Kaeli Wiltbank About Me

MY STORY: kaeliwiltbankphoto-4828

MY BLOG: Feminism in Utah

ABOUT ME: Kaeli is passionate about storytelling and advocacy. With a particular interest in gender equality and women’s rights, she dedicates much of her research and writing to that.

Along with being a writer, Kaeli is a fashion and wedding photographer who offers branding and marketing services for businesses.

She has created and shot imagery for a wide selection of clients and has a particular interest in collaborating with personal blogs, clothing lines, commercial businesses, and documenting weddings.

She is about to receive a BA in Strategic Communications from the University of Utah which will compliment her degree in Social Media Marketing from the LDS Business College.



Taylor Watkins – Reflection Blog

By Taylor Watkins

Election Recap – What’s Next for Utah?

Initially, I wanted to write my Enterprise Story on the importance of voting in midterm and local elections. However, I changed my story idea and decided to write about the midterm elections and how students foresee the results impacting themselves and their peers. For the most part, I chose random sources that I had classes with, but I also wanted the results to come from a wider-range of students. I ended up interviewing three students and one professional seeking a Master’s degree in Political Communications focusing on Political Strategy and Campaigns. The best sources for my story were the students because they each gave a unique perspective on the issues they are facing and how this election impacted them.

One of the main issues I encountered while writing this story was keeping everything non-biased and trying to represent best the opinions I don’t necessarily agree with. I addressed this by maintaining a neutral tone throughout the entire article and focusing on informing the reader. I created a story with all the information I gathered by concentrating on the student perspective of the election and how the results will impact individuals.

One thing that surprised me when writing this article was how challenging it was to get started, and how long it took me to complete the project. The most challenging part was trying to decide how I wanted to present my article and what perspective of the elections I wanted to focus on. It was hard trying to write something that would attract a wide variety of audiences, especially something that would be meaningful to students.


Taylor Watkins


Taylor Watkins is a fourth-year student at the University of Utah majoring in strategic communication and political science. She is currently working as the Vice President of Media & Marketing for the Utah Panhellenic Association and is responsible for maintaining all forms of publicity for the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at the U.

Taylor grew up in Park City, UT and attended Park City High School. In her free time, Taylor can be found skiing at Park City Mountain Resort or spending time with her friends and family.

Taylor will be graduating from the College of Social and Behavioral Science and the College of Humanities in May 2019. After graduation, she hopes to work in marketing or public relations.



Election Recap – What’s Next for Utah?



Women in Utah recently rank more sexist than men

Story and photos by KAELI WILTBANK

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has recently been ranked the second most sexist state in the United States. Leading the pack of sexist attitudes is . . . well, surprisingly, it’s women. In a study done by economists at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University and National University Singapore, questions such as “Are men better suited emotionally for politics than are most women?” and “It is much better for everyone involved if the man is the achiever outside the home and [the woman] takes care of the home and family” were asked.

ARSEJ5B5MNESHCTVRLPYBSJE2UImage from Washington Post

The study showed that the queen bees of Utah held their position as No. 2, while the men dropped, granted, still quite low, but to No. 5 in the ranking of most sexist states. Yes, that means the women of Utah are more sexist than the men.

“You experience inherent sexism every day in Utah and I think a lot of it is stuff that you


Real queens fix each other’s crowns.

don’t really notice,” says Becca Rettenberger, Operations Manager at a Salt Lake City-based marketing agency, Friendemic. Rettenberger continues to explain how our communities, our workplaces, our homes are all tainted with gender inequality and have been for as long as we can go back in the textbooks. Unfortunately, we’ve become so accustomed to swimming in it that we can hardly distinguish what gender inequality looks and feels like.

“From a business standpoint, I can list several different instances where I was working alongside other women or reporting to women,” says Rettenberger, “it was very much not an ‘I’m up here and I’m going to pull you up here as well so you have a voice at the table, it was a stay in your lane conversation the majority of the time.”

Why did Utah rank so high in the study on gender inequality? 

Rachel Griffin, a professor at the University of Utah who specializes in race and gender studies, says there exists an inherent sexism in Utah.  “It’s not just gendered, it’s power-laden with religion.”

The strong presence of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must be considered when analyzing the results of the study. “Akin to every major religion we have, Mormonism is deeply anchored in patriarchy,” says Griffin. “Feminism offers a critique of patriarchy, and most people aren’t a fan of being critiqued.”


Mother’s arms hold more than they realize.

Whitney Baggaley is a University of Utah graduate and stay at home mother. She is also a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. “It’s such a social church. If every woman at church is a stay at home mom, there are a lot of social pressures surrounding that,” she says. 

Not only is Utah a very religious state, but it’s also a very conservative state. Still, this can’t simply be regarded a red vs blue issue. Typically conservative states such as Wyoming and Alaska led the country in gender equality. That’s right, these conservative states pay the same salary for the same job, regardless of gender. People feel valued in their workplace, regardless of their gender. There are equal opportunities for both men and women to lead the company meeting. n these conservative states, all of these rights and opportunities are offered, regardless of gender.

