Gold Axe F2013
Lumberjack pride was worth its weight in gold at a reception Wednesday night where dozens of graduating seniors were recognized for their contributions to Northern Arizona University.

presprizeF13

Twenty-two students received the coveted Gold Axe Award for their achievements, and two students were singled out to receive the university’s highest honor—the President’s Prize. Magali Chavez and Isela Ramirez, pictured at right, were honored for their exemplary leadership, academic excellence and service to the NAU community.

The awards were announced at the Gold Axe and Distinguished Seniors awards banquet at the High Country Conference Center.

The tradition of the Gold Axe Award dates back to 1933, a year after the student body adopted the axe as the symbol for Lumberjack athletics. It was then that NAU adopted the tradition of awarding small gold axe pins to outstanding members of the student body. To this day, the gold axe pin is considered the official emblem of the Associated Students of NAU and is presented each semester to recognize students’ outstanding achievements and distinguished service to the university and the greater community.

Students selected for a Gold Axe Award also are eligible for the President’s Prize, considered the highest student recognition from the university. After reviewing all the Gold Axe nominations, a universitywide committee makes its recommendations to President John Haeger, who then selects the President’s Prize winners.

Also at the reception, six students were named as Distinguished Seniors by their college.

Distinguished SeniorsPictured at right are accountancy major Bradley Randall for the W.A. Franke College of Business; political science major Brian Plonsky for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; university studies/theater and studio art major Elizabeth Savage for University College; biomedical science and chemistry and health pre-professional major Christian Hochhalter for the College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences; elementary and special education major Gabrielle (Elle) Bittner for the College of Education;  and elementary Spanish education major Sally Barnes for the College of Arts and Letters.

Below are this year’s Gold Axe Award winners, along with the NAU faculty or staff member the students named as having the most significant impact on them during their undergraduate career.

Aurelia Acquati

Aurelia Acquati
Journalism
Mary Tolan, School of Communication

Kevin Bertram

Kevin Bertram
Journalism and History
Sandra Kowalski, University Marketing

Alyssa Bute

Alyssa Bute
Psychology
Andrew Walters, Psychology

Magali Chavez

Magali Chavez
International Affairs
Honors Program
Anne Scott, English

Sarah Clinkenbeard

Sarah Clinkenbeard
Nursing
Sally Doshier, School of Nursing

Caia Decker

Caia Decker
Choral Music Education and Piano Performance
Rita Borden, School of Music

Maria DiCosola

Maria DiCosola
Journalism
Rory Faust, School of Communication

Lavender Gee

Lavender Gee
Biology
George Montopoli, NAU-Yuma

Daisy Hernandez

Daisy Hernandez
Elementary and Special Education
Brittany Johnson, Residence Life

Wesley Hunter

Wesley Hunter
Music Education and Instrumental Performance
Jacquelyn Schwandt, School of Music

Nicholas Kutsop

Nicholas Kutsop
Physics and Astronomy
Nadine Barlow, Physics and Astronomy

Nikala Lighty

Nikala Lighty
Exercise Science
Erik Johnson, Admissions

Irene Pallardy

Irene Pallardy
Elementary and Special Education
Honors Program
Sigmund Boloz, College of Education

Elinor Priest

Elinor Priest
Psychology and English
Melikşah Demir, Psychology

Isela Ramirez

Isela Ramirez
Secondary Education Math and Spanish
Honors Program
Barbara Youngs, Honors

Melanie Schwander

Melanie Schwander
Secondary Education English
Honors Program
Barbara Youngs, Honors

Bryan Sherwood

Bryan Sherwood
Computer Information Systems
Laurel Logan, ITS

Katie Stana

Katie Stana
Environmental Studies
Amanda Loveless, Affirmative Action

Calvina Tsosie

Calvina Tsosie
Speech Language Pathology
Andrea Sequaptewa, Native American Student Services

Zachary Ulibarri

Zachary Ulibarri
Physics and Electrical Engineering
Sheryl Howard, Electrical Engineering

Malia WahinepioEarly Childhood Education Kim Bruno, Athletics

Malia Wahinepio
Early Childhood Education
Kim Bruno, Athletics

Rachel Wang

Rachel Wang
Elementary Education
James Manley, College of Education