In the Spotlight: Feb. 14-18

Kudos to these faculty, staff, students and programs

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  • Tina Zecher, evaluation associate for the Center for Science Teaching & Learning, and Nena Bloom, assistant director for the Center for Science Teaching & Learning, received a competitive fellowship award from Advancing Research Impact in Society. Their project, “Let’s Talk: A Framework for Empowering Undergraduates to Advance Research Impacts,” aims to establish evidence-based framework for why undergraduates should engage in communicating research impacts, how to best engage them in this work and how to evaluate student outcomes.
  • Jaime Awe, an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, and anthropology graduate students Jordan Lee and Scott Yost were featured in “Ancient Maya Metropolis,” which premiered on NOVA on Jan. 26. The program investigates dramatic new evidence of the catastrophic droughts and instability that pushed cities beyond their limits. Awe also was selected as the recipient of the Society for American Archaeology’s 2022 Award for Excellence in Latin American and Caribbean Archaeology​. The award is presented annually to an individual who has made a lasting and significant contribution to the practice of archaeology and/or to the construction of archaeological knowledge in Latin America or the Caribbean. Awe will be honored at the organization’s award ceremony on April 1.
  • Christopher W. Schwartz, a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology, is the lead editor of “Birds of the Sun: Macaws and People in the U.S. Southwest and Mexican Northwest,” published by the University of Arizona Press. The book explores the many aspects of macaws, especially scarlet macaws, that have made them important to Native peoples living in this region for thousands of years.
  • Derek Uhey, a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Forestry, recently published a blog on his dissertation research. His blog post and featured video discuss the reputation of harvester ants.
  • Galen Collins, interim associate dean in The W. A. Franke College of Business and professor in the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management, was the lead author on the most recent edition of “Hospitality Information Technology: Learning How to Use It.” This book discusses a variety of information technologies that are transforming hospitality businesses with a special emphasis on restaurant and lodging operations.
  • Zhan (Jen) Xu, an assistant professor in the School of Communication, authored the article “Examining U.S. Newspapers’ Effects on COVID-19 Infection Rates Among Racial/Ethnic Minorities,” published in Health Equity. The article discusses how news exposure to any racial/ethnic group can benefit all minorities and demonstrates the influence of media agenda on public agenda and policy agenda regarding minority health.
  • Former Ph.D. student Carri LeRoy won a U.S. Presidential Award in STEM mentoring from the White House. A livestream of the announcement and celebration aired on Feb. 11.
  • Associate professor Bridget Barker is principal investigator on a collaborative project with the University of California, San Francisco, to study Valley Fever, caused by the fungus Coccidioides. “Molecules and Pathways at the Coccidioides Host-Pathogen Interface” is funded through a grant from the National Institutes of Health. NAU will receive a subaward from UCSF of $225,000 per year for five years for Barker to complete CRISPR gene deletions in Coccidioides to screen the mutant strains for loss of virulence and use genetic engineering to create fluorescent marker strains.
NAU Communications