In the Spotlight: Sept. 27, 2013

Kudos to these faculty, staff and students

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  • A guest column by Fred Hurst, senior vice president for Extended Campuses, appeared in the online publication edtech digest. “Bring Back the Joy of Learning” explains the basis of Personalized Learning, the recently launched competency-based degree program at NAU.
  • Together with Coconino County, Kimberly Mitchell, assistant professor of Visual Communication, will be awarded a grant by the Flagstaff Community Foundation and the Geile Charitable Fund for a yearlong student project to create and implement wayfinding signage and app design for Fort Tuthill’s Soldier’s Trail in Flagstaff.
  • Brett G. Dickson, assistant research professor for the Lab of Landscape Ecology and Conservation Biology in the School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, coauthored a Comment in the latest issue of Nature, titled “Ecology: Gene Tweaking for Conservation,” in which he contends that emerging tools in the field of genetic engineering can be used to conserve populations imperiled by climate change.
  • Rodrigo de Toledo, associate professor of visual communication, has an exhibit, “Nanodramas: Identity Pills,” at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris through Dec. 1. This interactive work is part of the exhibition called “Digital Literature from Yesterday to Tomorrow,” which presents seven major themes retrospective of digital literature from its origins—the first generative works on computer—to contemporary works designed for new reading devices.

    The work also is published in BleuOrange, Revue the Literature Hypermediatique, and is being presented at the conference ELO in Paris (congrès annuel de l’Electronic Literature Organization): “Chercher le Texte,” on Sept. 25.

    Jut Wynne
    Jut Wynne collects samples during a 2011 inventory of troglobites on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Photo by Nicholas Glover.
  • J. Judson “Jut” Wynne, a biological sciences doctoral candidate and research ecologist with the Colorado Plateau Research Station, recently was featured in Live Science for identifying eight “quirky” new species in lava tube caves and by National Geographic for uncovering a new eyeless fungus beetle in an Arizona cave.

    Read Wynne’s scientific papers, “Inventory, Conservation, and Management of Lava Tube Caves at El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico” here and “New Species (Coleoptera: Leiodidae: Cholevinae: Ptomaphagini): The Most Troglomorphic Cholevine Beetle Known From Western North America” here.

  • Mandy Hansen, director of international admissions and recruitment, has been selected to assist with designing a course for a new initiative in Myanmar. Hansen is representing NAU as one of four higher education institutions for the project, which is funded in part by a grant to the Institute for International Education from the Henry Luce Foundation.

    The Institute for International Education’s new course, “Connecting to the World: International Relations for Higher Education Institutions,” will be piloted in Myanmar this fall to train ministry officials and university representatives in developing and transitioning countries on how to create and manage an effective international relations office.

    The initiative will enable universities in Myanmar to connect with institutions in the United States and other countries to build institutional capacity and prepare students to meet workforce needs. The coursework on International Relations Offices will include an in-person training workshop and asynchronous lessons. Read more here.