In the Spotlight: Aug. 21, 2020
Kudos to these faculty, staff and programs
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- Northern Arizona University had several of its programs and departments recognized.
- NAU’s online nursing program ranked No. 32 on the list for Best Online MSN Degree Programs by Learn.org. The NAU School of Nursing believes nursing is an art and science based on an ethic of caring where caring is a conscious, intentional discipline that is part of nursing’s unique body of knowledge and is practiced in interdisciplinary contexts.
- NAU’s public health programs were ranked No. 7 by College Factual on its list of 2020 Best Colleges for Public Health in the Southwest Region. The ranking looks at more than 20 factors with an emphasis on degree completion statistics, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings.
- NAU’s online public health program was ranked No. 10 by Best Colleges on its list for Best Online Bachelor’s of Public Health Programs of 2020. The ranking is based on statistical data guided by academic quality, affordability and online competency.
- The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) has remained in high standing with the Arizona Department of Education (ADE). CSD provides classroom and clinical practicum experiences to students in the form of degrees, plans for licensure as a speech-language pathology assistant and working in a fully operational clinic. Despite the economic situation, the ADE renewed support of $250,000 for the 2020-21 year, bringing the ADE’s total support to $3 million over the last decade.
- The YourPath@NAU program, piloted by Student Affairs and implemented by Information Technology Services, received the Outstanding New Program and Best Incentives awards at the Pathways To Student Development conference hosted by Suitable. YourPath@NAU is a badge or micro-credential system that acts as a guide to engagement opportunities on campus and allows individuals to track and showcase co-curricular experiences in seven competency areas.
- Assistant professor of communications Zhan Xu published the article, “How emergency managers engage Twitter users during disasters” in Online Information Review. The study examined emergency official accounts’ social media engagement at each disaster stage based on Fink’s four-stage model of crisis and disaster.
- Laura Taylor, assistant dean of Cline Library, was appointed to the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey Editorial Board. The ACRL represents more than 10,000 individuals and libraries and develops programs, products and services to help those working in academic and research libraries. The editorial board manages an annual survey on current trends or issues, encourages participation of libraries in the survey and submits appointments to the ACRL Publications Coordinating Committee for approval.
- Assistant research professor of forestry Anita Antoninka edited a special issue of Restoration Ecology titled, “Biocrust – synthesis of emerging research and perspectives: using biological soil crusts for restoration.” The issue includes 21 articles examining work from five different continents and nine articles feature a combination of NAU faculty and students from the School of Forestry. Antoninka; associate professor Matthew Bowker; Regents’ professor Peter Fulé; graduate students Kyle Doherty, Henry Grover and Kristina Young; and doctoral student Peter Chuckran all co-authored articles.
- Assistant research professor of astronomy and planetary sciences Allie Rutledge was awarded a three-year grant from NASA’s Solar System Workings program to study eskers (glacial landforms) in Iceland and compare them to similar features on Mars. Rutledge will partner with assistant professor of astronomy and planetary sciences Christopher Edwards and colleagues at the U.S. Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center and the NASA Johnson Space Center to do remote sensing, drone mapping, mineralogy, geochemistry and sedimentology.
- Associate professor of anthropology Corina Kellner recently authored two papers in the Journal of Archeological Science. “Comparing ritual foods and everyday diet from the Middle Horizon site of Tenahaha, Cotahuasi, Peru using stable isotope and macrobotanical analyses” was co-authored with alumna Kate Compton-Gore and compares plant remains with isotope values from human remains to understand food practices at the site of Tenahaha in the Cotahuasi Valley of highland Peru. The second paper, “Urban to the bone: Isotopic and faunal dietary data from Formative-period Cerro Jazín, Mixteca Alta, Oaxaca, México” investigates the dietary impact of urbanism on the population of Cerro Jazmí
- Assistant professor of mechanical engineering Zachary Lerner, bioengineering doctoral student Greg Orekhov and lab manager Jason Luque co-authored the article, “Closing the Loop on Exoskeleton Motor Controllers: Benefits of Regression-Based Open-Loop Control” in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters. The goal of the study was to develop and validate an open-loop motor control framework for lower-limb exoskeletons that would result in similar or greater performance compared to skeletons with a closed-loop torque control.
