Roy Utley — cancer survivor, speaker, artist, systems analyst, and veteran — his eclectic desire to learn lead to a series of mentors that started at a very early age.
As a child of the “space age” his old school geekdom was born from his passion for rockets, space flight and electronics. He still have the original 1964 Tesla Coils issue of Popular Electronics. After reading that issue he knew he fell in love with science and never stopped experimenting.
In high school he took courses at the University of Cincinnati, and spent many hours hacking into their computer system from the engineering college to learn programming. He also volunteered at the psychology department gentling rats and running them through some experiments in Skinner boxes. He later bounced from college to college volunteering on various research projects. Later he was accepted into a residency at the Saint Thomas Institute for Advanced Study (Institutum Divi Thomae). A small graduate school in Cincinnati that focused on cancer research. An institute established by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati that was designed to establish a science-religion relationship in an operational institutional setting,
He later joined the US Air Force as an avionic navigation systems specialists stationed at Andrews Air Force base in Washington DC he worked on everything from B52’s to Air Force One. Later he joined the Library of Congress where he was a systems analyst and designed and maintained environmental monitoring systems for American treasures and later he became the chief of the ITS Congressional Research Service R&D group.
In 2008, as a challenge, he decided that he would try his hand at being an artist, so he started making art, showing it and curating shows. In 7 years he went from zero shows to having more that 120 gallery shows and 5 film festivals under his belt. He discovered that watching your film in a theater on 40 foot wide screen with a live audience is an amazing feeling. After the premiere and Q&A of one of his films at the AFI Silver Theater he felt so alive (it was so exhilarating and rewarding) that he was sure that he was on a path to happiness.
His joy was later stalled when in 2016 he was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. Fortunately the chemo knocked the cancer on it on its butt for now and hopefully for a very long time. He found that, cancer has been a mixed curse and blessing because facing death can be incredibly liberating, enlightening and humbling. (Click here to see a short video Roy made of his last day of chemo)
Update: In August 2017 Roy attended the Annual American Psychological Association’s conference in Washington DC. There he met Dr. Gregory Sims, a founder of Division 48 : Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict and Violence: Peace Psychology Division of the APA. Roy is now a Professional Affiliate of the Society and proud to say a friend of Gregory.