Martin-Springer Institute honors five with Moral Courage awards

Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard is one of five individuals receiving a Moral Courage Award today from NAU’s Martin-Springer Institute for making a difference in Arizona schools and communities. The awards are presented annually to those who exemplify the courage of the institute’s founder Doris Martin, a survivor of the Holocaust who now speaks about her experiences with middle and high school students.

Goddard is being recognized for his work on behalf of Arizona youth, including protecting children from abuse in the polygamous community of Colorado City.

“In addition to introducing and enforcing legislation, he has helped to create services where people in these small communities can safely access help and information,” said Judy Krysic and Maria Hoffman in their letter nominating Goddard for the award.

Four others also are being recognized with Moral Courage Awards at an awards ceremony at the du Bois Center ballroom this afternoon:

  • Sandi Irwin, a school counselor at Palo Verde Middle School in Phoenix, for initiating a bullying prevention program and for advocating on behalf of all students.


  • Ryan Moran, a fifth grade student at Eagles’ Nest Intermediate School on the Navajo Nation, for his efforts to combat bullying at his school.


  • Alberta Nells, a sophomore at Coconino High School in Flagstaff, for her leadership role with Youth of the Peaks, a youth organization opposed to further development on the San Francisco Peaks.


  • Morgan Riddle, a senior at Canyon del Oro High School in Tucson, for taking a public stand against racism and discrimination in her daily life and using her experiences as lessons for others.

“These individuals embrace cultural differences, organize or advise cubs, focus on promoting peace and tolerance, and work to develop positive ways to resolve conflicts,” said Alexander Alvarez, NAU professor of criminal justice and an affiliate of the Martin Springer Institute. “A morally courageous person is someone who exposes the perpetrator of a hate crime, protects classmates from ridicule, befriends those who are ostracized or consistently takes a stand against speech or actions intended to exclude others.”

The Martin-Springer Institute, whose mission is to use the lessons of the Holocaust to teach about moral courage, altruism and tolerance, was established by Ralph and Doris Martin at NAU in 2000.

For information, contact Melisssa Cohen at (928) 523-2464 or