erin Rothwell explains how the University of Utah will get there—and why that matters for Utah
Erin Rothwell officially assumed the post of vice president for research at the University of Utah in April. She has already set in motion several initiatives aimed at helping U researchers land big, multidisciplinary grants so they can pursue groundbreaking research. In this episode of U Rising, Rothwell shares what she sees as the path to reaching $1 billion in research funding and highlights some of the projects aimed at improving lives in Utah and beyond.
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On World Mental Health Day, we’re checking in on how our students are doing
October 10 is World Mental Health Day, designed to raise awareness about this important public health issue. The mental health of college students came to wider public attention during the pandemic. Has anything changed since then? Are students experiencing similar stressors today? What are we doing to better address our students’ needs? Listen as experts Scott McAward and Sherrá Watkins share their insights with U Rising host Chris Nelson.
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Keith Diaz Moore: Imagining—and creating—a vibrant, 21st century campus
Keith Diaz Moore, who served as the dean of Architecture+Planning at the U for nearly a decade, has a new role as the associate provost for institutional design and strategy. His assignment: Help the U develop into a vibrant, 21st century campus with the buildings and amenities needed to serve the educational, research and social missions of a university that serves 40,000 students. On this episode of U Rising, host Chris Nelson talks with Keith about his background in human-centered design, how his grandmother’s experience in a nursing home shaped his architectural career, and how Keith envisions his new role. And: find out how Keith started one of the U's best graduation traditions!
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This researcher is on a quest to understand how dust impacts Utah’s precious snowpack
Utah’s mountains received a short-lived sprinkling of snow earlier this month and McKenzie Skiles is among those hoping for more snow soon. Skiles is an associate professor of geography and directs the Snow Hydro Lab at the U, where she researches how dust from urban and natural sources, such as the Great Salt Lake, impacts snowpack. In this episode of U Rising, host Julie Kiefer talks with Skiles about the surprising—and perhaps alarming—relationship between dust and snowmelt and the implications of a drier climate on snowpack and water resources.
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Wilkes Student Innovation Prize winner shares his idea for a sustainable future
Nicholas Witham received first place in the Wilkes Student Innovation Prize competition earlier this year for his idea to use textile engineering methods to create a renewable energy generator—based on technology used for artificial muscles. In this episode of U Rising, Nick describes his winning idea as well as his efforts to create prosthetic limbs that affordable and accessible.
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Unraveling anxiety and OCD with Nobel Laureate Mario Capecchi
A pandemic, social media, climate change—these are just some of the factors behind a dramatic rise in anxiety and depression in recent years. Now, in this conversation with host Julie Kiefer, Nobel Laureate Mario Capecchi shares exciting new research in mice that may shed light on mechanisms that control anxiety and obsessive-compulsive behaviors and lead to better treatments.
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Verse meets vision: A poet takes charge at the University of Utah's American West Center
Paisley Rekdal is an acclaimed poet with a new—and she admits—surprising title: Director of the American West Center at the University of Utah. In this episode, Rekdal shares with host Chris Nelson why she was attracted to the role and how she hopes to use the sensitivities of a poet to expand its community engagement and take the center in new directions.
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HBCU Partnership Program is broadening academic and cultural perspectives
Rodney Cohen joined the University of Utah just over a year ago as the inaugural manager of the HBCU Partnership Program—and he is among the first in the nation to hold such a position. In this episode of U Rising, host Chris Nelson talks with Rodney about the program, how it came about, who its partners are and how the program is benefiting students, businesses and communities both in Utah and in other states.
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The Utah Bionic Leg: Empowering people to walk, climb and do so much more
U Researcher Tommaso Lenzi says the technology behind current prosthetic devices is decades old. That’s why he and his collaborators are so excited about the Utah Bionic Leg, which uses motors and sensors to power movement just like muscles do. U Rising Host Julie Kiefer talks with Lenzi, an associate professor in the U’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and director of the HGN Lab for Bionic Engineering, about this new prosthetic, which someday could benefit millions of people who experience amputations below or above the knee.
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U’s Veterans Support Center gets top rating. Here’s what the center does
The University of Utah’s Veterans Support Center recently achieved designation as a military friendly school. What does that mean, for veterans and for the U? And just how does the center help student veterans succeed?
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Here’s what we know about how demographics of autism spectrum disorder in Utah are changing—and why
One in 40 Utah children who are 8-years-old have been identified with autism spectrum disorder. For the first time, a new analysis led by U researchers found that among Utah children in this age group, the rates were equal in white children and children from historically underserved populations.
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New campus in Herriman is a first for the U
In a first for the university, the U has partnered with Salt Lake Community College on a shared campus in Herriman, which will open this month.
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Welcome to U Rising!
At the University of Utah, we have a saying: Imagine, then do. On the new U Rising podcast, you’ll hear stories from our faculty, staff and students that bring those words to life. We'll share inspiring, innovative and impactful initiatives that are benefiting our community and the world.
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About U Rising

At the University of Utah, we have a saying: Imagine, then do. On U Rising, you’ll hear stories from our faculty, staff and students that bring those words to life. We'll share inspiring, innovative and impactful initiatives that are benefitting our community and the world.

            Chris Nelson

           Julie Kiefer

U Rising is hosted by Chris Nelson and Julie Kiefer.

Chris, who has more than 26 years of experience in higher education and academic health care, is the chief university relations officer and secretary to the university.

Julie, who has a Ph.D. in biochemistry, is the associate director of science communications at University of Utah Health and has 15 years of experience in science communication.

The podcast is produced by Brooke Adams, national media strategist, with technical assistance from Robert J. Nelson media studios librarian at the Marriott Library.

Our original album art was created by Dave Meikle, a professional landscape artist and art director for University Marketing & Communications. Elisabet Curbelo González, assistant professor of electroacoustic music & music theory in the School of Music, created the original soundtrack. Her music has been performed worldwide and includes pieces for ensemble and solo instruments, voice, choir, acoustic and electroacoustic music, music for dance, installation work and music audiovisual media.