Student accomplishments

Nine Anthropology Students Awarded

Congratulations are in order to 9 students in Professor Janina Fenigsen's ANT 102 class for receiving the Public Anthropology Award. Lorenzo Miloscia, Tyler Millidge, Kaelyn Gavin, Cameron Weiner-Bonitto, Mia Wolfson, Dennys Esquivel, Muhammad Muhammad, Farren Lash, and Ahmad Alkhezzi were awarded for their op-ed based on information presented in five different case studies, all based on their view of how Institutional review Boards (in the U.S.) and/or Review Ethics Boards (in Canada) should enforce a set of common rules regarding research. Congratulation to all award winners!

Model UN Students Awarded

The NAU Model UN recently returned from a competitive competition in Chicago with two awards! Austin Rock won Outstanding Delegate and Scott Brownell was awarded Honorable Mention. The team was up against schools such as Berkeley, Harvard, Virginia, and many more. Congratulations Lumberjacks!
Another team leaves tomorrow for their last conference of the semester, they will be traveling to LA to compete at UCLA. Good luck to you all!

Kiril Kirkov, this year's Distinguished Senior of SBS this semester, has recently come out with a documentary film, "Art of the People". Kirkov has been working with Marilya Vetoto Reese, professor of German, on a bilingual reading event featuring his film and her co-translated book "The Art of Science". Reese also transcribed and translated Kirkov’s three other documentaries on refugees in Austria earlier this year.

School of Communication student films awarded

Bibbi Abruzzini, a recent NAU graduate of the School of Communication, has recently won the BEA: Student Short Form Video or Film Documentary for her film "Brian".
Another students, Merteen Victoria Cleary, also won the Award of Excellence for her film, "MISSing". Congratulations Lumberjacks!

International Affairs student awarded for research

International Affairs student, Austin Rock, was awarded by the Center of International Relations' for his research on the instability of Yemen. His article, "What Factors Have Perpetuated Instability in Yemen", was recently featured in the International Affairs Form. He looks into the reasons for the Saudi intervention in Yemen and what the domestic factors that have influenced this intervention. To read the entirety of Rock's article, click here

Graduate student, Corderro McMurry, featured in "Cosmopolitan" magazine

A School of Communications graduate student, Corderro McMurry, was recently interviews and featured in "Cosmopolitan" magazine for his research paper on Khloe Kardashian's new TV show, "Revenge Body", on E! Network. McMurry focuses on people's concern with body image. McMurry will be graduating in May of 2017 with a Master of Arts in Communication. To view the full interview, click here

 School of Communication students win National Awards from the Broadcast Education Association


Students from the School of Communication have won three national awards from the Broadcast Education Association, these include:
BEA Television Hard News Reporting
    Second Place
     "Punched by a Cop"
     Yesenia De Garcia
     Sakya Calsoyas
BEA Television News Anchor
     Second Place
     Yesenia De Garcia
BEA Video Studio (multi-camera or live to tape)
     Second Place
     Flagstaff Mayoral Debate
     Xavier Rangella
     Cheyanne Mumphrey
     And the Staff of NAZ Today

According to their website, the BEA is the premiere international academic media organization, driving insights, excellence in media production, and career advancement for educators, students, and professionals. The association’s publications, annual convention, web-based programs, and regional district activities provide opportunities for juried production competition and presentation of current scholarly research related to aspects of the electronic media. Congratulations to these talented students for receiving such distinguished awards!

NAU News introduces "Student Spotlights" 


NAU News has been a faculty and staff newsletter that communicates the latest campus events and announcements since 2012, they also highlight faculty and staff accomplishments. They have recently added student accomplishments to their newsletter. With thousands of students on campus, all within different colleges, the first two students highlighted just so happened to be from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Congratulations to Gradi Moore and Corbin Jointti.
Grady Moore is a student in NAU's Child Welfare Training Project, and is the youngest student currently enrolled in the program. She was recently interviews after her first solo case call on behalf of a minor client. When asked about what brought her to the Child Welfare Training Project, Moore said, "I was always told to have a voice, and that my voice matters. These kids in foster care and treatment centers need to know that their voices matter too." 
Corbin Jountti, along with a number of student athletes, was recognized during the Sugar Bowl halftime for his "good work" throughout his college education. Jountti, a football player who graduated in December with a degree in psychological science, was one of 17 graduating NAU athletes who collectively volunteered more than 680 hours of community service. The Sugar Bowl played between the Auburn Tigers and Oklahoma Sooners, took place in New Orleans on January 2, 2017. 

