Most read stories of 2023

collage of 7 feature photos from the stories in the article

2023 was a big year for NAU—a new College of Medicine, achieving an important step in a long-held research goal, welcoming the first class of A2E Lumberjacks and a couple of broken records—in both fundraising 😊 and snow 😩. Relive the highlights of the year with some of 2023’s most read stories in The NAU Review (with a few of our favorites thrown in).  

1. NAU projected to receive highest level of research classification 

NAU is on track to achieve R1 research status in 2025, putting it in the highest tier of research universities in the country.  

Chemistry professor Naomi Lee wearing a white lab coat helping a student wearing a white lab coat.

2. NAU’s year of academic momentum—Highlights from the University Convocation 

In the annual University Convocation, President Cruz Rivera talked about NAU’s past and ongoing efforts to improve student access to education and success. 

  President Cruz Rivera stands on the stage in front of a slide that says NAU

3. A crowd-sourced list of NAU students’ favorite classes 

Students reveal what their favorite classes were and what made them so good.  

Ed tech students use technology to learn

4. How does climate change affect you? 

Several NAU researchers contributed to a congressionally mandated climate assessment designed to provide an easy-to-read overview of the current state of climate change.   

graphic depicting tipping points and regime changes in landscape

5. ‘You are valued’  

Allison Stenger is an NAU student and disability advocate. Her advocacy work grew out of her own lived experience with a disability. 

Allison Stenger

6. Results for the Lumberjack Thanksgiving poll are in! 

We asked, you answered. Lumberjacks reveal their Thanksgiving traditions, from stuffing to shopping. 

People Talking Celebrating Thanksgiving Holiday Concept

7. Humans of Flagstaff: Rima Brusi 

A Q&A with Rima Brusi, Honors College professor and first lady of the university.  

Rima Brusi

8. Honoring President’s Prize, Gold Axe, Distinguished Senior winners of Class of 2023 

NAU honored 21 Gold Axe winners, including two President’s Prize winners and nine Distinguished Seniors in the Class of 2023. 

President's Prize winners Rachel Jones-Lord and Beyoncé Bahe with Provost Karen Pugliesi

9. Costumes, puppies, distance, loss, Fortnite, Disney: Read love stories in six words 

Members of the NAU community share their six-word love stories. 

Hearts hanging on a bullet board with spaces for six words

10. Homecoming 2023 recap (photo gallery) 

A special edition of LumberSNAPS gives a photographic peek into NAU’s 2023 Homecoming. 

People Talking Celebrating Thanksgiving Holiday Concept


Other notable favorites: 

1. ‘Pursue what you want, believe in yourself and push as many boundaries as you can’ 

In honor of International Day of Women and Girls in Science, NAU’s women scientists share why they chose their fields and give advice to women and girls considering science careers.  

International Day of Women and Girls in Science: Erika Nowak hiking; Clare Aslan in a field examining plants; Daphne Chen in a classroom; Carol Chambers and a student examining a mouse

2. NAU launches College of Medicine to address Arizona’s critical shortage of primary care physicians 

NAU’s new College of Medicine will create accelerated pathways for prospective MDs and include incentives for practicing medicine in Arizona after graduation.  

Healthcare students practice on dummy

3. Super Bowl 2023: For these student reporters, it doesn’t get better than this 

These sports media students got to live the dream of covering the Super Bowl. 

NAZ Today student reporters at Super Bowl 2023

4. How NAU is tackling the teacher shortage in Indigenous communities 

An innovative NAU program now offers paraprofessionals and educational assistants the opportunity to earn education degrees while remaining in their communities.  

A student and teacher mix paints on a classroom table.

5. The saw must go on 

Adeline Jones, NAU student and Logging Sports Team captain, didn’t let an injury interfere with her success at the Choptoberfest competition at Colorado State University.  

Jones competes in another sawing event, pre injury.

NAU Communications