In the Spotlight: Oct. 9, 2020

Kudos to these faculty, staff and programs

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  • Northern Arizona University was ranked No. 15 on College Rank’s list of the 30 Best Master’s in Educational Technology. The degree program is recognized by the International Society for Technology in Education and gives students the skills and knowledge to design both online and in-person technology-based instruction.
    • College Rank also ranked NAU No. 12 on its list of the 35 Best Bachelor’s in Accounting. Offered through the W.A. Franke College of Business, students take classes focused on production operations management, computer systems, strategic management and finances.
  • Michelle McAllister, assistant professor of accounting, co-authored the article, “Board Risk Oversight and Corporate Tax-Planning Practices” published in the Journal of Managerial Accounting Research. The article provides evidence that a more robust risk oversight is associated with lower tax uncertainty in conjunction with lower tax burdens and influences the firm to engage in more effective tax-planning practices.
  • Professor of applied physics and materials science Bertrand Cambou and graduate research student Sareh Assiri co-authored the article, “Cryptography with Analog Scheme Using Memristors” published in the ACM Journal on Emerging Technologies in Computing Systems. The article addresses mainstream cryptographic schemes, characterizes memristors and investigates how different memristor cells for each message to encrypt have the potential to mitigate mainstream attacks.
  • Scott Goetz, professor in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems (SICCS), and Patrick Jantz, assistant research professor of SICCS, co-authored the article, “Change in terrestrial human footprint drives continued loss of intact ecosystems” published in One Earth. The results of their study show an urgent need to safeguard Earth’s last intact ecosystems and that greater efforts are needed to ameliorate human pressures.
    • Goetz also co-authored the article, “Climate-driven risks to the climate mitigation potential of forests” published in Science. The study synthesizes the current understanding of climate-driven risks to forest stability from fire, drought, biotic agents and other disturbances, and reviews how efforts to use forests consider and could more fully embrace current scientific knowledge to account for these climate-driven risks.
  • Venkata Yaramasu, assistant professor of SICCS, was awarded $25,000 by the Technology and Research Initiative Research Fund (TRIF) Small Research Equipment Acquisition Program for the project, “Data Acquisition, Control and Charging of Drones.” The goal of TRIF is to stimulate Arizona’s knowledge-based economy by supporting innovation, entrepreneurship, research and development and workforce development, as well as the infrastructure needed to advance in these areas.
  • Julie Mueller, lead project director and economics professor, was awarded a USDA NIFA Environmental and Resource Economics research grant for $500,000 with co-project directors Abraham Springer, professor in the School of Earth and Sustainability (SES), and Ryan Fitch, assistant professor of economics. The grant will fund two master’s students for two years in SES and will incorporate non-market values of springs into rangeland management plans on the Coconino and Kaibab National Forests.
  • Associate professor of politics and international affairs Sean Gregory co-authored the article, “Years of life lost associated with COVID-19 deaths in the United States” published in the Journal of Public Health and later covered in Forbes Magazine. The study offers new insight into the effects of COVID-19 and its results of heterogenous rates of “years of life lost” by geography and gender, and highlights variation in the magnitude of the pandemic’s effects that may inform effective policy responses.
  • Jiun-Yi Tsai, assistant professor of communication, was the lead author on the article, “Intergroup Contact, COVID-19 News Consumption, and the Moderating Role of Digital Media Trust on Prejudice Toward Asians in the United States: Cross-Sectional Study” published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. The study explores the relationships between news consumption, trust, intergroup contact and prejudicial attitudes toward Asians and Asian Americans residing in the U.S. during the pandemic.