Mary Naylor Bio

My name is Mary Naylor and I am a Junior pursuing a strategic communications degree. I am a Southern California native, however I have lived in Arizona and Utah for a lot of my life. I went to high school in Salt Lake City, and have been at the University of Utah ever since I graduated. I am interested in social media and public relations, and my sophomore year I did an internship at a non-profit organization. I ran their social media accounts and set up seminars with local businesses to educate them about the organization. After I graduate next spring, I plan to move to Phoenix, Arizona to work for a professional sports team as a social media advisor. Since I was little I was always involved in sports and I have always been surrounded by friends and family who were involved in different sports teams. I have a love for all sports and am always interested in learning about the different rules. My favorite sport to watch is baseball, and my favorite team is the Dodgers. I have been to too many games to count and look forward to going to the spring training games at Camelback Ranch in Arizona.


Joseph Coles

Since he was four years old, Joseph Coles has had a passion for sports and writing. In the mornings, Joseph would wake up, make a bowl of cereal and read the sports section. Now 21, Joseph is a writer for the Deseret News and has worked at the News since 2016, covering sporting events ranging from Utah Jazz games, to Utah gymnastics, to the Salt Lake Bees, to rodeos. Joseph is majoring in Communications, with an emphasis in journalism at the University of Utah. He has written for The Daily Utah Chronicle, the Deseret News and various sports blogs. You can follow him on Twitter at @JoeAColes.

Enterprise story



Reflection Blog: Latifa Yaqoobi

I was inspired to write this story due to the influx of events that occurred on my own college campus at the University of Utah, and other events that were taking place on college campuses nationwide regarding race.

I read an article by the researcher William A. Smith about Racial Battle Fatigue last year, and found it really interesting. After all of these events took place, I found myself thinking about his research quite often. After a little bit of digging I found that his work corroborated with other studies and research as well. I then interviewed students I found around campus about all of the research I found, and asked how they felt about it.

The best source for my story was an African American student that I was able to interview who was familiar with William A. Smith’s work, and had quite a few thoughts about about all of the events that happened on campus and nationwide that regarded race.

I was incredibly surprised to learn that sterotypes, microaggressions and institutional racism can have such a negative impact on a students health. I assumed that it would take a toll on their mental health, but never really considered that it could take a toll on their physical health as well.

After writing this article, and reading all of the research behind it, I am most surprised this isn’t discussed more often, and more widely by everyone who is affiliated with higher education institutions.

Link to my Bio!

Latifa Yaqoobi

Latifa Yaqoobi is a nineteen-year-old student at the University of Utah, and is in her sophomore year. She is majoring in Psychology and Communications (with an emphasis on Journalism). She hopes to graduate from the University of Utah with her degrees, and continue her education by pursuing a Doctoral degree.

My Linkedin Account17264880_1314748788573096_7258028318145870422_n

Reflection Blog: The Effect of Racism in Academia

I was inspired to write this story due to the influx of events that occurred on my own college campus at the University of Utah, and other events that were taking place on college campuses nationwide regarding race.

I read an article by the researcher William A. Smith about Racial Battle Fatigue last year, and found it really interesting. After all of these events took place, I found myself thinking about his research quite often. After a little bit of digging I found that his work corroborated with other studies and research as well. I then interviewed students I found around campus about all of the research I found, and asked how they felt about it.

The best source for my story was an African American student that I was able to interview who was familiar with William A. Smith’s work, and had quite a few thoughts about about all of the events that happened on campus and nationwide that regarded race.

I was incredibly surprised to learn that sterotypes, microaggressions and institutional racism can have such a negative impact on a students health. I assumed that it would take a toll on their mental health, but never really considered that it could take a toll on their physical health as well.

After writing this article, and reading all of the research behind it, I am most surprised this isn’t discussed more often, and more widely by everyone who is affiliated with higher education institutions.

The Effects of Racism in Academia

By Latifa Yaqoobi

SALT LAKE CITY — Research indicates that discrimination at institutions of higher education has negative impacts on the mental health of students of color.

Recently, students of color have led protests at universities across the country. Many are protesting the implicit and explicit racism they are facing on their college campuses. Numerous studies back these claims, that students of color, especially African-American students have a more challenging collegiate experience than their white peers.

William A. Smith, a researcher at the University of Utah, studies how “microagressions” —the casual degradation of any marginalized group— affect African-American students on predominately white campuses. Smith’s research indicates that African-American students have trouble concentrating, worry constantly, develop headaches, and become fatigued when they are in personal and professional spaces that are predominately white, which is how he coined the phrase “racial battle fatigue.” Smith’s work also disproves the notion that once students of color enter institutions of higher learning the playing field levels.

Amaal Sharif, a student at the University of Utah, identifies with Smith’s work.  “People are beginning to acknowledge institutional racism, which is great, but that’s only half the battle. What people have yet to grasp is that microaggressions are real, and that after a while it can really take a toll on a person. For example, microaggressions such as ‘I bet you received Diversity Scholarships’ or ‘you must be grateful for Affirmative Action’ make me feel like I have to prove that I belong here at the University of Utah, and that is mentally exhausting.”

A national survey conducted by The Steve Fund & JED Foundation in 2015, asked 1,500 first-year college students about their first-year experience, and the results suggest that African-American students may be struggling at with college when compared to their Caucasian peers. According to the study, only 36 percent of African American students felt prepared both academically and emotionally for college, whereas 50 percent of Caucasian students felt more academically prepared than their peers. African-American students are also more likely to feel that “everyone has college figured out but them.” When asked if they keep their feelings about the difficulty of college to themselves, 75 percent of African-American students responded yes, whereas only 61 percent Caucasian students responded yes. Only 47 percent of Caucasian students claimed college wasn’t “living up to their expectations” compared to the 57 percent of African American students. According to a statement released by The Steve Fund & JED Foundation in 2016, “Research indicates that students of color at American colleges and universities are almost twice as likely not to seek care when they feel depressed or anxious compared to white students.” Additionally, a recent online Harris Poll of 1,000 college students conducted by JED Foundation and the Steve Fund (with equal samples of African-American, Latinx, White and Asian-American students) found that students of color are significantly less likely to describe their campus as inclusive than white students (28 percent to 45 percent) and more likely to indicate that they often feel isolated on campus (46 percent to 30 percent).”

