In the Spotlight: April 26, 2013

Kudos to these faculty, staff and students

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  • NAU president emeritus Gene Hughes has been named an admiral in the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska, considered the state’s highest honor. The honorary title is bestowed upon individuals by approval of the governor of Nebraska. Hughes joins the ranks of other notable admirals, including George W. Bush, Bill Gates, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, among others. Though not a military rank, admirals have the option of joining the Nebraska Admirals Association, a non-profit organization that promotes “The Good Life” of Nebraska.

    Hughes was NAU’s 12th president and served from 1979-1993. He is a graduate of Nebraska’s Chadron State College, where he was a math professor during the 1950s and ‘60s. Hughes also served as president of Wichita State University from 1993-98, and he recently told NAU News that he was invited to attend college basketball’s Final Four in Atlanta last month as Wichita State played the University of Louisville, where former NAU athletic director under Hughes, Tom Jurich, is vice president and director for Athletics. “With a matchup like that, I can’t lose,” Hughes told Chadron’s alumni magazine.

  • Jim Wilce, professor of anthropology, and Daniela Penickova, humanities instructor, presented at the biennial meetings of the Society for Psychological Anthropology, held earlier this month in San Diego. Wilce presented a paper, titled “Emotion Pedagogies: The Growth and Glocalization of Psy/Spiritual Technologies of the Self,” in a panel he chaired about Spirituality and Self Construction. Penickova presented a paper, titled “Traditional Subsistence and Apache Concept of Self in Relation to Addiction.”
  • Michael Amundson, history professor, presented “The South Kaibab Trail in 3D” at the Environmental and Natural Resources Section of the Arizona State Bar’s annual banquet on April 11 in Phoenix. Amundson’s presentation featured pre-World War II photography by lawyer Clyde A. McCoy.
  • Fred Solop, professor of politics and international affairs, and Emily Schnurr, political science graduate student, presented a paper, titled “From Partisan to Nonpartisan Primaries: The Implications of Election Reform in the 21st Century,” at the Midwest Political Science Association conference this month in Chicago.
  • Constance DeVereaux, senior lecturer of comparative cultural studies, earned a top honor as part of the 79th National Headliner Awards announced this week. DeVereaux’s feature story, “Al-Haj’s Sacred Oud,” which aired on KUYI Hopi Radio, earned first place for the category of Radio Stations Feature and Human Interest Story, All Markets. The awards recognize the best in newspaper, photography, radio, television and online journalism and were founded in 1934 by the Press Club of Atlantic City. Read the full list of awards here.
  • T. Mark Montoya, lecturer of ethnic studies, coauthored with NAU sociology graduate Nathania Garcia, a paper, titled “Indocumentado: The Depoliticization of Migrant and Queer Bodies in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands,” for presentation at the Association for Borderlands Studies annual meetings/Western Social Science Association 55th annual conference in Denver earlier this month.
  • Thomas E. Kolb, professor of forest ecophysiology, wrote about the impact of late-summer drought in 2009 turning off forest carbon balance for a recent article in environmentalresearchweb. The article is titledDrought ‘Turns Off’ Carbon Sequestration in Forests” and can be viewed online.
  • Karen Renner, English lecturer, recently published The ‘Evil Child’ in Literature, Film and Popular Culture, a compilation of multiple authors’ analyses of popular films, television shows and books. Renner wrote the introduction and edited the text, which is available online.
  • SPAC leadership awards
    From left: Cathy Snow, Marcia Warden, Dan Stoffel and Don Carter

    The Service Professional Advisory Council selected two longtime employees to receive its Leadership Award at the annual meeting and mixer. This year’s recipients are Marcia Warden, manager of employee relations and training for Human Resources, and Dan Stoffel, associate director of e-Learning. Warden was nominated by Cathy Snow, associate director of Human Resources, and Stoffel was nominated by Don Carter, director of e-Learning. Both were recognized for their involvement with students and programs, and for their leadership and service to the university.

  • The Commission on Ethnic Diversity awarded three President’s Awards for Ethnic Diversity during its recent Diversity and Equity Awards dinner.
    • The Ethnic Studies Student Ambassadors—and its student members: Alfred Chavez, Sammie Faltermeier, Cheree Ruiz, Brandon Rivera, Sol Serpas-Guardado—received the organizational award.
    • Amy Takenaka-Websdale was honored posthumously with the staff award for her role with the Civic Service Institute and as adviser for the Hawaiian and Asian Pacific Association.
    • T. Mark Montoya, lecturer of ethnic studies, received the faculty award.

    The commission also elected two new co-chairs: Jamie Patton, director of Inclusion and Multicultural Services, and T. Mark Montoya will lead the commission’s efforts for the next two years.

  • Two NAU undergraduate students, both majoring in biomedical sciences, were selected as the winner and runner-up for Student Employee of the Year. Anna Corbett was selected as Student of the Year for her exemplary performance in the e-Learning department where she has worked for more than two years. The award’s runner-up Hannah Heaton has served as a tutor in the Student Learning Center for the last six months.
  • NAU’s Delta Kappa chapter of Tau Sigma, a transfer student honor society, inducted its inaugural members on April 17. Forty-eight students accepted the invitation to be recognized for their academic achievements in their first semester at NAU. Members must maintain a 3.5 or higher GPA. This inaugural group will be responsible for getting the NAU chapter up and running, along with its adviser, Leslie Mitchell, a program coordinator in the Transfer and Commuter Connections office. The chapter will focus on being a resource to other transfer students and on civic engagement in the community.