Instructional Leadership, emphasis: K-12 School Leadership (MEd)
Student working with professor.

Student accomplishments

See all of the exciting things our College of Social and Behavioral Sciences students are doing.

SBS students receive Gold Axe, Distinguished Senior awards

We are proud of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences students and excited to showcase some achievements. Read about our student’s accomplishments—on campus and nationally. SBS students receive Gold Axe, Distinguished Senior awards

NAU’s Speech and Debate team competes at fall invitationals

Congratulations to SBS students Jasmine Black, Darin Ciresi, April Hettinger, Gia Hoegh, Malia Runge and Francisco Santa Cruz for receiving NAU’s Gold Axe award and Danielle Bartlett who has been named a Distinguished Senior for Fall 2019. NAU’s Speech and Debate team competes at fall invitationals

The NAU Forensics team recently competed against a number of speech and debate teams from 26 colleges and universities across the country at the Mills Invitation, held at Palomar College, and the Aztec Invitational, held at San Diego State University, from October 4-6. Five undergraduate students represented NAU at these events: Anabelle Daigle (Freshman, Biomedical Science), Alyssa Layne (Sophomore, Criminology and Criminal Justice; Business), Xóchitl Liñán (Freshman, Marketing), Eliot Lovell (Sophomore, Photography), and Konner Morris (Sophomore, Philosophy Politics, and Law). Daigle and Layne received the following awards:

  • Anabelle Daigle
    • Fourth Place in Novice Persuasive Speaking, discussing the medical industry’s systematic misdiagnosis of women
  • Alyssa Layne
    • Second Place in Novice Persuasive Speaking, discussing the controversial history of “tipping” practices and minimum wage in the United States
    • Second Place in Novice After Dinner Speaking, discussing abolishing the fraternity system on college campuses
    • Finalist in Novice Impromptu Speaking

Both Daigle and Layne qualified to compete at the National Forensics Association national tournament that will be held in April 2020.

Graduate student Joseph Amazuwa Chirwa improves livelihood of African community

Joseph Amazuwa Chirwa, a graduate student in Sustainable Communities and recipient of the 2019 Maxwell-Lutz Community Impact Award, spent the summer in Africa working on a community-based waste management project in the Chitete-Kasungu Municipality in Malawi. The month-long project aimed to help the local community realize the economic incentive that lies beneath waste. Working specifically with the Chitete Women Cooperative, Joseph encouraged and implemented recycling and composting in the township’s communal garden, worked with the cooperative to manage solid waste, and stressed the importance of micro credit through waste management. He also introduced an in-school recycling  campaign to develop technologies to mitigate the waste program. The initial project, intended to improve the livelihood of this low-income municipality, has now been adopted by the community. The project is made possible through funding by Susanna Maxwell and Barry Lutz.

Arizona Women’s Film Festival screens three student films

The Arizona Women’s Film Festival has included three films by students in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at their 2019 event: “Always Powerful” by alumna Sarah Booth and “Pornography for the Modern Mind” by Ember Crowley. Booth, a former student in Rachel (Tso) Cox’s JLS 483 Advanced Video journalism class, premiered their films at the festival. Crowley’s film was previously shown at Nanjing University for the Arts in China and the FilmBar in Phoenix. All three competed against professional filmmakers for acceptance. Arizona Women’s Film Festival promotes a world where all people thrive as healthy, equal and complete members of all communities while fostering respect, inclusiveness, and integrity. Through the medium of film, the femxle experience is explored.

Always Powerful | Sarah Booth | 2019 USA | 13 min 

One in four women, one in six men, and one in two transgender people will experience sexual assault in their lifetime. This is a statistic that is far too real for Meaghan Booth, a survivor of rape, determined to share her story to bring awareness to the epidemic that is sexual violence. Some may call her a victim, some may call her a survivor, but she knows that she is Always Powerful.

Pornography for the Modern Mind | Ember Crowley | 2019 USA | 2 min

Pornography For The Modern Mind is an experimental film that has been chosen to screen at the Northern Arizona University film festival, won first place in the Experimental Film category at Nanjing University for the Arts in China and was recently screened at the FilmBar in Phoenix. It is a film that explores a darker palette of images while syncing with original music composed by Jerry Swanson.

