In the Spotlight: June 4, 2021

Kudos to these faculty, staff and programs

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  • Northern Arizona University and seven other universities received a $1,175,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as part of the Federated Repositories of Accessible Materials for Higher Education II project to fund the second phase of Cline Library’s project, which aims to streamline the process of providing resources for students with print disabilities. The project will focus on developing a membership-based secure repository for shared remediated texts and the workflows that librarians and disability services offices will use to upload them. Director of Disability Resources Jamie Axelrod, Cline Library dean Cynthia Childrey and assistant archivist of digital programs Kelly Phillips are part of NAU’s implementation team.
  • The Special Collections and Archives (SCA) at Cline Library received an $18,129 grant from the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona for its project, “The Shades of Route 66 in Arizona: Celebrating Diversity along Arizona’s Historic Route 66.” Two student interns, supported by SCA archivists Peter Runge and Sean Evans, associate professor of ethnic studies Ricardo Guthrie and chair of the Department of Geography, Planning and Recreation Mark Manone, will create a public history project focused on the under-represented story of diversity along historic Route 66. The final product will be a freely available online educational exhibit using the StoryMaps platform and hosted by NAU’s Cline Library.
  • Anthropology professor Chris Downum and Leszek Pawlowicz, adjunct faculty in the Department of Anthropology, had their work on sorting pottery with computers featured in the article, “Archaeologists vs. Computers: A Study Tests Who’s Best at Sifting the Past” published by The New York Times. They were also featured on SciTechDaily.
  • Fredricka Stoller, emerita professor of the Applied Linguistics/TESL program, gave a keynote address titled, “Good News about L2 Reading-Skills Development” at the 11th Annual International Conference on Education, Language and Literature. Doctoral students Kevin Hirschi and Maria Kostromitina also conducted a workshop titled, “Perceptions of Accented English: Promoting Awareness of Speaker Variation and Social Justice in the ELT Classroom” and recent doctoral graduate Garrett Larson conducted a workshop titled, “Integrating the Four Skills in Language Learning: An Instructional Routine.”
  • Amit Kumar, assistant professor of physical therapy and athletic training, was featured in the article, “Epidemiologist: Equitable Vaccine Distribution Key In India” on KNAU. He spoke about how India’s crisis is a global problem as well as how it is deeply personal to him because of family and friends there.
  • Melissa Armstrong, director of Interdisciplinary Global Programs (IGP); Benning Tieke, IGP faculty coordinator and senior lecturer of Spanish; and Marcela Pino Alcaraz, assistant director of IGP, co-authored the article, “A Pedagogy of Inclusion Designed to Empower Global Ambassadors of Positive Change” published in The Global Impact Exchange, a quarterly publication of the Diversity Abroad Annual Conference. The article discussed the IGP program and its three pillars of design.
  • Con Slobodchikoff, professor emeritus of biology, was a guest on BYUradio’s Constant Wonder for the conversation titled, “The Complex Language of Prairie Dogs.” He provided expertise on how artificial intelligence technology can be used to decode animal communication.
  • Associate professor of forestry Matthew Bowker, assistant research professor of forestry Anita Antoninka and doctoral student of forestry Lydia Bailey received a $64,284 grant from the Bureau of Land Management. Their project will continue researching the Earth’s biocrust and rare plant restoration on Mojave Desert gypsum soils.
  • Bowker also co-authored the article, “Restoring post-fire ecosystems with biocrusts: living, photosynthetic soil surfaces” published in Current Opinion in Environmental Science & Health. The article highlighted the important roles of biocrusts and discussed its potential for improving soil fertility and stability in post-fire ecosystems.
  • Mike Smith, head coach and director of track & field and cross country, was announced the Big Sky Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the Year for both NAU men’s and women’s teams. This is the second time he has earned the honor for the men’s team and the third time for the women’s team.
  • Assistant professor Steven Gehrke and undergraduate student Michael Huff, both from the Department of Geography, Planning and Recreation, co-authored the article, “Social and trip-level predictors of pooled ride-hailing service adoption in the Greater Boston region” published in Case Studies on Transport Policy. The study found ridesharing services such as UberPool and Lyft Share tend to be favored most by younger, lower income survey respondents with limited vehicle access and that pooled service adoption is more likely to replace travel via public transit, walking and cycling.
  • Jut Wynne, assistant research professor of biological sciences, published the article, “Belize’s Maya Forest Corridor a ‘missing link’ to giant rainforest reserve” in Mongabay. The article discussed the importance of the largest rainforest preserve in Central America. He also co-authored the article, “Don’t forget subterranean ecosystems in climate change agendas” published in Nature Climate Change.
  • James Bowie, principal lecturer of sociology, published the article, “Colonial Pipeline’s branding is a disaster. That should’ve been a warning sign” in Fast Company. The article argued that the company’s outdated name and logo were indicative of its vulnerability to cyberattack.
  • Archie Amerson, NAU Athletics Hall of Fame inductee for football, was selected as one of 99 divisional player candidates for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame sponsored by the National Football Foundation. He received the Walter Payton Award in 1996 and set NAU’s single-season record for rushing yards (2,079) and rushing touchdowns (25) during that year.