In the Spotlight: Feb. 19, 2021

Kudos to these faculty, staff and programs

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  • Northern Arizona University was ranked No. 15 by on its list of Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Social Work. NAU’s program is CSWE-accredited and promotes community service and social justice with specialized training to work with Indigenous people and rural communities unique to the Southwestern part of the U.S.
  • NAU was awarded a Gold designation from the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly University program. The university first applied to the program in 2012 earning a Silver award and then again in 2016 with a Gold award and have maintained that status.
  • Joseph Moreno, senior lecturer in the Department of Ethnic Studies, published the article, “A Mexican and Latina/o Indigenous Perspective on The Current Global Coronavirus Pandemic” in the Journal of Global Indigeneity. The article examines how various U.S. Mexican and Latina/o Indigenous populations have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on the economic, health, social and political impacts.
  • Assistant professor of physical therapy Amit Kumar co-authored the article, “Making the Case for Patient-Reported Outcome Measures in Big-Data Rehabilitation Research: Implications for Optimizing Patient-Centered Care” published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The article discusses the potential patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) have to transform clinical practice, provides examples of health systems using PROMs to guide care and identifies barriers to aggregating data from PROMs to conduct health services research.
  • Chad Trujillo, associate professor in the Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science, co-authored the article, “The Reactivation of Main-Belt Comet 259P/Garradd (P/2008 R1)” published in Earth and Planetary Astrophysics. The article presents observations of main-belt comet 259P/Garradd from four months prior to its 2017 perihelion passage to five months after perihelion, a time it was confirmed to be active.
  • Professor of forestry Richard Hofstetter co-authored the article, “Sound production in bark and ambrosia beetles” published in The International Journal of Animal Sound and its Recording. The study analyzed stridulatory sounds from 55 bark and ambrosia beetle species within 15 subtribes collected in four countries, the largest acoustic dataset of these species.
  • Alum Andika Putraditama and professor of forestry Yeon-Su Kim co-authored the article, “Where to put community-based forestry?: Reconciling conservation and livelihood in Lampung, Indonesia” published in Trees, Forests and People. The results of the study show that it is unreasonable to expect the communities to reforest, especially in community forests with high elevation and remote access when it is unknown what species of trees would grow well on that site and provide direct benefits.
  • Professor of English Nicole Walker published the essay, “How Pandemic Lunches Gave Me Hope for the Planet” in The New York Times. The essay creatively combines the role leftovers may have in saving the planet and the importance of green chemistry, how invented chemical compounds must break down in the environment to return to their natural states. Her book, “PROCESSED MEATS: Essays on Food, Flesh, and Navigating Disaster” published with Torrey House Press will be released March 9. The book is a collection of essays where Walker ponders food and life choices, looking at how we process and navigate disaster to make it all something worthwhile.
  • Samantha Sabo, associate professor in the department of health sciences and Center for Health Equity Research (CHER), was invited by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health to be a guest editor for the special issue, “Community Health Workers and COVID-19.” The journal is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed, open access journal published semimonthly online and covers environmental sciences and engineering, public health, environmental health, occupational hygiene and health economic and global research.
  • Emery Eaves, assistant professor of anthropology; Robert Trotter, Regents’ professor of anthropology; and Julie Baldwin, Regents’ professor of health sciences and director of CHER co-authored the article, “Another Silver Lining?: Anthropological Perspectives on the Promise and Practice of Relaxed Restrictions for Telemedicine and Medication-Assisted Treatment in the Context of COVID-19published in Human Organization. The study critically evaluates media representations of recent changes to telemedicine, prescribing and opioid treatment delivery using medical anthropology approaches to epidemic surveillance and understandings of risk.
  • Heather Williamson, assistant professor of occupational therapy and CHER; Darold Joseph, assistant professor of educational specialties; Baldwin; and occupational therapy doctoral graduates Ellen Stakely and Bonny Nasimi co-authored the article, “Community-Engaged Research to Address Health Disparities of Indigenous Women with Disabilities” published in the Annals of International Occupational Therapy. The study identified lessons learned from a community-engaged research project to improve cancer screening rates for Indigenous women with an intellectual or developmental disability.
  • Richard Quartaroli, Cline Library Special Collections librarian emeritus, edited the Proceedings from the 5th Grand Canyon History Symposium titled, “Celebrating 100 Years of Grand Canyon National Park.” In the past, he has edited the 3rd and 4th Proceedings and contributed the chapter, “’Boys Left Us’: From the Powell Memorial to the Plaques at Separation” in this year’s collection.
  • Jennifer Hernandez, assistant clinical professor of health sciences, was the recipient of the Western Region Outstanding Dietetic Educator Award for Future Education Model Graduate Programs presented by the Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Preceptors organization. Hernandez has contributed a large amount of work to NAU’s program to help maintain its accreditation to include creating supervised experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students and dynamic solutions and tracking systems to make the program more efficient.
  • Associate professor of forestry Matthew Bowker, visiting scholar Bo Xiao and graduate student Shenglong Li from China Agricultural University co-authored the article, “Biocrusts enhance non-rainfall water deposition and alter its deposition in dryland soils” published in the Journal of Hydrology. The study investigates the non-rainfall water deposition and distribution through continuous weighing micro-lysimeters with bare soil and three types of biocrusts in a semiarid region of the Chinese Loess Plateau.
  • Cynthia Ivy, associate clinical professor of occupational therapy; Mary Catherine Lockmiller, health sciences librarian; Michelle McKay, doctoral student of occupational therapy; Kaitlyn Landess, doctoral student of occupational therapy; John Manning, doctoral student of occupational therapy; and Linda Denney, assistant professor of physical therapy co-authored the article, “The impact of exercise on sleep in people with Parkinson’s disease a scoping review” in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. Their research findings indicate that many different forms of exercise can help improve sleep for individuals with Parkinson’s disease, which has implications for rehabilitative strategies that can be deployed by occupational therapists, physical therapists and other rehabilitative health care workers.
  • Jenny Zamora-Garcia, part-time faculty in the Department of Dental Hygiene, recieved the inaugural Northern Arizona Oral Health Hero of the Year award and was recognized for her efforts in the article, “‘Flagstaff Tooth Fairy’ Jenny Zamora-Garcia awarded inaugural Northern Arizona Oral Health Hero of the Year award” published in the Arizona Daily Sun. The award was presented by the Northern Arizona Oral Health Coalition that works to improve the public’s oral and general wellness with a focus on vulnerable populations by forming community partnerships.
  • Assistant professor of English Sherwin Bitsui is serving as a final judge for the 2021 James Welch Prize, a judge for the 2021 Colorado Prize for Poetry and a member of the judging panel for the 2021 PEN/Voelker Award for Poetry Collection. He also is the 2021 guest poetry editor for the Vermont College of Fine Arts journal Hunger Mountain.
  • Bertrand Cambou, professor in the Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science, co-authored the article, “TRNGs from Pre-Formed ReRAM Arrays” published in Cryptography. The study proposes a true random number generator scheme that can be designed with three interconnected blocks.
  • Ana Paula Chaves, doctoral graduate of the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems (SICCS); Jesse Egbert, associate professor of English; Toby Hocking, assistant professor of SICCS; Eck Doerry, professor of SICCS; and Marco Gerosa, associate professor of SICCS, co-authored the article, “Chatbots language design: the influence of language variation on user experience” published in Human-Computer Interaction. The study investigates how a chatbot’s language choices can adhere to the expected social role the agent performs within a given context using sociolinguistic theory.
  • Hocking, along with Fatemeh Afghah, associate professor of SICCS, co-authored the article, “A Graph-Constrained Changepoint Learning Approach for Automatic QRS-Complex Detection” published in Signal Processing. The article presents a new viewpoint on ECG signal analysis by applying a graph-based changepoint detection model to locate R-peak positions.
  • Assistant professor of mechanical engineering Zachary Lerner co-authored the article, “Feasibility of Augmenting Ankle Exoskeleton Walking Performance with Step Length Biofeedback in Individuals with Cerebral Palsy” published in IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering. The study aimed to improve effectiveness of gait training by assessing the feasibility of a real-time biofeedback mechanism to augment untethered ankle exoskeleton-assisted walking performance.
  • Matthew Rush, postdoctoral scholar of the Center for Materials Interfaces in Research and Applications (¡MIRA!), and Jennifer Martinez, professor in the Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science and director of ¡MIRA!, co-authored the article, “Formulation of stabilizer-free, nontoxic PLGA and elastin-PLGA nanoparticle delivery systems” published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics. The study developed a tunable, stabilizer-free polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) nanoparticle formulation capable of encapsulating plasmid DNA and demonstrated the formation of an elastin-like polymer PLGA hybrid nanoparticle.
  • Brendan Russo, assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, Construction Management, and Environmental Engineering (CECMEE) and Edward Smaglik, professor of CECMEE co-authored the article, “Examining the Use of Microsimulation Modeling to Assess Bicycle-Vehicle Conflicts at Intersections: A Case Study Incorporating Field-Observed Conflict Data” published in the records of the Transportation Research Board 100th Annual Meeting. The study performed a quantitative analysis on the impacts of changeable behavioral parameters in microsimulation on the frequency of bicycle-vehicle conflicts.
  • David Yagüe, with the Pathogen and Microbiome Institute (PMI); Joseph Mihaljevic, assistant professor of SICCS; Mimi Mbegbu, with PMI; Colin Wood, with PMI; Crystal Hepp, assistant professor of SICCS; Shari Kyman, with PMI; Heidie Hornstra O’Neill, senior research coordinator at PMI; Trotter; Emily Cope, assistant professor of biological sciences; and Talima Pearson, associate research professor of biological sciences, co-authored the article, “Survival of Staphylococcus aureus on sampling swabs stored at different temperatures” published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology. The article aims to understand the impact of storage temperature on recovery of Staphylococcus aureus on sampling swabs and determined the survival rates on swabs stored at five different temperatures.
  • Associate professor of CECMEE Chun-Hsing Ho and Gerosa co-authored the article, “Application of Machine Learning Based Technology in Pavement Condition Assessment and Prediction” published in the records of the Transportation Research Board 100th Annual Meeting. The results of the study show that machine learning algorithms based on an algorithm called Random Forest can provide accurate pavement condition detection.
  • Assistant professor of SICCS Igor Steinmacher and Gerosa co-authored the article, “Being a Mentor in Open Source Projects” published in the Journal of Internet Services and Applications. The study investigates Open Source Software (OSS) mentors’ perspectives by understanding the characteristics of the mentors in large OSS communities and then identifying the challenges the mentors face and how to mitigate them.
  • Assistant professor of SICCS Truong Nghiem co-authored the article, “A Receding Horizon Approach for Simultaneous Active Learning and Control using Gaussian Processes” published in Systems and Control. The study proposes a receding horizon active learning and control problem for dynamical systems in which Gaussian Processes are utilized to model the system dynamics. Ngheim also co-authored the article, “ADMM-based Adaptive Sampling Strategy for Nonholomic Mobile Robotic Sensor Networks” published in Robotics. The study discusses the adaptive sampling problem in a nonholonomic mobile robotic sensor network for efficiently monitoring a spatial field.