Trisha Droubie receives HURA Award

Undergraduate student and Social Work major Trisha Droubie has received a 2019-2020 Hooper Undergraduate Research Award (HURA) for the project Police Social Work: Potential Collaborative Response to Crisis Situations. Law enforcement and social work professionals frequently work with overlapping populations experiencing a variety of crises. This proposed study will aim to identify the overlapping roles and duties of law enforcement and social work, as well as explore the attitudes that professionals have regarding this potential partnership and possible barriers to implementation of a formal collaboration. Interviews will be conducted in order to compare response protocols in the two fields, and to identify how the two disciplines collaborate and reflect on the partnership. Then, interviews will be analyzed to determine the similarities and differences that exist in crisis response between the two fields and to better understand the potential for the two fields to collaborate for the benefit of the communities they serve. Droubie is the primary investigator on the project and will be conducting all elements with supervision and guidance from faculty advisor and associate professor Dr. Michael McCarthy. Her goal is to submit for peer review and publication during the spring 2020 semester. She will be presenting her research at the Undergraduate Research Symposium, the HURA recipient conference, and submitting for the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Montana in 2020.

Emile Eich awarded prestigious President’s Prize

Psychology student Emile Eich, is one of four NAU students to receive the prestigious President’s Prize for exemplary leadership, academic excellence and service to the NAU community. Eich was honored at a banquet on April 16, recognizing the most accomplished students in the class of 2019 as well as distinguished seniors from each college. Read moreJosé Ofais named Distinguished SeniorAccordion Open

José Ofais has been received the Distinguished Senior Award for his outstanding academic achievement and involvement with College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Ofais will graduate spring 2019 double-majoring in Psychological Sciences and Sociological Sciences with an overall GPA of 3.82.

NAZ Today wins Best Student Newscast in the country

For the second year in a row, student-run NAZ Today has been named the Best Student Newscast in the country by the Broadcast Education Association (BEA). NAU students competed against hundreds of other colleges across the nation, including Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, which is one of the nation’s most prestigious journalism schools. NAZ Today is broadcasted on channel 4 on Suddenlink and on the NAU-TV Network, as well as streamed on Facebook, the NAZ Today website and YouTube. Congratulations to student news directors Jessica Duarte and Makayla Clark, anchor Conor Sweetman and the excellent team of students behind the scenes and in front of the cameras. Senior Matt Jarecki took home several awards including First Place — Television Sports Talent,
Third Place — Radio Specialty Program, Third Place — Radio Air Personality and Award of Excellence — Radio Sports Story/Feature/News. Recent graduate Jasmine Flores received an Award of Excellence for her sports feature “Flagstaff High School Baseball Memorial.” Read more

KJACK radio named best college station in the U.S.

Student-run KJACK radio as won a nationwide Broadcast Education Association (BEA) competition to be named as the BEA Signature Radio Station. The award was presented during the National Association of Broadcasting/Broadcast Education Association convention. This annual competition invites submissions of superior protocol and practices at student-run, faculty-advised college radio and television stations. The main mission is to identify and impart areas of excellence in the hands-on facilitation of station functions such as philosophical engagement, community involvement, programming arrangement, branding/logo development, student management, volunteer recruitment, and broadcast equipment. A blind review panel of media educators and industry professionals judges submissions on content, creativity and execution. Graduate student and station manager Cassidy Zimarik played a key role in the team’s successful application submission. KJACK radio is a production of students broadcasting from the Media Innovation Center at NAU’s School of Communication. Listen to KJACK

NAU Forensics team wins national awards

The NAU Forensics team competed against 39 colleges and universities in the Pacific Southwest Forensics Association Fall Championship, at Mt. San Antonio College in Los Angeles. Anthony Violissi and Konner Morris made it to the semifinal round of the Junior Parliamentary Debate, where they argued the topic “The U.S. government should establish term limits for Supreme Court Justices” and won a silver award. Morris also received fifth place out of 56 junior debate speakers. Violissi placed seventh in the Senior Communication Analysis, where he discussed the Stonewall Queer Ghost Hunters. Cameron Baird placed second in Novice After Dinner Speaking, where he discussed the concept of luck as a social and cultural phenomenon. Violissi and Elliot Dominguez received awards, as well, at the Great Salt Lake Invitational at the University of Utah in January 2019. Dominguez received third place in extemporaneous speaking while Violissi placed second in communication analysis and third place in dramatic interpretation. In February, Violissi, Dominguez, Morris, Cameron Baird, Alyssa Layne, and Konner Morris were award winners at both the Sunset Cliffs Classic and the Montezuma Invitational. Violissi received first place in communication analysis and second place in dramatic interpretation, Baird received second place in communication analysis, Dominguez was a finalist in impromptu speaking, and Lane was a finalist in novice persuasive speaking also taking second place overall in the tournament.