- Research associate Patrick Burns, assistant research professor Patrick Jantz and professor Scott Goetz from the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems, co-authored the article, “Incorporating canopy structure from simulated GEDI lidar into bird species distribution models” published in Environmental Research Letters. This two-year study simulated GEDI waveforms to examine the impact that GEDI-derived Canopy Structure variables have on the performance of bird species distribution models in Sonoma County, California.
- Jantz and Goetz published the article, “The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation: High-resolution laser ranging of the Earth’s forests and topography” in Science of Remote Sensing. The article provides an overview of the GEDI mission, which was launched to the International Space Station in 2018 to provide high-quality measurements of forest vertical structure in temperate and tropical forests.
- Assistant professor of mechanical engineering Amirhossein Arzani and recent mechanical engineering graduate student Milad Habibi co-authored the article, “Data-Driven Pulsatile Blood Flow Physics with Dynamic Mode Decomposition” published in Fluids. The study aimed to overcome challenges associated with the application of dynamic mode decomposition (DMD) to patient-specific cardiovascular flow data using a proposed multistage DMD with control (mDMDc) method.
- Gerrick Lindberg, associate professor of applied physics and materials science and ¡MIRA! affiliate faculty member; Stephen Tegler, professor of astronomy and planetary science; and Lowell Observatory astronomers Jennifer Hanley and Will Grundy, were awarded a NASA Solar System Workings proposal titled, “Investigating the Stability of Trace Species in Titan’s Lakes and Seas.” The study will experimentally and theoretically reveal the effects of trace hydrocarbons on the behavior of the lakes on Titan, a moon of Saturn.
- Associate professor of anthropology Lisa Hardy, librarian Amy Hughes, professor of health sciences Priscilla Sanderson, retired assistant professor of health sciences Cruz Begay, staff member with the Center for Health Equity Research Travis Pinn, doctoral student in international affairs Candi Corrales and alumnus Kevin Shaw co-authored the article, “Capacity Building Together: Shifting Roles for Research and Implementation in Health Resilience Among American Indians in Arizona” published in Health Promotion Practice. The study brought new and seasoned researchers together to collect and analyze data on healthcare provider knowledge and American Indian resilience where a post project self-assessment to investigate lasting impacts of project participation was developed using an Iterative Poly-knowledge Evaluation Cycle approach.
- Lori Poloni-Staudinger, associate dean in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and professor of political science, was quoted in The New York Times article, “What Kind of Second Gentleman Would Doug Emhoff Be?” The article discusses the role and expectations of Emhoff as Kamala Harris’ husband as Harris steps into her newly appointed political role. Poloni-Staudinger was also interviewed on EuroNews.
- Frederick DeMicco, executive director of the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management, co-authored the article, “Hotels to Dorms: Converting Hotels to College Housing During the COVID19 Pandemic” published on Hotel Online. The article discusses the history of hotel use and how some colleges are looking to convert hotels to dorms during the pandemic to accomdate social distancing.
- Senior research associate Xanthe Walker and professor Michelle Mack of the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society co-authored the paper, “Patterns of Ecosystem Structure and Wildfire Carbon Combustion Across Six Ecoregions of the North American Boreal Forest” published in Frontiers for Global Change. The study compiles a spatially extensive inventory of pre-fire characteristics that relate to carbon storage and combustion, offering a dataset that will aid future research on fire and carbon pools in these boreal regions.
- Bruce Hungate, Regents’ professor of biological sciences and director of the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society, co-authored the article, “New soil carbon sequestration with nitrogen enrichment: a meta-analysis” published in Plant and Soil. The study finds that adding nitrogen boosts soil’s ability to store carbon.
- Wally Covington, professor emeritus of forestry, was selected as a fellow of the Society of American Foresters (SAF). An SAF Fellow recognizes an SAF member who has committed long standing service to forestry at the local, state and national level and serves as an ambassador for the advancement of forestry.