Faculty Highlights

A great number of our professors have distinguished themselves as researchers, authors, speakers, and thought leaders. Below are just a few of our renowned faculty members.

International awards and achievements

James Wittke, geological materials analyst, and Ted Bunch, adjunct faculty in planetary geology and cosmochemistry, recently published “Evidence for Deposition of 10 Million Tons of Spherules Across Four Continents 12,800 Years Ago” in PNAS Plus. The study includes research from 18 sites across North America, Europe and the Middle East that support the theory of a major cosmic impact in the Younger Dryas boundary layer. The full research report is available here.

Laura Camden and Kurt Lancaster, associate professors in the School of Communication, visited the University of Wollongong near Sydney, Australia. Camden and Lancaster contributed to the working document “Crossing Borders and Documenting Communities,” a trilateral agreement as partnership among professors and students in journalism, along with colleagues from Umea University in Sweden. They also conducted a multimedia lecture and workshop, and produced a short documentary on Wollongong’s convergence journalism class.

A recent article, "Climate Control of Terrestrial Carbon Exchange Across Biomes and Continents," published in the journal Environmental Research Letters co-authored by School of Forestry Professor Thomas Kolb and former research associates Sabina Dore and Mario Montes-Helu, has been awarded the Norbert Gerbier-MUMM International Award from the World Meteorological Organization.

Rosemary Papa, the Del and Jewel Lewis Endowed Chair in Learning Centered Leadership and professor of educational leadership, co-hosted a meeting of international scholars working toward improving educational opportunities for girls around the globe. The Flagstaff Seminar, Educational Leaders without Borders, met in San Francisco.

2013 Anthology of Best European FictionA German short story translated into English by Marilya Veteto Reese, professor of German, was one of 35 accepted submissions in Dalkey Archive Press’s annual anthology of Best European Fiction. Reese’s translation of Berlin poet Zehra Çirak’s Erinnerungspflegestudio was titled “Memory Cultivation Salon.” Dalkey Press’s anthologies were reviewed by The Independent as “diversity and craft on display…. thrilling.”

Reese, who has been at NAU since 1990, also recently published an ebook of translations with Tübingen/Germany’s Schiler Verlag titled Kunst der Wissenschaft/Art of Science. Reese’s co-translator of this 182-page volume of prose, poetry and sculpture images by Zehra Çirak and Jürgen Walter is Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright, literary translator and wife of Pulitzer Prize recipient Franz Wright.

Reese is also working with Schiler Verlag to publish her translation into German of Putrefaction Live, a 2009 novel by Flagstaff physician-author Warren Perkins.

Susan Marks, professor in the College of Education, recently produced the film Vectors of Autism, which was screened at the 2013 Sedona International Film Festival. The 50-minute documentary is about a 57-year-old northern Arizona woman who has autism and has much to say about the influence it has had on her life. Marks’ production received the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities 2013 Media Award. The documentary will be featured at the International Association of Special Education Conference in Vancouver in July.

Donelle Ruwe, associate professor of English, Atticus BaileySamantha Gebel and Marie Knowlton-Davis, graduate students in English, presented research during the 18th- and 19th-Century British Women Writers’ Association Conference in Albuquerque. This international conference is dedicated to the recuperation and critical exploration of texts by non-canonical as well as canonical women writers.

Amy Vogler, assistant director of NAU’s Center for Microbial Genetics and Genomics, was the lead author on a study recently published in the online science journal mBio. A Decade of Plague in Mahajanga, Madagascar: Insights into the Global Maritime Spread of Pandemic Plague” examines a cluster of human Yersinia pestis cases that struck the seaport city of Mahajanga between 1991 and 1999 after 62 years of no evidence of plague. The full study is available here. Additional authors are Paul Keim, Regents’ Professor of Biological Sciences, Cowden Endowed Chair in Microbiology, and Director of MGGen, Roxanne Nottingham, coordinator at MGGen, Kevin Drees, research associate at MGGen, Stephen M. Beckstrom-Sternberg, associate professor of biological sciences, David Wagner, associate professor of biological sciences, and Genevieve Andersen, undergraduate microbiology major.

