Faculty accomplishments

On Friday January 11th, 2013 CCJ faculty member and Executive Director of the Arizona Innocence Project, Dr. Robert Schehr, delivered his lecture entitled, "Wrongful Conviction and Innocence Organizations", to more than 200 people at the Lyon III School of Law in Lyon, France. Dr. Schehr spoke as an invited member of the Board of Directors for The Innocence Network, and as Chair of the International Committee. The event marked the formal launch of the first French innocence project, Innocence Project France. The event captured significant press attention, including this story in France's most prestigious newspaper, Le Monde.

Dr. Dennis Wayne Catlin, professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, was named "EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR" for 2012 by the ARIZONA JUSTICE EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION.  The wording on his award reads as follows:  "In recognition of your high ethical standards, outstanding achievements, contribution and dedication to students and faculty in criminal justice education" Trina Spencer, Research Director at the Institute for Human Development, received a Preliminary Studies Grant to develop and validate a dynamic assessment of decoding and language. The purpose of this new assessment tool is to reduce the bias against culturally and linguistically diverse children that is inherent in many static measures used in schools and to identify students who need intensive academic support when they first enter kindergarten.

Nancy Wonders, PhD professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, won the Joseph B. Gittler Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems during its 2012 annual meeting in Denver. The award recognizes the significant scholarly achievements that society members have made in contributing to the ethical resolution of social problems.

Richard Carroll of the Institute for Human Development was awarded a 2.7 million dollar, five-year grant from the Administration on Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities to conduct disability preservice interdisciplinary training, community training and technical assistance, research and and dissemination. The project commenced July 1, 2012 and will go through June 30, 2017.

Alan A Lew, PhD was awarded membership in the International Academy for the Study of Tourism in recognition of his significant long-term contributions to the field of tourism research. 

The Arizona Governor's Office of Children, Youth and Families provided Neil Websdale with $783,090 in grant funds to implement the FRASA (Fatality Reviews and Safety Audits) project. The project commenced August 1, 2011 and ends June 30, 2012.

Mr. Marco Meier and Dr. Larry Stevens in the Department of Psychology were awarded a $10,000 Research Scholarship Grant from Applied Neuroscience, Inc.  The award is for EEG equipment, software, and supplies for purposes of testing LORETA z-score EEG Neurofeedback as Mr. Meier’s Graduate Thesis project in the Department of Psychology at NAU.

NAU’s 2012 Research and Creative Activity Award for Most Significant Scholarly Work was presented to Alex Alvarez, Professor, Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice, for the Book, Genocidal Crimes (2010) The award recognizes a work of scholarship that has had a demonstrable impact on the individual or group, the discipline and/or the university as evidenced through publicity, dissemination, citation, awards, etc.

 Sam Minkler 

Sam Minkler, associate professor of photography for the School of Communication, was awarded second place honors in the digital photography category at the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts 2010 Santa Fe Indian Market Awards.

 Neil Websdale 

Neil Websdale, a professor of criminology and criminal justice, received the 2009-10 Attorney General Distinguished Service Award in Leadership. He was given the award by Attorney General Terry Goddard for his dedication to the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Teams Initiative. 

 Mark Neumann 

The National Communication Association’s Ethnography Division has awarded its Best Book of the Year (2010) Award to Mark Neumann, director of the School of Communication, for Recording Culture: Audio Documentary and the Ethnographic Experience.

Brant Short, communication professor, was selected to receive a research grant from the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication at Penn State University. Short received $3,000 for his research project, “From Greenwashing to Social Advocacy: The Ethical Imperative in Green Branding.”

 Peter Friederici 

Peter Friederici, assistant professor in the School of Communication, is the 2009 recipient of the Copper Quill Award, given by the Friends of the Flagstaff Public Library. The award honors a local author for a body of work.

 Patricia Murphey 

Patricia Murphey, assistant professor of visual communication, was awarded third place in the logo design category for the "American Design Award Semi-Annual Design Contest,” a peer-reviewed competition with 1,313 entries and 52 winners.


