In the Spotlight: Oct. 07, 2009


Kudos to these faculty, staff and students

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  • Faculty, staff, graduate students and 23 undergraduates from the School of Forestry attended the Society of American Foresters Convention in Orlando, Fla., last week. Forestry undergraduates in NAU’s Student Chapter of the Society of American Foresters accepted the national Outstanding Student Chapter Award, and graduate student Chris Sorensenwon second place in the national student poster competition.“During a job fair at the convention, two of our seniors were offered jobs right on the spot,” said Jim Allen, director for the school.
  • The Department of Sociology and Social Work is hosting a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence this academic year. Evan Te Ahu Poata-Smith from Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand has a research background in indigenous (Maori) politics and society and New Zealand ethnic relations. His expertise also includes the study of popular culture and musicology.“I was very happy to be selected for this exchange,” Poata-Smith said. “This offers a fantastic opportunity not only to learn from and engage with scholars working in the areas of sociology, ethnic studies and indigenous studies in the United States, but also to significantly internationalize my own research and teaching.”This semester, Poata-Smith is teaching two NAU courses: the graduate-level “Global Race and Ethnic Relations,” and the undergraduate-level “Sociology of Popular International Music.” Paota-Smith also will teach two courses in sociology and ethnic studies during the spring semester.

    “We are pleased and honored to be the host institution to a prolific young scholar such as Dr. Poata-Smith,” said Kooros Mahmoudi, chair of the Department of Sociology and Social Work. Mahmoudi credited Michelle Harris, professor of ethnic studies and coordinator of the graduate program in sociology and social work, as being “instrumental in arranging for this prestigious exchange program.”

  • Dennis C. Tanner, professor of health sciences, was a guest speaker at the Oklahoma Speech and Hearing Association annual convention in Tulsa, Oct. 1 to 3. Tanner presented two seminars on legal aspects of the swallowing disorder, dysphagia. Drawing from his experience as an expert witness in seven dysphagia malpractice cases that resulted in death, he reviewed themes of the lawsuits: clinical competency, professional communication, bedside screenings, instrumental assessments and diet, and he provided suggestions for preventing future clinical tragedies.
  • Jill Dubisch, a Regents’ professor of anthropology, was the keynote speaker at the University of Michigan’s eighth annual Platsis Symposium on the Greek Legacy: Honor & Shame, held on Sept. 13. She presented “Towards a Poetics of Personhood: Beyond Honor and Shame.”