Instructional Leadership, emphasis: K-12 School Leadership (MEd)
N A U Lumberjack posing for the camera on Flagstaff campus.

Hall of Fame 2021

Meet the NAU College of Education Hall of Fame inductee

COE hall of fame recognizes long-standing achievement or sustained impact in the field of education connected to the mission and vision of the college.

Tim Carter – Educational Leadership

An Arizona native, Tim Carter received his master’s in Secondary Educational Leadership from NAU in 1978 and proceeded to engage in a prolific career dedicated to education in his home state. Mr. Carter taught American government and coached track, cross country, and mock trial teams at several high schools in Arizona before transitioning to administration, eventually becoming the principal of Prescott High School until his retirement in 2003. Since then, he has continued to teach at colleges in the state and has also served as Vice President and President of the Arizona State Board of Education, as Yavapai County School Superintendent, and on the executive board of the Arizona Interscholastic Association. Mr. Carter has received numerous awards, including the 2003 Arizona School Administrator of the Year Award and induction into the Arizona Track Coaches Hall of Fame.

Veronica Hipolito – Educational Psychology

Veronica Hipolito is a 2002 graduate of NAU with a master’s in Community Counseling, whose career has centered on student services, diversity, and social justice in higher education. To that end, she is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education focused on the experiences and retention of Native college students. Ms. Hipolito has worked in administration at several universities in Arizona, holding roles including Interim President, Dean of Student Development, Director of Students, and Interim Vice President of Student Affairs at Coconino Community College (CCC) and Vice President and Title IX Coordinator for Chandler-Gilbert Community College. During her time at CCC, Ms. Hipolito worked to create the CCC2NAU program, a nationally recognized program in partnership with NAU that received the 2012 Lee Noel-Randi Levitz Retention Excellence Award and the Outstanding Institutional Advising Program Award from the National Academic Advising Association.

2021 Distinguished Alumni Award honorees

The Northern Arizona University Alumni Association bestows five awards to distinguished alumni who have demonstrated excellence in their careers, performed extraordinary community service and volunteerism, or embodied and promoted the spirit of the university. Read more about the awards and past honorees on the Alumni Awards webpage.

Charles and Linda Pilon

The Joe and Marie Rolle Spirit of NAU award is presented to an NAU alumna or alumnus who radiates the spirit of NAU. Mrs. Linda (COE Class of 1960) and Dr. Charles Pilon (COE Class of 1959 and 1966) have been vigorous benefactors of NAU while also supporting one another in prolific careers and philanthropic endeavors. Over 50 years ago they were married on the NAU campus, and since then have become Skyjacks, members of the 1899 Society, and served the Alumni Association as a board member and president, respectively. Both of these Lumberjacks for Life are active in the Phoenix Alumni Chapter and never miss a Homecoming celebration. Mrs. Pilon had a long career as a teacher in secondary education, while Dr. Pilon was an NAU faculty member and pioneer of individualized learning programs in the university. He was inducted into the College of Education Hall of Fame and is also a recipient of several NAU student awards, including the Gold Axe Award in 1959. Together, the Pilons established the Dr. Charles D. and Linda Pilon Scholarship in the College of Education, contributing to the success of future generations of Lumberjacks.

2021 President’s Alumni Award honorees

The President’s Alumni Awards honor an exceptional alumnus or alumna from each academic college whose service and accomplishments embody the university’s tradition of excellence. Read more about the awards and past honorees on the Alumni Awards webpage.

Katherine Paster – Educational Psychology

Katherine Pastor has been the high school guidance counselor at Flagstaff High School for more than 20 years. She is also part-time faculty for the College of Education. Consistently going above and beyond in her work as a counselor, she was recognized in 2016 with the prestigious National Counselor of the Year award, presented to her in the White House by President Obama. She was recently featured on a SchoolLinks podcast, speaking about pandemic-related challenges faced by educators and counselors. Ms. Pastor is a donor to the NAU Foundation and engages in local Flagstaff Alumni Chapter events. She supports the larger community by sitting on and chairing many boards, including Flagstaff Master Chorale, the Arizona High School College Relations Counsel, The Arizona School Counselors Association, and more.

