Student accomplishments

NAU's Model UN awarded

On November 18-20, 2016, NAU’s Model United Nation club (MUN) competed at the Northwest Model UN (NWMUN) conference in Seattle, Washington. Two of our ten students, Taylor Lambrigger and Maxwell Ziats, received the Distinguished Delegate Award representing Canada at the conference. Congratulations! 

Participants in Model UN conferences (delegates) are placed in committees and assigned countries, where they represent members of that body. The Model UN club at NAU has won several awards at these conferences. MUN teaches public speaking, debating, researching and writing skills, along with critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities, and students gain understanding about diplomacy, international relations and the United Nations.

In addition, a team of twenty-seven NAU students traveled to Los Angeles in October 2016 and took part in the TrojanMUN conference. The delegates utilized their skill in diplomacy and strategy featuring a variety of historical and modern committees such as a Trojan War Joint Crisis Committee. 

Golden Axe Award

In 1932, the student body adopted the copper axe as the symbol for Lumberjack sports. In 1933, the student government of Northern Arizona University adopted the tradition of awarding small, golden axe pins to outstanding members of the student body. To this day, the gold axe pin is considered the official emblem of the Associated Students and is still presented to recognize outstanding achievement and distinguished service to the University and greater community. 
This year, six students from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences were presented with this prestigious award. 
RecipientsMajor/MinorEducators of Influence
Martha Garner     Women's & Gender StudiesMeredith Heller 
Cameron GaskinEthnic StudiesFrederick Gooding Jr. 
Devyn GrayStrategic CommunicationKimberly Ott
Cheyanne MurphyJournalismMartin Sommerness
Isaac Romero Jr.Criminology & Criminal JusticeAdam Zickerman
Gabriella VerdugoStrategic Communication Amy Dryden 

Distinguished Senior Award 

The Distinguished Senior award is given to one senior from each college each semester by the Alumni Association for their outstanding accomplishments. This year, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences presented this prestigious award to Cheyenne Murphy. Cheyenne is an excellent student with nearly a 4.0 GPA. She played soccer for NAU and now in her final semester, is very involved in our Student Media Canter. She is the only student to hold key positions in both NAZ Today and the Lumberjack newspaper -- she is an anchor for NAZ Today and serves as the visuals editor for the Lumberjack. She also interned in the athletics communication office. 

Standard Bearer

Corbin Jountti (Psychological Sciences)

Corbin Jountti is majoring in Psychological Sciences and minoring in Ethnic Studies. He exemplifies what it means to be a student here at NAU. He is a student athlete, a member of the NAU football council, and social activist. He is the first ever at NAU to be awarded the Allstate AFCA Good Works team, "one of the most coveted off-the-field honors in college football". The award recognizes players who dedicate their time to bettering the community and the lives of others. 

Outstanding Seniors

Hannah Robinson (Anthropology)
Samantha Zah (Bachelor of University Studies)
Rikki Steffan (Criminology & Criminal Justice)
Kayla Knutson (Communication)
Stefan Rosic (Politics and International Affairs)
Isabelle Vento (Psychological Sciences) 
Kurtis Kerr (Sociology & Social Work)
Martha Garner (Women's & Gender Studies) 

Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards

The 2016 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards Gala took place on October 8th in Phoenix. Many of our School of Communication students received awards during this year's ceremony. 
The Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards are a part of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The Litchfield Park, Arizona division was founded in 1980; students were granted the Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards, awarded scholarships, conducting National Student Television Awards of Excellence, and operates a free research and a nationwide job bank. The division also participates in judging Emmy entries at the regional and national level.
Listed are the students who received these prestigious awards. 
Promotion Program: Single Spot/Image - Jerry Anderfuren and Alexander Thomas
College/University Student Production: Arts and Entertainment/Cultural Affairs - Lucas Millikin, Maritza Lopez, Nicholas Mazur, Haley Barnett, and Mariah Soer
College/University Student Production: Sports - Austin Davis, Xavier Rangel, Cody Cameron, and Holly Switay
College/University Student Production: Photographer - Lucas Millikin



Archeology Professor, Dr. Jaime Awe and his NAU team of more than 30 students discovered one of the largest Mayan tomb ever found in Xunantunich, Belize this summer. The team also found a burial of an important ruler, hieroglyphic panels, and multiple pieces of ceramics. This is the first tomb of an important ruler found ever found in this area although researchers investigate this site for more than a century. Not only the size of this tomb is spectacular, the structure of the tomb is very unusual as well. Professor Awe told the KNAU reporter: that “Most tombs in the Maya world are sort of dug into existing buildings,” Awe says. “Not in this case! In this case, they constructed this tomb and then built the pyramid on top of it.”  The panels found might be even more important than the burial because they provide will provide new knowledge about the fabled nation who still presents a puzzle to scientists. Dr. Awe and his team of NAU students and their discovery is in the news world wide. Pictures of the site from Professor Awe will follow soon. 
KNAU Report #1
KNAU report #2
Xunantunich, The Mystery Unfolds Part Two