“Utah is the land of extremes,” says Baggaley, where stay at home mothers are extremely passionate about their role as wives and mothers, and the working women and the women in politics are equally passionate about what they do. Perhaps such an extreme spectrum anomaly creates an atmosphere where women have a hard time supporting other women who don’t do things the same way as them.

At an event hosted by the Communications Department at The University of Utah, Dialoguing Across Differences, a small group of community members discussed how to approach polarizing topics, such as politics, religion, and sex. The conversation turned towards discussing intentions. Perhaps you’re standing in line at the grocery store and someone in front of you takes a step backward, stepping on your toes. Did the person intend to step on your toes? Probably not. Nevertheless, those good intentions don’t take away the pain of your toes being crushed. Until we get the courage to tap our linemate on the shoulder and say “Excuse me, you’re stepping on my toes. That hurts,” the person may not see how their actions are affecting those around them.

There’s something to be said about intentions, they are a powerful driving force behind our thoughts and actions. While Utah is filled to the brim with well-intended women, perhaps we need to take a step back and see who’s toes we may be stepping on. No matter which side of the feminism line we stand on, there seems to be discord among the women of the state. How powerful a force we could be if we realized the pain we may be causing others by our good intentions, then found the courage to join together in mutual support, regardless of differences.

Reflection Blog

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Sicily Romano


MY STORY: Motorsports athletes conquering the business world

MY BLOG: Writing Motorsports athletes conquering the business world



Sicily Romano, 17 years old, Junior at the University of Utah, Strategic Communications Major

I’m currently a Junior at the University of Utah and will hopefully be graduating in the spring of 2020 with a degree in Strategic Communications . I have always had a high interest in sales and marketing and working in the strategic communications degree has just made me fall in love with it that much more. Before college I was a professional ski racer, I spent more time skiing than anything else which made me grow up in a very untraditional way. From skiing I got to travel and experience a lot of the world but with everything I gained I lost even more. I never got the normal high school experience, my friends were also my competition which made it difficult for all of us to get along and balancing school and my competition schedule was near impossible. So, come my senior year of high school I ultimately decided that ski racing was no longer for me and come January I would go to college to pursue my dreams of working in marketing. It was the best decision I ever made. Now in college I havent given up sports completely, I am on the U of Us club wake board team because I just couldn’t let the competitive side of me go. Being on the wake board team has helped me create so many amazing memories in college and meet so many unique people. I currently work full-time as a food runner at Ruth’s Chris steak house in Park City. though this isn’t the sales job I want it has taught me how to interact with any type of person and create an interpersonal conversation with every guest I meet.

Linkedin: Sicily Romano


Reflection blog: Motorsports athletes conquering the business world

By Sicily Romano

My STORY: Motor Sports Athletes Conquering the Business World

When exploring what I wanted to write about I thought about the community I grew up in, which was the extreme sports community. I tried to tell the story of amazing athletes like people hadn’t heard before. I believe that many people think that athletes live off of their winnings and sponsorships but that’s not true for all athletes, it’s actually not true for most athletes.

My story encapsulates what these athletes do to have an income and how they have used the knowledge they have gained from the sports that athletes have competed in and the businesses they created from them. A significant part of making this story happen was securing an interview with high-profile athletes. I had hopes of interviewing five Motorsports athletes being Travis Pastrana, Andy Bell, Todd Romano, Roland Sands, and Robby Gordon, but as you could guess these athletes are extremely busy running the business and doing what they love, so I was only able to secure three interviews. I do have a conflict of interest with one of the athletes I interviewed being Mr. Romano Romano is my dad so I had to be objective with the interview I got from him, so it didn’t turn into a marketing story, which I think I did perfectly.

This story showed me that I need to take out the fluff and just get right to the point. Which can kinda be difficult? I have had minimal experience writing news articles and a lot of experience writing college essays which contain a lot of fluff usually. After finishing this article, I had to go through and take out almost 100 extra words.

While learning about these athletes, I learned about so many different types of business that I really never thought of before or even saw as options for me. The more I talked to them the more I not only saw other options of careers but a way to continue to enjoy what you love while making an income.

Motor Sports Athletes Conquering the Business World

Andy Bell competing In freestyle motocross

Story by Sicily Romano

SALT LAKE CITY — In motorsports, winnings, and sponsorships don’t generate enough income for athletes to sustain their lives. Subsequently, these athletes compete and accomplish things in sports that some can’t even fathom, all while conquering the business world.

Andy Bell, formerly a freestyle motocross rider, knew from a young age that he wanted to own his own company. “I started racing FMX (freestyle motocross) in 1999 till about 2004,” he says. While riding FMX, Bell saw his first business opportunity. “A lot of athletes, when they are at the top, act too cool for school,” he says. “I saw the opportunity to not only befriend all the athletes but the promoters as well.”

