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UVU To Celebrate Fourth Annual United Nations International Mountain Day

26 November 2013 No Comment

November 26, 2013

For Immediate Release

University Marketing & Communications: Whitney Wilkinson

Written by: Bob Palais and Baktybek Abdrisaev

Over several days in December, Utah Valley University will hold its fourth celebration of United Nations International Mountain Day by hosting a regional gathering of several institutions from North America under the auspice of Vertex, a nongovernmental organization from Aspen, Colo. The event is free and open to the public.

The activities will begin at the UVU Library auditorium at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 with greetings and welcoming addresses from Mark Petersen, Utah International Mountain Forum vice president; Rusty Butler, UVU Mountain Partnership coordinator and associate vice president for International Affairs & Diplomacy; and Karinjo Devore, founder of the Aspen International Mountain Foundation. The program will include a Native American cultural performance and a violin master class presented via Skype by the Gruppman International Music Institute, a Mountain Partnership member.

“UVU students are proud to host International Mountain Day celebrations with so many VIP guests in attendance,” Peterson said. “This gathering represents one more great step for us in strengthening the community engaged learning approach on an international level, which helps our professional growth and future careers and gives more recognition to UVU globally.”

On Dec. 6, the plenary meeting will be held in the UVU Science Building auditorium from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Andrew Taber, executive director of the Mountain Institute and Karinjo DeVore, who is also a co-director of Vertex will lead participants in a discussion on the importance of sustainable mountain development as an essential part of the U.N. Sustainable Development agenda in 2015 when Millennium Development Goals will expire. The program will include a tribute to the late scholar and international mountain advocate Jane Pratt, a member of the organizing committee for the International Women of the Mountains conferences UVU regularly hosts.

The events will culminate with the celebration of International Mountain Day in the UVU Science Building auditorium on Dec.11. At 6:30 p.m., prominent Utah ophthalmologist-surgeon and mountaineer Geoff Tabin will present a lecture, “Impossible Dreams: Everest and Eradicating World Blindness.” The lecture will be followed by the signing of his book, co-authored with Sanduk Ruit, “Second Suns: Two Doctors and Their Amazing Quest to Restore Sight and Save Lives,” which chronicles the Himalayan Cataract Project, dedicated to establishing sustainable eye care infrastructure in the Himalayas.

“At this time we continue the established tradition of hosting the International Mountain Day by the Utah International Mountain Forum, a coalition of student clubs at UVU,” Butler said. “Our students achieved a number of successes by contributing to the activities of several U.N.-related forums with focus on mountain agenda during 2013.”

Vertex is a coordinator of activities for the North American, Central American and Caribbean regions for the United Nations-affiliated Mountain Partnership, which globally promotes the U.N. Sustainable Development agenda.

The complete agenda and further information about the events may be found at womenofthemountains.org, under “2013 Events.”

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