News Articles

Utah's most educated woman of the week: Mica McGriggs, a former NAU student in Psychology, was recently nominated as 'Utah's most educated women of the week' by the Utah Women& Education Initiative. One of her professors remembers, "I had Mica in a First-Year Seminar in 2008." She took some of the 300 and 400 level classes with the same professor and was also a REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) student. The professor would rank Mica in the Top #10 most conservative individuals he ever knew. Mica is now going on her internship and will graduate with her Ph.D.  in Counseling Psychology next Spring. Read the full article here.

Convicted, but not guilty?
  Get a first hand look at Criminology and Criminal Justice student involvement in the Arizona Innocence Project (AIP).  This project, under the direction of Professor Robert Schehr, executive director, investigates cases of wrongful conviction.  Students review cases, inventory all files, visit crime scenes, take photographs, talk with police and attorneys and interview witnesses.  Read the article published in the Arizona Daily Sun on Oct. 8, 2012. 


Eric Betz, a senior majoring in journalism and astronomy/physics, has won the grand prize in the inaugural writing context for Arizona undergraduate students sponsored by the Water Resources Research Center at the University of Arizona. His article on El Niño’s effect on water supplies, “Warm Wave Brings Wet Weather,” also won the prize for best article from Northern Arizona University.


NAU School of communication students brought home FIVE student Emmy awards this weekend, more than any other university in the Rocky Mountain region!
Additionally, NAU received THREE professional Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards.
Student Emmys were awarded for the following:

Mari Cleven - News/general assignment, Flagstaff Extreme Adventure
(Mari did this story for my EMF323W TV news class last spring. It aired on Ch 12 news in Phoenix!)

Andrew Moraca, Chris Binning - Long Form: Fiction/Non-Fiction, In Tandem
(This was Drew & Chris' capstone film project)

Emani Payne- Public Affairs/Community Service, Buffalo Soldiers
(Emani did this story for NAZ Today)

Mari Cleven - Photographer, Flagstaff Extreme Adventure
(See above)

Mari Cleven- Editor, Mari Cleven Editing Composite
(view her work composite at

The True Blue NAU commercial that Angele Anderfuren, Lecturer, Electronic Media and Film/Journalism,  produced, co-directed & co-edited with Jerry Anderfuren for NAU-TV and the True Blue NAU committee with a staff/cast of NAU students & staff won one professional Emmy! Watch it here:

Jerry Anderfuren won two other professional Emmys for his NAU-TV commercial Create Your Future.

Also congrats to all the other students nominated for a student Emmy: Aaron Benally, Jenna Lyter, Javeon Butler, & Alex Finden. It is extremely hard to even get a nomination!

Nicola Walters, senior in political science, and Zoey DeWolf, junior in communication, placed 22nd in the country for debate in competitive National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence, ahead of teams from prestigious universities like Loyola and Rice.

Outstanding seniors Layne Alexander, psychology major, Patricia Caballero, political science major, Darryl Jacobsen, electronic media and film major, and Kathleen Templin, criminal justice major, are just a few of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences graduates to win the university’s Gold Axe Award in 2011.


On Saturday August 9, 2014, Anthropology MA candidate Nicole Lohman won the first Cordell Prize for best student presentation at the Pecos Conference, an annual gathering of Southwestern archaeologists, held this year just north of Blanding, Utah.

Two faculty members, seven graduate students, and two recent graduates participated at the Western Social Science Association’s annual meeting. Communication professors Dayle Hardy-Short and Brant Short served as leaders for the Human Communication section of the meeting.

Tracie Hansen received an honorable mention in the Western Social Science Association’s annual meeting graduate student paper competition for her paper, “‘Live from New York’: How One Late-Night Comedy Sketch Furthers Stereotypes of Women in Politics.” Hansen also presented “This Old Man: The Shared Meaning of New Hampshire’s ‘Great Stone Face.’

Antonio De La Garza, speech communication master’s student and director of NAU’s Forensics Team, and T. Mark Montoya, instructor of ethnic studies, presented a paper, "But It's a Dry Fascism: Arizona's HR 2281 and the Banning Ethnic Studies," at the 39th annual conference of the National Ethnic Studies Association.