Kees Jan van Groenigen, a visiting international scholar who has dual appointments with the Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research and the Department of Biological Sciences, is a co-author of “Greenhouse-gas emissions from soils increased by earthworms,” published online by Nature Climate Change.

Dr. Lori Poloni-Staudinger, associate professor of Politics and International Affairs, recently released the book Terrorism and Violent Conflict: Women’s Agency, Leadership and Responses, published by Springer Press. The book investigates the intersection between terrorism and gender at several levels in society including the individual terrorist, social movements, elites and the pubic. The work is based in part off of research Poloni-Staudinger conducted in the Basque regions of Spain and France on ETA terrorism.

Poloni-Staudinger will teach at Basque National University in San Sebastian with University Studies Abroad Consortium in spring 2014, during which she will conduct further primary research on the topic.

Robert Schehr, professor of criminology and criminal justice and executive director of the Arizona Innocence Project, delivered a lecture, “Wrongful Conviction and Innocence Organizations,” to more than 200 people at the Lyon III School of Law in Lyon, France. The Jan. 11 event marked the formal launch of Innocence Project France. The event captured significant press attention, including a story in Le Monde.

Donelle Ruwe, associate professor of English, has published an essay, “International Quidditch: Using Cultural Translation Exercises to Teach Word Choice and Audience,” in the March 2013 issue of the English Journal. Ruwe’s essay is based on a presentation that she delivered in 2011 for the NAU Faculty Development series, “Insights from Studies of Women and Children in Global Settings.”

SCIENCE Magazine coverJames Sample, PhD, professor in the School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, is a coauthor of “Stress State in the Largest Displacement Area of the 2011 Tohoku-Oki Earthquake,” which was published in Science

Recently, the research project contributed to by Sample, reached a milestone when the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology research vessel Kairei successfully retrieved sensors from the deepest borehole observatory ever installed. The Kairei carried out the complex sequence of operations in the Japan Trench at a depth of 7,000 meters. Sample sailed on the Kairei a year ago and collected samples from the fault for further analysis.

National awards and achievements

Jon Reyhner, professor of bilingual multicultural education, was recognized as one of the "most influential professors in American Indian/Alaska Native education" in a recent study published by Hollie J. Mackey, assistant professor of education at the University of Oklahoma, and Linda Sue Warner, special assistant to the president on tribal affairs at Northeastern A&M College.

The College of Education has released a new book, Honoring Our Children: Culturally Appropriate Approaches to Teaching Indigenous Students, edited by NAU professors Jon ReyhnerLouise Lockard and Willard Sakiestewa Gilbert, as well as Joseph Martin, an associate professor of educational leadership and special adviser to NAU President John Haeger on Native American Affairs. The book is the eighth in a series of monographs related to teaching indigenous students published by Northern Arizona University. Honoring Our Children assists educators and policy makers in better understanding how the education of indigenous children can be improved by building on their cultural heritage and involving their families and local communities. Several NAU faculty contributed to the book, including Louise LockardVelma HaleChristine LemleyLoren HudsonMikaela Terry and Evangeline Parsons Yazzie.