Mariah Henry, a freshmen at Salt Lake Community College, was unsurprised by the findings. “When you enter an institution that already feels like it is going against you, it is hard to feel supported when things start getting hard. I think I am less likely than my white peers to go ask for help, because I don’t want to seem incompetent, or incapable. I think this is where the problem really lies, and is the reason why myself and others from my community struggle within academia.”

Ebony McGee, an assistant professor of diversity and urban schooling at Vanderbilt and David Stovall, an associate professor of African-American studies and educational policy at University of Illinois at Chicago authored a study about how racism affects the ability of high-achieving African-American students to have healthy mental attitudes toward their college experiences. McGee explained in a research blog:

“Weathering the cumulative effects of living in a society characterized by white dominance and privilege produces a kind of physical and mental wear-and-tear that contributes to a host of psychological and physical ailments. We have documented alarming occurrences of anxiety, stress, depression and thoughts of suicide, as well as a host of physical ailments like hair loss, diabetes and heart disease. We have witnessed black students work themselves to the point of extreme illness in attempting to escape the constant threat of perceived intellectual inferiority. The psychological and emotional energy required to manage stress in academic and social contexts as well as systemic and everyday racism can be overwhelming and taxing.”

Tehya Clark, another Sophomore at the University of Utah believes that “higher education institutions need to acknowledge that racism, even microaggressions, can take a toll” on the mental health of students of color. “Perhaps if colleges and Universities recognized this,” Clark says, “they could potentially prevent more protests from occurring on their campuses because they will get to the root of the issue, instead of simply addressing a specific controversy on campus.”

Link to my reflection blog!

Abuzz on campus: the University of Utah Beekeepers’ Association


SALT LAKE CITY – It’s a quiet fall evening on the University of Utah campus, that is, aside from the constant buzzing. Resting underneath the windowsill of a dorm room in Shoreline 829 is a flat glass case filled with thousands of Apis mellifera, the European honeybee.

The glass case is an observation hive, and it is used by education-eager beekeepers to demonstrate the workings of a beehive. Behind the glass panels, sturdy wooden frame, and fine mesh, is a hive that writhes and squirms; a colony of constant churn. Frankly, it’s unnerving to have nearby for more than an hour, the low thrum of the hive rising and falling just enough so as not to become background noise. I was holding the case as a favor for Quaid Harding, president of the U’s Beekeepers’ Association, while he went to dinner.

Actual beekeepers don’t have a problem with the buzzing – Harding sleeps soundly with the hive next to his bed. “I like it,” he says, “it’s calming, kind of tranquil.” A senior at the U majoring in biology, Harding joined the club last fall, after completing his Global Environmental Issues community service hours with the club. Upon finishing, Harding wanted to do more – “I went up and talked to the club’s advisor, and asked ‘how do I get more involved?’” Harding says. “There wasn’t anybody taking initiative to set up meetings or recruit, so I offered to take on the leader’s position. We really needed more members.”

Harding has an infectious enthusiasm for bees, and has been an active and capable recruiter for the club. The observation hive was a boon: nothing attracts interest quite like walking around with several thousand bees.“The bees do the recruiting for me,” he says. Leota Coyne, a new member of the club, says the observation hive caught her interest immediately. “I saw the hive at Plaza Fest, I couldn’t just walk past that.”

The Association maintains four sets of hives on campus: one on the fourth-floor of the Union; another outside the Health Sciences Library; and two in the Marriott Library.  The hives are nestled in easily-seen but unobtrusive outdoor locations, carefully placed for both bee and human safety. “There are roughly four beehives at each spot, and each hive can house anywhere between 20,000 and 60,000 bees,” says Harding. The hives need regular inspections for bee health and maintenance checks, which Harding uses as field trips for the Association.

It begins with proper clothing – a full body beekeeping suit. The white canvas outfits look like space suits made out of leftover painters’ smocks, but thicker and with mesh face masks instead of helmets. Once suited up, the inspectors use coffee-tin-like smokers to puff smoke onto the hives. “The smoke simulates a forest fire” Harding says, and “the bees’ response is to gorge themselves on honey to protect it, which makes them docile and sleepy. It’s kinda like how people are tired after stuffing themselves on Thanksgiving dinner.”

Some weeks later I attended a honey-extraction event, where I met Amy Sibul, the club’s faculty advisor. “We use the honey to help fund the club,” says Sibul. “We sell bottles of honey, as well as tubes of lip balm made with the beeswax.” The events are open to the public, which the Beekeepers’ Association uses to teach people, both about the club and the bees. “The main importance is the awareness it raises,” Sibul says, “we need to be aware of the impacts humans have on honeybees.”

Beekeepers around the world have reported precipitous decline in their hive populations – a loss of around 30 percent annually. This phenomenon is referred to as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), and the full cause is still being investigated. What we know for sure, however, is that humans play a big part in the disorder through their use of pesticides. Some countries are making strides to curb their impact on bees – such as the European Union’s push to ban various bee-harming chemicals – but other countries are lagging behind. CCD is in an odd position: people acknowledge that it is a problem, but don’t understand the gravity of the issue.

One reason why CCD is so alarming is that bees are more than honey-makers – they play a huge role in pollinating the world’s agricultural industry: “One in every three of our bites of food depends on honeybees” says Sibul. The loss of honeybees would be a huge hit to the global food supply, and losing millions of agricultural jobs would be economically devastating.

Clubs like the Beekeepers’ Association are important for combating CCD.  The Association does its part to help stabilize the bee population by maintaining healthy hives and raising public awareness.  Every bit of progress, from the local level to the global level, helps keep the bees – and the world – buzzing.

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Reflections on Beekeepers’ Association story


The Beekeepers’ Association story wasn’t my first choice; initially, I had planned to write an article about the University of Utah’s scholarships for competitive video gaming. The video gaming article didn’t pan out well – I found myself completely uninterested in the topic. During one of my writing session for the article, I ended up calling my dad to take a break, and happened to mention some of the activities I’d done with the Beekeeping Association. My dad suggested switching my topic to something involving the Association, which ended up being a much more interesting topic. There had been articles written on the club before, but none that shaped up like mine.

