Thirty-five graduating seniors were honored with Gold Axe awards at a reception on Tuesday night.
Thirty-five graduating seniors were honored with Gold Axe awards at a reception on Tuesday night.


Graduates win Gold Axe Awards, President’s Prizee Four graduating seniors were awarded the prestigious President’s Prize for their exemplary leadership, academic excellence and service to the NAU community. The awards were announced at the Gold Axe awards banquet Tuesday night in Ashurst Auditorium, where 35 students also received the coveted Gold Axe Award for their achievements.

The tradition of the Gold Axe Award dates back to 1933, a year after the student body adopted a copper ax as the symbol for Lumberjack athletics. 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.

Erika Brant, finance and business management major, receives the Distinguished College of Business Administration Senior award from President John Haeger, left, and dean Mason Gerety. Brant is also one of four students awarded the prestigious President's Prize.
Erika Brant, finance and business management major, receives the Distinguished College of Business Administration Senior award from President John Haeger, left, and dean Mason Gerety. Brant is also one of four students awarded the prestigious President’s Prize.


Freshman sociology and criminal justice major Chris Duarte was also recognized at the reception where she received the Joseph and Marie Rolle Award for Excellence, a scholarship given annually to students who demonstrate excellence by maintaining a high GPA, remaining involved in their college and participating in student groups.

Here is a list of this year’s Gold Axe award winners. Those with an asterisk also received the President’s Prize.

  • Jaime Aguirre, history
  • *Courtney Baker, public relations and advertising
  • Mary Baker, mathematics and secondary education
  • *Erika Brant, finance and business management
  • Aimee Bridges, elementary education
  • Bobby Brooks, special and elementary education
  • Kevin Buhrer, computer science
  • Kelly Busche, health science secondary education
  • Elanor Butterfield, advertising and public relations
  • Nathan Cagney, marketing
  • Leilani Carreno, Spanish
  • *Mayra Carrillo, hotel and restaurant management
  • Francisca Cruz, marketing
  • Tracy Elledge, public relations
  • Chelsey Gean, marketing
  • Kelly Golob, exercise science
  • Elda Heintze, chemistry
  • BreeAnn Hillman, accounting
  • Lindsey Juillard, economics and finance
  • Jonathan Ketchum, computer science
  • Katherine Klensin, interior design and art history
  • Lesley Lammers, women’s studies
  • *Mathew Lauer, American political studies
  • Heley Lira, international affairs
  • Lynette Lopez, mechanical engineering
  • Jad Lutfi, electrical engineering
  • Michelle Martinez, advertising and photography
  • Erin Mendibles, criminal justice
  • Pietrina Pensabene, criminal justice
  • Heidi Quackenbush, microbiology
  • Lauren Ristig, arts management
  • Ryan Saxby, political science and criminal justice
  • Ana Simental, hotel and restaurant management
  • Shannon Snow, visual communication
  • Kathleen Tiu, biology with emphasis in physiology