Preparing for ‘Women of the Mountains’


The Utah Valley Mountain Forum (UIMF), a coalition of student clubs at Utah Valley University (UVU) hosted several events as preparatory gatherings for the Fourth International Women of the Mountains (WOM) Conference, which will be hosted by the UIMF on 7-9 October 2015. These activities also contributed to integrating sustainable mountain development advocacy in the UVU curriculum, which focuses on the community engagement approach of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.     

UVU students hosted the fifth Utah high school essay contest, “Women of the Mountains of the 21st Century” on 27 March 2015. Chayston Woods from Copper Hills High School won first place and a monetary prize for his research on women who live in mountainous regions and the problems they face every day. Caroline Moss and Melissa Hansen from the same school won second and third place, respectively. Papers by the three winners of the contest will be included in the third volume of the “Youth and the Mountains” journal, which will be presented during the 2015 WOM conference. (See:

Tyler Brklacich, UVU student body President and Caleb Tippetts, UVU student body Vice-President visited the US State Department in Washington, DC, on 16 March 2015 and UN the Women office in New York on 20 March 2015. During the meetings, they presented official invitation letters to participate at the Fourth International WOM conference to the representatives of both institutions. Both meetings provided UVU student leaders with great experiences in managing protocol, logistics and building personal contacts on national and international levels.  (See:

As part of the plan to engage other educational schools in the state of Utah in 2015 WOM conference activities, the UIMF team delegation made an official presentation at the Hinckley Institute of the University of Utah titled “Women of the Mountains 2015 Conference and Student Engagement” on 16 April 2015. The UIMF delegation was comprised of the following members of the organizing committee of the 2015 WOM conference:  Jesler Molina, President of the UIMF, Deena Ainge, Deann Torsak, Kiersten Dumas and Christine Behle. In addition to the presenting the main goals and priorities of the coming conference, the UIMF delegation invited students from University of Utah to joint students organizing committee and contribute to the success of the 2015 WOM conference.

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Top: UVU
Right: UN Women/Ryan Brown

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