In the Spotlight: Aug. 14, 2020

Kudos to these faculty, staff and programs

Do you have a spotlight item to share with the NAU community?

E-mail your announcements to, or use our online submission form.

  • Northern Arizona University was ranked No. 8 by on its list of 16 of the Best Online School Psychology Programs. Rankings were determined by assessing data from schools and the U.S. Department of Education while weighing the information based on quality, cost and value of the education and students’ academic decisions.
  • After analyzing more than 118 schools, CEOWorld Magazine ranked the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management 14 on its list of Best Hospitality and Hotel Management Schools In The World For 2020. The ranking is based on seven different metrics and measures quality of education, job placements of graduates, recruiter response and employer feedback without relying on institution data submission. Additionally, HRM was ranked No. 7 by Successful Student on its list of 25 Best Hospitality Colleges in the U.S. HRM emphasizes leadership and business management strategies to develop personal and professional skills in a positive, supportive environment.
  • Assistant professor of nursing Regina Eddie co-authored the article, “School Nutrition Policies and Practices on an American Indian Reservation: Research and Policy Considerations” published in Policy Politics & Nursing Practice. The study examines food choices and nutrition standards in schools using a combined socioecological and Navajo cultural framework to analyze factors that influence food choices available.
  • Postdoctoral scholar Jesse Young and professor of fire ecology and management Andrea Thode co-authored the article, “Effects of policy change on wildland fire management strategies: evidence for a paradigm shift in the western US?” published in the International Journal of Wildland Fire. The article used Incident Status Summary reports to understand how wildland fire management strategies have differed across the western U.S. in recent years and changed since 2009. It was a collaboration across six different entities including the NAU School of Forestry, U.S. Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and the Forest Stewards Guild.
  • Jeff Jenness, geographic information systems instructor, won the Most Innovative Map award at the 2020 Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) conference. ESRI builds ArcGIS software and apps, which combine mapping and data analytics to deliver location intelligence and meet digital transformation needs for organizations of all sizes. His map titled, “Heart of the Canyon” was selected from a pool of several thousand submissions.
  • Assistant professor of forestry Catrin Edgeley and doctoral student Jack Burnett published the article, “Navigating the Wildfire—Pandemic Interface: Public Perceptions of COVID-19 and the 2020 Wildfire Season in Arizona” in Fire. The study surveyed households in two fire-prone areas of Arizona to understand whether residents felt COVID-19 would impact their safety during the 2020 fire season.
  • Assistant professor of communication Jiun-Yi Tsai co-authored the article, “Discrimination and Well-Being Among Asians/Asian Americans During COVID-19: The Role of Social Media” in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. A sample of 242 Asians and Asian Americans completed an online survey to explore whether experience with discrimination was associated with more social media use among Asian people and how adaptive social media use was for their well-being during COVID-19.
  • Associate professor of forestry Matthew Bowker, assistant research professor of forestry Anita Antoninka and alumnus V. Bala Chaudhary co-authored the article, “The pervasive and multi-faceted influence of biocrusts on water in the world’s drylands” published in Global Change Biology. This meta-analysis elucidates that in the vast land surface that is limited by moisture, biological soil crusts affect most major soil properties and processes related to water.
  • John Gibbs, associate professor of applied physics and materials science, published the article, “Controlling the Speed of Light-Activated Colloids with a Constant, Uniform Magnetic Field” in Small. The study examines titanium dioxide-based colloids and quantifies field-dependent dynamics of self-propulsion, along with a proposal for a qualitative description of how this effect arises.
  • Professor of applied physics and materials science Miguel José Yacaman co-authored the article, “Advanced Electron Microscopy in the Study of Multimetallic Nanoparticles” published in Advanced Transmission Electron Microscopy. The article gives an overview of chemical synthesis techniques and advanced electron microscopy characterization techniques to provide an atomic-scale insight into the structure and properties of different materials.
  • Andrew Richardson, Regents’ professor in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems, and Katharyn Duff, postdoctoral scholar, published two papers presented at the Ecological Society of America’s 2020 annual meeting “Harnessing the ecological data revolution.” “PhenoSynth: A user interface to integrate phenological data across scales and observational platforms” presented PhenoSynth, the open-repository web application that resolves PhenoCam-MODIS data integration, and allows users to visualize, interact with and download co-located phenological data across multiple sources. “We can improve phenological data integration” presents the Advanced Phenological Information Systems, a suite of tools to harness the full potential of collecting phenological data and gain better insight through integration.
  • Assistant professor of art Jaewook Lee and assistant professor of art Kyoungmee Byun will present their presentation titled, “The Landscape of Crisis: How Contemporary Asian Art Visualizes a Time of Devastation” at the College Art Association’s Annual Conference in February alongside University of Chicago’s Boyoung Chang. Lee also had his essay film Road Test, Hiking Test elected for the 20th Seoul International ALT Cinema & Media Festival and has been awarded the thematic residency program at The Santa Fe Art Institute for the summer 2022.