Locating sources wasn’t a problem because I was already part of the Beekeeping Association – contacting Quaid (the student president of the club) and Ms. Sybul (the faculty adviser) for interviews was fairly simple and seemed like a no-brainer. For my third interview, I picked a fellow member of the club (Leota) who happened to be at a club event I attended.

Quaid and Ms. Sybul were the obvious interview choices because they’re the most knowledgeable members of the club and organize everything it does. They were able to answer pretty much any question I could come up with, and their answers actually held weight because the president and adviser can speak on behalf of the club. Interviewing Leota felt right because I wanted a few quotes from a regular member of the club who was relatively new, which allowed me to get a new member’s perspective.

I didn’t encounter any noteworthy obstacles while gathering information for the story. Frankly, the hardest part was writing it all together within the word limit. After I wrote my first draft, I had to go back and trim a bit of fat. It was pretty tricky to keep the article condensed, yet engaging and informative. I did encounter an ethical dilemma: it was difficult to prevent the story from becoming an advertising piece for the club. One example is a sentence I had to cut where I talked about where the Association sold its honey and lip balm – the club member part of me wanted to include it, but it always came off as an advertisement.

Deciding my focus came easily – I wanted to write an article about the club process, but with more emphasis on the club aspect; most of the other articles focused only on the bees. “Making sense” of the information wasn’t difficult because I took a chronological approach – I discussed information and events in the order that I’d experienced them as a new member of the club.

The writing process came quickly once I’d gathered all my interviews, assets, and information. My main issue was writing something that sounded good – I’m my biggest critic.

I did have one paragraph I had to take out of the story, where I described the honey extraction process – I ended up converting portions of it to captions on pictures, but it would be fun to write out a detailed description of the process on the blog.

Frankly, I was most surprised by my own interest in the story. I had expected the interviews and writing to be a slog, but I ended up enjoying the process immensely and found that I had too much to say about the subject.

Henry Allen

About Me

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My name is Henry Allen and I am a Political Science and Communications double major studying at the University of Utah. I was born in Anchorage, Alaska and shortly thereafter moved to Hawaii, where I grew up on the island of Oahu in the town of Kailua. My experiences on the island shaped the person I am today – the island lifestyle is decisively different from the “mainland” United States mindset, and I like to think it allows me to approach life from an alternative direction. My dad has been an avid outdoors-man his whole life, so I grew up camping, kayaking, and hiking throughout the U.S. (albeit begrudgingly at times) with him, my mom, and my brother. It was that outdoorsy lifestyle that led me to attend the U, which my dad also attended in the 1970s. I spend most days chained to a keyboard, but I always try to find some time for the outdoors.

My Enterprise Story can be found here.

My reflection on the Enterprise Story process can be found here.

My LinkedIn profile can be found here.

Kindergarten: the new first grade

Story and slideshow by JACKSON CALDWELL

The start of anything can seem overwhelming. No matter the age or experience, new environments can be hard to grasp. Kindergarten is the first step in the ladder of education. In kindergarten students are expected to sit, listen and learn from a teacher, which is a new experience for them. Not only are students learning the essential skills of math and literacy, they are learning how to be a student for the first time.

However, not all students participate in kindergarten. In the state of Utah, students are not required by law to attend the grade of kindergarten. By having students in first grade without any skills or knowledge learned in kindergarten, it creates an uneven starting point for students.

Unless Utah legislation makes changes to the state’s education system, this imbalance of students skills will remain. Although the change is the decision of the legislature, the teachers in Utah are the ones facing the problem firsthand.

Laralynn Caldwell, a kindergarten teacher currently at Farnsworth Elementary in Granite School District, has been teaching for four years in both charter and public education schools. When speaking of her time in education she made it clear that kindergarten is necessary.

“Kindergarteners are now learning the foundational concepts of math and literacy that were taught years ago in first grade,” Caldwell said. “When a first-grade teacher gets a student that did not attend kindergarten, it is detrimental to their whole class. The teacher takes time away from other students to train and teach a student with no educational background.”

Caldwell said the problem is not having a clear starting point for students. “For all other grades expectations are clear for where a student needs to be at the beginning of the year. But there is no real reference point for kindergarten.” Kindergarten teachers are overwhelmed teaching students who have little to no skills at the beginning of the year, and preparing them to be ready for first grade by the end of the year. This sets children behind before they have started grade school.

Utah does have some requirements for kindergarten. Every district in Utah is required to offer at least a half-day option and assess every kindergartener at the beginning and end of the year. However, this started in 2017 as a statewide assessment and is still being developed to understand what students should know before they start kindergarten.

By using a standardized statewide test, educators and lawmakers will start to see real data that will validate this change for mandatory kindergarten. By making kindergarten regulated and required, the Utah Board of Education will have more data to understand how kindergarten impacts a student’s future education.

The success rate for students who complete kindergarten goes far beyond education. Heather Taylor is a parent with a daughter currently in first grade. Taylor sees kindergarten as more than naptime and coloring.

“Kindergarteners are expected to learn at least 50 words, all their letters and sounds and count to 100 by the end of the year,” she said. Taylor was impressed with her child’s ability to work and communicate with other students. “Although some things can be taught at home, her ability to see other points of view and work as a team are both something she excels at because she attended kindergarten.”

Taylor is not the only parent who feels this way. Another parent interviewed spoke of the difference between her two children. She wished to remain anonymous because her son started first grade without attending kindergarten, whereas her daughter did.

“My first child I kept home during his kindergarten year,” she said. “The next year it was a struggle every morning to get him to go to first grade.” But the experience was much different transitioning to first grade with her daughter. “When my second child started first grade after kindergarten, she was ready for the longer hours, schedule and being away from mom.”

When students start school, there is a transition period where separation is difficult. However, the skills learned in kindergarten help students have a positive outlook on their education. The growth of the student can be seen by both parents and teachers. Emotional needs are also addressed in this important grade.

