Hall of Fame 2015


Lynn Bartels 

When Lynn Bartels announced in July she was retiring after a 35-year-career in journalism, it led the news that day in Colorado and also was trending on Twitter, with tweets from Rachel Maddow, The Washington Post and the governor.

During her career she’s won plenty of awards: from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists; a Pulitzer as part of The Denver Post’s team coverage of the Aurora movie theater massacre; first place for feature writing for the one-year anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. But she notes the only award she prominently displayed in her home all of these years: the Samuel LaRue Finley award for creative writing in humor she received at Northern Arizona University in 1980.

She worked at the Gallup Independent and The Albuquerque Tribune in New Mexico before moving to Colorado in 1993 after being hired by the Rocky Mountain News. When that paper closed in 2009 just six weeks shy of its 150th birthday, her one-time competitor, The Denver Post, snatched her up.
Bartels now serves as the spokeswoman for the Colorado secretary of state, a job that keeps her involved in politics. 

Carol Kottenbrook

Carol Kottenbrook

1971 Political Science; President and Co-Founder of Sandstorms Films and Film Producer (The Covenant, The Forsaken among others)

Carol has produced Theatrical and Television Films in the US and in numerous international countries in association with Sony Pictures, Tri-Star Columbia as well as other studio productions. She was raised in Yuma, Arizona and was recently inducted into the Education Foundation Yuma County Hall of Fame for her outstanding achievements in the Motion Picture Entertainment field and for her involvement in educating interns. A twenty-year Flagstaff resident, Carol holds a B.S. degree from NAU and was awarded a Distinguished Centennial Alumni Award in 1998. In 2010 the Northern Arizona University Foundation highlighted Carol for her volunteer and financial support. She is a guest lecturer in Creative Media and Film classes, and continues to assist and train students to use production software specific to the entertainment industry. She has been instrumental in helping NAU graduates transition into the entertainment business by providing employment opportunities, and has proudly placed Arizona graduates into professional positions. Carol and Joe Cardone, her husband, established the Cardone-Kottenbrook Media Endowment funding NAU Capstone students’ senior productions. They also act as consultants on senior film projects. Since its inception, one of the endowment’s student films won an Arizona Student Emmy award, and several others were named festival favorites. Carol continues to guide these students to their career starts in the Los Angeles area.

Kayla Mueller revised

Kayla Mueller (posthumously) 

2009 Politics and International Affairs alumni

Human rights activist and humanitarian aid worker- Kayla Mueller lived her life dedicated to helping others in need. Her time at Northern Arizona University was filled with a commitment to human rights and activism, and after graduation in 2009, she worked to provide humanitarian aid in various places throughout the world. Kayla was among the best of us: an inspiring young woman whose selflessness and courage motivates all of us to be—and to do—better.

In recognition of her incredible life of service, the Kayla Jean Mueller Memorial Scholarship was created. This scholarship will support students who, like Kayla, aspire to dedicate their lives to assisting those who need it most, and who plan to work in humanitarian relief.
With your help, we can ensure that this scholarship expands and grows, and that more students—inspired by Kayla’s life of heroism and service—have our support as they help make the world a better place.
Click here to donate - https://alumni.nau.edu/giving.aspx?fnds=05428


Claudio Sanchez

1976 Public Relations; NPR educational correspondent Former elementary and middle school teacher Claudio Sanchez is an Education Correspondent for NPR.

 He focuses on the "three p's" of education reform: politics, policy and pedagogy. Sanchez's reports air regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.
Sanchez joined NPR in 1989, after serving for a year as executive producer for the El Paso, Texas, based Latin American News Service, a daily national radio news service covering Latin America and the U.S.- Mexico border.
From 1984 to 1988, Sanchez was news and public affairs director at KXCR-FM in El Paso. During this time, he contributed reports and features to NPR's news programs.

In 2008, Sanchez won First Prize in the Education Writers Association's National Awards for Education Reporting, for his series "The Student Loan Crisis." He was named as a Class of 2007 Fellow by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. In 1985, Sanchez received one of broadcasting's top honors, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton, for a series he co-produced, "Sanctuary: 

The New Underground Railroad." In addition, he has won the Guillermo Martinez-Marquez Award for Best Spot News, the El Paso Press Club Award for Best Investigative Reporting, and was recognized for outstanding local news coverage by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Sanchez is a native of Nogales, Mexico, and a graduate of Northern Arizona University, with post-baccalaureate studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson.