I was able to interact with Dr. Watkins [Reflect, Summer 2021] on a few occasions while she was here. While talking to her, I felt like she really cared about me and my success, personally and professionally. I appreciated her support for our students, particularly how she could help our largely nontraditional group of students. I know that completing our education was her primary goal, and she put together initiatives that made it happen. As an employee, I saw systems and cultures change, too. I will always appreciate Dr. Watkins for her dedication to our institution. My best wishes as she moves on to make another corner of the world better.
TONYA EDVALSON BS’08, PLEASANT GROVE, UT
Meet Bryson Lew from Moraga, CA. The race car driver and U business student is just one of thousands of incoming students starting school this fall, and one of hundreds who have stormed social media with the hashtag #newtotheU to share their excitement about joining the University of Utah community.
This past summer, we asked you what you think of the recent changes to Utah Mag. The response was overwhelming, and we had hundreds of survey takers leave dozens of comments—all anonymous. Here are a few of our favorites.
“I’m a Black gay man. And I could not believe a university in Utah would do a story about a Black gay author who wrote about the AIDS crisis [Ask, Winter 2021]. I ordered his book shortly after and read it the next week. I have never been so proud to be an alum. Thank you for the representation.”
“I want to say thank you for sending such a wonderful publication. I put it on my coffee table and leave it until the next one comes out. I see my husband, my daughter, and even my 15-year-old son pick them up. It helps bring a culture of the importance of a college education and how it’s a lifelong investment into my home. And I’m very grateful for that.”
“I’m not the type to be a gung ho alumnus, but the magazine is a source of pride in the excellent growth, productivity, community, and worldwide outreach that the U has achieved in the decades since I went to school in an old Army barracks building.”
Small Changes, Big Impact
In response to a profile of Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert JD’05 and his efforts to protect the planet [Faves, Summer 2021]:
My late husband, Craig Forster, was the first director of the U’s Office of Sustainability. He used to say that many people changing out their lightbulbs for LEDs has a much bigger effect than one person doing their maximum for the environment. I’ve always liked the idea that swaying opinions in the center can cause the pendulum to swing in the right direction.
BONNIE BATY, SALT LAKE CITY