Erica Hibbard is the social worker at Farnsworth Elementary. She expressed the positive outcomes she has seen. A social worker’s job in a school is to oversee the child’s well-being in the classroom and at home. Hibbard works with students from kindergarten to the sixth grade.

“Students who attend kindergarten are more equipped for the first grade because they have learned how to emotionally self-regulate,” Hibbard said. She has seen the effects that starting school earlier has had on students she works with. “Kindergarten provides the first building blocks for students to engage in problem-solving, cooperation and other social-emotional skills.”

Is living in the dorms good or bad for GPA?

Is living in the dorms good or bad for GPA?

Story by Taylor Lenci

SALT LAKE CITY — Living in the University of Utah dorms is more than just processed food and social interactions. Aside from the fun of living in the dorms, studies show that living on campus can lead to better performance.

The University of Utah has grown rapidly within the last decade, due to growth in state as well as its high regard, affordability, and location. Students from all over the nation apply to the U with hopes of receiving a great college experience, and part of the experience includes living in the dorms. As enrollment and non-resident populations increase, the number of students living in the dorms increases each year.

In 2006, 27,420 students were enrolled at the U. In 2017, that number increased to 31,860, and 15 percent of those students live on campus. The U’s population is growing rapidly each year which results in more students living on campus. Though there has been no increase in capacity of the dorms, Chapel Glen has increased the amount of roommates per room.

The U markets the experience as one that allow students to surround themselves with peers who have similar interests and goals, which guides students to their ultimate academic success, says the Director of Student Living on the U’s website.

“The dorms were helpful in staying on track with academics,” said Leah Farrington, a sophomore at the U who lived in Chapel Glen her freshman year, “Chapel Glen is freshmen only so everyone was in the same boat and it was hard to not stay on track when everyone else was doing the same thing or something similar.”

According to the U’s academic guidelines, every student is required to complete a certain number of general education courses and students typically complete them their freshman year. Subsequently, many freshmen are in the same classes and can work together, which indicates a higher GPA for students who live on campus than those who do not.

San Diego State University’s Office of Residential Living reports that “Residential students averaged a 2.81 GPA while off-campus students averaged a 2.38. Residential students living in one of the many ‘learning communities’ averaged a 2.89.” Said the Director of Student Living at San Diego State University after having done a study on the relationship between GPA and living on campus.

Though data shows that there are significant academic benefits that come with living in the dorms, not all students agree. “It is very easy to get distracted in the dorms. Sometimes I end up in the library just to get away from all the the noise,” said Caroline Eckoff, a freshman at the U who currently lives in Chapel Glen.

Regan Crofts, also a freshman at Chapel Glen, moved out after a few short weeks. “I take my academics very seriously, especially because I’m on the track and field team and have little to no time,” she said. “The dorms were a constant distraction and I was never able to study, let alone sleep.” Students typically live in the dorms to receive the full college experience, but what most students do not realize is that part of the experience includes distractions all day, every day.

Some students are able to remain focused despite distractions such as loud noise and many opportunities for conversation, while others need complete peace and quiet.

Still, being on campus all the time is a great way for students to be as involved in their academics as possible. “My GPA increased while living in the dorms because I had a roommate who was studying the same major as me and we studied together all the time,” said Lauren Gnat, a sophomore at the U who lived in Sage Point her freshman year. “This year, I live off campus and I usually abandon my responsibilities as soon as I get home.”

Ultimately, living on campus motivates students to stay on track with their academic responsibilities, according to Lia Bigano, a writer for The Collegian. Students obtain a stronger drive to complete their studies since they are constantly in an academic setting. “The resident halls are closer to things like the library so a student is more likely to head there since it’s five minutes away as opposed to driving to campus but I think it’s more the shared experience with other students going through the same thing,” reported Chris Baylor, of  western Wisconsin’s WEAU 13 News.

A BYU study showed that students living on campus have a higher GPA by an average of a tenth of a point when compared to students who live off campus. Many students who live off-campus dismiss their academic responsibilities as soon as they get home and decide to relax or go have fun after a long day of classes. Living in a learning environment encourages students to focus on their academic responsibilities.

Overall, data collected regarding housing during college shows that the majority of students who live on campus obtain a higher GPA than students who do not live on campus. Living on campus may not be beneficial in every environmental aspect, however students are thriving academically because of their tight-knit relationship to the campus at the U.

Reflections on living in the dorms correlating with GPA

I developed my story idea by talking with some freshman I had recently met at the University of Utah. They told me that the dorms are extremely crowded this school year which made me curious as to why. I decided to go online and research exactly why the dorms are so popular now more than ever before.

I located sources by simply researching on google why the dorms are so attractive to students. Some articles discussed the social attraction and the tradition of living on campus during freshman year, while many articles said it is because living on campus can result in a higher GPA for students.

They were the best sources for my story because they lead me to the correlation between high GPA and living on campus, which became the focus of my paper. I had a wide variety of articles that supported my topic which significantly helped my paper.

The obstacle I encountered involved difficulty finding data that reflected poorly on high GPA and students living on campus. I wanted to find some data arguing against living on campus resulting in high GPA since a couple people I had interviewed did/do not enjoy living in the dorms at the U. I addressed this dilemma by including the quotes from the people I had interviewed with negative comments without including data to support their claims.

The information came together very well, since each source supported each other. I decided my focus by figuring out what each article I was reading had in common, which is that students who live on campus do have higher GPAs than students who do not live on campus. Since there were so many supporting articles, it made my decision to discuss the correlation much easier.

The writing process was difficult yet rewarding because I struggled to find some data but since I gathered so much information, I learned a lot about living on campus and the effects it has on students.

One detail that I did not include in my blog is that a huge factor of living in the dorms is the lack of sleep many students experience. Lack of sleep can lead to numerous health issues including a higher chance of getting sick. I was sick multiple times when I lived in the dorms, which made it difficult to stay on top of my academics. I would have included this in my story, however it was not entirely on topic.

Overall, the conclusion that living in the dorms results in a high GPA surprised me because living in the dorms comes with a lot of distractions that can lead to abandonment of academic responsibilities. However, many studies were done to determine whether there is a correlation and many results proved a positive correlation between living on campus and obtaining a high GPA.

