Conceived by Utah artist Tom Holdman and Utah Valley University President Matthew S. Holland, Roots of Knowledge combines the work and guidance of 40+ professional artists, 26 UVU scholars, and more than 350 UVU students, as well as Roots Media, which is filming a documentary of the project.
Matthew S. Holland, President of Utah Valley University
Matthew S. Holland is the President of Utah Valley University, where he has been serving since June of 2009. Before assuming his current position, President Holland was an associate professor of political science at Brigham Young University, where he taught courses in political philosophy and American political thought. His scholarly research on how ideals of Christian charity influenced the development of American political life garnered national attention. Previously while studying at Brigham Young University, he was awarded the Raoul Wallenberg Scholarship in 1991 for a year of graduate study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He served as chief of staff for the top executive of the international consulting firm Monitor Group, and later as special assistant to then-Governor Michael O. Leavitt before going on to earn his master’s degree and Ph.D. in political science at Duke University. He won Princeton University’s James Madison Fellowship in 2005, and in 2007, his book, Bonds of Affection: Civic Charity and the Making of America, was published by Georgetown University Press. Despite many administrative demands at UVU, President Holland remains active in his academic discipline, publishing and guest lecturing at universities such as Harvard, Notre Dame, and Oxford.
Thomas E. Holdman, Stained Glass Artist and CEO, Holdman Studios
As an aspiring artist, Tom Holdman started Holdman Studios in 1988 in his parents’ garage. He has since created stained glass displayed in all 50 states and worldwide for commercial buildings, private residences, and public art features. Tom’s creations are also found in many religious institutions, including 40 Catholic, Mormon, and Protestant Sanctuaries. Holdman is the recipient of The Best of State Statue Award, the Governor’s Visual Artist Award, and the Star Award. He also founded The Art Institute at Thanksgiving Point, Utah. Born with a severe stutter, Tom turned to art glass as a creative outlet where he could communicate most freely. Through the influence of his father, a photographer, and the teachers who nurtured him throughout his school years in Utah, he was encouraged to explore stained glass and thus found his calling. With virtually no established stained glass artists in the state, Tom decided at age 21 he would spend his life specializing in the art form and creating something where there had been nothing. His studio now occupies an area in Utah that 20 years ago was farmland and perhaps best known for serving as the backdrop to the 1984 film Footloose. Today, he employs 41 artists and creators in Lehi, Utah, and Ensenada, Mexico.
R. Cameron Oscarson, Head Artist, Holdman Studios
Cameron Oscarson, a native of Utah, developed his skills as an artist at a young age and attended Dixie State College on scholarship, then Brigham Young University, receiving a BFA with an emphasis in painting and drawing. He joined Holdman Studios in 2003, and his natural artistic ability has been invaluable to the studio’s accomplishments and projects, including Roots of Knowledge. As an award-winning artist himself, Oscarson has worked on many of his own creative endeavors, including illustrations for children’s books and other commissioned works.
For Holdman and Oscarson, Roots of Knowledge is a culminating accomplishment of their lifetime devotion to crafting glass art.
Ross S. Wolfley, Corporate Counsel and Project Manager, Holdman Studios
Since 2012, Ross Wolfley has served as the Corporate Counsel for Holdman Studios and as Project Manager of the Roots of Knowledge project. Prior to joining Holdman Studios, Wolfley worked in the media industry for 15 years as a COO and Corporate Counsel, and also co-founded Alpine Studios, Inc., a video game and entertainment company. He is an active member of the Utah State Bar, having received his Juris Doctorate from J. Reuben Clark Law School where he graduated Cum Laude. Ross served eight years in the United States Air Force as a T-37 instructor pilot and NATO F-111f fighter pilot. He worked for WordPerfect Corporation as Director of Marketing and Director of Channel Marketing.
Lee Groberg, Director/Producer, Roots Media/Groberg Films
Renowned filmmaker Lee Groberg will direct and produce a four-part docudrama film series about the Roots of Knowledge project, titled “Roots of Knowledge: Man’s Enduring Quest.” The development and construction of the stained-glass window wall will be included in the series to air on PBS and BBC. An award-winning filmmaker with over 20 years of experience in the production of historical television documentaries, director and producer Lee B. Groberg has an impressive filmography and a growing list of accolades from the film and television industry. Groberg received his MBA in international business management in 1977 but found his greater love in documentary filmmaking. He began his film career in 1984, producing industrial films. His first foray into documentary filmmaking began in 1987 when he co-produced a film with NHK Television in Japan. In the 25 years since that documentary, Groberg has produced numerous films, mostly for PBS Television and BYUtv, including “American Gunmaker,” “Treasure House,” “Trail of Hope,” “American Prophet,” “Sacred Stone,” “America’s Choir,” “Sweetwater Rescue,” “Fires of Faith,” and “First Freedom.”
Kate McPherson, Honors Program Director and Professor of English, UVU
Kate McPherson, who joined the UVU faculty in 2000, is a Professor of English and teaches English Renaissance literature, including courses on Shakespeare, on campus and regularly on UVU’s London Study Abroad program. An award-winning educator, McPherson is co-editor of the Shakespeare Life & Times section of the Internet Shakespeare Editions and is also Resident Scholar for the Grassroots Shakespeare Company, an original practices performance troupe begun by two UVU students. As head of the University’s Honor Program, McPherson was instrumental in arranging for UVU students to work as interns on the Roots of Knowledge project, as well as working with the English department faculty to provide content, research, and editorial assistance.
Wayne Hanewicz, Director of Integrated Studies
Wayne Hanewicz is a Professor and the Chair of Integrated Studies and a Professor of Philosophy at Utah Valley University, where he also teaches faculty and within the Honors Program. He has disciplinary specialties in Buddhism, Psychology and Psychoanalysis, Thinking, and Science. He received his Ph.D from the University of Michigan and has dual majors in Classical Political Theory and Philosophy, and dual minors in Personality Theory and Psychiatry. He has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of Wisconsin, Montana State University, Florida International, Wayne State University, Eastern Michigan University, and Michigan State University. A member of the Roots of Knowledge scholar committee, Hanewicz provided intellectual input for the project, ensuring its cultural and historical accuracy, as well as consulted on the documentary being filmed by Lee Groberg.
Anne Arendt, Assistant Professor in Technology Management
Anne Arendt has been at UVU since 2004, when she started as an adjunct instructor. She is currently an Assistant Professor in Technology Management and most often teaches courses including Technology and Human Life, Introduction to Technology Management, Marketing and Distribution, Senior Capstone, and the Fundamentals of Technology. She has a particular interest in self-directed learning, open educational resources, and distance learning, as well as in web and application development. She has worked in and around distance education and related technologies for over 15 years including in a number of management positions. She has received an Ed.D. from Utah State University, an MBA from the University of Minnesota, an MS from Walden University, and a BA from the University of Minnesota. As head of the Roots of Knowledge scholar committee, Arendt ensured the project’s accuracy as well as provided project management assistance.