Another NAU Homecoming in the books! From the downtown pep rally, student bonfire and carnival, homecoming day parade and football game, here’s a look back at last weeks festivities.
At the age when most kids start learning to read, how to ride a bike without training wheels and how to color inside the lines, 6-year-old Roy DuPrez had his first drink.
Growing up in Venice Beach, it wasn’t uncommon for kids to try alcohol at a young age. Most of DuPrez’s friends started drinking in elementary school, and in third grade, he found himself discreetly filling his lunch thermos with Lancers wine—he was addicted. For the next 17 years, alcohol would consume his life.
Unlike a lot of his friends, DuPrez was a functioning alcoholic. Though not necessarily sober, he managed to graduate high school, and moved to Flagstaff to pursue a degree in Spanish with a minor in Latin American Studies at Northern Arizona University.
The partying continued through his college years, and for the first time, he felt the negative effects excessive drinking was having on his life.
“I felt like I was being left behind,” he said. “I didn’t see myself growing and developing as a person, and no one was to blame but myself and the bad decisions I had been making.”
It wasn’t until after graduating from NAU with a master’s in education that he made the conscious decision to change his life. He had his last drink at the age of 26.
With sobriety came the age-old question: Now what?
DuPrez spent the six years of his studies falling in love with Flagstaff. He knew he wanted to stay, but wasn’t sure what to do. He got into real estate for a while, then academic development, then tried roasting coffee, but nothing seemed to leave him fulfilled. Even before getting sober, he enjoyed community service and liked the idea of a career that allowed him to help others. Now, nearly nine years sober, he felt he was ready to pursue one.
After what I had been through, I realized I had a lot to offer young adult men struggling with substance abuse. Starting a recovery program seemed like a no-brainer.
Through his own struggles with sobriety, he realized there was a market not being addressed—a long-term, active, organic, genuine recovery program. He wanted to build something that combined his passion for the outdoors with the 12-step recovery process in a long-term sober living environment where people could not only get sober, but learn to live in sobriety.
Thus, Back2Basics Outdoor Adventure Recovery (B2B) was born.
“B2B offers so much more than sobriety. It offers individuals the opportunity to explore the outdoors; pursue an education and learn life skills; engage in individual and group therapy and counseling; learn about nutrition and how to cook; and grow stronger mentally and physically. It teaches people how to be the best versions of themselves.”
B2B is a six-month program, with the option of joining the Beyond the Basics program upon completion that lasts another six months. DuPrez believes this alternative approach to the typical 30-day treatment model allows residents time to adjust to living in sobriety, which means they will be less likely to relapse after they graduate from the program.
It was that same thinking that drew Ryan to B2B. After struggling with drug addiction, Ryan and his mother looked into rehab options. They narrowed it down to several different programs, but after doing their homework, decided B2B was the best option because of its longer-than-normal program.
“I knew with over a decade of using in my hometown, I needed as long as I could to get away from that.”
Open to young adult males ages 18-30 who struggle with substance abuse, the program has had nearly 200 men successfully complete the program in the nine years it has been operating.
The reason his program has been so successful? DuPrez believes it is, in part, because of this community. His residents are able to choose from more than 200 12-step meetings Flagstaff offers each week, and stay active in the community by volunteering at Grand Canyon Youth, Habitat for Humanity, the food bank and homeless shelter. After they graduate, many of them choose to stay—DuPrez has worked with several businesses in Flagstaff, like Late for the Train, Fat Olives, Salsa Brava and Josephine’s American Bistro to provide former residents jobs.
“There’s an awesome community here in Flagstaff, not just in our B2B community, but in the 12-step community here as well,” said Ryan, former B2B resident who now lives and works in Flagstaff. “I know what’s back home. I know all the wrong people and all the wrong places—going back to that would be a disaster. I’ve built such a strong foundation here in Flagstaff, and there’s really no reason to leave.”
