In the Spotlight: Jan. 29-Feb. 1, 2024

In the Spotlight: Jan. 29-Feb. 1, 2024  

Kudos to these faculty, staff, students and programs   

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  • NAU’s Sports and Adventure Media Program and the Media Innovation Center (MIC) provided a studio to Chris “Mad Dog” Russo from ESPN for his live national sports talk radio show on Feb. 1 and Feb. 2. 
  • Track athlete Nico Young broke the collegiate 5,000-meter record, running a time of 12:57.14 at the John Thomas Terrier Classic. His is the first sub-12 minute 5K time in NCAA history. Colin Sahlman broke both the NAU and Big Sky record in the mile with a time of 3:53.17. Maggi Congdon broke both the school and conference record in the women’s mile with a time of 4:36.72. Many NAU track and field athletes medaled or performed well at both this event and the New Mexico Team Open over the weekend. Read more about their achievements.   
  • Following their performances, three NAU athletes earned Big Sky Athlete of the week recognitions, Young for his 5,000-meter record, Congdon for her mile record and Mitchell Effing for his New Mexico Team Open win in the long jump. Effing’s  jump of 7.81 meters, put him at the top of Big Sky and 14th in the nation.  
  • Young was named USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week for the second consecutive week for his performance.  
  • Undergraduate student Jarod DeSpain led a team that published a new paper in Research Notes of the AAS titled “Citizen Science Discovery of a Recurrently Active Jupiter-Family Comet: (551023) 2012 UQ192.” The same team also published a paper called “New Active Quasi-Hilda Asteroid 2004 CV50: A Citizen Science Discovery” at the end of last year.  
  • The DECam Ecliptic Exploration Project team led by David Trilling and including Chad Trujillo, William Oldroyd, Ryder Strauss and Colin Chandler announced the discovery of more than 100 faint objects in the distant outer solar system called trans-Neptunian objects.  
  • New faculty member Diego Munoz is the principal investigator on a recently accepted proposal in NASA’s astrophysics theory program for the project titled “Accreting Massive Black Hole Binaries in Galactic Nuclear Clusters.” This award for $383,012 will support two NAU students—one graduate and one undergraduate—for three years.  
  • Assistant professor of sociology Katsuya Oi published a paper titled “Does the Impact of Episodic Memory Declines on Future Changes in Perceived Control Vary Based on Individuals’ Experience with Cognitively Demanding Jobs?” This is their third publication in the Journal of Gerontology.  
  • Lisa Hardy, professor with the department of anthropology, was an invited keynote speaker at a Feb. 1 event called “Storytelling Together for Social Change” for the Addiction Research Institute at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin.  



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