When promoters wanted athletes at their event, Bell realized that he could broker the deal. He leveraged the friendships and connections made as an athlete to start his own production company. “Even while competing, I was never interested in just being an athlete, I knew I wanted to do more,” says Bell.

After several years on Nitro Circus, Bell tried to work as a stuntman, but stunts weren’t bringing enough income. He decided he needed to make something else work.  “I knew nothing about production, other than being in front of the camera,” says Bell. Still, he started his own company with a plan to create 3-D content around action sports “because, at the time when you went into stores and looked at 3-D TVs, all they had for content was, like flowers opening.” Though Bell’s original idea for 3-D videos got sidetracked, his production dream came true when Travis Pastrana asked him to star in a webisode for Red Bull called “On Pace with Pastrana.”


Travis and Andy Bell on set for On Pace with Pastrana

Bell asked Pastrana if they had a production company yet. One thing led to another and Bell was a producer. After two seasons producing “On Pace with Pastrana,” with Red Bull, Bell expanded his business, using his connections from “Nitro Circus” and as an FMX rider. He contacted Toyota, told them about Sweat Pants Media (his production company) and immediately started producing content for them.

Recently Bell traveled to Canada to produce Toyotas TRD pro commercial, which will showcase Toyotas’ new vehicles expected to hit the market later this year. The commercial will be shown in February at the Chicago auto show.

Bell is one of the many athletes who has taken their love of motorsports and created businesses. Travis Pastrana has done amazing things through the connections and knowledge gained from competing in motorsports. Pastrana started in motocross which because of his success MX, opened additional opportunities.


Travis Pastrana Jumping Over a plane

Pastrana has always been a daredevil. “(Producer) Gregg Godfrey sent me a Sony 2000 camera and Final Cut Pro 3 to edit on,” he says, “Everyone was coming over to learn backflips that summer. I documented everything and helped build jumps to make their dreams and nightmares come true.”

That was how “Nitro Circus” began. Pastrana has been able to help other athletes make their dreams, or in his word’s “nightmares,” come true. Not only did he created “Nitro Circus,” but he has started a two-event series around it — “Nitro Circus World Games” and “Nitro Circus Live.” Pastrana hosts 70 plus live shows a year, and although his primary business is producing spectator events, he still gets to ride motocross and race cars.

Todd Romano has also created a business by leveraging his knowledge and connections. Romano started out racing mountain bikes in college and soon realized that the guys beating him on bikes were also racing motocross. His sponsors, Specialized and Fox, supported his switch to MX (motocross) where he found his competition racing something even bigger and faster: off-road cars.

Romano discovered a market for aftermarket products for off-road vehicles, specifically side by sides. His first company was Dragon Fire Racing, which sold aftermarket products for (RHINOS). Later,  he sold Dragon Fire and opened Finish Line Marketing, a business to help other motorsports companies with everything from basic business strategy to marketing.


Todd Romano Jumping Wild Cat XX. Glamis Califronia

Romano has many lucrative connections with sponsors and companies he’s met. He’s been successful pitching himself and his company, leading to partnerships with industry leaders like Hawk Performance. Romano was contracted by Hawk to help grow their company through improved marketing and smoother business operations. Currently, Romano is working with Textron where he has partnered with Robby Gordon to design and produce the Wild Cat XX. He also owns a company that sells aftermarket products for new Textron vehicles called Speed Side by Side.

These are not the only athletes to create business out of the knowledge they have gained from competition, and their success goes to show, you don’t have to give up on your dream to make an income.

Wc 917


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  • Hale Center Theater’s new updates are raising the bar for Utah performing arts


MY BLOG: Hale Centre Theatre


ABOUT ME:  Amy Boud

I am a current Communication major at the University of Utah, and an Assistant Event Coordinator with Stadium and Arena Event Services.  My plan is to graduate and become a destination wedding planner in Park City, UT.  My husband Troy is a solar engineer, and we are the proud parents of a little Schmorky (Schitzu, Yorky, Maltese mix) puppy named Goob.  Together we hope to make the world a better place by helping the environment, and helping people to live their dreams.

Cool Runnings 2.0: Ghana and Skeleton in the Olympics


SALT LAKE CITY— Ghanaian skeleton athlete, Akwasi Frimpong, became the first skeleton athlete from Ghana to compete in the Winter Olympics in 2018. Today he, along with several former U.S. skeleton coaches and athletes, is forming Ghana’s first Bobsled and Skeleton Federation. Just like the Jamaican bobsled team before him, Akwasi Frimpong is pushing the boundaries of the Olympic status quo.

Frimpong’s goal is the modern-day version of the 1988 Jamaican bobsled team memorialized in “Cool Runnings,” a 1993 movie about the Jamaican team’s road to qualifying and competing in the 1988 Winter Olympics. Thirty years later, Akwasi Frimpong is walking down the same path.