In addition to what the town offers, DuPrez has maintained a close connection with NAU. Not only do his residents often attend the university part-time while they’re enrolled in the program, or full-time after they graduate, but DuPrez will often guest lecture in classes about life as an addict in hopes of preventing others from following in his footsteps. He also helps produce a weekly KJACK radio show with former B2B resident Matthew Jarecki, where each week, guest speakers and parents of addicts talk about the role addiction has played in their lives.
DuPrez realizes not everyone is going to enjoy culinary, be into the outdoor trips—that include mountain biking, snowboarding, surfing and river rafting—or allow themselves to open up in therapy, but his program was built to offer a variety of ways to sobriety in hopes that something clicks.
At the end of the day, what gets them sober doesn’t matter, so long as something does.
This year, DuPrez is celebrating his 17th year of sobriety, Ryan his third and Jarecki his fifth.
Carly Banks | NAU Communications
(928) 523-5582 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Phishing attacks happen at NAU almost every day. A recent attempt earlier this month resulted in many people entering their credentials on a fraudulent site, putting their accounts and the entire university at risk. Since October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, Information Technology Services would like to remind you of the tools in place to automatically detect phishing scams and fraudulent emails before they reach your inbox. Because the attacks shift, adapt and become more sophisticated every day, we need you to provide the extra layer of security when phishing attacks reach your inbox.
Is this email a phish? Should I open this attachment? If in doubt, stop and call the Solution Center at (928) 523-1511. Be cautious when emails contain attachments asking you to click.
Let your mouse hover over the link before you click. If you see anything suspicious in the web address, do not click!
Instead of clicking a link in an email, even if it looks familiar, type the URL of the main site into a web browser and navigate to where you need to go.
Many groups on campus are already using Two-Step Verification as an added layer of security for sites that require your NAU login, such as LOUIE/PeopleSoft and BbLearn. Sign up today at id.nau.edu.
Even on a Friday afternoon or a Saturday night, ITS is available to help. We would rather answer an “is this a phish?” call than a “my account has been compromised” call.
Solution Center: (928) 523-1511
Submit a Service Now ticket: nau.edu/servicenow
Report potential phishing emails at nau.edu/phishing.
It all started with a teddy bear.
Then raising and keeping pets, going hunting with his dad and realizing he was the only ‘90s kid whose bedroom walls were covered in posters of Jack Hanna, Steve Irwin and Jeff Corwin, instead of Tony Hawk, Kelly Kapowski and The Ninja Turtles—Dave O’Connell was destined to work with animals.
He also was destined to attend Northern Arizona University—both his parents are alumni and met at the university, and he followed suit.
He spent five years earning a bachelor’s degree in biology, with an emphasis in fish and wildlife management. He learned as much as he could about animals, which only fueled his passion to pursue working with them as a career. But in addition to his education and arguably more important, he lived.
“Adventure, friends, fun, heartbreak, love, hard work, disappointment—all in a safe place for me to experience these things,” he said. “If it wasn’t for the education I received and life experiences I left NAU with, I wouldn’t be even close to where I am at today. Shoot! If it wasn’t for NAU, I wouldn’t have met my wife!”
He, quite literally, followed in his parent’s footsteps.
Since graduating in 2011, O’Connell has worked at several zoos and wildlife refuges throughout Arizona—most recently, Bearizona Wildlife Park, a 160-acre drive-through nature reserve 30 miles outside of Flagstaff in Williams.
After nearly three years working at the park, he has his morning routine down to a science—wake up at 6:30 a.m., brush his teeth, throw on his Bearizona sweatshirt, grab the lunch his wife made for him, then be out the door by 7 a.m. to head to work. What was often unknown, and in one particular instance completely unexpected, was what the rest of his day would look like.
Some days it would consist of managing the rebuild of a fence after a 2,400-pound American bison in rut got overly aggressive; others involved training Cloe, the two-pound fennec fox to turn in circles and touch her nose to a ball; giving shots to Nacho and Libre, the 150-pound leopard siblings and newest park members; or mapping out new, bigger and better enclosures for Bearizona’s 160 North American inhabitants—a number that is constantly growing.