Trina D. Spencer, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA-  Research Director - Institute for Human Development, Research Assistant Professor - Educational Psychology

Petersen, D. B., Thompson, B. E., Guiberson, M., & Spencer, T. D. (in press), Cross-linguistic interactions from L2 to L1 as the result of individualized narrative language intervention with children with and without language impairment. Accepted for publication in Applied Psycholinguistics.

Kruse, L., Spencer, T. D., Olszewski, A., Goldstein, H. (in press). Small groups, big gains: Efficacy of a tier 2 phonological awareness intervention with preschoolers with early literacy deficits. Accepted for publication in American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.

Kelley, E. S., Goldstein, H., Spencer, T. D., & Sherman, A. (in press). An automated tier 2 vocabulary and comprehension intervention for preschool children with limited oral language skills. Accepted for publication in Early Childhood Research Quarterly.

Weddle, S. A., Spencer, T. D., Kajian, M., & Petersen, D. B. (in press). An examination of a multi-tiered system of language support for culturally and linguistically diverse preschoolers: Implications for early and accurate identification. Accepted for publication in School Psychology Review.

Petersen, D. B., Allen, M. M., Ukrainetz, T., & Spencer, T. D. (2014). Predicting reading             difficulty in first grade using dynamic assessment of decoding in early kindergarten: A large-scale longitudinal study. Journal of Learning Disabilities, Online First, 1-16.

Slocum, T. A., Detrich, R., Wilcynzski, S., Spencer, T. D., Lewis, T., Snyder, K. (2014). Evidence-based practice of applied behavior analysis. The Behavior Analyst, 37, 41-56.

Petersen, D. B., & Spencer, T. D. (2014). Narrative assessment and intervention: A clinical tutorial on extending explicit language instruction and progress monitoring to all students. Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, 21, 5-21.

Spencer, T. D., Petersen, D. B., Slocum, T. A., & Allen, M. M. (2014). Large group narrative intervention in Head Start classrooms: Implications for response to intervention. Journal of Early Childhood Research, online first, 1-22.

Petersen, D. B., Brown, C. L., Ukrainetz, T. A., DeGeorge, C., Spencer, T. D., & Zebre, J. (2014). Systematic individualized narrative intervention on the personal narratives of children with autism. Language, Speech, Hearing Services in Schools, 45, 67-86.

Noe, S., Spencer, T. D., Kruse, L., & Goldstein, H. (2014). Effects of a tier 3 phonological intervention on preschoolers’ emergent literacy. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 34(1), 27-39.

See some of our faculty members at work solving real-world problems in this STOP In Action film by the Montana Domestic Violence Fatality Review Commission.


August 2014 - Ann Huffman, associate professor of psychology and management, was presented the 2014 Organizations and Natural Environment Division of the Academy of Management Book Award for her contributions to “Green Organizations: Driving Change with IO Psychology.” The edited volume discusses how industrial-organizational psychology contributes to environmental sustainability in organizations. Huffman also is the 2015 Division Program Chairperson for the American Psychological Association, Society of Industrial-Organizational Psychology to be held in Toronto.
June 2014 - Dr. Trina Spencer of the Institute for Human Development was recently awarded a three year research grant from the Institute of Educational Sciences, the research arm of the US Department of Education totaling $1,481,976.  The long-term goal of the grant entitled, “Development of a Dual Language Narrative Curriculum” will be to promote academic success among young Spanish-speaking English learners.  This is the first grant received by the university from this funding agency.
This project will be completed through collaboration with Northern Arizona Council of Governments Head Start and many NAU undergraduate and graduate students will serve as research assistants.  The award period is from 8/1/2014 to 7/31/2017.  For further information about this exciting new research project, contact Trina Spencer at 523-8103 or at Trina.Spencer@nau.edu.

October 2013 - Trina Spencer, Research Director at the Institute for Human Development, received a Preliminary Studies Grant to develop and validate a dynamic assessment of decoding and language. The purpose of this new assessment tool is to reduce the bias against culturally and linguistically diverse children that is inherent in many static measures used in schools and to identify students who need intensive academic support when they first enter kindergarten.

Michelle Miller, professor of psychology, published an article titled, “What College Teachers Should Know about Memory: A Perspective from Cognitive Psychology,” in the journal College Teaching in 2011. 

