Hall of Fame 2016
NAU’s Social and Behavioral Sciences alumni share their success stories
The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Northern Arizona University is proud to share stories of our graduates who have gone on to make a difference in the world.
1990 International Affairs; Chief of Investigations for the California Department of Health Care Services
Laura started her career in law enforcement as a Special Agent with the US Secret Service. She conducted criminal investigations and dignitary protection. She has protected sitting and former presidents, vice presidents and many foreign dignitaries. Her most notable assignment was being on the protection detail of Hillary Clinton. Over the last 21 years, Laura has served in various capacities as a peace officer for the State of California. Laura made a name for herself investigating high profile health care fraud schemes working with both the California Attorney General’s office and the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Central District of California. She was a leader on the task force that led to the prosecution and conviction of individuals associated with the case known as, “Operation Psyched Out.” She has been a speaker at various national conferences, including the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association (NHCAA) and the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units (NAMFCU). In 2014, Laura participated in the SBS Ladhoff Lecture series program entitled, “Three Women Who Changed the Face of Criminal Justice.” Laura was incredibly humbled to be a part of the program standing between a US Attorney and Arizona Supreme Court Justice. As Chief of the Investigations Branch, Laura oversees approximately 100 sworn investigators (peace officers) in various parts of the state. She is responsible for planning, supervising and coordinating investigations of alleged Medicaid (Medi-Cal) fraud. She also maintains close working relationships with various state, local and federal law enforcement partners to ensure effective administrative and criminal prosecutions of health care fraud. Laura lives in La Habra, California with her husband, Rod and son, Sam.
1969 – Anthropology; Photographer Flagstaff, AZ
Mr. Running has earned a reputation for taking captivating photographic portraits. He specializes in photographing people either on location or in the studio. His photographs stand out because they have a style that is personally creative and graphically strong. He has been taking photographs for advertising, design and editorial clients for over 45 years. Originally from Buffalo, New York, Running studied Earth Science at the New Mexico School of Mines and then spent four years in the United States Marine Corps, where he served in the Mediterranean, Caribbean and West Indies. Following service in the USMC, he earned a degree in Anthropology at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. His extensive photo assignments have taken him to Italy, France, Spain, The Netherlands, Scotland, The Galapagos Islands, Jordan, The West Bank, The Gaza Strip, and South America. His clients include Eastman Kodak, Polaroid, Nikon, Ilford, Coors Beer, Lee Jeans, U S West, Sterling Commerce and Canyon Records. He has also published seven books including Honor Dance, Pictures for Solomon, Dancer and Halo of the Sun and Navajo Weaving Way. Mr. Running is married to Shelley Claude and has lived in Flagstaff for the past 51 years.
1983 – Applied Sociology; Regent, Arizona Board of Regents
Governor Janet Napolitano appointed LuAnn Leonard to an eight-year term on the Arizona Board of Regents in January 2008. Regent Leonard is the first Native American to be appointed to the board. She currently is a member of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee and the Health Affairs Committee. Regent Leonard is the executive director of the Hopi Education Endowment Fund (HEEF), which provides educational opportunities for the Hopi people. Prior to her work with HEEF, Regent Leonard spent more than 22 years working with the Hopi Tribe in positions ranging from Higher Education Counselor, Higher Education Director and Director of Youth Affairs, to serving as an Assistant to the Chairman of the Tribe focusing on health and human service issues. Regent Leonard participates in several academic and professional organizations such as the Arizona Tri-Universities for Indian Education (ATUIE), Native Americans in Philanthropy and the Arizona Women’s Forum. She graduated from Northern Arizona University in 1983. Regent Leonard resides in Polacca, Arizona; a community in Navajo County on the Hopi Reservation. She is a descendant of the Tohono O’odham Nation and is of the Alwungwa (Deer) Clan from the Village of Sichomovi. Regent Leonard has two children.