The President’s Prize, Gold Axe awards and the Distinguished Senior awards for the Class of 2023 were honored at a ceremony on Nov. 14. In a video presentation, President José Luis Cruz Rivera highlighted the accomplishments, service and scholarship of this class as he recognized students from each college, while Provost Karen Pugliesi presented the awards.
“This is one of my favorite events. Not only do I get to brag about our incredible students, but I also get to see the joy on their faces as their names are announced and share in the pride that is literally beaming from the faculty and family who have joined them,” President Cruz Rivera said. “Each of these students is so deserving of the recognition they received, and I—and the university community—am incredibly proud.”
The students came from a pool of applicants selected by the Office of Leadership & Engagement. The program is co-sponsored by the Office of the President, NAU Alumni and ASNAU. This year’s class included 21 Gold Axe winners, including two President’s Prize winners—the highest honor awarded to undergraduate students. Additionally, nine students were honored as Distinguished Seniors of their colleges.
The President’s Prize winners are:
- Beyoncé Bahe (White Mountain Apache), who studied biomedical science and comparative cultural studies, including studying abroad for a year in Japan; won the Cobell and Udall undergraduate scholarships; was a finalist for the Truman Undergraduate Scholarship; and did research on the creation of a vaccine for HIV.
- Rachel Jones-Lord, who studied biomedical science and was an active member of the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH), including receiving awards for her service and scholarship; did research into dung beetles; and executed the Regional Leadership Conference for NRHH.
Distinguished Seniors are: Jacob Kane (The W. A. Franke College of Business); Ali Hussein Mohamed Rabie Elzawahry (NAU Online); Sarah Montoya (College of Education); Andras Deak (College of Arts and Letters); Isabel Córdova (College of Health and Human Services); Claire Asmussen (College of the Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences); Ana Papen-Gould (College of Social and Behavioral Sciences); Loren Larrieu (College of Engineering, Informatics, and Applied Sciences); and Priscilla Ibarra (NAU Yuma).
The standard bearers for each college are: Isabel Córdova (College of Health and Human Services); Daniel Kennedy (College of Engineering, Informatics, and Applied Sciences); Leonardo Chavez (College of Social and Behavioral Sciences); Haylee Kline (College of the Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences); Kristine Hedlund (NAU Yuma); Aimee Rego (The W. A. Franke College of Business); Craig Price (College of Arts and Letters); and Selena Scarnato (College of Education).
Gold Axe winners