A sprinter on the Dutch 4×100 team, Frimpong had aspirations of being an Olympian since he was 17-years-old. Unfortunately, he missed qualifying for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Later, the Netherlands bobsled team recruited him due to his sprinting ability. After making the bobsled team in 2012, he competed and narrowly missed qualifying for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, being named as the alternate brakeman. In November 2016, his coach convinced him to try skeleton.

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A scenic view from the top of the Lake Placid, N.Y. track in the fall. AP Photo/Katie Andress

Similar to bobsled, skeleton athletes slide on their stomach, headfirst on a large, lunch-tray style sled. Top athletes reach speeds of over 80 m.p.h., sliding through approximately 15 curves on a mile-long ice track.

After deciding to become a competitive skeleton slider, Frimpong then had to decide what nation to represent; The Netherlands, where he began his track and bobsled career, or his birth country, Ghana. “I was 30 and realized that I had not done anything for the country where I was born and this was a huge opportunity for me to go after my dreams of becoming an Olympian.” The only logical choice would be to compete for his birth country, Frimpong concluded. He also hoped that by doing so, he would inspire the youth of Ghana to venture beyond the comfortable and dare to dream.

Frimpong qualified for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea; making him the first athlete from Ghana to represent skeleton in the Winter Olympics. There, he was aided by Lauri Bausch, a coach for the U.S. team who occasionally helped coach athletes from smaller nations on the side. Bausch has been a coach for the U.S. team since 2015, after a hamstring injury ended her own six-year skeleton career.

“Akwasi has a charm about him that is attention-getting which aided him in sharing his unique upbringing and efforts to represent his birth country and continent,” says Bausch. “He is positive and hardworking, and does much to stay connected especially to the youth of Ghana and is not just focused on himself.”

Frimpong ended up being an unexpected hit among the fans. He didn’t really expect to receive as much attention as he did. “I was honored to touch the hearts of millions of people all over the world to dare to dream and to go after their wildest dreams,” he says.

After returning to Utah, where he currently lives with his family, Frimpong set out to accomplish his next goal: start the Ghana Bobsled and Skeleton Federation and bring Ghanaian athletes to the Winter Olympics.

Frimpong has hosted multiple skeleton clinics in Ghana to introduce and inspire Ghanaian youth. He hopes they’ll be inspired to try the sport. Meanwhile, he held a combine event in Salt Lake City to recruit potential skeleton athletes with Ghanaian roots.

Recently, the developing Federation appointed former U.S. skeleton coach, Zach Lund, as the head performance director. Lund competed for 11 years on the U.S. skeleton team before switching over to coaching for the last eight.

Lund decided to join Ghana after philosophical differences with the U.S. program and is excited for the burgeoning Ghanaian Federation. “Akwasi came to me with his vision for the Ghana program. His vision was inspiring and felt like something that was bigger than just skeleton,” Lund says.

Lund hopes to turn Ghana into a sliding sports “powerhouse,” which is not out of the realm of possibility. Not only was Lund an Olympian, he also coached U.S. athletes to three Olympic medals. Moreover, he intends to do more than just go fast.

Lund and Frimpong both want to make history, and that’s what he likes most about Akwasi. “Instead of trying to inspire a continent, we are trying to bring diversity into a sport and Olympic movement that lacks.” There are not nearly enough African nations involved in the Winter Olympics, he says.


Zach Lund and Akwasi Frimpong are standing at the starting line preparing for a run. Frimpong was competing in his first race of the season on November 7, 2018 in Whistler, Canada. AP Photo/Akwasi Frimpong

That’s what special about the Olympics, bringing nations together, big and small, on one stage to compete. “It’s not about the nation winning medals,” Lund said in an interview with GhanaWeb, a website all about Ghana. “It’s about being with people who are there for the right reasons. The Olympics are about bringing people together.”

The number of countries that have competed in the Winter Olympics have steadily been on the rise. According to olympic.org., the 1972 Olympics in Sapporo, Japan,  had 35 competing countries, growing to 92 now in the most recent 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games. These figures however, don’t compete with the Summer Olympics. During the 1972 Summer Games in Munich, 121 countries competed, which increased to 207 during the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Lund hopes the creation of the Ghanaian Bobsled and Skeleton Federation will be the beginning of other African countries competing. “It’s about the small nations being on the same playing field with the larger nations, competing against them,” says Lund. “That’s what I love about the Olympics.”

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Clara Welch

MY STORY: DSC00474Curing homelessness with a focus on the individual


ABOUT ME: I’m a junior at the University of Utah studying Strategic Communications. I’m from a small town in Utah called Farr West, but love living in Salt Lake City and can’t imagine living anywhere else in Utah.

I am working towards finding a career that will help me make a difference in this world. Making meaningful connections with people is important to me and I strive to find the best in every person. I’m always looking for opportunities to learn and grown and am excited for what the future holds.

When I have free time, I enjoy playing the violin and piano, reading, listening to podcasts, and spending time with my friends and family.