New era of student filmmaking begins

Spenser Williamson, Senior film major, will be directing the short film “Hare-th” which is stop-motion animation telling the story of a rabbit named Wesley. Stop-motion animation is a challenging art form with a heavy time commitment and hands-on participation from the crew. Dana Kamberg, a senior art major and production designer, said this is the first time a UTV crew has done a piece featuring stop-motion animation. Bill Carter, associate professor of practice stepped in as the UTV faculty advisor although stated doubts at the beginning. “[The students] built every single thing from scratch. They have to have many heads for each change of Wesley’s expression. You might have a smile that develops over four different heads; that’s four different heads you have to build,” Carter said, “It’s a lot of work. It all looks legit and they’ve done a great job of filming.” After two years of brainstorming, the project will premier at the May 2019 UTV’s annual student film festival. Visit the Lumberjack website for more details about this project.

Kim Kardashian wants to read thesis from graduate student in Communication

Communication M.A. graduate student Corderro McMurry’s thesis about entertainment news and hardcore news featured a case study focusing on Kim Kardashian West. It is receiving worldwide attention on social media and several news outlets such as AZ Central and Yahoo Finance because Kardashian’s tweet “I want a copy” went viral after McMurry tweeted a thank you to her. The thesis focuses on how reporters are turning to social media to decide what to report. Agenda-setting theory argues that news elites tell readers what to focus on, and McMurry’s thesis argues that, at least in some cases, fan bases are driving some aspects of hard news and reporting. In particular, during the Trump presidential campaign, some news outlets had “breaking news” that Kim Kardashian was robbed while she was in Paris, and used a split screen to report on it while at the same time they were covering campaign news. His previous paper on the show “Revenge Body”, which is part of this study, was already mentioned in the Cosmopolitan earlier this year.

Alumna accepted into top Occupational Therapy program

SBS alumna Lauren Helbling is wrapping up her first semester at Colorado State University! Lauren graduated from NAU with a Bachelor’s in Psychological Sciences and was accepted into CSU’s Occupational Therapy program, which ranks within the top 10 in the nation. The program was designated as a “Program of Excellence” by the state of Colorado. She plans to complete her Master’s of Occupational Therapy in August of 2020.

Student Senior Awards Fall 2018

President’s Prize

Chandler Emerald McCormick

Political Science (BS)

Environmental & Sustainable Studies (BS) with Global Sustainability Emphases

NAU Alumni Association’s Distinguished Senior and Outstanding Senior of the Department of Psychological Sciences

Adriana De La Torre

Psychological Science (BA)

Spanish Minor

SBS Outstanding Senior and Outstanding Senior of the School of Communication

Kirsten Bagshaw

Strategic Communication (BS) with Advertising and Public Relations Emphases

Anthropology Minor

SBS Standard Bearer and Outstanding Senior of the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Jacquiece Bolden

Criminology and Criminal Justice (BS)

Psychological Sciences Minor

Philosophy Minor

Outstanding Senior of the Department of Sociology

Jacob Gallegos

Sociology (BS)

Psychological Sciences Minor

Outstanding Senior of the Department of Anthropology

Stacy Reeves

Anthropology (BA) with Archaeology Emphases

Outstanding Senior of the Department of Geography, Planning and Recreation

Michelle Louise Pelley

Parks and Recreation Management (BS) with Park Protection Emphases

Outstanding Senior of the Departments of Politics and International Affairs

Chandler Emerald McCormick

Political Science (BS)

Environmental & Sustainable Studies (BS) with Global Sustainability Emphases

Outstanding Senior of the Bachelor of University Studies Program

Chryse Hausenfluck

Emergency Management Minor and Public Administration Minor

Gold Axe Award winners

  • Haileyaunna Blackmun , CCJ
  • Jacquiece Bolden, CCJ
  • Tabitha Branson, PSY
  • Emily Campagnolo, PSY
  • Olivia Hankins, PSY
  • Adriana Martin De Le Torre, PSY
  • Madeline Hanley, PIA
  • Cynthia Ortiz, PSY
  • Rachael Shaprio, PSY

Speech & Debate Team Successful at Tournament

The NAU Forensics team competed in the James Al Johnson Invitational held at Colorado College in Colorado Springs in October 2018. NAU was represented by 6 undergraduate students and competed against a number of different colleges and universities from around the country. The following awards were received in individual events:

Elliott Dominguez: 3rd Place in Open
Extemporaneous Speaking, discussing the contemporary political climate.

