In the Spotlight: Nov. 8, 2019

Kudos to these faculty, staff and programs

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  • Amit Kumar, assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, is the lead author on “Social and Health-Related Factors Associated with Enrollment in Medicare Advantage Plans in Older Adults” in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Julie Baldwin, Regent’s Professor in health sciences, also is an author. The research linked longitudinal epidemiological survey data with Medicare claims; the findings confirm that Medicare Advantage plans are cherry-picking healthier individuals who have better social support systems.
  • Tyler Robinson, assistant professor of astronomy and planetary sciences, co-authored “Earth as an Exoplanet” for an upcoming volume of the University of Arizona Press Planetary Science series “Solar System Astrobiology.” The paper looks at the possibility of life-bearing environments in other planetary systems based off the application of planetary and exoplanetary remote sensing techniques to datasets from modern Earth observations. He also had a proposal accepted by NASA’s Habitable Worlds program. His project emphasized uncovering efficient ways for detecting habitability signatures from exoplanets. The project, in collaboration with University of California Santa Cruz and NASA Ames, will fund a three-year post doctorate in the HABLab.
  • Chad Trujillo, assistant professor of astronomy and planetary sciences, was involved in the naming and numbering of the third known Inner Oort Cloud object. Through collaboration with Hawaiian language experts, the name compares the orbit of the object to the flight patterns of migratory birds and evokes a yearning to be near Earth.
  • Doug Biber, William Grabe, Okim Kang, Randi Reppen, Fredricka Stoller and Soo Jung Youn from the TESL and Applied Linguistics Department presented at the Arizona Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages conference held at NAU. Valeria Bogorevich, Jacqueline Church, CY Meimban, Zachary Meyer, Heather Neumann and Jessica Sargent, instructors in the Program in Intensive English, presented as well, as did Ph.D. students Shi Chen, Radja Chinoun, Reza Dalman, Tulay Dixon, Larissa Goulart, Garrett Larson, Jihye Shin, Tyler True, Holly Wheeler and Kate Yaw.
  • Mark Loeffler, associate professor of astronomy and planetary sciences, was interviewed by Outside Magazine about the radiation scare in the Grand Canyon’s Museum of Collections.
  • Mike Nesbitt, former head athletic trainer, was inducted into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, becoming the first Northern Arizona University affiliate to become a member. Nesbitt was selected through a public vote. To be a candidate for the Hall of Fame, an individual must have merited recognition and distinction in sports and brought fame and honor to the state through outstanding sporting accomplishments or contributions.
  • Team NAU, made up by Linda Denney, assistant professor in physical therapy and athletic training, Cynthia Ivy, associate clinical professor of occupational therapy and students Macy Urrutia and Lindsey Martens were named heavyweight champions in the Fitness Challenge for the Michael J. Fox fundraiser Box4Bucks. The team raised more than $1,100 toward the event’s grand total of $37,000 for the charity. Team NAU is conducting research on high-intensity exercise and the impact on sleep for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease at a community partner gym, ProEdge Boxing in Phoenix. The research is funded by the Parkinson’s Foundation.
  • Josh Emery, associate professor of astronomy and planetary sciences, co-authored “Probing the regoliths of the classical Uranian satellites: Are their surfaces mantled by a layer of tiny H2O ice grains?” in Icarus. The article details the investigation into whether the surfaces of the classical moons of Uranus are compositionally stratified.
  • NAU Campus Dining earned an A+ grade in PETA’s annual College Vegan Report Card. The grade is based on questionnaires submitted by students of the university as well as dining hall menus. Best Colleges included NAU in its Top 25 Best College Dining Halls for Vegans. The list is based on the vegan-friendly options offered and takes into account geographic diversity and includes schools across America.
  • NAU’s Campus Recreation Department was highlighted in Campus Rec magazine. The article, Practice What You Preach, highlights the employee fitness programs offered to faculty and staff on campus.
  • NAU was ranked in the Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges 2020 rankings. The list of schools honored was gathered by inviting institutions of higher education to fill out a detailed survey on how they cater to current and former service members and their families. The universities were evaluated on university culture, student support, academic policies, academic outcomes and quality, cost and financial aid.