In the Spotlight: April 29, 2010

Kudos to these faculty, staff and students

Do you have a spotlight item to share with the NAU community?

E-mail your announcements to

  • Lori Poloni-Staudinger, assistant professor of politics and international affairs, presented a keynote talk at the Altenmarkt Conference for American Studies in Altenmarkt im Pongau, Austria, April 22-25, titled, “The Transatlantic Alliance in the 21st Century: Closer Together or Further Apart?”
  • Matt Casado, a professor in the Hotel and Restaurant Management program, had the article “Including Foreign Language in the Higher Education Professional Curriculum” published in The Language Educator. The paper argues that monolingual American business people may find themselves at a disadvantage in the global economy and offers a model to incorporate a language in higher education professional programs.
  • Two faculty members, seven graduate students and two recent graduates participated at the Western Social Science Association’s annual meeting in Reno, Nev. April 15-18. Communication professors Dayle Hardy-Short and Brant Short served as leaders for the Human Communication section of meeting and planned the 2010 panels that featured paper presentations from the following graduate students in the applied communication program:
    • Tracie Hansen received an honorable mention in the association’s graduate student paper competition for her paper, “‘Live from New York’: How One Late-Night Comedy Sketch Furthers Stereotypes of Women in Politics.” Hansen also presented “This Old Man: The Shared Meaning of New Hampshire’s ‘Great Stone Face.’”
    • Emily Borthwick presented “Sydney Bristow, The Perfect Corporate Role Model: An Analysis of ‘Alias.’”
    • Diana Cudeii presented “The Narrative Approach of Native American Woman Leader, Annie Dodge Wauneka: ‘I’ll go and do more.’”
    • Anthony R. Cuttitta presented “‘Eco-terror’ as Ideograph.”
    • Thomas Gariepy presented “Minuteman Rhetoric: The Language of Today’s Nativism.”
    • Kevin Snyder presented “A Voice Crying Out in the Wilderness: Barack Obama’s Global Jeremiad,” and also “Aristotle, EPPM, and Armageddon: The Effectiveness of Fear Appeals in Al Gore’s Documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’”
    • Sahar Razavi, a graduate student in political science, presented “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: Gender and Sexuality in Modern Iran.”
    • Rachel Oertel, who received her master’s in applied communication in 2009, presented “The Hillary Clinton Army: A Case Study of Voter Involvement, Repersonalizing Campaigns and Visual Rhetoric in Politics.”
    • Patricia A. Keesee, a graduate of the applied communication program, presented “The Influence of Attachment Styles on Responses to Dissatisfaction, and Relationship Disengagement Strategies in Romantic Relationships,” which she coauthored with NAU communication professor Laura Umphrey and John Sherblom, communication professor from the University of Maine.
  • Alicyn Gitlin, a doctoral student in biology, took the second place award of $300 in a Science Foundation Arizona competition in which graduate students were to show the relevance of their research in everyday applications. Gitlin’s work is directed toward “Building Sustainable Riparian Habitats by Planting Trees Adapted to the Future,” and was one of 50 projects submitted by graduate research fellows and chosen by a community panel of judges at an annual meeting in Phoenix earlier this month.
  • Four faculty members and 14 undergraduate NAU/NASA Space Grant research interns participated at the annual Arizona Space Grant Symposium April 16 and 17 in Tucson, which drew 111 students from NAU, ASU, U of A and Embry Riddle who presented the results of their research projects. Nadine Barlow, director of the NAU/NASA Space Grant program, served at moderator for the Planetary Science session, and David Trilling, assistant director of the program, served as moderator for the Astronomy and Space Physics session. Mentors David Cornelison, chair of Physics and Astronomy, John Neuberger, associate professor of mathematics, and David Portree and Rose Hayward of the USGS, also attended the symposium. The presenting students were:
    • Eric Betz, senior journalism, physics and astronomy major, presented “Science Journalism in the 21st Century.” Mentor: Randy Wilson, Arizona Daily Sun
    • Sam Coleman, junior geology major, presented “Age Estimate for Martian Dunes Based on Possible Impact Feature.” Mentor: Roslyn Hayward, USGS
    • Kirsten Davis, junior mathematics major, presented “Newton’s Method for Partial Differential Equations.” Mentor: John Neuberger, associate professor of mathematics
    • Charlie Katerba, junior mathematics and astronomy major, presented “Hadamard Matrices, Their Constructions and Generalizations.” Mentor: Jeff Rushall, senior lecturer of mathematics and statistics
    • Kendra Kellogg, junior physics and astronomy major, presented “A Census of Young Binary Stars and Their Properties.” Mentor: Lisa Prato, Lowell Observatory
    • Christine Kuhlman, senior electrical engineering major, presented “Hardware Accelerator for Efficient Error-Correcting Code Testing.” Mentor: Liz Brauer, professor of electrical engineering and computer science
    • Bryan LaBore, junior biomedical science major, presented “Identifying Genes that Confer Resistance to Ultraviolet Radiation in the Unicellular Alga Chlamydomonas.” Mentor: Karen VanWinkle-Swift, Regents’ Professor of biological sciences
    • Ryan McPeck, junior mathematics major, presented “Newton’s Method for Partial Differential Equations.” Mentor: John Neuberger, associate professor of mathematics
    • Tasha Riddels, senior history/anthropology major, presented “Saving Space: Preserving and Promoting Historic NASA Documents and Images in the USGS Astrogeology Branch.” Mentor: David Portree, USGS
    • Beth Schreck, senior geology major, presented “Complex Cinder Cone Eruptive Styles at O’Neill Crater, San Francisco Volcanic Field, Arizona.” Mentor: Nancy Riggs, professor of geology
    • Gregory Strang, senior physics and mathematics major, presented “Development of a Portable Near Infrared Spectrometer.” Mentor: Randy Dillingham, professor of physics and astronomy
    • Zachary Thompson, senior physics and mathematics major, presented “Visible Wavelength Spectroscopy in Methane-Argon Ices.” Mentor: David Cornelison, chair of Physics and Astronomy
    • Kimberly Ward Duong, junior physics, mathematics and astronomy major, presented “Detecting Exoplanets and Exomoons with the Lutz o.5-Meter Telescope.” Mentor: Stephen Tegler, professor of physics and astronomy
    • Colleen Watling, senior geology major, presented “The Geologic History of Mars.” Mentors: Nadine Barlow, associate professor of physics and astronomy, and Ken Tanaka, USGS