In the Spotlight: Jan. 17-20, 2023

Kudos to these faculty, staff, students and programs 

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

E-mail your announcements to, or use our online submission form. 

  • James Bowie, teaching professor in the Department of Sociology, was interviewed on National Public Radio’s “Marketplace” about the new Kia logo and the “crossbar-less A” trend in logo design. The interview expanded on Bowie’s December article in Fast Company.
  • CHHS Associate Dean Laura Umphrey co-authored an article in Communication Research Reports about the relationship between hopeful thinking and social cognitive skills. After surveying 939 participants, they found that people who tend to perceive themselves as skilled communicators (are sensitive to others and tactfully respond to the implicit expectations of different social situations) express more hope in being able to achieve their personal goals through relational means (are motivated to pursue goals and can navigate more easily around barriers or obstacles).
  • Catharyn Shelton, an assistant professor of educational technology, was quoted in an EducationWeek story about the significance of AI tools in education. Shelton research explores how technology can help or hinder teacher learning, networking and agency as well as how teachers can enact justice-oriented approaches to teaching and learning.
  • Assistant professor of planetary science Cristina Thomas was quoted in an article on about the smashing success of the DART mission, which knocked an asteroid off its orbit in an experiment in November. Thomas is the lead of the DART Observations Working Group.
  • The track & field teams had three athletes who earned Big Sky Athlete of the Week honors after a record-breaking first meet. David Dunlap and Alyssa Colbert swept the Track Athlete of the Week awards, while Mitchell Effing earned the Men’s Field Athlete of the Week award.
    • Dunlap broke two school records along with a conference record. He began his night in the 60-meter, running a time of 6.62 during the finals to set a new school record. He ran a time of 20.68 in the 200-meter, crushing a 31-year-old school and conference record.
    • Colbert broke her own school record in the preliminaries of the 60-meter. She ran a time of 7.30, later running 7.31 in the finals of the race.
    • In the field events, Effing earned his place in school history with a record-breaking second jump in the triple jump. He leapt to a distance of 15.81 meters, besting the previous record by a length of nearly 0.2 meters.
NAU Communications