Taylor Lenci

About Me


I am a student at the University of Utah and I am studying Strategic Communications with a minor in Psychology. I love to write and learn about different forms of communication. I was born and raised in California and committed to the U with hopes of a greater outdoor experience. I have been very involved in the U and I am an active member of the sorority Chi Omega. I am planning to get my masters degree in Education once I graduate from the U.

Reflections on Living in the Dorms Correlating with GPA

Is living in the dorms good or bad for GPA?

LinkedIn Profile


Christian Gonzalez

About Me

My name is Chrinew (1 of 1)-4stian Gonzalez I am currently a student at the University of Utah, majoring in Strategic Communications with a minor in Spanish. I received my A.S. in General Studies from Salt Lake Community College. I have been employed full time with Lexington Law Firm for over five years and currently hold a position in  operations.

As I have developed my career I have gained a passion for supporting the Latin community and working with organizations such as “Communidades Unidas” a non-profit that supports Utah Latinos. My family immigrated from Mexico in the early 90’s.

Upon completion of my undergraduate degree I plan to continue my career by attending graduate school in the pursuit of an MBA. Furthermore, I plan to explore career opportunities with organizations that support our communities and strive to influence positive change within them.




Day of the Dead, celebrating and remembering our dead. Reflection blog.

I first took an interest in the day of the dead after traveling to Mexico during the month of October in 2015. While there it was interesting to witness various perspectives on death. I noticed that there were two opposing concepts of death: remembering those who have passed on and a more religious aspect, including the worship of death itself. Although I decided to stick with researching “day of dead,” during my research came to further understand both concepts more fully.

Most of my sources came from attendees at the annual day of dead festival in West Valley City. I also had the opportunity to speak with long-time celebrators of this well-known Mexican holiday. I consider these to be good sources because I was able to gain a better understanding of what people were actually experiencing during this event.

One of the obstacles I encountered came when attempting to interview people who were involved in organizing the event. For whatever reason, the individual I interviewed decided she wanted to remain anonymous.

After gathering all of the details for the story I decided that I wanted the story to emphasize the purpose of this celebration as well provide a context for some of the symbolic artifacts used to better understand the intent behind it. Although I did not include all aspects of symbolism I included those that were most common.

Christian Gonzalez



Natalie Mumm


Born and raised in Southern California, I moved to Utah in 2015 to pursue a Communication degree, focusing on the Strategic Communication sequence, with a minor in Arts and Technology at the University of Utah. I am a part of the Delta Gamma Sorority, which allows me to involve myself with the community, and the campus, in various volunteer opportunities. After graduation, my goal is to work as a social media manager for a company.

Through the course of the Arts and Technology minor, I have taken Intro to Digital Photography. This class is what initially introduced me to The Salt Lake Gallery Stroll. An assignment allowed students to attend the event, and visit a minimum of two galleries. Talking with an artist or representative of the gallery, as well as documenting your attendance with various photos was required.

I found The Salt Lake Gallery Stroll to be very amusing. I carried a goal to introduce the event to college students and young adults through my story. Hoping to enlighten individuals, and increase attendance at future gallery strolls.

Enterprise Story

Reflection Blog


Salt Lake Gallery Stroll aids making art obtainable

Story and Photos by NATALIE MUMM

SALT LAKE CITY — From paintings to photography, contemporary to antique pieces, professionals to hobbyists, the realm of visual arts has a diverse assortment greater than our own imaginations. In Salt Lake City, see it all in one night as select downtown-area galleries open their doors after hours, waive admission fees, and allow guests to browse the various art displayed.

“The gallery stroll is valuable because it allows the public the opportunity to see the talents of local artists while also fostering a sense of conversation about those pieces with others in the community,” said Sara Kemp, a University of Utah student attending the event for a fine arts class assignment.

The Salt Lake Gallery Stroll is a gathering of local galleries and other businesses to promote visual art, and to bring the value of visual art to the forefront of Salt Lake City’s cultural identity.

On the third Friday of each month–with the exception of December, when the event is on the first Friday–the gallery stroll provides educational opportunities to introduce individuals to art. “I am not very educated in the arts, but the more galleries I attend, and more artists I speak to, my interest in art sparks a bit more, and I forget I was simply told by my professor to attend,” said Kemp. “It instantly started feeling like less of a chore to be there, and more eye opening and intriguing to learn more, and become more appreciative of art.”

The Salt Lake Gallery Stroll strives to promote and provide access to expression, interest, appreciation, and understanding of the visual arts throughout the city to further increase the reputation of Utah artists and organizations locally, nationally, and internationally.

Through the event’s website lists participating galleries including an address and a short description of what the gallery carries. Individuals can then choose which galleries are the most convenient and intriguing to themselves.

“Art is one of those things that goes under appreciated in our society, and having events to display this provides easier access to those who are not only interested by art, but inspired by it,” said Connor Cox, an employee for the Gallery Stroll located at 15th Street Gallery. “People should attend the Gallery Stroll in order to expand art culture in Salt Lake City.”

The Gallery Stroll is intended to expand art culture in Salt Lake City, as well as to encourage artists to continue pursuing their careers and developing their skills. The Gallery Stroll does not promote individual artists; it promotes galleries and visual- related businesses. While artists are frequently present  to share their work, some galleries feature work from artists who are physically unavailable. “Some artists come to us, some artists we go to, some artists we just have a standing network relationship with,” said J. Brett Levitre, a partner at ANTHONY’S Fine Art & Antiques, and a participant in the stroll.

“Some of the artists we have on consignment, where we sell it and split the sale price 50/50, involving the artist more in our establishment, while some of them we just like and buy outright and sell for what we like to sell it, displaying the art and artists name in our own possession.” Whether you attend a gallery to see the artist display their work, or view the work of artists not present, educated individuals involved for the time being leave every guest attending the Gallery Stroll, more knowledgeable about the art.


Outside of Anthony’s Antiques located at
401 E 200 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Taken on October 20, 2017 (Photo by Natalie Mumm) Enterprise Assets

With so many possible venues participating in the stroll on any given third Friday, it may seem like an overwhelming art maze. Be that as it may, The Salt Lake Gallery Stroll’s website is simple to navigate yourself through, to finally discover a new gallery in the area that you wish to attend. The level of enjoyment and education received from the event is entirely up to you.

