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UVU Associate Vice President, Students Participate in United Nations’ International Mountain Day Celebrations

22 December 2014 No Comment

For Immediate Release

University Marketing & Communications: Melinda Colton | 801-863-6807 | melindac@uvu.edu
Written by: Kellene Ricks Adams | 801-863-8504 | KAdams@uvu.edu

Rusty Butler, Utah Valley University’s associate vice president for International Affairs and Diplomacy, participated in the United Nations official commemoration of International Mountain Day (IMD) at UN headquarters in New York City earlier this month. UVU students also participated, for the fifth year in a row, in IMD celebrations on campus focused on raising global awareness of the importance of the sustainable way of life for mountain communities.

“It is a great honor for UVU to be represented at such a high level United Nations event,” Butler said. “It is a recognition of contribution from students and faculty at our school in the promotion of the United Nations agenda of sustainable mountain development.”

Butler participated in a panel discussion entitled “Perspective on Mountains and Sustainable Development in a Post-2015 World.”  The panel featured leading global experts and advocates of the mountain agenda. Butler also spoke about the efforts of UVU students in raising awareness of the issues concerning sustainability for the mountain communities, both locally and globally. He has led the efforts of students and faculty in that area since 2006 when UVU joined the UN’s Mountain Partnership, a coalition of global institutions with focus on promotion of sustainable mountain development (SMD) agenda of the United Nations.

On campus, the Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF), a coalition of student clubs at UVU, hosted an IMD gathering dedicated to family farming. Butler also spoke during this event, which featured academic presentations from Daniel Fairbanks, dean of the University’s College of Science & Health, titled “Quinoa: From the Andes the World’s Most Nutritious Food,” and a panel discussion on family farming featuring Don Earl Albrecht, director of Western Rural Development Center at Utah State University; Carol Ward, associate professor of sociology at Brigham Young University; and Jeff Torlina, associate professor of sociology at UVU. In addition, Michael Minch, director of Peace and Justice Studies at UVU, presented his comprehensive project: Sustainable Mountain Development and Conflict Transformation Global Database, which has engaged students both at UVU and globally. UVU partners Mountain Institute, Gruppman International Music Institute and the City of Orem shared messages, and world-renowned mountain climbers Reinhold Messner and Conrad Anker participated in the gathering.

UIMF is now focused on organizing next year’s International Women of the Mountains conference, slated to take place at UVU. For the first time the committee will be mainly composed and run by students, who will host the conference with support from faculty and advisers.

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Rusty Butler

Rusty Butler

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