Even in unusual circumstances, NAU students win record number of national awards, scholarships in 2019-20 academic year

Goldwater award winner Breezy Brock works in the lab

More than two dozen Northern Arizona University undergraduate and graduate students were selected for competitive national and international awards and scholarships during the 2019-2020 academic year, according to NAU faculty and campus mentors. These recognitions, which ranged from STEM and research awards to international fellowships and internships, showcase NAU’s strong academic programs and the infrastructure in place to help students achieve success.

“These nationally competitive awards and scholarships are a testament to the quality of students we have at NAU and the faculty who support their educational and career goals,” said NAU President Rita Cheng. “I am proud of each of these students and their mentors and want to encourage all NAU students to take advantage of these opportunities while they’re here in college.”

Many of these awards, including Fulbright and Goldwater scholarships, require a nomination or institutional endorsement; Andrea Graves, coordinator of the National and International Scholarships and Fellowships office, assists students through that process. Though part of the Honors College, NISF resources are available to all students and recent alumni interested in applying for these programs.

Other scholarship nominations come from individual faculty or organizations on campus and are geared toward specific students. Each application requires dozens of hours of work before being compared to other applications from throughout the nation, and sometimes the world.

“It is wonderful that NAU has so many students who are in the competitive national award application process,” Graves said. “Whether the student applicants are selected as winners or not, they report that their return on investment is high as they gain well-honed skills in expressing their educational and career goals and their diverse challenges and triumphs in research, leadership and service.”

*denotes recipient of multiple awards

Scholarship and fellowship winners include:

Air Force ROTC Scholarship
Mason Turney, finance (fall 2019)
Madelyn Klein Courville, criminology and criminal justice (spring 2020)

ARCS Foundation: Advancing Science in America
Molly Bechtel, biology
Ryan Blackburn, forest science
Haley Dunleavy, biology
*Renee Jordan, biology
Lisa Markovchick, biology
Heather Mead, biology
Christine Mott, forest science
Daniel Sanchez, forest science
Julia Stuart, biology

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
*Dean Vitali, international affairs
Natalie Ross, hotel and restaurant management

Goldwater Scholarship
Beau Prince, physics and mathematics
Breezy Brock, microbiology

Fulbright Scholarship
Stephanie Paul, Master of Arts in Teaching Spanish
Jayne Sandoval, mechanical engineering and comparative cultural studies
Sierra Pritchard, English (graduated in 2019)

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program
Schuyler Borges, astronomy and planetary sciences
Alexis Riche, geology
Kelly Jaenecke, ecology
Jay Kueny, astronomy (graduated in 2019)

Honorable mention
Patrick Tribbett, astronomy and planetary science
Felicity Escarzaga, informatics and computing
Jaida Elcock, biology

NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Summer Institute Program in Biomedical Research
Crystal Morales, biology

NIH Diversity Summer Research Program of the National Institute of Diabetes Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Chantel Tsosie, biomedical sciences
Fernando Hermandez, biomedical sciences

NIH Tribal Researchers’ Cancer Control Fellowship Program
*Renee Jordan, biology

NIH University of Arizona Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program
Adam Fernandez, biomedical sciences (graduated in 2017)

NIH: University of Arizona STEP-UP Program
Cullen Nockinendeneh, biological sciences
Shalyn Nockinendeneh, public health

North Pacific Research Board Graduate Student Research Award
*Renee Jordan, biology

The Washington Center Summer Internship Program
Alliya Dulaney, journalism
Brock Schroeder, political science and anthropology
Xulia Suero, political science
Richard Valdez, political science
*Dean Vitali, international affairs

Top image: Breezy Brock, winner of the Goldwater Scholarship