In the Spotlight: Sept. 25-29, 2023

Kudos to these faculty, staff, students and programs 

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

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

  • Ballet dancers Rylee Kellar, 12-year NAU Community Music and Dance Academy graduate student, and Lilliana Roccaforte, current dance academy student, will be attending the 2023 Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition in London. Kellar and Roccaforte’s hard work and dedication earned them a spot among 100 other qualified students from more than 20 different countries.  
  • Josh Emery, professor in the Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science (DAPS), and Audrey Martin, recent Ph.D. graduate, co-authored an article, “MIR Spectra and Analysis of Jovian Trojan Asteroids.” Their article covers interesting new discoveries about Jovian Trojan asteroids carrying formation insight on the mechanisms that shaped our solar system. 
  • DECam Ecliptic Exploration Project (DEEP) Team David Trilling, DAPS professor and chair; Chad Trujillo, associate professor in DAPS; graduate student Ryder Strauss; former postdocs Andrew McNeill and Michael Mommert; postdoc Will Oldroyd; and Ph.D. alumnus Colin Chandler conducted a three-year national optical-infrared astronomy research (NOIR) lab survey. They authored articles expanding on the discovery and measures of the properties of thousands of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs). 
  • Will Grundy, adjunct faculty; Steve Tegler, DAPS professor; Mark Loeffler, associate professor in DAPS; Alex Jasko and BP Blakley, research experiences for undergraduates (REU) students; Ph.D. students Shae Raposa, Anna Engle, Cece Thiebergeradjunct faculty Jennifer Hanley; Gerrick Lindberg, associate professor at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; and Ph.D. student Aidan Madden-Watson co-authored, “Laboratory Measurement of Volatile Ice Vapor Pressures with a Quartz Crystal Microbalance”. This earth and astrophysics article details nitrogen, carbon monoxide and methane’s vapor pressures and latent heats of sublimation processes and its implications across a variety of astrophysical and planetary environments. 
  • Grundy, Emery and sabbatical visitor John Stansberry recently authored an article on their broad investigation on dwarf planets Eris and Makemake possible evidence of internal activity. 
  • Grundy and Stansberry co-authored, Moderate D/H Ratios in Methane Ice on Eris and Makemake as Evidence of Hydrothermal or Metamorphic Processes in Their Interiors: Geochemical Analysis”. Their article covers their broad investigation on unknown methane ice origins on dwarf planets Eris and Makemake surfaces. 
  • Patty Horn, professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning in the College of Education, received a lifetime achievement award from the Arizona Rural School Association for her tireless service and dedication the association and the education community in Arizona. She was presented with the award at the ARSA banquet held Sept. 15 at Little America. 
  • Peter Vadasz, professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, recently authored a paper titled, “von Kármán vortex streets around invisible bluff bodies,” in which he explains the reasoning behind the creation of the common atmospheric phenomenon von Kármán vortex streets at heights above islands. 
  • Faria Raha, graduate research assistant, won the best ITS Arizona student research paper contest at ITS Arizona 2023 Annual Conference, in Mesa from Sept. 20-21. Raha and 43 undergraduate students attended the event with civil and environmental engineering faculty. 
  • Cross-country athlete Drew Bosley was named USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week following his performance at the Virginia Invitational. Bosley won the individual title at the Virginia Invitational, pulling away in the final kilometer of the race to secure his victory. He ran a time of 23:20.3, a full three seconds ahead of the second-place runner. 


NAU Communications