“I am lucky to work at such a great place because pretty much every day I wake up, I am excited to go to work. There is always something new for me to learn about and do.”
One summer morning, however, brought something O’Connell never expected—a new meaning to the word “lucky.”
A Lucky story
At 6 a.m. on June 10, as the sun rose in the east, the forest and the wildlife in it slowly woke.
A driver traveling down the stretch of Interstate 40 between Flagstaff and Williams didn’t notice the large elk step onto the pavement. The quiet morning filled with cricket chirps and bird songs was abruptly interrupted with the screeching of SUV tires and crumpling of metal. The elk never did make it to the other side of the road. The unfortunate accident ended in a life lost, and traumatized driver, fortunately with only minor injuries.
But unlike most of the animal deaths that occur along the highway, the story does not end here.
Before the elk carcass was removed, leaving no trace of what happened, another driver traveling on the same stretch of road noticed something moving off the side of the interstate. Most wouldn’t have thought anything of it and continued toward the horizon ahead, but something told Brenda Clark to pull over.
What she found left her in disbelief—a newborn calf, covered in blood and goo, lying next to what she presumed to be its dead mother.
Clark had seen newborn goats before, thanks to her kids’ involvement with 4-H Club, and she knew right away this creature had not been out of the womb long.
She began to connect the dots and consider the unimaginable: the impact of the vehicle not only caused the death of the then-pregnant elk, but the trauma also induced labor.
“I knew something had to be done pretty quickly or it wouldn’t survive,” Clark told the Arizona Republic.
She called Arizona Game and Fish for guidance, who directed her to Bearizona Wildlife Park—though the park officials had never dealt with a trauma like this, owner Sean Casey promised he would do everything he could to help the calf. Clark wrapped the 30-pound elk in sheets and blankets she found in her RV, then headed to Willams to deliver her. Before dropping her off, the Clark family made one request—that the calf be named Lucky.
Whether or not she would live up to her name was yet to be determined.
When the calf showed up, she was pretty beat up and barely alive. There was no expectation of her surviving—only hope.
The on-call park veterinarian did everything he could, performing extensive surgery and using more than 30 staples to secure the gaping wounds that covered the calf’s body. Her survival was out of his hands.
The first week was the most crucial. Though the park closed at 4 p.m., O’Connell and the rest of the animal staff had to provide around-the-clock care. They took turns taking the calf home, waking up every three hours to bottle feed her.
“It made for a long week,” said O’Connell, director of Animal Staff. “We talked with our vet often to make sure we were doing as much as we could do to give her the best chance of survival.”
Lucky survived the first week. And the week after. And the week after that, growing stronger each day.
“As you can imagine, that is not an easy way to enter this world. But now, she is a big, happy healthy elk calf with quite the personality.”
Today, Lucky is a 120-pound 4-month-old, and it’s safe to say she is well-deserving of her name. Fading scars and several small bald spots are the only evidence of her tragic introduction to life on Earth.
Despite putting up walls in hopes of not getting too attached to any of the animals, O’Connell and Lucky have grown close—their bond is obvious when he stops by her enclosure to pay a visit.
He can count on one hand the number of animals he’s gotten especially attached to over the years: Jack, one of the park’s biggest black bears, and Lucky.
“When she’s old enough, Lucky will eventually be introduced to the other elk at the park,” O’Connell said. “It’s part of my job to make sure the animals are healthy, happy and well taken care of.”
To make sure of this, he plans to be by her side for the rest of her long, lucky life.
Bearizona Wildlife Park, which offers a 20-acre walk-through area in addition to the drive-through portion, is open to the public 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Lucky can be seen in an enclosure with her best animal friend Hot Jesse, a pronghorn named after her rescuer, NAU alumnus Jesse Baker. Baker and O’Connell would like to remind readers of the importance of keeping wildlife wild—if you encounter what appears to be an abandoned baby animal in the wild, know that more often than not, the mother is nearby, so leave the baby alone. More information including admission costs to Bearizona can be found online.
