Our stories

Northern Arizona University provides an excellent environment for both students and professors to embrace Native American culture.

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    Denetdale 225x150

    Jennifer Denetdale

    "Northern Arizona University has been able to do something that no other university did. I am the first Navajo to receive a PhD in history," says alumna Jennifer Denetdale

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    Eddie 225

    Regina Eddie

    "There's a Navajo word, táá hó'jit'éégóó, that means 'It's up to you.' Your path is determined by the choices you make," says alumna Regina Eddie, who is also an assistant clinical professor in the School of Nursing.

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    Greene 225

    Ciarra Greene

    "I'm the head on the rhamnolipid project—I started on it as a freshman. The project looks at how biosurfactants can be used to clean up uranium in the soil,” says student researcher Ciarra Greene

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    Gumerman 225

    George Gumerman

    When George Gumerman, professor of anthropology and director of the Northern Arizona University Honors Program, took the role of principal investigator of the Footprints of the Ancestors project, his goal was to help connect Hopi youth to the traditions, language, and culture of their tribe.

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    Hamill 225x150

    Chad Hamill

    “Our songs, like our languages, are central to who we are as Native people,” says Chad Hamill, Co-Chair of the Commission for Native Americans and assistant professor of ethnomusicology in the School of Music. 

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    Ingram 225

    Jani Ingram

    Professor Jani Ingram strives to find solutions to cancer disparities among Native Americans while teaching the next generation of researchers who can, in turn, boost the health of their home communities.

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    Nakai 225x150

    R. Carlos Nakai

    Northern Arizona University alumnus and Grammy-nominated recording artist R. Carlos Nakai has reached heights that few musicians ever see. He is credited by music industry observers as being a major force in popularizing Native American music among a wider audience. 

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    Preston 225

    Rick Preston

    "I was always mindful of the fact that the Yavapai-Apache Nation put me through college all these years, so I wanted to go back and work for them,” says alumnus Rick Preston, who is the executive director of the Yavapai-Apache Tribal Housing Program. 

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    Sanderson 225

    Priscilla Sanderson

    "We need a way to help patients and family members navigate treatment options in their first language, whether it's Navajo or English," says Priscilla Sanderson, who is an assistant professor in health sciences and Applied Indigenous Studies. 

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    Scharfenberger 225

    Benjamin Scharfenberger

    As the diabetes coordinator and educator at Native Americans for Community Action (NACA), a Flagstaff-based community health clinic, alumnus Benjamin Scharfenberger faces daily challenges head on. 

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    Schulz 225x150

    Leslie Schulz

    "One of my goals when I came here was to make the College of Health and Human Services the premier institution for educating Native American health professionals. It's been a focus of my work for a long time," says Leslie Schulz, executive dean of the College of Health and Human Services. 

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    Souers 225

    Jerome Souers

    "I'm proud to represent my people and my heritage, and think that this is not a sport a lot of Natives have really been able to flourish in as participants or in the coaching field, so I'm excited I've been able to contribute,” says head football coach Jerome Souers

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    Yellowhair 225

    Monica Yellowhair

    Alumna Monica Yellowhair has dedicated her academic career and nearly 12 years of research to help the people from her northern Arizona community who may have suffered DNA damage from uranium exposure.