Katie Andress




I was born and raised in Mission Viejo, Calif. before moving to Salt Lake City to attend the University of Utah and pursue the sport of skeleton.

At the U, I began my educational career majoring in mechanical engineering before switching to math, business and currently I am a senior majoring in strategic communication.

While pursuing a degree I participated in the sport, skeleton for five years with the goal of going to the Olympics. Eventually I decided to stop sliding due to the high cost, time commitment and safety hazards.


Alex Stein



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Alex Stein is currently a Senior at the University of Utah, pursuing a double major in Strategic Communications and Psychology. Some of her career interests include social media marketing, PR, event planning, and advertising. She grew up in Seattle, Washington where she graduated from Tahoma Senior High School. Some of Alex’s hobbies include being a member of the College Fashionista program, actively participating in the Type I Diabetes community,  and spending time doing photography and videography.

Check out my LinkedIn

University of Utah eSports program welcomes NCAA involvement

Story and photos by ALEX HALE

SALT LAKE CITY—Despite nation-wide hesitation about whether or not the NCAA should get involved in eSports, members of the University of Utah’s eSports program believe the organization’s involvement would bring much-needed resources and legitimacy to the world of competitive collegiate video gaming.

In December 2017, the NCAA announced that it would be seriously considering if it has a place in college eSports. Since then, many eSports athletes and faculty have been quick to express their distaste of the NCAA’s potential involvement. However, those at the University of Utah think differently. A.J. Dimick, the Director of Operations of eSports at the U, and Kenny Green, head coach for the U’s League of Legends team, both come from traditional sports backgrounds. They said their experiences with the NCAA were nothing but a good thing for them. They passionately believe that collegiate eSports only stands to benefit from the NCAA.

Dimick and Green have both observed that one of the largest sources of hesitation toward the NCAA’s involvement stems from restrictions that would be placed on monetized streaming. Currently, college gamers are allowed to earn money by independently streaming their gameplay to online audiences. Under the NCAA’s jurisdiction, the students would still be allowed to stream, but monetization would be prohibited.

However, the NCAA would make partial and full scholarships for eSports athletes more accessible than ever. In most cases, the money awarded from a scholarship would be greater than the amount earned from monetized streaming. There are only a small handful of streamers who earn enough income that they would be losing money if they demonetized and instead accepted a scholarship. Dimick called it “ludicrous” that people would push away the NCAA to protect streaming income that is “barely even enough to pay for a movie ticket every month.” He continued, “I want the most amount of resources for students who are passionate about eSports, and monetized streaming isn’t the way to do that.”

The U’s varsity eSports program already prohibits its students from monetizing their independent streams. In fact, the U’s team members already adhere to many NCAA-inspired regulations. Official team practices may not exceed 20 hours per week, they must be enrolled as full-time students, maintain a 2.5 GPA, and progress 20% of their degree within each season, and they are eligible for 4 seasons of play within 5 years of first enrolling. If the NCAA stepped in, “We wouldn’t feel stifled since we already follow a lot of the same rules” said one of the U’s eSports athletes. “Our program would just get better.”

Dimick and Green want to create a path to the greatest academic and professional success for their student athletes. The U is already doing what it can. For example, all competition winnings are collected by the university and put toward eSports scholarships. With the NCAA on their side, Green knows they can do more. “I want scholarship money for simply being involved, not just for winning. The NCAA can make that happen.”

Greater support from the NCAA wouldn’t just equal more scholarships, explained Green. It would mean access to better facilities, coaching, compensation, and greater research into proper nutrition and exercise. Even though athletes wouldn’t be allowed to market themselves with monetized streams, the NCAA would pour a huge amount of resources into promoting and fostering each athlete’s brand presence. If athletes want to go pro after college, the NCAA paves a helps them gain the recognition they need to break onto the scene.

It would also give the athletes a means to identify with their school that they’ve never had before. “For so long, gamers have been considered ‘other,’” said Dimick. “They deserve to feel like they’re part of the greater community.” If the NCAA officially welcomed eSports onto the scene of college athletics, Dimick believes the athletes’ passion and energy would be a favor to the university. Green agreed, saying “If the NCAA gives us the formal recognition we think we deserve, our sense of school pride and camaraderie will shoot through the roof. When we win, the entire campus cheers us on. When we lose, they’re helping us get back on our feet.”

Dimick believes eSports can finally find its place with the NCAA’s help. Currently, without a common umbrella like the NCAA to fall under, eSports programs are placed wherever they can fit. The U’s program resides in the academic department, specifically under Entertainment Arts and Engineering. Though some people from both ends of the traditional sports VS eSports spectrum would consider it a “cultural violation,” Dimick thinks eSports belongs in the athletics department alongside traditional sports. He observed that their needs and functions are similar, and the “nerds and jocks don’t mix mindset” is fading. “Why create an entirely new, identical program when we would already fit so perfectly within the athletic department?” he asked.

