NAU’s student-produced newspaper
The Lumberjack is the student voice of Northern Arizona University, and has been since it was founded in 1914. A lot has changed since the early 20th century. That first issue of what was then called The Pine was circulated around a small college then known as Northern Arizona Normal School. While students voted in 1946 to rename the weekly publication The Lumberjack, the student-run newspaper is still performing vital functions of recording and informing student life at NAU, as well as Flagstaff and the northern Arizona community.
Today, The Lumberjack is a 24/7 news operation staffed entirely by students who contribute to all aspects of the publication’s workflow while receiving class credit toward graduation and developing skills that professional media platforms look for in journalists. Students brainstorm stories, plan, report, write, edit, photograph, illustrate and design the weekly publication, while receiving input and guidance from a full-time faculty advisor with decades of professional newsroom experience. The Lumberjack’s website provides a platform for breaking news, updates on previous stories, multimedia projects and digital journalism, while the publication’s student-run social media team is constantly engaging with readers.
The “workshop” environment of The Lumberjack allows students to gain essential hands-on experiential training in an actual newsroom setting. This unique setting allows students to enroll in classes aligned with The Lumberjack early in their NAU careers and begin accruing credit toward graduation. If you want to jump into writing for any of the paper’s sections, or if you want to contribute as a photographer or an illustrator, those opportunities are open to you as a freshman.
Meet the team
The Lumberjack Editorial Board Accordion Closed
You start your career at The Lumberjack as a writer for one of the paper’s sections (News, Op-Ed, Culture, Features, or Sports), or as a member of the photography or illustration departments, after enrolling in a course that allows you to earn credits toward graduation. Student journalists take part in weekly section meetings led by their section editors, who are students who serve as peer mentors and who have earned their positions based on their body of work during their Lumberjack careers. Section editors and their assistants team with members of the publication’s Executive Board to form The Lumberjack Editorial Board. The “Ed Board,” as it’s known by members, functions as the primary planning, decision-making, and collaborative branch of The Lumberjack. Weekly Ed Board meetings provide time for students discuss story ideas, plan event coverage, and coordinate with other departments (photography, illustration) on that week’s publication.
No matter which path you choose for your Lumberjack career, the small class sizes and The Lumberjack’s communal nature give you a chance to interact with your peers in an organic learning environment where personal relationships are prioritized and nurtured. Your confidence will grow, your writing, editing, interviewing and other essential journalism skills will improve, and you will develop lasting relationships.
While much has indeed changed since that first issue of The Pine circulated at Northern Arizona Normal School in 1914, some things have not. The Lumberjack has weighed in on controversies of the day, recorded triumphs and tragedies, and served as a valuable archive of NAU’s history. As it was more than a century ago, The Lumberjack has provided an invaluable training ground for student journalists, many of whom have gone on to illustrious careers in the worlds of newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and digital media. You could be next- join our team.
Faculty Advisor: David Harpster, MA Accordion Closed
This is David Harpster’s third year at NAU after spending more than 22 years in the newspaper business in Northeast Ohio, where he is originally from. He began his journalism career covering sports and later produced articles for basically every section—news, features, entertainment, business, culture—prior to leaving the business in January 2015. After receiving his Master’s in Organizational Communication from Ohio University in December 2017, he and his wife decided to make a life change when they both accepted jobs at NAU in July 2018. Their first vacation as a couple was to this area—Zion, Bryce, the Grand Canyon and Sedona—and they married in Sedona in 2016. This is David’s second full year as advisor to The Lumberjack. He has also instructed JLS 105, 131, 231, 232, and 328w, as well as COM 131 during his time at NAU. He and his wife live in Flagstaff with their two dogs (Luka and Siena; brother and sister), three cats (Mama, Callie, and Pumpkin; the latter two being the offspring of Mama cat) and a 24-gallon saltwater reef tank with five fish and assorted snails, crabs, and corals.
The Lumberjack Executive Board Accordion Closed
The student journalists who make up The Lumberjack’s Executive Board started as writers before moving into leadership positions through their hard work, passion, talent, and understanding of journalism best practices. The positions on the Executive Board are Editor in Chief, Managing Editor, Print Chief, Copy Chief, and Director of Digital Content. Each position has a defined role and each student’s efforts contribute to overall success of The Lumberjack as a news operation.
Members of the Spring 2021 Lumberjack Executive Board Accordion Closed
Name: Scout Ehrler
Position: Editor in Chief
Hometown: Vista, California
Major: Journalism/Political Science
What’s the best aspect of being on The Lumberjack?: The best part of The Lumberjack is two-fold: The community and the knowledge. Working for The Lumberjack comes with a built-in community. It provides students with a real life model of a newspaper that allows for hands-on learning. Nearly everything I know about journalism, I owe to the paper, from leadership skills to editing and designing
Name: Nathaniel Manni
Position: Managing Editor
Hometown: Peoria, Arizona
What’s the best aspect of being on The Lumberjack?: The best part of The Lumberjack is the immersive experience and training you receive by simply doing the work every week and collaborating with other driven student-journalists! I would say I’ve learned more about this craft with The Lumberjack than I have in most journalism courses at NAU.
Name: Nayomi Garcia
Position: Copy Chief
Hometown: Rio Rico, Arizona
What’s the best aspect of being on The Lumberjack?: What I enjoy most about working at The Lumberjack is the experience I get. I never would’ve known what it’s like to actually write or edit stories for a paper if it weren’t for this opportunity. I’ll always be grateful for the experiences I’ve had at the paper!
Name: Jacob Meyer
Position: Print Chief
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
What’s the best aspect of being on The Lumberjack?: The best part of The Lumberjack is the opportunity to practice journalism and produce a real publication, all while still in college and surrounded by like-minded, passionate people.
Name: Ashley Lohmann
Position: Director of Digital Content
Hometown: Mililani, Hawaii
What’s the best aspect of being on The Lumberjack?: The best thing about The Lumberjack is the professional and supportive community built by students.