Sophomores continue to give ‘NAU experience’ high marks

Edith Copley
Edith Copley
Faculty and staff, like Regents’ Professor of Music Edith Copley, pictured above with a student, were cited in the 2013 Sophomore Survey for positively influencing the NAU experience among sophomores. One student described Copley as inspiring “the very best at all times.”

Ninety-seven percent of sophomores who participated in a university survey last spring rated their overall experience at Northern Arizona University as good or excellent, according to a recently released report.

Nearly 1,000 students participated in the 2013 Sophomore Survey, conducted by the Office of Planning and Institutional Research to assess the students’ satisfaction with NAU. More than 500 participants also took the opportunity to acknowledge one or more faculty or staff members who have positively influenced their undergraduate experience.

Overall satisfaction has remained consistently high across the last eight years that this study has been conducted, averaging 97 percent. Eighty-six percent indicated they would choose NAU again, which also has remained consistent over recent years.

The survey covered topics such as advising, students’ perceived skill development, and the diversity of the learning environment.

Eight people were acknowledged six or more times by students who called them positive influencers in their experiences at NAU: biology professor David Pierotti; biology lecturer Robert Kellar; Brooke de Heer, a lecturer for criminology and criminal justice; Gretchen Gee, senior lecturer for politics and international affairs; Kristina Jacobsen, a former anthropology instructor; Ellie Kennedy, lecturer for mathematics and statistics; James Manley, lecturer for the College of Education; and Therese Myers, lecturer for chemistry and biochemistry.

Also deserving of accolades are the six faculty members who have been mentioned by at least one student each year this question has been asked: Sylvester Allred, emeritus principal biology lecturer; Scott Antes, senior lecturer for anthropology; Brandon Cruickshank, professor of chemistry and biochemistry; philosophy professor Peter Kosso; biology professor David Pierotti; and John Wettaw, professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

Nineteen students acknowledged Pierotti in their comments, calling him engaged, helpful, challenging and caring. Another student called de Heer “a wonderful instructor who encourages you not only to voice your opinions, but also to think critically and have fun while learning.” Students called Manley “inspiring,” and “the teacher I hope to be.”

In all, 503 students acknowledged one or more faculty or staff members. Read a compilation of all the student comments acknowledging their positive influencers.

A complete report of the survey results is available online.