Dimick said, “If you’re trying to put college eSports on the biggest stage it can possibly be on and have resources devoted to eSports and the students that are interested in this, then you certainly want to explore NCAA membership and participation in college eSports.” For the faculty and students at the U, the NCAA and eSports are a natural fit. Green and Dimick encourage those who are skeptical to learn more about what NCAA membership, involvement, and regulation would really mean and to carefully weigh the benefits against the drawbacks.

Alex Hale


Photo by Dawni Angel


Above all, I wanted to write about a topic involving the U that I am invested in. I stumbled across a news article about the NCAA’s potential involvement in eSports and immediately latched onto the idea. I enjoy watching eSports competitions, I know that the U’s varsity eSports team is making a big impression on the scene, and I quickly learned that the NCAA’s involvement with eSports is a hot-button topic for a lot of people.
To locate sources, I went straight to the U’s eSports program. I interviewed the director of operations of eSports, the head League of Legends coach, and a student athlete. I was actually surprised to learn about how passionately they support the NCAA’s involvement, because I encountered a lot of skepticism during my online research process.
Since their opinions favor the NCAA, I wanted my focus to be why they think the NCAA would be such a positive addition to collegiate eSports here at the U. I feel very lucky that A.J. Dimick and Kenny Green, two of my interviewees, have both participated in the world of traditional sports and gaming at both a professional and student level. That made them excellent sources, since they can pull from both ends of the spectrum to form their opinions. A.J. Dimick even gave a presentation at the NCAA Board of Governors meeting last Fall about why the NCAA should embrace eSports from the perspective of a large college.
One thing I’d like to do to further develop this story that I wasn’t able to do this time is also interview someone involved with traditional sports at the U and see if they have an opinion on the matter. But that might be a whole other story!

I am Strategic Communication student at the University of Utah with emphases on branding and social media marketing. I have always been passionate about geek culture and one day hope to work for Crunchyroll, an anime streaming service. Currently, I am a marketing events intern for FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention. In my spare time, I enjoy cosplay and watching anime.

MY LinkedIn


The Women Behind the Silver Screen

SALT LAKE CITY, (April 24, 2018) — In light of recent allegations against Harvey Weinstein and movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp finally bringing public attention to the marginalization of women in the film industry, institutions like the Sundance Institute are creating programs to help even the playing field for female filmmakers.

While these initiatives are presenting new opportunities for women, there is some concern that this reactionary response will become a band-aid solution to the broader issue of sexism in the film industry. The women leading these movements are determined that this will not end with a conversation, it must evolve into action. They acknowledge that change on such a large scale, especially when it is so institutionalized, demands time, conscientiousness, and ongoing effort. “I am hopeful, I have a lot of hope in the #Metoo and #TimesUp movements,” says Dr. Sarah Sinwell, a professor at the University of Utah. “I believe with celebrities coming out and telling their stories it enables other people to tell their stories. I believe that by putting money and funding and resources behind these kinds of institutions and what, for instance, McDormand talked about with inclusion riders and all those sorts of things that the general public is aware, not just the movie going public or not just the women, female film directing interested–people public. So many people are aware of this and I think that the constant publicity and the constant discussion and the way it’s entering schools and non-profit spaces and the way it’s kind of not just about those celebrity experiences but that it’s framing all these other contexts. I think that is why it may move into a space beyond this present one.”

Solutions must go beyond simply honoring the women who are already making films, and must take into account the inequality in resources and opportunities women face in making films in the first place. A study released by Women In Film in collaboration with Sundance found that even with the recent shift to more progressive attitudes toward female filmmakers very little actual change in the film industry has taken place.


“Currently, the presence of women behind the camera in popular films is infrequent at best. Assessing 250 of the top-grossing U.S. movies of 2011, one study found that only 5% of directors, 14% of writers, and 25% of producers were female. These statistics have fluctuated very little since 1998, seeming to suggest that the traditional Hollywood economic model or power-structure is a leading impediment to access for women filmmakers.”

-Exploring the Barriers and Opportunities for Independent Women Filmmakers Phase I and II Research By: Stacy L. Smith, Ph.D., Katherine Pieper, Ph.D. & Marc Choueiti

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The nominations at the Sundance Film Festival this year reflect their efforts for greater representation but, while higher than mainstream Hollywood representation, only 37% of the 122 films presented at the Sundance Film Festival were made by women. “What that says to me is that they are working harder to try to be more inclusive of women but we’re still not even at the 40 percent,” says Sinwell. “So, the numbers are growing, but they’re still not high enough, and I think that’s an issue not just of Sundance but I think it’s across the board that there’s not enough women directors, there’s not enough women directors getting high budgets like male directors, there’s not enough women directors working in a variety of locations and a variety of production companies.”

Sundance Stat Image

37% of the 122 films at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival were made by women.

