In the Student Spotlight: April 16, 2021

Kudos to these students

Do you have a spotlight item to share with the NAU community?

E-mail your announcements to, or use our online submission form.

  • The student team, Waters Incorporated, made up of seniors Ahmad Almohammedsaleh, Brittany Riser, Juris Tan, Naïf Alkahtani and Kyle Telesco from the College of Engineering, Informatics, and Applied Sciences, won the AZ Water Student Design Competition where they had to design a replacement water treatment facility for the city of Gilbert. This is the fourth year in a row the team has beat ASU and UArizona to advance to national competition in the Water Environment Federation competition.
  • Jaime Begay, graduate student of public and Indigenous health and research assistant with the Navajo Native American Research Center for Health Partnership, received the Louis H. and Betty J. Quayle Scholarship. The scholarship provides up to $4,000 per semester to new or continuing degree-seeking graduate students who are members of a federally recognized Native American tribe or nation.
  • Senior quarterback Keondre Wudtee was named the ROOT Sports Offensive Player of the Week by the Big Sky Conference. This is the first award of his career and the first time an NAU football player has earned an honor this season.
  • Taylor Lane, doctoral student of interdisciplinary health; Derek Sonderegger, associate professor of mathematics and statistics; Whitney Holeva-Eklund, doctoral student of interdisciplinary health; Timothy Behrens, associate professor of health sciences; and Dirk de Heer, associate professor of health sciences co-authored the article, “Seasonal variability in weight gain among American Indian, Black, White, and Hispanic children: A 3.5 year study” published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The study examined seasonal weight variability over 3.5 years among ethnically diverse children, which included 2,184 American Indian/Alaska Native children, an understudied demographic.
  • Several graduate students studying applied linguistics and who are teaching at the Program in Intensive English presented at the virtual American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL) 2021 Conference, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) 2021 International Convention and the University of Alabama Language Conference 2021.
    • Marcella Caprario (AAAL) – “Supporting University Students’ Development of L2 Pragmatic Competence”
    • Brock Wojtalewicz (AAAL) – “A receptive vocabulary size test for French: Replication study and item analyses”
    • An Nguyen (AAAL) – “‘An earthquake occurred many people to death?!’: Acceptable vs. unacceptable resultative sentences in English”
    • Nguyen and Audrey Murray (TESOL) – “Using Ted-Ed in Asynchronous Classes”
    • Jennifer Glng (Alabama) – “An Analysis of Accent Use in Commercials in the United States”
  • The NAU women’s soccer team had six student-athletes honored with Big Sky postseason conference accolades.
    • Junior Madison Montgomery earned a First Team All-Conference honors and received the Co-Offensive MVP and the Golden Boot awards.
    • Senior Paige Maling earned a place on the All-Conference First Team.
    • Senior Taryn Benham and sophomores Rylie Curran and Abby Donathan earned All-Conference Second Team honors.
    • Senior Emma Robson earned All-Conference Honorable Mention.
  • Supplemental Instruction (SI)Leaders selected to receive the NAU Spring 2021 SI Excellence in Leadership Award were: Kyle Thomas, Emily Waffle, Gabriela Gardner, Richard Howard, Raini Leveen, Iliana Martinez, Nicole Neilson, Janae Ziebell and Mariana Jones. The following SI Leaders were selected by their peers to receive the Spring 2021 SI Excellence in Peer Leadership Award: Paige Knaub, Isaac Alstrin and Sarah Kline.
  • Haley Dunleavy, doctoral student in biology and recent graduate of the science communication certificate program, was chosen as a summer 2021 AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellow. She will spend 10 weeks interning with Inside Climate News.