Three graduating seniors have been singled out to receive 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 on Wednesday night at the High Country Conference Center, where the three—Rachel Gardner, Kaleigh Martino and Alexander Oden—were among 20 students receiving 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 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 achievement 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 during the ceremony, seven students were named as Distinguished Seniors by their college:

L. Antonia Hernandez Speirs

College of Arts and Letters
L. Antonia Hernandez Speirs
Art History

Lisa Munson

College of Education
Lisa Munson
Special/Elementary Education

Erin Vachon-Vierra

College of Education
Erin Vachon-Vierra
Liberal Studies:
Learning and Pedagogy

Zach Lerner

College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences
Zach Lerner
Mechanical Engineering

Joshua Wansley

College of Health and Human Services
Joshua Wansley
Nursing

Alexander Oden

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Alexander Oden
Psychology

Benjamin Yeh

The W.A. Franke College of Business
Benjamin Yeh
Accounting

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.

 

Meghan Almaas

Meghan Almaas
Public Relations
Cassie Luke
Coordinator, Residence Life

Kristi Andreassen

Kristi Andreassen
Exercise Science
Richard Coast
Biology Professor

Cecile Banks

Cecile Banks
Exercise Science
Pauline Entin
Associate Dean, CEFNS

Ryan Carle

Ryan Carle
Secondary Education, Music
John Masserini
Assistant Professor of Clarinet

Megan Fredrick

Meagan Fredrick
Special/Elementary Education, Psychology
Jamie Whelan
Lecturer, Educational Specialties

Rachel Gardner

Rachel Gardner
Biology
Chuck Eade
RHD, McKay Village

Kaleigh Martino

Kaleigh Martino
Preforensics, Criminology
Glenn Hansen
Honors
Georgia Totress
Residence Life

David McNeill

David McNeill
Exercise Science
Chris Baldi
Assistant Professor, Biology

Samantha Mitchell

Samantha Mitchell
Music Education
Louise Scott
Music Professor

Ian Montanye-McRee

Ian Montanye-McRee
Management/Computer Information Systems
Susan Williams
Associate Professor
Richard Toeniskoetter
IT Systems Manager
The W.A. Franke College
of Business

Alexander Oden

Alexander Oden
Psychology
Ann Huffman
Associate Professor, Psychology

Monica Pirshafiey

Monica Pirshafiey
Health Sciences/Surgical Technology
Gary Witt
Communication Instructor

Levi Sikkema

Levi Sikkema
Finance/Management
Mary Bowers
Senior Lecturer, Management

L. Jane Stewart

L. Jane Stewart
Environmental Science
Mark Aasmundstad
Administrative Associate, School of Earth Science

Christina Suarez

Christina Suarez
Hotel and Restaurant Management
Kathleen Krahn
Lecturer, HRM

Sarah Sylvia

Sarah Sylvia
Early Childhood Education
Pamela Powell
Assistant Professor, Education

Sarah True

Sarah True
Microbiology
Jamie Axelrod
Director, Disability Resources

Jesse Trujillo

Jesse Trujillo
Microbiology
Fernando Monroy
Biology Professor

Patrick Walker

Patrick Walker
Electronic Media and Film
K. Charlie Hicks
Lecturer, Communication

Sherrie Watson

Sherrie Watson
Choral Music Education
Edith Copley
Professor, Choral Studies