­­One often proposed solution to the problem of unequal representation of women in film festivals is the creation of separate categories for women and there are festivals created specifically to honor women in film, however some believe that this could lead to further marginalization or othering of women in film. “I think we need to value both, I think we need to value festivals that are specifically focused on women, that talk about the ways they value women, that incorporate women and that are inclusive of women and I think we need to promote quality filmmaking and make sure that women are a part of that narrative, of the general quality filmmaking or Sundance independent filmmaking narrative as well,” says Sinwell. “This is actually something that comes up a lot when people hear I’m teaching the Women Directors class, they say ‘why do we need a Women Directors class, isn’t that excluding all these other categories right?’ But I always remind people the reason we need it is because there are so few women that are talked about in general film history classes or intro to film classes, that the class is made necessary because the lack of women in our history textbooks and cinema kind of classes general classes.” Lois Brady

Speeding, Utah Driver’s bad habit or lack of punctuality?

Speeding, Utah Driver’s bad habit or a lack of punctuality?

By: Deaven Dell

April 17th 2018



SALT LAKE CITY–Many Utahns believe that the drivers in Utah are the worst, but residents in other states also believe this about their own state. With accidents being the 4th leading cause of death in America, safety and prevention is huge concern for government officials. In Utah, when looking at the numbers there seems to be a huge speeding problem.

Amelia Wolfgramm, Public Health and Health Promotion professional, believes the cause of reckless drivers is their constant need rush to get where they are going. When talking about drivers she said, “I think Utah drivers aren’t as considerate as other drivers out of state. I think it can be attributed to the rush mentality we live up to” in Utah “we’re always in a rush” said Wolfgramm, “Mistakes I often see are attributable to risky driving. Speeding is also a huge factor in risky driving that leads to a lot of confusion for other drivers and can even lead to probable death.” Unfortunately, Wolfgramm like many Utahns recognizes the riskiness of speeding still feels like she is part of the “problem” and finds herself driving risky also in order to be on time.

According to the Utah Department of Public Safety Highway Safety Office, speeding was the number one cause of death in 2016 Utah car crashes. This would be explained by the rushed behavior of Utah Drivers.




Crash Summary (Utah 2016)

Leading Causes of All Crashes


  1. Followed Too Closely (24%)
  2. Failed to Yield (20%)
  3. Speed (15%)
  4. Failed to Keep in Proper Lane (13%)
  5. Distracted Driving (9%)


Leading Causes of Death

  1. Speed (37%)
  2. Unrestrained Occupants (28%)
  3. Failed to Yield (16%)
  4. Drunk Driving (13%)
  5. Overcorrected (11%)



A new Utah red light bill has caught the attention of many reporters and Utah residents the past couple of months. The bill would allow Utah drivers to run red lights. Other states, including Pennsylvania, have put into place similar bills allowing people to run red lights or proceed through a red light if it is clear.

Denise White, Utah resident and mother of three, does not think that the passing of this bill would be wise. “People are constantly running stop signs and cutting it way too close when they think they can make it before another car” she thinks that this bill would cause too much confusion. “Many people who are going through a green light will not be prepared for someone to be passing in front of them. That may cause more accidents because they will just keep going at their rate of speed and a car could pull out at the stop and  be going too slow for them to avoid being hit.”

However, Ken Ivory, the bill representative, said the bill would still require drivers to come to a full stop, but allows them to proceed if no other vehicles, bicycles or pedestrians are nearby. It would essentially convert a red light into a stop sign. “This is a safe-on-red bill. It’s not a run-a-red-light bill,” said Ivory. But could this lead to more problems? Out of the 62,471 motor vehicle crashes that occurred in Utah in 2016, 20% of them were caused by failure to yield.

White just recently reported an accident which occurred at her own home in Salt Lake City, a young driver with a learners permit ran through White’s fence “confusing the gas from the break”. “I spoke with a police officer after a driver with a permit drove through our fence. The young driver was confused about gas and break” said White, she believes that children are not getting enough instruction, “That is something that should be done in drivers ED or with a trained professional. The officer said that they have so many crashes because new drivers haven’t had proper instruction. They are being taught by parents who have bad habits, have been driving so long they don’t know the laws or don’t even take the time to properly teach their children as is required.” As a parent, White is very concerned about the safety of her children. She has two children driving and is very concerned with the number of fatal accidents on our Utah roads.. White did not allow her children to drive on the freeway for the first year of driving for fear of speedy drivers.

In 2016, there were 11,508 speed-related crashes which occurred in Utah which resulted in 5,550 injured persons and 105 deaths. Out of those crashes, drivers aged 15-24 years had the highest percentage of total speed-related crashes.







Kara Rhodes

MY STORY: Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

  • Women in STEM underrepresented in Utah but begin to rise in the field

MY BLOG: Reflection 


Kara is a University of Utah Student graduating Spring 2019 with two B.S. degrees–in Communication and Gender Studies. Kara has a passion for making a positive change in the ever changing world today. Journalism assists her by making her Gender Studies degree applicable to the world. Kara began her love for writing by reading all the Junie B. Jones novels and creating a blog in her adolescent years that dramatically explained why boys didn’t like her.

