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In partnership with the Civil Society Unit and the Academic Impact Initiative of the United Nations Department of Global Communications


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Wednesday October 5, 2022
16:15pm - 17:15pm SC 206 A,B,C

SDG 6   SDG 7   

SDG 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
SDG 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all


Moderator Kelly Honecker - Water for People


Kelly Honecker is the Director of Principal Gifts at Water For People. In this role she focuses on securing sustaining and significant partnership to fuel the impact and mission of the organization. Kelly is an advocate for sustainable WASH service delivery and ensuring that every household and community around the world can have reliable access to safe water and options for safe sanitation. Kelly lives in Littleton, Colorado, but is originally from Michigan and has her Masters in Social Work from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Kelly has spent over 19 years working in the nonprofit sector with organizations focused on human rights and basic needs. In addition to holding a passion for WASH, Kelly also invests her time in bettering her local community and is a member of the Transportation and Mobility Board for the City of Littleton as well as working with local organizations supporting unhoused populations. The rest of Kelly’s time is absorbed by her two young children, dog, and cat, and some occasional running on the beautiful trails across her city.


Robert Sowby - BYU


Dedicated to advancing sustainable water supply, Dr. Robert B. Sowby is a licensed professional engineer with particular expertise in drinking water systems. He teaches and studies environmental engineering, urban water infrastructure, and sustainability at Brigham Young University. Dr. Sowby studied civil engineering at BYU, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Utah and practiced for 10 years in industry before coming to BYU. His other interests include classical music, mountaineering, business, German literature, and travel.

Carmen Valdez - Healthy Environment Alliance of UT

pCarmen Valdez

Carmen is a double University of Utah graduate, earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science with a minor in Campaign Management and then a Master’s degree in International Affairs and Global Enterprise. Her professional background includes political organizing in Washington D.C. and Utah, as well as local legal work at some of Salt Lake City’s most esteemed law firms. Outside of work, Carmen is still advocating for other causes she cares about. In the last three years, she has not only created the Women’s International Diplomacy Initiative but has volunteered, sat on the board of, and attended national conferences for four separate organizations working on issues like anti-genocide, conflict free sourcing, Latinx leadership, and developmental disabilities. 

Lauren Brooks - UVU


Lauren started focusing on water quality as an undergraduate student evaluating the health of her hometown watershed in Monroe County, West Virginia. Since then, she’s focused her research on improving water quality through the process of microbial source tracking to determine sources of fecal contamination. For the past decade, she has lived in the water-stressed states of Oregon, California, and now Utah, prompting her to consider not only water quality, but also water quantity. With a background in environmental science, ecology, and microbiology, she takes an inter-disciplinary approach to considering ecosystem health as it relates to ensuring sufficient access to clean water for humans and other organisms. As a professor at UVU teaching courses including general biology and microbiology, microbial ecology, environmental biology, and conservation biology, she is passionate about opening the door for the next generation of environmental scientists and biologists.