In the Spotlight: May 7, 2015

Kudos to these faculty, staff and students

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  • Laura Umphrey, professor in the School of Communication, and Victoria PocknellIntern-To-Scholar student, presented “Parental Responsibility and Respondent Anger, Sympathy, Willingness to Help Following Child Death” at the Western Psychological Association conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The research will appear in Issue 24 (3) of Illness, Crisis and Loss.
  • Northern Arizona University was recently named conference champion in the 2014-15 EPA Green Power Challenge. Throughout the academic year, EPA’s Green Power Partnership tracked the highest combined green power usage in the nation. The challenge, which was open to all U.S. colleges, universities and conferences, recently concluded with NAU at the top of the Big Sky Conference.
  • T. Paul Thomas, assistant professor of practice in the W.A. Franke College of Business, was featured in Wallethub’s “2015’s Best Cities to Start a Business.” Thomas participated in the Ask the Experts section where he offered advice to aspiring entrepreneurs on risk taking,
  • Graduate student Nick Aflitto has received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship for 2015. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program funds outstanding graduate students in supported STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based graduate degrees, recognizing their demonstrated potential for significant achievements in their fields. Aflitto’s master’s research investigates the use of sound as a viable treatment and management option for wood-infesting organisms. He plans to pursue a doctoral degree followed by a university teaching career while continuing research into insect ecology as it impacts forest management. NSF Graduate Research Fellow Program Honorable Mention designees from NAU are George Cummins (MS Biology), Brianna Finley (MS Biology), Rachel Rubin (PhD Biology), and Molly Shuman-Goodier (PhD Biology). Additionally, two NAU alumni also were selected as fellows this year and three alumni were designated honorable mentions.
  • Amy Schwartz, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in biological sciences, was awarded the 2015 DAAD RISE Internship in Germany for summer 2015. She will be working with German researchers on the following project: “Alternative to Animal Testing – Identification and Classification of Neurotoxic Chemicals.” RISE is a summer internship program for undergraduate students from the United States, Canada and the UK in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences and engineering. RISE offers unique opportunities for bachelor’s students to work with research groups at universities and top research institutions across Germany for a period of two to three months during the summer. RISE interns are matched with doctoral students whom they assist and who serve as their mentors.
  • Junior Yoko Chavez received the Benjamin A. Gilman scholarship for spring 2015 to study at the University of Newcastle in Australia. Chavez is majoring in exercise science and Spanish. The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies or credit-bearing, career-oriented internships abroad. Award recipients are chosen by a competitive selection process and must use the award to defray eligible study or intern abroad costs.
  • Graduate students Ryan Lima and Matthew Millar were named Wyss Scholars for 2015. Lima’s current research at NAU is focused on generating economic values for the non-market watershed services provided by ponderosa pine forests in Arizona. Millar has extensive experience working as a wildland firefighter and Hotshot crew member in addition to holding a leadership position with the Yosemite prescribed and backcountry fire program helping to apply fire as a tool of restoration in the Sierra Nevada. The Wyss Foundation provides scholarships for graduate students who are pursuing careers in land conservation and management in the U.S. intermountain West. The students will receive partial tuition payments while they complete their master’s degrees in environmental sciences and policy at NAU and a $5,000 summer stipend. The scholarships are awarded to select students committed to conservation at four universities across the nation.