When Kara is not studying at the University she is participating in every yoga opportunity that she can. Licensed with a 200 HR YTT (Yoga Teacher Training), Kara is passionate about yoga. Music, fashion, and film are other hobbies that Kara enjoys talking, writing, and speaking about. She dreams of leaving her home state, looks at dog videos on Instagram, and reads books she wishes to understand.


Lois Brady Reflection Blog

For my enterprise story I chose to write about women in the film industry because, as a woman looking to be a filmmaker, I feel passionate about the changes taking place in the industry in the wake of movements like #MeToo and #Time’sUp which are finally drawing public attention to the issue of inequality and sexism in film.

This past semester I took a film course called Woman Directors that had a huge impact on the way I think about film, particularly when it comes to defying common tropes in film writing. In this class I was introduced to the concept of “The patriarchal language of film,” which includes not only the literal language we use to talk about films but also the assumptions about how a film is written, directed, shot, and performed and the  gender inequality behind the camera as well as in front of it. I interviewed the professor who teaches this class, Dr. Sarah Sinwell, for this piece because she introduced me to new ways of thinking about film and the roles women play in building the collective narrative of film and media. Her ideas on the importance of finding ways to include and value diverse voices in filmmaking, especially when they don’t adhere to the traditional cinematic structural ideals, helped me to frame my understanding of where I wanted to go with this story.

In particular she emphasized that different institutions have different values when it comes to filmmakers and there is a difference in promoting equality in, for example, the Sundance Film Festival and the Sundance Institute. When films are awarded at the festival it is based on their merits as a film within its category, they aren’t necessarily focused on who made the films, though some festivals have mission statements like Sundance’s that value diversity and try to promote equality. The Sundance Institute, however, recognizes that much of the actual inequality of opportunity occurs before a film is even submitted to a festival during the process of finding funding and support for the actual creation of the film and so has created programs specifically to aid female filmmakers. With this distinction in mind I was able to better focus on the actual source of the problems I wanted to address and better frame my questions for future interviews.

Read the story here.


Deaven Dell

MY STORY: Utah Speedy Drivers 




I am a Junior at the University of Utah studying Strategic Communication BA. I work full time at the Jewish Community Center here in Salt Lake as an Aquatics Supervisor. I love swimming, hiking and biking. I have a passion for music and dancing and enjoy expressing myself through creative outlets. I love connecting with other people and learning new ideas. I am very active in my church and enjoy connecting with my inner spiritual self through prayer, scripture study and attending church meetings.



Sarah Terry

MY STORY: Salt Lake City youth respond to revealed intentions behind Bears Ears and Grand Escalante Staircase shrinkage



ABOUT ME: 20 year old Sarah Terry moved to Salt Lake City in August of 2015 from Los Angeles, CA. She currently is the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera Public Relations / Marketing intern, and is enrolled full time at the University of Utah Honors College as an Art History and Strategic Communications double major and Ecology minor. When not at work or school, Sarah can be found snowboarding at Brighton resort. She loves reading, yoga, music, art, climbing, traveling, and hanging with her friends in the Chi Omega sorority. Sarah plans to continue with Arts Administration, hoping to eventually assist in the operation of non-profit art organizations. Sarah can be contacted at sarahterryy@gmail.com, and can be followed on Twitter at @scterrywrites.

Noelani Blueford

Photo by Codi Shandel Kline



Does a poor conversationalist make a for a good interviewer? You tell me.

I’ve always struggled with chatting and small talk, preferring to keep them talking so I can listen. In polite conversation, many people find this behavior a little bit rude. When it comes to interviewing, however, it’s a valuable skill.

I’m a senior at the University of Utah studying Communications. When not in classes, I work for an online used bookstore. My free time is spent playing board games and gardening.

Courtney Ruttan: About Me

 University of Utah students voice their opinion on Bears Ears

Reflection Blog: Response to My Story 

ABOUT ME: Courtney Ruttan is currently a sophomore at the University of Utah. She is studying strategic communication and plans on pursuing a career in Luxury Real Estate. Courtney was born in Glendora California and was raised in Park City, Utah. Courtney is passionate about environmental issues, health, and the economy. She enjoys spending her time with family and friends as well as enjoying the outdoors. In the summer she loves to wakeboard, go out on the boat, travel, and catch some sun rays. In the winter she enjoys snowboarding, sledding, and snowmobiling. Courtneys plans on enjoying all this beautiful life has to offer. 

LINKEDIN: Courtney Ruttan

Brandon Ong



MY REFLECTION BLOG              

Story Gallery                                                

ABOUT ME:  Brandon is a sophomore majoring  majoring in strategic communication at the U. He is choosing a minor in business or Korean. He is currently applying for internships and looking to study abroad next year. Eventually, Brandon would like to work in the public relations field. Evidently, journalism is not his strong suit.