Outstanding Students

Hannah Gish – BSEd – Elementary Education, Spanish minor

Awards: 2021 Spring Distinguished Senior, Undergraduate Student that has shown outstanding achievements in Research, Outstanding Undergraduate Student in the College of Education

Hannah has an impressive ability to do excellent research. She is also equally passionate about becoming a teacher and working with under-served youth. Hannah proved to be an excellent research assistant. She worked well in challenging situations and demonstrated both maturity and adaptability and came up with an effective solution to address a challenging situation in a major data collection project. She worked well and efficiently with the student participants from different cultural backgrounds. Besides serving as Honors Ambassador, Research Assistant, and Practicum student, Hannah took the time to participate in the Big Brother, Big Sister program in Flagstaff. In 2020, Hannah received the Hooper Undergraduate Research Award (HURA). She was selected as a recipient for this prestigious research award and to the best of my knowledge, only the second student from the College of Education to receive this award in the last seven years.

Hannah is also an Arizona Teachers Academy (ATA) recipient and is currently completing her student teacher placement at a magnet, public trilingual school in Flagstaff. Hannah continues to challenge herself and is teaching half of her classes in Spanish, which is helping her become bilingual and fluent in Spanish. She thrives in challenging and diverse practicum experiences that fulfill her dream of teaching in schools serving children with the limited resources for success. I am also pleased to report that Hannah recently learned that she is a Fulbright Fellowship recipient and will serve as an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in classrooms abroad (in Spain) helping local English teachers. This program was designed for outstanding graduating seniors and is one of the most prestigious and competitive awards granted for global study and research.

Neshay Seneva Mall – MEd – Counseling-Student Affairs

Awards: Outstanding Masters Student from the Department of Educational Psychology

Neshay Mall is in the top 5% of graduate students at any level in the areas of scholarly focus and ability – including critical thinking, research skill, ability to synthesize and integrate new learning, creative thinking, collaboration, and production. She has great passion for her work and dedication to the field. Neshay began an independent research project to study the psychosocial development of international students of color. She studied: race and racism in higher education, settler colonial technologies of domination and decolonization, and neoracism against international students.This helped shape her justice focused worldview allowing her to not only work with people different from herself, but also to help them understand the world in more critical ways. Diversity is not an add-on for Neshay, but rather, an integrated component of her being. This drive to build more equitable outcomes within counseling is spurred by both a desire to create equitable systems for communities of color and also by her personal life experience.

Shantel Yvonne Martinez – BSEd – Elementary Education

Award: Outstanding Undergraduate Student in the College of Education

Shantal Martinez is an amazing person as well as future teacher. She is hardworking and talented, and she is always going above and beyond to help her fellow future teachers as much as she can. She strives to gain as much knowledge as possible because she is passionate about becoming an excellent teacher. Shantal has a positive personality that shines in a classroom full of students, and she is a quality role model. She has integrity and honesty, and she knows how to show this to others.Since Shantal has worked so hard in
this program to become the best teacher she can be, she will persevere no matter what issues might arise in her future. Shantal’s easy-going style and love of children make her an outstanding teacher. She loves what she does and works diligently. Her contributions are always insightful and interesting, and she really cares about what she is doing for her students. Her academic skills are at the highest level, and she is the kind of individual who will work hard to be successful and never give up. I have watched her make sure every experience has a positive outcome no matter how hard it might have been. The students in Shantal’s classrooms are going to be very lucky to have her as their teacher. She has been a joy to have in my preparation classes.

Gina Nabours – PhD – Curriculum and Instruction

Award: Outstanding Doctoral Student from the Curriculum and Instruction Program

Gina Nabours has demonstrated excellence in many areas as a doctoral student in the Curriculum and Instruction PhD Program. She excelled in her coursework while also meeting the demands of being an instructor, director of the Lumberjack Math Center and a parent. Gina is passionate about working with Graduate TAs (also called Graduate Student Instructors or GSIs) and she has pursued research to explore how the GSIs in her department are supported, how they learn and develop as novice teachers, and how they can be better supported. She did her Qualifying Research Project focused on research with the GSIs.Through that project she demonstrated her dedication to research as she met challenges and many ups and downs. She used that project as a learning opportunity to help her refine both her research and writing skills and she is now developing her Dissertation Prospectus. I often have students who previously had Gina for MAT 150 or 155 and they speak highly of her as an instructor. In their comments they often talk about how Gina is passionate about helping them learn math and feel more confident about their math abilities. For many of them, Gina helped them shift towards a more positive mindset about math. Gina truly cares about students, whether it is the undergraduates in her math classes or the GSIs she works with through the Lumberjack Math Center. I view her as an exemplary doctoral student because she has demonstrated excellence in coursework, research, writing and teaching.