Dennis C. Tanner, professor of health sciences, and Stephanie Christensen, senior lecturer of health sciences, contributed a section on swallowing disorders to the Nursing Diagnosis Handbook: An Evidence-Based Guide to Planning Care (10th Edition). In their section, Tanner and Christensen discuss the role swallowing impairments play in often-fatal aspiration pneumonia and provide guidelines and suggestions for nurses to avoid dysphagia complications.
J. Gregory Caporaso, Assistant Professor of Bioinformatics 
in the Department of Computer Science, is coauthor of a paper, “Evidence for a persistent microbial seed bank throughout the global ocean,” published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Ricardo Guthrie, assistant professor in the Ethnic Studies Program, recently published a book chapter, “Oprah Winfrey and the Trauma Drama: What’s So Good About Feeling Bad?” in Presenting Oprah Winfrey: Her Films, and African American Literature. The chapter examines racial discursive themes in film projects promoted by media icon Oprah Winfrey, assessing the connection between cinematic trauma and socio-historical conditions of the late-twentieth century.
Alexandra A. Carpino, professor of art history and chair of the Department of Comparative Cultural Studies, was selected to participate as the Cinelli Lecturer for the 2012-2013 Lecture Program of the Archaeological Institute of America. 
American Physiological SocietyThe American Physiological Society recently named Stan Lindstedt, regents’ professor of Biological Sciences, as an honoree at its upcoming annual meeting in recognition of his contributions to the field. The lectureship is awarded to scientific areas of comparative and evolutionary physiology.
Constance Smith, psychology professor, recently was selected as a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Sciences. Fellow status is awarded to association members who have sustained outstanding contributions to the science of psychology in the areas of research, teaching, service and application.
Alice Gibb, professor of biological sciences and three colleagues were featured in Science for their symposium, “Vertebrate Land Invasions—Past, Present, and Future,” presented at the 2013 Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
Donelle Ruwe, associate professor of English, presented at the Modern Language Association in Boston. Her paper, “(Mis)Reading Romantic Children’s Verse,” was part of a panel discussion on children’s poetry sponsored by the MLA Division on Children’s Literature. Dr. Ruwe discussed the structural and stylistic patterns of early children’s verse and identified ways in which this verse laid the groundwork for contemporary children’s verse.
Natalie Cawood, associate professor of Social Work, published her article, “Addressing Interpersonal Violence in the School Context: Awareness and Use of Evidenced-Supported Programs,” in Children and Schools.


awards and achievements

Michael Amundson, history professor, has published a new book, Passage to Wonderland: Rephotographing Joseph Stimson’s Views of the Cody Road to Yellowstone National Park, 1903 and 2008. In 1903, Cheyenne photographer J. E. Stimson followed the route that led travelers from Cody, Wyoming, to Yellowstone National Park, documenting now-famous landmarks like Cedar Mountain, the Shoshone River, the Holy City, Chimney Rock, Sylvan Pass and Sylvan Lake. Amundson traveled the same road 105 years later, carefully duplicating Stimson’s original photographs. The book features these images, paired side by side and accompanied by a detailed explanation of the land and history depicted, making it more than a “then and now” photography book—it is a unique exploration of the interconnectedness between the Old West and the New West.

Tim Smith, professor of music theory, designed a virtual and interactive performance of the “St. Matthew Passion.” He created the site for the Oregon Bach Festival to honor Helmuth Rilling for his 44 years as its artistic director.
Bruce M. Sullivan, professor of religious studies, is publishing an article analyzing a museum exhibition of sacred objects. “Religions of the World at the Phoenix Art Museum” will be published in Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art and Belief, Vol. 9, No. 4 (2013).
Tom Sisk, Olajos-Goslow Chair of Environmental Science and Policy, was elected to receive the Grand Canyon Trust 2013 John Wesley Powell Award. The award is presented periodically to an exceptional individual or institution who has accomplished significant conservation for the Grand Canyon and the Colorado Plateau.


awards and achievements

The Viola Awards are Flagstaff's equivalent of the Oscars for the arts and sciences community. Celebrating excellence in the arts and sciences, the Viola Awards, presented by Flagstaff Cultural Partners, recognize artists, educators, organizations and leaders who make positive contributions to the arts and sciences in Flagstaff, Arizona. 

Kurt Lancaster, Associate Professor in the School of Communication, has received a grant from NAU’s Faculty Grant Programs to conduct research and to write a book titled Shooting with 16mm RAW Cinema Cameras.