Outstanding seniors celebrated during awards ceremony

Gold Axe Award recipients group photo


President Rita Cheng poses with President’s Prize winners during the April 15 ceremony. From left: Jillian Zuniga, Shannon Erickson, Claire Bergstresser, President Cheng, Glenda Chavez and Carina Salvatore.

Wednesday night was a golden moment for dozens of graduating seniors as they received honors recognizing them for their contributions to Northern Arizona University.

Forty-three students received the university’s coveted Gold Axe Award for their achievements. Five of the winners—Claire Bergstresser, Glenda Chavez, Shannon Erickson, Carina Salvatore and Jillian Zuniga—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.

Stephanie Gillooly
Public Health
College of Health and Human Services

Erin Gooch
Art Education, Ceramics
College of Arts and Letters

Paula Jones
Electronic Media and Film with a double emphasis in Screenwriting and Producing
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Rebecca Kepner
Special and Elementary Education
College of Education

Jenna Mann
Applied Human Behavior
Extended Campuses

Jacqueline Richwine
University Studies
University College

Alyssa Whittemore
College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences

Danielle Zerr
W.A. Franke College of Business

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 universitywide 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.

Regina Austin
Women and Gender Studies
Kevin Chase, First-Generation Programs

Sean Begay
Construction Management
Robert Bruner, Civil Engineering, Construction Management and Environmental Engineering

Claire Bergstresser
Criminology and Criminal Justice, Politics and Law
Gretchen Gee, Politics and International Affairs

Scott Boling
Kevin Chase, First-Generation Programs

Kellen Brandel
Rick Brandel, Student Life

Jacqueline Brown
Public Health
Steven “Keola” Wong, First-Generation Programs

Diane Buzzard
Civil Engineering
Robin Tuchscherer, Civil Engineering, Construction Management and Environmental Engineering

Jodi Calis
Biomedical Science
Robert Kellar, Biological Sciences

Glenda Chavez
Business Management
T. Mark Montoya, Ethnic Studies

Nicole Conover
Biomedical Science, Psychology
Tracie Hansen, EMSA Communications

Shannon Erickson
Special and Elementary Education, Speech Sciences Technology
Leslie Mitchell, Student Success Initiatives

Aaron Garcia
Exercise Science
Brian Mallory, Air Force ROTC

Ralph Garcia
Criminology and Criminal Justice, Psychology
Honors Program
Rebecca Maniglia, Criminology and Criminal Justice

Erin Gooch
Art Education, Ceramics
Pamela Stephens, School of Art

Yaeran Hernandez
Biomedical Science, German
Steven “Keola” Wong, First-Generation Programs

Callé Hewett
Visual Communication with an emphasis in Graphic Design and Spanish
Sarah Uminski, Student Success Initiatives

Christina Holt
Environmental Engineering
Bryan Cooperrider, Mechanical Engineering

Laura Jabczenski
Biomedical Science
David Able, Biological Sciences

Dakota King
Communication Studies
Honors Program
Daniel Foster, School of Communication

Marquitta Lambert
Kevin Chase, First-Generation Programs

Darrell Marks
Applied Indigenous Studies
Christine Lemley, College of Education

Jazmine Mincey
Criminology and Criminal Justice, Political Science
Joey Ruiz, Student Success Initiatives

Tyler Miranda
Annette McGivney, School of Communication

Cedar Mitchell
Dawn Birdsell, Microbial Genetics and Genomics

Mandy Montgomery
Mathematics, Secondary Education in Mathematics
Shannon Guerrero, Mathematics and Statistics

Robert Moreno III
Communication Studies
Michelle Gardner, Academic Transition Programs

Annsley Niemann
Linda Paul, School of Nursing

Hyunsoo Park
Computer Information Systems, Finance, Psychology, Sociology
Joseph Anderson, W.A. Franke College of Business

Tara Purtell
Parks and Recreation Management
Pamela Foti, Geography, Planning and Recreation

Carina Salvatore
Hotel and Restaurant Management
Frances Hill, School of Hotel and Restaurant Management

Michael Schwartz
Biomedical Science
John Wettaw, Chemistry, Emeritus

Soledad Serpas-Guardado
Philosophy, Spanish
Mark Beeman, Sociology and Social Work

Kelsey Smart
Speech Sciences Technology
Art Farmer, Student Life

Christopher Sobie
Civil Engineering
Edward Smaglik, Civil Engineering, Construction Management and Environmental Engineering

Taylor Stephens
Biomedical Science
Ken Murphy, Athletics

Kylie Suter
Speech Sciences Technology
Joey Ruiz, Student Success Initiatives

Michael Teasdale
T. Mark Montoya, Ethnic Studies

Angelica Torres
Criminology and Criminal Justice, Spanish
Pamela Malone, First-Generation Programs

Andrew Valenzuela
Marla Wood, Extended Campuses

Johanna Vang
Kim Bruno, Athletics

Kiara Weathersby
Business Management, Psychology
Marc Chopin, W.A. Franke College of Business

Kaydee Williams
University Studies
Eugene Begay, Educational Talent Search

Jillian Zuniga
Political Science, Journalism
Rick Brandel, Student Life