NAU recognizes outstanding seniors during award ceremony

Distinguished Seniors


President Rita Cheng poses with President’s Prize winners during the Nov. 10 ceremony. From left: Justin Wilgus, Crystae Rohman and President Cheng.

Dozens of graduating seniors received honors Tuesday night recognizing them for their contributions to Northern Arizona University.

Twenty-two students received the university’s coveted Gold Axe Award for their achievements. Two of the winners—Crystae Rohman and Justin Wilgus—also received the prestigious President’s Prize for their exemplary leadership, academic excellence and service to the NAU community.

Eight students pictured below also were named Distinguished Seniors by their college. The awards were announced at the Gold Axe and Distinguished Seniors awards banquet in Ashurst Auditorium.

Taylor Brooks
Psychological Sciences
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Daniel Camarillo
W.A. Franke College of Business

Sherri Castro
Public Administration
Extended Campuses

Michael Hastings
Mathematics, Physics
College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences

KarenAnn Mancha
Elementary and Special Education
College of Education

Jocelyn Maurer
College of Health and Human Services

Tanya Moore
French Global Sciences, Environmental Sciences
College of Arts and Letters

Not Pictured: Catherine Khederian, University Studies major, was named the Fall 2015 Distinguished Senior for University College.

The tradition of the Gold Axe Award dates back to 1933, a year after the student body adopted the axe as the symbol for Lumberjack athletics. It was then that NAU adopted the tradition of awarding small gold axe pins to outstanding members of the student body. To this day, the gold axe pin is considered the official emblem of the Associated Students of NAU and is presented each semester to recognize students’ outstanding achievements and distinguished service to the university and the greater community.

Students selected for a Gold Axe Award also are eligible for the President’s Prize, considered the highest student recognition from the university. After reviewing all the Gold Axe nominations, a university wide committee makes its recommendations to President Rita Cheng, who then selects the President’s Prize winners.

Below are the winners of this semester’s Gold Axe awards, along with the NAU faculty or staff member the students named as having the most significant impact on them during their undergraduate career. View a photo album from the event online.

Amanda Barnes
Exercise Science
Richard Coast, Biological Sciences

Kayla Boxberger
Finance, Marketing
Lisa Majure, W.A. Franke College of Business

Samantha Briguglio
Exercise Science
Richard Coast, Biological Sciences

Patrick Burdell
Applied Human Behavior
James Subach, Extended Campuses

Erin Comprosky
Leslie Mitchell, Student Success Initiatives

Daniel Conley
Environmental Studies
Melissa Rhodes, Sociology and Social Work

Wendy Ellsworth
Public Administration
Kimberly Charrier, Extended Campuses

Eduardo Flores
Business Management
T. Paul Thomas, W.A. Franke College of Business

Emmaline Frey
Elementary and Special Education
Honors Program
Brian Stone, College of Education, Teaching and Learning

Ian Grzyb
Music Secondary Education
Steven Hemphill, School of Music

Michael Hastings
Mathematics, Physics
Dana Ernst, Mathematics and Statistics

Anaheed Hill
Elementary and Special Education
Laura Theimer, College of Education

Jewel Honga
Business Management, Marketing
Sharon Doctor, Native American Student Services

Mary Lauderdale
Elementary and Special Education
Sigmund Boloz, College of Education, Teaching and Learning

Jonathan Melendez
Civil Engineering
Rand Decker, Civil Engineering, Construction Management and Environmental Engineering

Kaylee Mueller
Biomedical Science
Fernando Monroy, Biological Sciences

Anissa Ortiz
Maria Wood, Extended Campuses

Hannah Prawzinsky
Mathematics, Secondary Education in Mathematics
Honors Program
Dana Ernst, Mathematics and Statistics

Crystae Rohman
Honors Program
Glenn Hansen, Honors Program

Janay Wiggins
Art Education
Pamela Stephens, School of Art

Justin WIlgus
David Brumbaugh, School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability

Katherine Zhang
Honors Program
Robyn Martin, Honors Program