Madeline Ramirez: 3rd Place in Open
Informative Speaking, discussing restorative justice as a response to sexual violence.

Anthony Violissi: 2nd Place in Open
Communication Analysis, discussing the Stonewall Queer Ghost Hunters from Columbus, Ohio.

Gold Axe Awards

  • Haileyaunna Blackmun,  CCJ
  • Jacquiece Bolden, CCJ
  • Tabitha Branson, PSY
  • Emily Campagnolo, PSY
  • Olivia Hankins, PSY
  • Adriana Martin De Le Torre, PSY
  • Madeline Hanley, PIA
  • Cynthia Ortiz, PSY
  • Rachael Shaprio PSY

Crescordia Award for SUS student Tyler Linner

Tyler Linner, graduate student in the Master’s in Sustainable Communities Program at NAU receives the Crescordia Award for Site Development and Landscape! He is also the Director of Northern Arizona Pollinator Habitat Initiatives (NAZPHI). Congratulations!

Psychological Science student receives grant

NAU Junior and Psychological Sciences Major Fernanda Martinez was recently awarded a Mammie Phipps Clark Research Grant through the International Honor Society in Psychology (Psi Chi). This selective grant is awarded to Psi Chi members who are performing research on topics of diversity. Fernanda’s grant proposal was one of the top submitted grants and was awarded an additional stipend for her sponsoring faculty member. Fernanda works under Dr. Ann Huffman, who is a professor of Psychological Sciences at NAU, and they partner with an NAU alumnus, Dr. Kristine Olson, an associate professor at Dixie State University in Utah.

This grant afforded Fernanda, with the help of Drs. Huffman and Olson, the opportunity to develop and carry out a research project that examined work-life issues in Mexico. According to Fernanda, most of the research conducted on the topic of work-family conflict among employees focus on U.S. participants.  Their study used the Job Demand and Resources model to provide a framework to understand how both demands and resources work together to affect employees’ wellbeing.

Student paper published

Dr. Ahluwalia has closely mentored four undergraduate students, Tara Casey, Martha Garner, Rebekah Kamp, and Gabriel Villarreal who recently had their essay, “Troubling the Nation: Crafting the New Gay in a Post 9/11 Environment” published in the Journal of Undergraduate Research Press. Dr. Ahluwalia and the students started this project as an independent study project and then went beyond formal course structure. Dr. Ahluwalia worked on multiple drafts with the students and helped to finalize their essay for publication.

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 MUN team just returned from a conference in New York City at Columbia University.  Two of our students, Cezanne Rahner and Patrick Bevans, won awards. The MUN team next travels to USC’s Model UN conference in Los Angeles, where 24 students will compete, and then in November, a team of 8 will travel to Philadelphia for the University of Pennsylvania’s conference. Spring will be even busier, with the team traveling to Montreal, Panama, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Our team was just ranked in the top 75 of university teams in North America. We continue to be very proud of our Lumberjacks!

The team has competed at 3 different conferences in Fall 2017.  A team of 8 traveled to New York City in September to attend Columbia University’s conference, and 2 of our students won awards. In October a team of 8 traveled to Los Angeles for USC’s conference, where another 2 people won awards.  Then in November, a team of 8 traveled to Philadelphia for the University of Pennsylvania’s conference.  I’ve attached a picture of this delegation. The students continue to meet twice a week as a club and have participated in voter registration drives to help encourage their fellow students to vote.

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 student, Marteen 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 Forum. He looks into the reasons for the Saudi intervention in Yemen and what the domestic factors that have influenced this intervention.

Graduate student, Corderro McMurry, featured in “Cosmopolitan” magazine

A School of Communications graduate student, Corderro McMurry, was recently interviewed 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.

Biggest Mayan tomb ever found in Xunantunich (Belize) by NAU students

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 ever found in this area although researchers investigated this site for more than a century. Not only is the size of this tomb 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 new knowledge about the fabled nation who still presents a puzzle to scientists. Dr. Awe and his team of NAU students and their discovery are in the news worldwide. Pictures of the site from Professor Awe will follow soon.

KNAU report #1

KNAU report #2

Xunantunich, The Mystery Unfolds Part Two