Visual art time and time again surrounds everyone. “I was overwhelmed to see so much art in once place that was so beautiful and not commercialized,” said Kemp. “It reminds you that talented people can do this, and there is more to what we just see on the media.” The stroll takes viewing art to a more interactive and personal level, engaging conversation, and genuine reactions between the artist and the spectator. The Salt Lake Gallery Stroll aids making art more obtainable to the average individual. That being said, it should highly encourage everyone in the area to indulge themselves, and appreciate the art and culture representations their community has to offer for a night.

Reflection Blog


Reflection Blog- Natalie Mumm

I developed my story, “Salt Lake Gallery Stroll aids making art obtainable” through the introduction of the event from one of my photography professor at the University of Utah. An assignment for the class allowed me to not only attend the event but find interest in the event as well, then leading me to indulge in the event and cover it for a news writing story. I located various sources by simply further educating myself on the event, and finding the best galleries participating, and visited them. Looking for young adults, I spoke to individuals attending, individuals working, and even artists to share their thoughts and opinions on the gallery stroll. Younger individuals were the best sources for my story because the stories purpose was to educate and encourage people to attend the event with enthusiasm about the art culture, which younger generations may lack.

Fortunately, no large obstacles, ethical issues, or moral dilemmas occurred, and the progression of the story was successful. The information obtained was easy to make sense of, as it was all information about the event, and encouraging words through interviews, making it simple to decide to focus on the encouragement of art to the public community.

The writing process become more of an exciting, rather than mandatory feeling, because of the personal interest I found in the event, and my desire to share it with those who read my article. As I took the route of my story to persuade readers to attend, another route, or story that would be entertaining would be a feature story on a, or multiple specific galleries or artists, because of how diverse and indulging they all are. However, my story was not the place for in depth biographies on artists and their galleries, I hope my story interests and persuades readers enough to go discover those said artists and galleries themselves.


Enterprise Story

Reflections on Campus Carry

By Alyssa Gum

SALT LAKE CITY— In the past few years, gun control has been a hot topic. With multiple events in the recent news involving mass shootings, I think this is an important idea to talk about. We, as consumers, see a lot of opinions about this issue but not a lot of facts. I found sources by finding relevant organizations to the campus carry debate (Students for Gun Free Schools and Students for Concealed Carry) and interviewing representatives from those organizations. I also decided to interview a student at The University of Utah to bring all of this back to home. I tried to make sense of all of the different information by comparing what the people I interviewed had to say to relevant statistics and studies. It was difficult to present both sides of this argument fairly and to make this as concise as possible, because it is such a broad topic. I interviewed Spencer Eiting, who is a student at The University of Utah who has his concealed carry permit. He talked about how he works at the university hospital and how he saw people come in who were victims of violent crimes. With this experience, he decided to research violent crime statistics in Utah. This, combined with threats from mentally unstable patients, caused him to want to obtain his concealed carry permit. I also found it interesting that although he does carry a concealed firearm to his classes most days, he thinks it is too easy to obtain a concealed carry permit in Utah. Many people who you talk to on the subject have a strong view one way or another, but he seemed to have a very moderate view.

Enterprise Story

Alyssa Gum

About Me


I am a sophomore at the University of Utah currently pursuing a major in Communications, with an emphasis in Strategic Communications, as well as a minor in Political Science.  I was previously Miss Teen Ohio United States, and I am now a writer for Her Campus Utah. I enjoy outdoor activities, cooking, volunteering, traveling, and writing. I am a passionate advocate for mental health and suicide prevention.

After graduation, I plan on starting my own business. I hope to inspire more women to enter into leadership positions or become their own bosses. To learn more about me, you can add me on Linkedin. 

My Stories:

Concealed Carry on College Campuses

Reflections on Campus Carry

Concealed carry on college campuses

Story by Alyssa Gum

SALT LAKE CITY— There have been laws banning carrying concealed handguns since before the Civil War. From 1920-1930, many states adopted the Uniform Firearms Act, which said that citizens could not carry a concealed firearm without a permit. After World War II, states began to issue concealed carry permits to anyone who applied for one and who didn’t have attributes that disqualified them.  In 2004, Utah became the first state where all public universities were required to allow students with permits to carry concealed weapons on campus. With recent news of shootings and gun violence, the debate over guns has been, once again, at the forefront of political debate. Moreover, the increasing number of schools that allow campus carry has added to the list of issues being debated between gun control and gun rights advocates.

According to a recent John Hopkins University study, data cited from the National Crime Victimization Survey shows that there are approximately 102,000 self-reported instances of self-defensive gun use per year, making this a rare occurrence. In this report the authors argue that to effectively stop an active shooter, there are a lot of skills and experience required. “Shooting accurately and making appropriate judgments about when and how to shoot in chaotic, high-stress situations requires a high level of familiarity with tactics and the ability to manage stress under intense pressure,” the study asserts. The authors support this claim by citing statistics of shooting inaccuracy by police officers who are thoroughly trained. “There is no reason to believe that college students, faculty and civilian staff will shoot accurately in active shooter situations when they have only passed minimal training requirements for a permit to carry.”

Julie Gazran, a representative from Students for Gun Free Schools, agrees that students don’t need guns on campus to defend themselves. College campuses are some of the safest places in the United States and with armed law enforcement officers trained to protect students and prevent potential violent incidents, says Gazran. Indeed, most students at the University of Utah appear to agree with Gazran. In a poll taken of 62 University of Utah undergraduate students, only 32 percent of students said that they felt campus was safer because of its concealed carry policy.

“Utah law prohibits weapons on school property, including college campuses, except for firearms that are in the possession of a concealed weapons permit holder. Other narrow exceptions apply, such as guns carried by law enforcement officials,” wrote Michael Young, former president of The University of Utah, in an e-mail to students and staff. In Utah, to obtain a concealed carry permit you must be 21 years of age (you can also get a provisional permit at age 18), fill out an application, send in a valid fingerprint card, send in a passport quality photo, complete a firearms course, and pass a background check. There are many different offenses and conditions that can disqualify someone from being able to obtain a concealed carry permit.

