Student Successes


Jacob Gross
NAU 100 Peer Instructor
Major: Spanish with a minor in Psychology
Graduation Year: May 2013

"Northern Arizona University has made a difference for my future, and for me simply because I am able to be the best version of myself while studying as a student and working as an employee. Being part of the Academic Transition Programs as an NAU 100 Peer Instructor has taught me to look deeper into the transition to college idea and realize how much of an impact I could potentially have on these freshman students. I have grown professionally while working in the University College ATP sector and hope to continue making a difference whether academically, or professionally, throughout the rest of my time I have here.

"NAU has given me a chance to expand my horizons as an employee for many different departments on campus, such as ATP, Residence Life, Learning Centers and Academic Affairs. As a senior this year, I plan to take advantage of everything NAU has to offer, as my time here is unfortunately coming to an end. I have loved living in Flagstaff and attending NAU, and that is why I find myself so happy and satisfied with my college education. My professors care about me, I care about my academics, and I find time to give everything I do equal attention. I love NAU!"


Kristen Cochran
NAU 100 Peer Instructor
Major: Art Education
Graduation Year: May 2014

"Northern Arizona University has made a difference for me by showing me the tools to be successful. I have never seen such a large community that truly cares about every single one of its students the way NAU does. I really did choose the right university to attend. I have had  nothing but positive experiences since starting my education here and I am already dreading having to leave. Northern Arizona University is truly a wonderful school." 


Margaret Sheble
Hooper Undergraduate Research Award recipient
Major: Art History/Museum Studies
Graduation Year: May 2013

"I love the community, I personally love NAU, the feeling that it has. I’ve been at a few other universities and I feel like a number there. Here, everyone is always willing to help you and give you an opportunity and talk to you on an individual basis. You don’t get lost in the crowd here. That’s the main reason why I wanted to come here. I’m glad it came true." Margaret is spending a year completing a post-graduate diploma in Arthurian studies at the University of Wales - Bangor; she will pursue her MA in literature at Purdue University as a graduate assistant.


Bryan Kimoto
Hooper Undergraduate Research Award recipient
Major: Philosophy/English
Graduation Year: May 2012

Bryan’s advisor “actually genuinely cared about me as a person and my success as a student. I wasn’t just a number or a potential number to her; I was a person with real desires and wants. She really encouraged me to pursue those. I recognized that was something that I only would get at NAU. I can say without a doubt that almost 99% of my professors know who I am and cared about me as a student. That, to me, is what makes NAU worth staying at. We have tons of opportunities for undergraduates to present or get involved in research. Just putting yourself out there will teach you skills that will make you more successful in the future.” Bryan is currently a graduate student and teaching assistant at Loyola Marymount University.


Allison Baker
NAU NASA Space Grant intern S.N.A.I.L. (Students Nurturing Alternative in Landscaping) Action Research Team facilitator
Major: Biology, Botany Emphasis
Graduation Year: May 2012

“One of the biggest benefits of doing research as an undergraduate is it allowed me to take what I learn in my classes and actually apply it. I think that’s a fundamental step to taking education to the next level - not only being able to regurgitate information that your professors give you, but also to expand upon that, think about it critically, and come up with your own ideas and ask questions. Research forces you to ask questions and forces you to be wrong. I think in our society we’ve been taught that being wrong is the worst thing ever – if you answer a question in class and you’re wrong, everyone looks at you like you’re crazy, but if you’re able to determine why your thinking is wrong, that’s great! Research forces you to continue to ask questions about what we’re learning, which expands our field." Allison is now completing her Master's in Sustainable Communities at NAU.


Andrew Belus
NAU NASA Space Grant intern and Hooper Undergraduate Research Award recipient
Major: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Graduation Year: May 2012

“Don’t be afraid to get involved in research and do it early – there’s definitely a timeframe involved. It’s hard to just dive into it – you have to take your time to ease yourself in – learning the language and figuring out how things work. The earlier you can get yourself involved, the better. You’re not getting a complete education if you are not involving yourself in research, even if that is not something you ultimately want to go into. By involving yourself, you give yourself a much greater understanding of the subjects. I would encourage anyone who’s in the sciences to at least try some kind of research. NAU has been amazing, providing great support in my experience.” After taking the year after graduation off to work on a number of outdoor projects, Andrew is now pursuing graduate studies at NAU.


Margaret Landis
NAU NASA Space Grant intern
Major: Astronomy
Graduation Year: May 2013

“I realized that this was my opportunity – not just learning the stuff in class, taking a test, and getting a grade. That’s not really what science is about; science is about taking that and trying to figure out how the world works from a fundamental level. Being able to do research is applying what I learned in class to actually being a scientist, discovering new things. Keep your eyes open and see what’s going on in terms of research, of what you like, and then go find people who do that and ask to help. Describe your skills, your interest in the project, and go from there.” Margaret is pursuing her PhD in Lunar and Planetary Science at the University of Arizona.


Amber Enriquez
Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity program
Major: Microbiology
Graduation Year: May 2012

“Doing research, you make connections with a supportive network of teachers and mentors who can help you achieve your goals. Just get involved because there are so many benefits to it. It gives you a perspective of the real world outside of college because you are in a workplace with other people, in a professional atmosphere. It exposes you to people from different backgrounds, different cities. It’s a quick way to immerse yourself in something different. It forces you into friendships or relationships. It provides opportunities to travel. You never know when a door is going to open. It is a great experience. If you’re unsure about what you want to do when you graduate, get involved in research.” Amber is pursuing her PhD in microbiology at the University of Georgia-Athens.


Michael Zowada
Hooper Undergraduate Research Award recipient
Major: Mathematics
Graduation Year: May 2013

If there’s one thing that NAU is known for, it is professors who take an interest in undergraduate students. Early in his studies in mathematics, Michael found out just how true this is. “I’ve always talked to my teachers a lot in math classes. Jeff Rushall [Senior Lecturer in Mathematics] one day asked me if I was interested in research. I didn’t know what to think of it; what do you do in math for research? I said yes and I really enjoyed it. It was his invitation that started it all off.” Because his career plans include becoming a mathematics professor, his research project “gave me a little idea about what it means to do research in math and what I’d be doing as a professor besides teaching - writing papers in math. It’s a really cool experience!” He is currently a graduate teaching assistant in NAU's Lumberjack Mathematics Center.