It’s going to be hard for the students who graduated in the fall of 2020 to forget their last semester at NAU. While the unique challenges of wrapping up their bachelor’s degrees in the midst of a pandemic proved to be unique for many, this semester’s award winners proved resilient through difficult times.
This semester’s Distinguished Senior award went to Hannah Jackson, who was nominated by the Department of Global Languages and Cultures. She received her degree in Modern Languages with a French and Francophone studies emphasis. She was a double-major, also receiving an elementary education BSED degree.
Hannah came to NAU from Chandler, Arizona. With her degree in hand, she now heads to Silver Spring, Maryland to teach first grade at a Title I school with a large population of students who speak English as a second language.
After gaining some years of experience in the classroom, Hannah says she’ll begin applying to graduate school, hoping to get a masters degree in teaching English to non-native speakers and, eventually, a doctorate.
Fall 2020’s Standard Bearer is Natalie Krafft, the nominee from the School of Music. Natalie’s degree is in music secondary education, with an instrumental emphasis.
The School of Art’s outstanding senior for the semester is Olivia Zachs, who received a BFA in studio art with a painting emphasis. She came to NAU from New York City, and is moving to Huntington Beach, California while she applies to MFA programs for illustration and production design.
The Department of Comparative Cultural Studies’ outstanding senior for the semester is Megan Yurk. She earned her in CCS with an Asian studies emphasis and minors in art history and comparative study of religions.
The Department of English’s outstanding senior is Sonora Magel. She received an English BA with a psychology minor and a creative writing undergraduate certificate.
Sonora came to NAU from Glendale, Arizona, and plans to continue to call Flagstaff home at least until May. The next step for her is to submit the works she wrote through the creative writing program for publication.
The Department of History’s outstanding graduating senior is Audrey Casem. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history with a law, rights and justice minor.
Audrey is from Avondale, Arizona. She will begin an internship with the YMCA Leadership Academy in the spring. She then hopes to continue her studies this fall, with intentions to get a masters degree in North American history.
The Department of Philosophy’s outstanding senior for the fall is Caesar Tafur, whose bachelor degree is in philosophy, politics, and law with a minor in business.
The Department of Theatre’s outstanding graduating senior is Janet Ayala. Her degree is in theater design and technology with an emphasis in costumes with a minor in business.
Janet hopes to do costume design for a group such as Ballet Arizona, the Phoenix Opera, or the Arizona Opera when the pandemic subsides and live performances can resume. Until then, she will be working in accounting while taking care of my grandparents.
Congratulations to all of our graduates and best wishes as you take the next step in your lives.