Still, the issue may not be so simple.

Todd Hicken, the Rocky Mountain Regional Director for Students for Concealed Carry, is a strong proponent for allowing students with legal permits to carry concealed firearms on campus. “The only people who legally can bring them onto campus are police officers and concealed carry permit holders,” says Hicken.

Many who disagree with campus carry argue that campus police officers have the ability to protect students because they are trained to do so and have the ability to use their firearms correctly. Because of this, students do not need to have weapons on campus. In contrast to this narrative, police officers only receive an average of 12-14 weeks of training, and the majority of that is not for firearms. Most people who obtain a concealed carry permit (6.5% of the adult population) take the time to practice shooting and keep up with their techniques, says Hicken.

Spencer Eiting, a sophomore student at the University of Utah and provisional concealed carry permit holder, regularly practices shooting at the gun range. He has been shooting since he was young and he visits the range every few weeks. “I feel comfortable with my aim, especially at the range where I’d have to use my weapon if I needed to,” says Eiting. He feels safer with a gun on campus. Campuses are typically regarded as safe areas, but this may not be the case. A study by the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City, which compared the school years from 2001-2006 with those from 2011-2016, found that shootings on college campuses in this time period had increased by 153%.

In 2016 at the University of Utah, there were 8 cases of rape, 9 cases of aggravated assault, and 11 instances of domestic violence. Whether the solution to these problems is decreasing the amount of people wielding guns or allowing more people to defend themselves is unclear, but this will surely continue to be a dividing issue for years to come.

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Reflection Blog on this story

Reflections on Illuminate

by Eylül Yel

I came across Illuminate while checking out upcoming events in Salt Lake City. It intrigued me because it was the first time an event like this was going to take place in Utah.

Once I decided that I will write an event story about Illuminate, I visited the Utah Arts Alliance website where I found in depth information about the event and the producers of the event including their contact information.

I conducted an interview with the producer of the event  to find out more information before attending the event. The interview helped me find out more about how the event was created, where he got the idea from and the obstacles he has faced along the way.

I attended the event on Nov. 10 and saw all the artwork in action. During the event, I had the chance of meeting employees from the Utah Arts Alliance as well as artists who showcased their work. I was able to talk to some of the participating artists and learn more about their craft and how they decided to participate in the event.

I conducted another interview with the executive producer after the festival to get his thought on how the event went and what his future plans are regarding Illuminate to include in my story.

While writing the final draft of the story, I used much of the information I have gathered during my interview with the producer before the event, then I put together my observations and notes from the event and included them in the story. Overall, it was an enjoyable experience to write this event story.

Seeing Salt Lake City through light art and technology

Tinder: Is it helping or hurting our dating culture?

Tinder: Is it helping or hurting our dating culture?

Story by Annie Ricks

SALT LAKE CITY — Tinder: an app where you can find a husband, a hookup, or a way to kill time by simply swiping right. This dating app fad has skyrocketed in the last few years. When a group of young college women were asked their reasons for using the app, responses varied from “boredom”, to “as a confidence booster”, “desperation”, or “as a rebound”. Maybe this increase is due to a lack of traditional dating methods, or perhaps it is our technology-crazed generation which drives people to online dating. In a growing app culture- our lives revolve around our phones- it is unsurprising that we have resorted to online dating to meet “significant others”.

Erin Wyness, 21, is a student at the University of Utah, and shared her method for “mastering the app”. After her multi-year relationship ended, Erin joined Tinder to pass time and to meet new people. If she got a “match” and the conversation was interesting, she would suggest they meet in person. “I feel like you can talk to people online forever and not really understand what they are really like in person,” she says “I did all this to avoid doing that whole hookup thing. I could nip it in the butt right away if we met in a coffee shop or somewhere public and I knew right away if it wasn’t worth my time.” Erin wasn’t looking for a boyfriend, she says, “but I also was not looking for a one-night stand.” After going on several Tinder dates Erin matched with Mike, a 24-year-old University of Utah graduate.  He messaged her first and they had an instant connection. They went out for coffee that same evening and ended up spending the night together. Since their first date last October, Erin and Mike have been together everyday and 10 months ago they moved in together. “I remember feeling really comfortable with Mike, we stayed up all night talking and we had a lot in common.”

Erin’s Tinder success story is shared by 20 percent of current, committed relationships that began online but what does that mean for the rest of Tinder users? 60 percent of female Tinder users say they are looking for a match yet how do we explain the remaining rise in online dating over the past years?

Perhaps the increase in Tinder usage is due to a hookup culture we have created as a society. Before online dating, people would either meet through their pool of interaction, which could mean their peers, their coworkers, those they meet at a bar/club, or even those whom they could be setup with. However, with the app, their pool of options has expanded to hundreds of people within a 10-mile radius.

Coincidentally, the upsurge of users on Tinder, about 50 million, has coincided with a precipitous rise in STD’s. “Some experts have pointed to the ‘Tinder effect’, the idea that online hookup sites are making casual anonymous sex easier and more common than it used to be,” says The Sun, a UK based Newspaper. A Tinder use can rack up several Tinder dates a week, according to one article from eHarmony, “33 percent of women who use online dating websites say they have sex on the first online dating encounter.”

On a state by state basis, the correlation between online dating and increased STD transmission is shocking. “In Utah, huge increases in the number of gonorrhea diagnoses since 2011 — 700 percent for women, nearly 300 percent for men — have been at least partly blamed on apps like Tinder. Apps make casual, anonymous encounters easier, and it’s almost impossible to find partners again afterward — meaning that it can be harder to track down others who have an STD and help them get treatment,” says Lynn Beltran, an epidemiology supervisor in the Salt Lake County Health Department.

In 2015, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation put up billboards throughout California encouraging Grinder and Tinder users to go get checked for STD’s. Angered, Tinder sent a cease and desist letter to AHF, demanding an end to the campaign. Although they did not appreciate those billboards, they did add a special feature to their app: a locator for STD testing.

