In the Spotlight: Sept. 18, 2020

Kudos to these faculty, staff and programs

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  • Northern Arizona University was ranked No. 1 by Bachelor’s Degree Center on its list of the 15 Best Online Bachelor’s In Social Work For 2020. The social work program emphasizes professional knowledge and skills to help individuals in complex situations and encourages students to evaluate social work through the lens of making social changes and addressing injustice within certain communities or groups. NAU also was ranked No. 10 by Bachelor’s Degree Center on its list of 15 Best Online Bachelor’s In Hospitality Management For 2020. The program allows students to choose from 35 elective courses to personalize a degree program to both fit their interests and prepare them to earn a certificate in a certain area of hospitality management.
  • The Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science had several notable accomplishments.
    • Associate professor Mark Loeffler is serving as a co-investigator on the project titled, “Investigating the Role of Sulfides and Fe-Oxide Minerals in the Space Weathering of Asteroidal Regoliths.” The project was recently funded by the NASA Solar System Workings Program and will be a collaboration with researchers from Purdue University.
    • Associate professor Chad Trujillo and doctoral student Colin Chandler received a NASA Solar Systems Observation grant for $350,000 for the proposal, “Census of Active Minor Planets.” The project will extract and make public all of the known asteroids in the DECam dataset and assess their activity using citizen science. The grant also will fund a graduate student to continue Chandler’s work.
    • Assistant professor Christopher Edwards, doctoral student Aaron Weintraub and Research Undergraduate Experience alumna Mohini Jodhpurkar co-authored the article, “Ancient Martian Aeolian Sand Dune Deposits Recorded in the Stratigraphy of Valles Marineris and Implications for Past Climates” published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. The study describes landforms within Melas Chasma, Valles Marineris, that occur in distinct groups with linear to crescentic shapes.
  • Professor of English Donelle Ruwe published the essay, “Phantasmion, or the Confessions of a Female Opium Eater” in the book “Material Transgressions: Beyond Romantic Bodies, Genders, Things.” The essay places Phantasmion (1837), a novel about a young prince who transforms cicadas, antlions and grasshoppers, within contemporary discussions of vibrant matter, entrainment and the social lives of things.
  • Assistant professor of communication Zhan Xu and graduate student Mary Laffidy published the article, “News Frames and News Exposure Predicting Flu Vaccination Uptake: Evidence from U.S. Newspapers, 2011-2018 Using Computational Methods” in Health Communication. The study investigates how the framing of the flu and flu vaccines in the media can impact vaccine uptake while controlling for other sociodemographic impacts.
  • Luke Plonsky, associate professor of English, published two books. The first, titled “Second language acquisition: An introductory course,” is in its fifth edition. The second, titled “Professional development in applied linguistics: A guide to success for graduate students and early career faculty,” is the first of its kind in the field and focuses on scholarly preparation and professionalization.
  • Debra Edgerton, assistant professor of art; Neal Galloway, lecturer of art; and Josh Biggs, marketing manager were among Arizona-based artists featured in a new exhibit showing at the Coconino Center for the Arts. The exhibit, “Parched: The Art of Water in the Southwest” explores the complexity of water in the face of climate change and increasing populations. Supporting members on the project were director of sustainable communities Peter Friederici and professor of biological sciences Jane Marks.
  • Donna Shillington, associate professor in the School of Earth and Sustainability, is co-leading a National Science Foundation-funded marine expedition to the Aleutian Islands. Shillington and incoming doctoral student Valeria Rivas are collaborating with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and Washington University to acquire marine seismic data to image geological structures up to 60 kilometers below the Earth’s surface. The data will be used to understand the generation and evolution of lava at these active volcano sites and the source area of large subduction zone earthquakes.
  • Rosalinda Haddon, associate clinical professor Emeritus and current adjunct professor in the School of Nursing, published her first fictional novel titled, “A Double Life, A Single Love.” The book is a romance novel that follows the love story between Thomas Sinclair, recruited by the FBI, and his wife Hannah, who manages a multi-million dollar company, who are trying to stop a man determined to destroy the U.S. economy.
  • The Center for Ecosystem Science and Society is hosting a free virtual screening of the documentary “Picture A Scientist” for the NAU community  Sept. 23-25. Register online to receive a link to the film and join an optional discussion Sept. 30.