Student accomplishments



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.