In the Spotlight: May 8-12, 2023

Kudos to these faculty, staff, students and programs 

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  • Visual communication professor Rodrigo de Toledo was interviewed by Al-Tiba9 Contemporary Art magazine, an organization based in Algiers, Algeria, and Barcelona. De Toledo teaches graphic design and animation in the School of Communication. De Toledo’s decades-long visual arts career is portrayed in depth in this interview.  
  • Senior Courtney Arnold was the sole female representative of the state of Arizona at the 2023 United States Association of Climbing (USAC) Collegiate National Championships in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on April 28. Arnold advanced to the final rounds in the two disciplines of bouldering and sport climbing. As a result of her individual effort, she placed eighth in the nation in sport climbing and 10th in the nation in bouldering. 
  • The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AASCU) has selected an NAU team to participate in the 2023-2024 Institute on Open Educational Resources, a year-long online engagement opportunity for institutions aspiring to launch, expand or hasten campus adoption of free and affordable instructional materials.  According to AAC&U, the Institute will help participating teams design and implement a strategy to accelerate campus OER plans for large-scale engagement and adoption. NAU’s participation will be funded via an Elevating Excellence grant of $106,000 to establish the use of Open Education Resources and other affordable learning resources at NAU.  Other activities for the project include purchasing e-textbooks, creating and awarding OER development grants for faculty, a variety of training and informational opportunities and more. The team members are:        
    • Theresa Carlson, Head of Collections and Discovery Services, Cline Library 
    • Cynthia Childrey, Dean and University Librarian, Cline Library 
    • John Doherty, Head of Research and Instruction, Cline Library 
    • Dana Ernst, Associate Professor, Mathematics and Statistics 
    • John Georgas, Senior Vice Provost, Office of the Provost 
    • Michael Rulon, Associate Teaching Professor, Global Languages and Culture 
    • Amy Rushall, Assistant Vice Provost, Teaching and Learning Center 
    • Amelia Shehi, Senator, Associated Students of NAU 
  • Recently, the College of Arts and Letters launched a new annual Arts and Humanities Fellowship program aimed toward increasing the college’s academic, creative, and artistic footprint, and public programming that engages diverse audiences in northern Arizona. The first class of fellows – faculty members from the Departments of Comparative Cultural Studies and English, and the School of Art and Design – will be engaged in projects that address the theme for AY 2023-2024, “Environment and Sustainability.”
    • Kent Linthicum, assistant teaching professor in the Department of Comparative Cultural Studies, did a project, “Links between Slavery and Coal in Culture,” analyzes the literary representations of coal and slavery, specifically the ways that the two were linked in 18th- and 19th-century English-language works. Linthicum wants to underscore the ways that energy systems become symbolically entangled with each other and the ways that social identity is displaced into energy systems, knowledge that he hopes will help with decarbonization efforts today. His plan is to turn the project into a book—Crowning Coal: Slavery, Fossil Fuels, and Literature 1755–1865. 
    • KT Thompson, associate professor of English, studies “Deadly Perpetuities,” which concerns the unsettled and unsettling histories, politics and forms of representation at play where nuclear waste and human and more-than-human worlds co-exist. Their showcase presentation will feature a multimedia presentation that introduces the audience to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), along with nonfiction prose that makes the information accessible and wide-reaching. Though the subjects Thompson broaches are made for shock and awe, they intend to situate the WIPP’s complex entanglements as necessary sites of engagement for artists and humanities scholars. 
    • Byoungmee (Kate) Byun, associate professor of interior design, studied “Creating Inclusive Spaces: Designing Student Housing for Autism Spectrum Disorder at Northern Arizona University (NAU),” aims to investigate the challenges faced by students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) living in NAU student housing and explore physical factors that can improve their sense of community and social interaction in a sustainable manner. By involving students with ASD in the research, Byun aims to create a more inclusive and welcoming campus community for all students. 
  • Northern Arizona University Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) and the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) have partnered to bring faculty high-quality and research-backed credentialed professional learning courses. Recently, 26 NAU faculty members completed the 25-module course during the 22-23 academic year. Course takers learned evidence-based practices and implemented classroom activities to increase student retention, strengthen belonging and achievement and close equity gaps. ACUE’s courses are consistently rated as engaging and relevant by faculty and staff nationwide and lead to the only nationally recognized Certificate in Effective College instruction, endorsed by the American Council on Education. Topics faculty engaged in included: foundations of effective instruction, course and class design, inclusive learning environments, formative and summative assessment, civic and service learning, active learning techniques, higher-order thinking and learning and career readiness and 21st-century skills. 
  • Laura Rose Taylor, assistant dean at Cline Library, recently published an article titled, “2021 ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey: Highlights and key academic library instruction and group presentation findings” in College & Research Libraries News.  The article provides insight into 1,500+ academic libraries’ responses to the Association of College and Research Libraries’ 2021 Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey. Taylor is a member of the survey’s Editorial Board. 
  • Masters student of informatics Daniel Kramer, Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science (APS) affiliate faculty Mike Gowanlock and APS chair and professor David Trilling are authors to a new study, “Removing Aliases in Time-Series Photometry.”This is Kramer’s first, first-author paper. In this paper, the authors investigate the effectiveness of methods in decreasing the fraction of aliased period solutions by applying them to the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) and the LSST Solar System Products Data Base (SSPDB) asteroid datasets. 


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