In the Spotlight: Apr. 08, 2009

Kudos to these faculty, staff and students

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NAU’s master’s degree program in Clinical Speech Pathology has received accreditation by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. This maximum eight-year accreditation cycle demonstrates the council’s confidence in NAU and the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders to prepare the highest quality speech-language pathologists.

Dennis Tanner and William Culbertson, professors of health sciences, and Stephanie Cotton, lecturer in the health sciences department, have assessed the outcomes of the online Speech-Language Pathology Assistant Program and found that employers value NAU’s online certification program.

Explorers Club
Bill Runyon and Jut Wynne posing with the Explorers Club Flag #139.

Jut Wynne, a doctoral student in biology and cave research scientist with Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research, was given the honor of the Explorers Club Flag Return at the Explorers Club annual dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. He addressed a crowd of more than 1,000 people on the importance of inventorying and monitoring cave biodiversity in the face of global climate change. TheExplorers Club flag represents a history of accomplishment and has been carried on hundreds of expeditions since 1918. For an update on Wynne’s recent adventures in the Grand Canyon visit his blog.

Larry MacPhee, associate director at the e-Learning Center, recently published “Learning Spaces: A Tutorial” in Educause Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 1. The article features photos, analysis, resources and advice on how to design effective formal and informal teaching and learning spaces.

Seated is Marie Ohler-Baker, an NAU communication professor assigned to the GCC campus since the 2+2 program started in 2006. Standing is Norma Peru-Ray, an NAU 2+2 program coordinator also assigned to GCC.

Glendale Community College’s Innovation of the Year Award has been given to GCC’s Department of Communication and World Languages for its project, “GCC/NAU Communiversity: Seamless Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication.” Norma Peru-Ray, professor of communication, and Marie Baker-Ohler, speech communication lecturer, have been working with the NAU 2+2 program at GCC campus. The program offers students a seamless community college-university degree path offered completely on the GCC campus. The award winner will be announced Tuesday, April 14, at Rio Salado Community College.

Aregai Tecle, professor of forestry, was given the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science’s Outstanding Service Award at its annual meeting in Tucson last week. Since first becoming a member in 1999, Tecle has provided extensive service to the society, serving as its president, member of the governing board, associate editor of its journal and as an active supporter of its student Grants-in-Aid program.

Hopi by Sam Minkler


Sam Minkler, associate professor of photography, had a photo featured at the photography conference, “Visual Sovereignty,” at the University of California, Davis on April 4 and 5. The conference featured more than 30 of the world’s foremost American Indian, Australian Aborigine and New Zealand Maori photographers. Minkler’s photo is featured on the conference’s web site and will be published in a book of images.

Donelle Ruwe, associate professor of English, delivered a paper on aesthetics and 18th-century nature books at the 18th and 19th Century British Women Writer’s Association Conference at the University of Iowa last week. She led a special session workshop at the conference about contemporary literary criticism and an epic poem. Ruwe also received a 2009 Children’s Literature Association Faculty Research Grant, which will support the purchase of materials and photographic images for her book on the early history of children’s literature.

The following NAU faculty and students presented their work at the 40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston last month:

  • Nadine Barlow, associate professor of physics and astronomy and director of the NAU Space Grant Program, gave a poster presentation on “Martian central pit craters: Summary of northern hemisphere results.”
  • Nathalia Alzate, graduate student in physics and astronomy, gave a poster presentation, “Analysis of central pit craters on Ganymede and implications for pit formation models.”
  • Circe Verba, graduate student in geology, gave an oral presentation on “Comparative analysis of Martian dust devil track morphologies in Gusev and Russell Craters.”
  • Eric Betz, junior physics and astronomy major, gave a poster presentation on “Determining the heights and distributions of Swiss cheese features on Mars south polar residual cap using photoclinometry.”
  • Rebekah DeVries, junior physics major, gave a poster presentation on “Central pit craters in the southern hemisphere of Mars.”
  • Richard Nava, junior geographic information science major, gave a poster presentation, “Using distributional characteristics of superposed large-scale crater clusters as temporal indicators of geologic processes.”
  • Priyanjoli Mukherjee, senior physics and astronomy major, gave a poster presentation on “A catalog of impact craters on Ganymede.”