In the Spotlight: Jan. 23-27, 2023

Kudos to these faculty, staff, students and programs  

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  •  Cristina Thomas, assistant professor of astronomy and planetary sciences, was recently featured as a “rising star” in Astronomy. The profile discusses Thomas’ career beginnings and her current work with NASA’s DART mission.  
  • 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. 
  • The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) granted NAU’s Occupational Therapy program a 10-year reaccreditation, the longest reaccreditation any OT program can receive. NAU’s OT program is Arizona’s only public, nonprofit graduate OT program, which means reaccreditation is particularly valuable to the health care system and communities served statewide, as being an accredited program allows students who graduate to become certified and licensed providers in their fields. 
  • Laura Umphrey, associate dean of the College of Health and Human Services, co-authored a recently published article in Taylor and Francis. The article is about the relationship between hopeful thinking and social cognitive skills. After surveying 939 participants, they found that people who perceive themselves as skilled communicators express more hope in being able to achieve their personal goals through relational means. 
  • Blake Rayfield, assistant professor, and Lois Rayfield, instructor in The W. A. Franke College of Business, co-authored the book chapter, “The Role of FinTech in the Paycheck Protection Program,” published in Fintech, Pandemic, and the Financial System: Challenges and Opportunities. The authors investigated the impact of FinTech lenders on Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan disbursement. Specifically, the authors examine financial technology companies’ ability to provide loans at greater distances, expanding the available resources for businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
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