In the Spotlight: Nov. 6-10, 2023 

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

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

  •  Sam Minkler, associate professor in the School of Communication, attended the opening of the “In Our Hands: Native Photography, 1890 to Now” exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Art this weekend, where his photograph, “My First Indian Relay,” was featured. The exhibition will run through Jan. 14 and continue to showcase Minkler’s Autry Museum of the American West award-winning photography.  
  • David Miles, a retired professor in the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM), was featured in WalletHub’s recent article about the best winter holiday destinations. In the article, Miles answers questions that guide a pleasurable winter trip on a budget.  
  • Astronomy professor Christopher Edwards is part of a tri-university team selected for a $500,000 grant from TRIF to carry out drone-based research to collect data to determine the likelihood of material mobilization in mine tailing sites under investigation. The NAU team will support the remote-sensing based characterization of the mine tailing sites under investigation. 
  • Mike Smith was named the Big Sky’s men’s and women’s cross-country coach of the year after leading his teams to a sweep of the Big Sky Conference Championships last week. For the first time in NAU’s history, both teams are ranked first in the nation as they head the national championship meet later this month.  
  • NAU’s math department hosted its annual high school math day on Oct. 25. The event attracted 168 students from eight regional high schools, who participated in a series of competitive events, presentations, math talks from faculty Jeff Rushall and Matt Fahy and the college bowl-style face-off tournament, which the Spice Weasels from Basis Prescott High School won.  
  • Carol Chambers, professor in the School of Forestry, and Eli Jensen, School of Forestry alumnus, received national awards and were placed on the 2023 wall of honor at this year’s meeting of the Society of American Foresters, which took place in Sacramento. Chambers received the Barrington Moore Memorial Award in Biological Science, and Jensen received the Young Forest Leadership Award.  
  • Peter Fulé, professor in the School of Forestry, was named a Society of American Foresters Fellow, recognizing his long-standing service to forestry at the local, state and national levels and contributions to advancement in forestry.  
  • The Będzin ExhibitThrough the Eyes of Youth: Life and Death in the Będzin Ghetto,” created and sponsored by the Martin-Springer Institute, was at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, where it will stay for several weeks. The purpose of the exhibit and the MSI is to educate people about the Holocaust.  
  • DECam Ecliptic Exploration Project (DEEP) team David Trilling, DAPS professor and chair; Chad Trujillo, associate professor in DAPS; postdoc Will Oldroyd; Ph.D. alumnus Colin Chandler; former postdocs Andrew McNeill and Michael Mommert; graduate student Ryder Strauss and the rest of the team authored three earth and planetary astrophysics research articles expanding on the discovery of the orbits of a thousand Trans-Neptunian Objects and the data collected from DEEP and its B1 data release.  
  • Provost Karen Pugliesi and ABOR Chair Fred DuVal presented at the 4th China-U.S. Provincial/State University Presidents’ Forum on Oct. 26. Pugliesi co-chaired the panel discussion on the theme of “Strengthening Sino-American Connections through Expanded University Partnerships that Foster Collaborative Research and Workforce Development.” DuVal gave a video presentation expressing ABOR’s support to international collaborations that benefit teaching, learning, and research at Arizona’s public universities. The American Association of State Colleges and Universities invited NAU because of its 1+2+1 program, which has allowed more than 2,000 students to complete their first year of undergraduate study in China, and then transfer to an American university to study for two years, and then return to the Chinese universities for the final year of their undergraduate study.  
  • Astronomy professor Cristina Thomas is a co-author of three articles examining the impacts of the DART mission: 


NAU Communications