In the Spotlight: Oct. 10-14, 2022

Kudos to these faculty, staff, students 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. 

  • Peter Friederici, professor in the School of Communication and coordinator for the Sustainable Communities Program, is author of the new book “Beyond Climate Breakdown: Envisioning New Stories of Radical Hope,” published Oct. 11 by MIT Press. Listed as one of Orion Magazine’s Staff Recommends: 10 Books for Fall 2022, the book examines and critiques prevailing climate change narratives and suggests alternative story frames aimed at establishing hope and agency. 
  • Two faculty/student research teams were accepted to participate in the first annual Scholars Transforming through Research Advocacy Program, a 6-month professional development program that kicks off in Alexandria, Virginia, in October, and continues into the spring. Faculty and students learn how to be advocates for research both personally and at local, regional, and national levels The two teams are: 
    • “An Investigation into the Relationship Experiences of individuals with Intellectual disabilities”- James Ingram, College of Education, Ed Specialties, and student researchers Ashley Root and Julie Seeker 
    • “A Perspective on the Mental Health of NAU Latina/o Students During the Coronavirus Pandemic”- Jose Moreno, Ethnic Studies chair, Laila Puga and Yesenia Cruz Castillo 
  • Department of Biological Sciences professor Charles Buck was selected as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar for 2022-2023. Fulbright Scholar Awards are prestigious and competitive fellowships that provide unique opportunities for scholars to teach and conduct research abroad. Fulbright scholars also play a critical role in U.S. public diplomacy, establishing long-term relationships between people and nations. 
  • The Clinical Psychology program received an award recognizing their outstanding service to students, the community and the profession at the Arizona Psychological Association annual convention. Congratulations to all the faculty and staff that support this program with contributions and service. At the same conference, associate professor of educational psychology Evie Garcia received the Distinguished Contributions to Science Award. 
  • Astronomy and planetary sciences (APS) Ph.D. student Andy Lopez is a co-author on a new paper, “Arecibo Planetary Radar Observations of Near-Earth Asteroids: 2017 December–2019 December.” The paper presents the observations from studying 191 near-Earth asteroids using the Arecibo Observatory’s S-band planetary radar system from December 2017 through December 2019.  
  • Several faculty members and students are authors on a new paper that explains an experiment that provided rare simultaneous measurements of multiple trace gas fluxes from biocrust communities, demonstrates that biocrust function varies in space and time and continuously in relation to biocrust successional development. The list of authors includes Mark Salvatore, associate chair and associate professor of astronomy and planetary sciences and professor David Trilling, undergraduate student Wesley Sonnemaker, astronomy Research Experiences for Undergraduates(REU) alumni Gary Kong and Kat Taylor, Regents’ professor Andrew Richardson, research associate Jim Le Moine, Matthew Bowker, associate director of the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society (Ecoss) and associate professor of forestry, associate professor Jay Barber, Mariah Carbone, associate research professor of biological sciences, Ecoss research associate Michaela Hayer, and professor of biological sciences George Koch. 
  • APS assistant professor Cristina Thomas is a co-author on a new paper, “Isolating the mechanisms for asteroid surface refreshing,” that proposes isolated explanations for fresh surfaces on Near-Earth and Main-Belt asteroids. The paper also mentions MS alumnus Brian Burt and REU alumna Alissa Earle 
  • Andrew Townsend is currently enrolled in the NAU Educational Leadership Doctoral Program and was recently awarded the Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF®) Carolyn Warner Legacy Award. The Carolyn Warner Legacy Award is endowed by the family of Carolyn Warner in honor of their mother’s legacy and service to the state of Arizona as a champion of public education and advocate for teachers. Just as Carolyn embodied the attributes of a servant leader, this $1,000 annual award given in her name celebrates a former AEF® Arizona Teacher of the Year, finalist or semi-finalist who has continued to make a difference long after their year of service as an AEF Teacher of the Year honoree or candidate was over. The recipient is someone who has remained active in elevating the teaching profession and continued to make an impact as a champion of public education. 
  • For the second consecutive year, NAU quarterback RJ Martinez earned Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Week for his performance on Family Weekend in Flagstaff.  Throwing for 359 yards and recording four total touchdowns against the Cal Poly Mustangs, Martinez helped the Lumberjacks snap a three-game losing streak with a 31-29 victory. 
NAU Communications