Luis A. Fernandez, director of the master’s in sustainable communities program, coauthored a new book published by New York University Press titled Shutting Down the Streets: Political Violence and Social Control in the Global Era. The book revamps the literature on social control and reveals the significance of protest policing in the era of alterglobalization. Based on direct observation of more than 20 global summits, the book demonstrates that social control is not only global, but also preemptive, and that it relegates dissent to the realm of criminality. The authors document in detail how social control forecloses the spaces through which social movements nurture the development of dissent and effect disruptive challenges. The book shows that much “policing of protest” is political violence against democracy.

 Lori Poloni-Staudinger 

 Lori Poloni-Staudinger, assistant professor of politics and international Affairs, published "Gendered Political Opportunities? Elite Alliances, Electoral Cleavages, and Activity Choice Among Women's Groups in the UK, France, and Germany," in Social Movement Studies:  Journal of Social, Cultural and Political Protest. 

Jeffrey Hilmer, visiting assistant professor in politics and international affairs, published "Modern Democratic Thought" in 21st Century Political Science: A Reference Handbook.

  Amy Horn 

Amy Horn, instructor in Photography, wrote "Digital Gold," published in the January/February 2011 issue of Gold Prospectors. The magazine also published one dozen of her photographs along with the article, including one featured on the front cover of the publication.

 Naomi Pinion 

Naomi Pinion, politics and international affairs instructor, published her book, Gay Marriage in the US: Challenging the National Security Imaginary, in 2010.

 Jacqueline Vaughn 

Jacqueline Vaughn, professor of politics and international affairs, has had the sixth edition of her textbook, Environmental Politics: Domestic and Global Dimensions, published by Wadsworth Publishing.

 Ricardo Guthrie 

Ricardo Guthrie, assistant professor of ethnic studies, published an article, "Runagate, Runagate: Historical Noncompliance, Pre-Emption and Moral Justice," on SB 1070, immigration, and the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, in the Tidal Basin Review.

 Norman Medoff 

Norman J. Medoff, professor in the School of Communication, has published a second edition of his book, Electronic Media: Then, Now, & Later, which connects the traditional world of broadcasting with the contemporary universe of digital electronic media.

Kimberly Melhus, assistant professor of visual communication, published "Usability Study of the Motorola Razr V3 Cellphone" in the peer-reviewed journal, Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal. The article details how Melhus and a team of designers developed two cell phone design prototypes geared toward tech-savvy baby boomers.


Laura L. Camden, assistant professor of photojournalism and documentary studies in the School of Communication, presented "Lights Still On: The First and Last of Montana's Drive-in Movie Theatres" at the 10th annual Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities last week in Honolulu.

  Mark Neumann 

Mark Neumann, director of the School of Communication, recently delivered a keynote address, "Excavations of the Cinematic City: Between Evidence and Evocation," at the Mapping the City in Film conference at the University of Liverpool.

 Charlie Hicks 

School of Communication electronic media and film lecturer Charlie Hicks presented his paper, "Demystifying the 'It' Factor: Why Certain Audience Members Develop Preferences for Certain Broadcasters," at the 2010 Broadcast Education Association annual convention.

 Laura Umphrey 

Laura Umphrey, associate professor of communication, delivered the keynote speech "Coping with Loss: Effective and Ineffective Communication" at the 2010 MISS Foundation Conference. The MISS Foundation is a volunteer-based nonprofit which provides support, education, advocacy, and research after the death of a child at any age and from any cause.

Mark Beeman, professor of sociology and social work, Geeta Chowdhry, professor of politics and international affairs, Ricardo Guthrie, assistant professor of ethnic studies, Daisy Purdy, faculty in ethnic studies, and T. Mark Montoya, instructor of ethnic studies, presented a panel, "Surviving Arizona: Defending Ethnic Studies in a New Jim Crow Era?" at the 39th annual conference of the National Ethnic Studies Association.

Kelly Campbell Rawlings, assistant professor of politics and international affairs, presented the paper "From Institutions to Interconnections: Revisiting, Reinvigorating, and Realizing Democracy as a Way of Life" as part of a panel titled "Toward Sustainable Institutions for Participative, Egalitarian Governance" at a recent American Society for Public Administration Conference.