SBS Symposium 

Every year, the college of SBS hosts a symposium dedicated to the research of it's students. This year, it was organized by the Department of Psychological Sciences and more than 250 posters were presented from a majority of our departments and were on many different topics. Some of the more researched topics was the Pulse night club shooting in Orlando correlated with hate-crime presented by Criminology & Criminal Justice students. One of the teams that were interviewed were, Taylor Axlund, Tristan Nelson, and Dana Corona with their research being on whether or not the Orlando Pulse shooting was a hate-crime. "Our overall goal is to be able to reduce the use of this "other" label and we want equal representation," said Taylor Axlund. Another popular topic was mental health, Psychology students, Emerson Gullberg and Asher Pimley focused on Sexuality and Mental Health. "We discovered that non-heterosexual people had higher mental distress than heterosexual people," concluded Pimley. Politics & International Affairs student, Brittneigh Campbell, researched the topic of Indigenous Health: A comparative analysis of indigenous health in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. "I never expected my own connection. Yes, these are the people I come from but I never expected as deep of an emotional connection," said Campbell about the injustices that indigenous people face when looking to receive health care. 
A huge thank goes to all of the faculty and graduate students who helped to judge the 302w students’ posters and contributed to the success of the SBS Poster Symposium, including: Emily Craddock, Taylor Lane, Matthew Valente, Taylor West, Emily Wilson, Annie Collier, Rob Goodman, Viktoria Tidikis, Jason Whetten, Steven Barger, Matthew Anderson, Louis Irving, Alyssa Billington, Eion Cashman, Kathy Knights, and Natasha Dmitrieva, in addition to the entire first year cohort (who assisted the 302w students in the labs and came up with some very entertaining awards of their own)! We couldn’t have done it without your help. Winners of the Fall 2016 PSY 302w Research Methods in Psychology Poster Competition:
Most Interesting Research Question
Coping Mechanisms among Thrill Seekers  
Rylee Rumsey, Madison Bubb, Savannah Meritt
Mentors: Dr. Miller with graduate assistant Eion Cashman
Most Creative Experimental Method
Des Staires-Ziemann and Morgan Nowatkowski
The Effect of Color on Stress Levels
Mentors: Dr. Dunbar with graduate assistants Rosemary Al-Kire and Amber Thatcher
Most Creative Non-Experimental Method
Molly Bjerk, Samantha DeWolk, Sarina Salazar-Lewis and Paiton Strauss
Body Satisfaction: It’s Sweat Equity
Mentors: Dr. Dunbar with graduate assistants Rosemary Al-Kire and Amber Thatcher
Strongest Experimental Design
Haley Jackson, MacKenzie Mitchell, and Madison Sheahan  
You look like you want to argue: Attractiveness vs. Willingness to argue
Mentors: Dr. Busath with graduate assistant Mackenzie Onofry
Strongest Non-Experimental Design
Danielle Adams, Natalie Koster, Stephanie Lopez, and Elizabeth Saline
Self-compassion, academic success, and happiness
Mentors: Dr. Busath with graduate assistant Mackenzie Onofry
Best Statistical Analysis
Haley Jackson, MacKenzie Mitchell, and Madison Sheahan  
You look like you want to argue: Attractiveness vs. Willingness to argue
Mentors: Dr. Busath with graduate assistant Mackenzie Onofry
Best Discussion Section
Madison Arnone, Alison Benjamin, Amber Guiza, and Kaylie Voitik
What’s Love got to do with it? Influence of Committed Relationships on GPA
Mentors: Dr. Dunbar with graduate assistants Rosemary Al-Kire and Amber Thatcher
Most Creative Title
Zoe Birch, Sean Capron, Riley Gornik, Cory Robello
 “Oh Lord! An Analysis of Religiosity and Stress”
Mentors: Dr. Weidler with graduate student Rosemary Al-Kire
Best Poster Design (tie)
Emma Dahl, Hailey Trilk, Jack Quenelle, Amanda Gonzalez
Just Selfies or Self-Obsessed?
Mentors: Bies-Hernandez with graduate Student Jennifer Parada
Christine Do, Lauren Erikson, Katrina Porras
SEXtraverion and Social Anxiety
Mentors: Dr. Dunbar with graduate assistants Rosemary Al-Kire and Amber Thatcher
Best Overall Poster
3rd Place
Adrianna Carrillo, Johanna Gittleman, Itzel Ramirez, Makenzie Wilkings
 “The Application of the Representativeness Heuristic on Exam Formatting: The Effects on Stress, Confidence, and Exam Results”
Mentors: Dr. Weidler with graduate student Rosemary Al-Kire
2nd Place
Haley Jackson, MacKenzie Mitchell, and Madison Sheahan  
You look like you want to argue: Attractiveness vs. Willingness to argue
Mentors: Dr. Busath with graduate assistant Mackenzie Onofry
1st Place
Taylor English, Clayton Vega, Skylar Saathoff, Arlena Gannon
Exercise and Self-Efficacy
Mentor: Dr. Bies-Hernandez with graduate assistant Jennifer Parada
To view pictures from the Symposium, you can watch a short video on the right side bar, or visit our Facebook page

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.