In the Spotlight: Feb. 20, 2015

Kudos to these faculty, staff and students

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  • Cedar Mitchell, a senior at NAU, will present her research at the Council for Undergraduate Research’s annual Posters on the Hill event in Washington, D.C. The council accepted 60 presenters out of 500 applications. Mitchell will present her poster, “Using genetic fingerprinting to understand the source and dynamics of human plague infections in Madagascar,” at this year’s event, being held April 22-23. Mitchell recently returned from a trip to Madagascar where she trained technicians on her new technology. Her faculty mentor Dave Wagner, associate professor in the Center for Microbial Genetics and Genomics, will accompany her to Washington, D.C.
  • A paper by Max Dass, director of the Center for Science Teaching and Learning, recently was published in the K-12 STEM Education journal. The paper, “Teaching STEM Effectively with the Learning Cycle Approach,” addresses the challenges of STEM instruction and how to teach it effectively. Dass also was recently elected vice president of the UTeach STEM Education Association. His three-year term will begin in May.
  • Northern Arizona University was selected once again to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Collegiate Wind Competition. Twelve universities were selected through a competitive process to create teams to build a model wind turbine based on market research and siting considerations. The teams also will create business plans for marketing the turbines and test their turbines against a set of rigorous performance criteria. The competition will take place in May. The project is part of a capstone class that provides students with real-world application and hands-on learning. Read more here.
  • NAU seniors Catherine Thornsley and Sergio Manzo competed in the Southwest Vocal Competition presented by the Phoenix Opera at the beginning of the month. The competition began with 44 singers, and 10 were chosen to perform with the Phoenix Opera Orchestra in the Orpheum Theater. They were the two youngest seniors to make it to the final round. Thornsley and Manzo are voice students of Judith Cloud and Robert Allen Saunders in the School of Music. Both students also have been cast in the spring opera production of Le nozze di Figaro.