Could that be a step in the right direction? Perhaps. But what are some of the other ways we can ensure safety? Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak, president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts said that, “Access to testing and treatment, along with education about STD prevention, are the best ways to ensure that people stay healthy and safe. Unfortunately, too many barriers stand in the way of health care and education, especially for young people”. Perhaps the popularity of these dating apps has finally drawn attention to the vitality of health care resources and education necessary to inform individuals of these dangers. It is unacceptable for online dating to have this much negative feedback and it is alarming that many young people don’t understand the problems that our hookup culture has brought about in recent years. Whether or not online dating has proved successful in one’s life, it has presented far more concerns than it has benefits.

To read the author’s reflection blog, click here.

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Interviewees: Annie Crandall and Taylor Lenci. Image taken on Monday, November 6, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Graphic displaying percentage of Tinder users by age. Image was found in the public domain.


Tinder dating app logo. Image was found in the public domain.


Billboard produced by the AHF encouraging Tinder users to get checked for STD’s. Image found in the public domain.

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Interviewees: Cameron Aragon and Chloe Garner. Image taken on Monday, November 6, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Interviewees: Eliza Larsen and Haley Southwick. Image taken on Tuesday, November 7, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Interviewees: Kira Wachter, Katy Hymas, and Sophia King. Image taken on Monday, November 6, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Interviewees: Olivia Webb and Sarah Terry. Image taken on Monday, November 6, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Erin Wyness and her boyfriend Mike. Image taken on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Group of Interviewees. Image taken on Monday, November 6, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Day of the Dead, celebrating and remembering our dead


West Valley City, Utah -The Utah Multicultural Center hosted its 4th annual Día de Los Muertos celebration on Saturday, October 28, 2017. The festivities included traditional Mexican dances and a large variety of family-friendly activities such as skull-face painting and a dress-up contest. There was also a specific area where visitors could observe altars created in remembrance of loved ones who had passed away. “We want to make sure we don’t forget all of the good things our loved ones did while they were alive, day of the dead is way to let their stories live on through our generations,” said Francisco Perez, an attendee of the event. The event highlighted various aspects of Mexican culture and served to represent loved ones who have passed away by remembering the lives they lived.

Although this celebration was held on Oct. 28, 2017, the actual dates for the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico are November 1-2. Beatriz Aguilera, now a 71-year-old woman, has been visiting the cemetery for el Día de Muertos, going as far back as she can remember. For Aguilera, it has become less a celebration and more a day of remembrance.IMG_9226 She still retains the vivid memories of her past when she would visit her great grandfather’s grave at age ten. “I remember helping my grandma prepare a table filled with things that were my grandpa Chema’s. At the center of the table we would always place portrait of them from their wedding,” said Aguilera. She recalls waking up early to help her grandmother prepare her dead grandfathers favorite food, along with pan de muerto (a spanish bread). “After preparing food all morning, we would use my grandmother’s finest silverware and carefully place the food on the altar along with belongings that represented the wonderful life he lived. It seemed as if for that night we were expecting him to join us for dinner,” Aguilera explained. As the years pass, the traditions of this holiday allow her to remember both of her grandparents, her older brother who passed away at a young age, and her mother who died a few years ago. Every November 2, she travels to the cemetery with her children and grandchildren to spend time with all of those who have passed on. Aguilera and her family use this day to celebrate the life of their loved ones and remember the legacy they left behind.



Many of the altars at the Utah Multicultural celebration were similarly decorated. They use flowers, candles, food, and short paragraphs describing the lives of each individual on display for all to see. Also showcased on the altars were statues of the Virgin Mary, who it is said watched over the graves and protect the spirits of the deceased as they travel through the after life.IMG_9222 Many of the items displayed on the altars may only seem relevant to the individual but one thing we can learn about this celebration is that nearly every object holds a symbolic meaning.

The flower “cempasúchil”IMG_9462 or in English, the marigold, is known for its powerful scent and vivid bright yellow color. There is much speculation regarding the purpose of this flower. However, the common belief derives from the ancient Aztecs, who believed the bright yellow represented the sun, and that the flower could guide the deceased in the dark using its petals. Today the flower is used to decorate graves, with its bright color, as well as to guide the spirits of the deceased toward their families during the night.

The previously mentioned pan de muerto or in English, “bread of the dead” represents the human skull. It contains four intersecting protrusions that are shaped liked bones. They are said to represent the four corners of the universe. The circular shape of the bread represents the never-ending cycle between life and death. Finally, one thing you will notice at almost every cemetery when celebrating the Day of the

Dead is a very strong odor.IMG_9463 Copal, a resin made from tropical trees, fill the air with its strong aroma when it burns. “The smell is said to guide the spirits of the dead to their altars and purify them of any evil,” said Javier Peña, a local dancer familiar with Aztec traditions.IMG_9464

Peña explained that although many who attend the Day of the Dead celebration are not familiar with the symbolic meanings, he said, the most important thing to remember and celebrate our dead. “We want our children to remember the importance of our Mexican heritage and, although we no longer live in Mexico, remembering our ancestors is as equally important to us as the relationships we have with the living.” said Francisco’s wife, Fatima Perez. IMG_9223Both have been celebrating this holiday since they were children. The knowledge they have of their ancestors has helped them live better lives, said the Perezes.  Overall, Dia de Los Muertos is a day is to remember loved ones and the lives they lived, and the festival was designed as a celebration of life more so than one of death.



Eylül Yel

Version 2

Eylül Yel

Eylül Yel is a sophomore at the University of Utah. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communication and minoring in International Studies. Eylül currently works at the University of Utah UKids East Village as a classroom assistant.


Eylül is the program director for one of the Bennion Center’s student directed programs, ESL Guadalupe, where she also volunteers as an English tutor for adults with immigrant English status. She volunteers for TEDx University of Utah as the event manager in an effort to help put together a TED Talk at the University of Utah in the upcoming semester.


Eylül can speak English and Turkish fluently and is currently learning Spanish. She has a strong grasp on Microsoft Office. Her interests include photography and cooking.


Eylül plans on graduating in 2020 and hopes to attend graduate school to further extend her knowledge within her field of studies. She is passionate about advertising and public relations and  would like to work in a related field in the future.

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Seeing Salt Lake City through light art and technology

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