Alexa Portman – BSEd – Elementary Education

Award: Undergraduate student that has shown outstanding achievements in Leadership

Alexa works really hard to be the first one to complete the projects. She is very helpful and persistent to help others who are struggling with their assignments or who face technological issues. Alexa is a valuable resource in the classroom. She is a leader and can mentor other students very well.

Charles Sanders – EdD – Educational Leadership K-12 Admin

Award: Outstanding Doctoral Student from the Department of Educational Leadership

Charles Sanders grew up in abject poverty, moving 23 times by the time he was thirteen, often living in payby-the-week motels. He received his GED at eighteen and then enrolled into college. “Education” was not his initial field of interest; although, a teacher is whom he credits for changing his life. Charles is acutely aware that schools are struggling to address the symptoms and displays of the poverty that grips more and more families. He sees Administrators desperately looking for answers to address the behavioral and academic manifestations of poverty on children. Educators desperately seek out new instructional methods, schools adopt positive behavior interventions, counselors grasp for resources that are increasingly depleted. All of these are earnest attempts at combating the symptoms of poverty. Charles believes that education must be celebrated again, and schools should be seen as the institutions that empower our citizens to reach further, to yearn for, and provide the tools for more. Charles became an educator, because he feels a moral imperative to help those who were left behind due to poverty, oppression, and ignorance. As the Chair of Charles Sanders’ Dissertation Committee, I am honored and proud to nominate this remarkable individual for Outstanding Doctoral Student from the College of Education. He will continue making a difference in the lives of so many youth and adults. I am proud to call him a colleague and friend.

Shannon Winans – PhD – Combined Counseling/School Psychology

Awards: Graduate Student that has shown outstanding achievements in Research, Outstanding Doctoral Student from the Department of Educational Psychology

In addition to being a doctoral student in the Educational Psychology Department, Shannon Winans has also been a graduate assistant (GA) in the Educational Specialties Department; Special Education Unit for the past three years. In this role, Shannon has been an exemplar of excellence, initiative, commitment, integrity, and competence. Shannon has joined faculty in both the ESP and EPS departments as well as researchers in other institutions on writing projects including journal articles, conference presentations, and conference proceedings. Shannon has advanced research and statistical skills addressing contemporary topics in special education and school psychology. She has also been a valued co-teacher. In her co-teaching role, Shannon worked collaboratively with the lead, and she brought her research to inform course revisions and enhancements. In addition, Shannon has also volunteered to supervise and mentor Ed.S school psychology students with their fieldwork experiences. Shannon demonstrates strong writing and communication skills, ethical and professional behaviors, the ability to interact and collaborate effectively with faculty, and she has the interpersonal skills of flexibility and adaptability. Shannon’s substantial contributions have been in both teaching and research and some might say leadership as well.

Faculty and Staff Awards

Dian Squire – Assistant Professor – Department of Educational Psychology

Award: 2021-2022 COE Teacher of the Year

Roxane Jacobson – COE Advising Manager – University Advising

Award: The Colleen Noble Rice Commitment to Student Success Award

Selita Mitchell – Academic Program Coordinator – Office of the Dean

Award: The Colleen Noble Rice Commitment to Student Success Award

Marti Canipe – Assistant Professor – Department of Teaching and Learning

Award: The David A. Williams Award for Innovation

Claudia Rodas – Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Educational Specialties

Award: The David A. Williams Award for Innovation

Promotion and Tenure – Effective August 2021

Buck Blankenship – First Year Experience

Promotion to Senior Lecturer

Cecilia Chaffin – Department of Teaching and Learning

Promotion to Senior Lecturer

Jieun Lee – Department of Educational Psychology

Promotion and Tenure to Associate Professor

Jo’el Johnson – Center for Science Teaching and Learning

Promotion to Associate Clinical Professor

Jon Lee – Department of Teaching and Learning

Received Tenure

Leona Mensay – Department of Teaching and Learning

Promotion to Senior Lecturer

Michelle Novelli – Department of Teaching and Learning

Promotion to Associate Clinical Professor

Nicole Hampton – Department of Educational Specialties

Promotion to Senior Lecturer

Sarah Kondratuk – Department of Teaching and Learning

Promotion to Senior Lecturer

Saumya Arora – Department of Educational Psychology

Promotion to Associate Clinical Professor