Carly Banks | NAU Communications
(928) 523-5582 | email@example.com
Northern Arizona University will conduct a semiannual test of its full emergency notification system starting at 10:18 a.m. Oct. 18 as part of the Great ShakeOut, a nationwide earthquake preparedness drill. Please take some time to familiarize yourself with these procedures in case of an earthquake: https://www.shakeout.org/dropcoverholdon/
The university’s notification system includes text messaging through NAU Alert, priority email, information on the NAU home page, posts on Twitter and Facebook, and a recorded message on the NAU Now Line. Callers may reach the NAU Now Line at (928) 523-0007. The university also will broadcast messages and sirens via speaker-equipped Blue Emergency Phones throughout campus.
NAU Alert subscribers will receive two texts: one to announce the test and the second to conclude it. No action is required of individuals during the test.
Faculty, staff and students who are not enrolled in NAU Alert may sign up to receive text messages that notify subscribers of emergencies on campus and interruptions in operations. Registration is available online for up to three phone numbers per user. Text message and data rates from your mobile phone company may apply.
Faculty and staff who are registered for NAU Alert and do not receive text messages during the test should contact the ITS Solution Center at (928) 523-1511 or Ask-ITS@nau.edu.
Students who are registered and do not receive text messages should contact the Student Technology Center at (928) 523-9294 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The statewide toll-free number is (888) 520-7215.
The Family Violence Institute at Northern Arizona University is one of three sites selected for a grant intended to increase the availaibity of legal services to rural crime victims.
The grant came from the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI), which received a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) to increase access to legal services for rural crime victims leveraging innovative, technological approaches combined with training, outreach and community partnerships.
A core aspect of that project includes NCVLI granting three direct service locations in rural communities. Following a competitive selection process, during which NCVLI received applications from 21 states, NCVLI selected the Family Violence Institute, which will operate in Santa Cruz County, along with Montana Legal Services Association and the South Carolina Victim Assistance Network.
“This project is truly exciting both because each site will uniquely leverage technology to help victims in their communities, and because together we can advance the intersection of law and technology to improve victim services,” said Meg Garvin, executive director of NCVLI.
The Family Violence Institute, led by Kathleen Ferraro, Neil Websdale and Ray Chaira, received the $750,000, two-year Sustainable Technology Resources & Interventions for Victim Empowerment (STRIVE) grant to help support the development and implementation of technological innovations to overcome barriers to safety and justice for crime victims.
“Victims of crime, especially domestic violence, face barriers to seeking safety and justice due to a limited number of service providers, lack of transportation, victim intimidation and immigration concerns,” Ferraro said.
Santa Cruz criminal justice and social service providers agree that crime is underreported and victims often drop out of the criminal justice process. For example, sexual assault is a frequent occurrence for women migrating to the United States from Central and South America, yet only 38 reports of sexual assault were received by the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office and Nogales Police Department between October 2016 and November 2017—12 of which the County Attorney’s Office prosecuted.
Underreporting may reflect worries about immigration status, shame, lack of information about the law (e.g. marital rape is not a crime in some home countries), victim intimidation or reliance on informal sources of support. Providers also agree that domestic violence is underreported due to the fear the victim, their family or their abuser may be deported in addition to the restraints all domestic violence victims confront in reaching out for help.
“The project will be implemented through a local, Spanish speaking coordinator who can support victims and allay their fears of the system and their abusers,” Ferraro said. “We hope that it will empower victims through increased access to culturally relevant services to enhance their safety and enforce their rights as victims.”
STRIVE will provide bilingual tele-legal services for temporary orders of protection, rights enforcement and pro-bono legal intakes and develop a mobile victim app providing easy access to relevant documents and information.
It is anticipated that the sites will begin serving victims under the projects in fall 2019. Up-to-date information on the progress of the project can be found online.